StarCraft 2
Looks like Blizzard has set the bar again for the popular game back in the late 1990's. I must admit though, it's still popular, that me and my roommate played it a couple of times this semester to drag the time by when we were bored.

Since Blizzard got our hopes up with StarCraft: Ghost, but then canceled it sometime in 2006; this appears to be replacing the canceled project. StarCraft II brings back our well-known races: the Protoss, the Zerg, and the Terran; but with improved 3D graphics, new units, and of course newer maps and features. So far, the StarCraft II website only shows some new units in store for the Protoss race, some of these newer units seem to be great units against some of the other races' units. For example, when a player playing as Protoss and has 50 some Phase Cannons protecting the only way into their base, and 30 some Terran Siege Tanks are outside blasting away and the only thing the player can do is send in Protoss Immortals (replacing the aging Dragoons) where their shields are quite effective against the tanks. In addition, those Siege Tank rounds have a new splash damage effect.

Many of the units and buildings we have come to know are a bit different in StarCraft II. The Terran Barracks, Command Center, Marines, and so forth look different because of the 3D rendering. Regardless, from the screenshots, the battles look amazing with the improved graphics.

Battle.Net, how could we forget you? We have spent countless hours playing against other players all over the world to enjoy several hours of blasting, battling, and struggling to survive and defeat our enemies. Well, now that you've aged so much over the past few years, you'll be updated in time for players to play both StarCraft II and the original StarCraft series.

No word on what the system requirements are, but this looks to be a highly anticipated game to sequel the original StarCraft series. Here's to Zerg Rushes, Nukes, and Carriers to relive battles told over and over again.

StarCraft II Home Page
Blizzard Entertainment Home Page
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"I've reached field capacity!"
Quote:We are the swarm. We burned a path of annihilation across the stars and then we vanished. Four years ago, we faded into the shadows. We've thrived, we've evolved. Now, the time has come for us to step back into the light. Now, worlds will tremble once again, empires will fall, alliances will shatter.

We are the swarm, but we are becoming much, much more. For the final metamorphosis has only just begun.
— The Queen of Blades

Yeah, almost a week late, but the Zerg are looking mighty fierce since Sarah Kerrigan became leader of the swarm. In case you're not caught up with the story, or have gotten rusty at the history of the StarCraft universe, I recommend reading The Story So Far -- since last playing it during my middle school years, the story did clear up what the meanings of the intro video of the original StarCraft game, the commentary during the missions, and the end scenes of campaigns. The Brood Wars part is coming soon, and I'm looking forward to reading it. Sure, I could reload SC and SC:BW and play all the missions again for 12 hours straight for several days, but reading the story is better in my opinion. Believe me, I've tried last summer, and barely got through the fourth mission when I decided I would do something else than play the campaigns for the fifth time.

Now, I've been a little late with keeping up to date with SC2, but then again, it allows me to read up on a heck of a lot of information in one fell swoop than coming back every day to see if there's a new update. However, it certainly is nice that in those four years, the military (or rather the designers of the game) have upgraded a couple of units. The long successful (and often troublesome for the opponent) AAV-5 Arclite siege tank has been replaced by the new Crucio siege tank. However, one of the weaknesses of the Arclite was the need to escort it out into the battlefield due to its low hitpoint, hopefully the Crucio will be able to withstand a bit longer in battle (if we only knew the stats!).

The Command Center with an option for a mounted turret gun to protect itself and the resource gatherers (SCVs) is a nice addition. Gone is the Wraith as it has been succeeded by the AH/G-24 Banshee, however it is an air-to-ground attacking unit only -- versus the Wraith's dual attack ability. Yet, the Viking replaces the Goliath and partially replaces the Wraith with its air- and ground-modes to attack either air or ground targets.

I could go into great lengths of new units, buildings, and upgrades coming to StarCraft II -- for that you can discover them on your own, but until then, when is SC2 coming out Blizzard? I sense a nuclear launch detected soon in my social life. Big Grin
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"I've reached field capacity!"
Eh, only a week late. So, I bought StarCraft II on launch day, contributing to the statistics of Blizzard being able to get the record achievement of 1.5 million copies of the game in just the first 48 hours.

Overall, the game is great. You can explore different areas of the Hyperion, the battlecruiser owned and operated by James Raynor and his rebellion forces, talking to some of the crew, and watching the clearly government censored and controlled UNN Dominion News. All of that plus the sweet graphics the game provides.

Critics of the game may say this about LAN not being included or that about how you need to be connected to the Internet to play the game, even in single player (although, Blizzard states you can still play offline, but it's not recommended), or how the whole thing is only about the Terran race and not like the previous two games that included all three races.

With that aside, I'd like to correct some of the errors I found in my previous replies.

First, the Wraith has made a comeback as a classic unit due to its versatility. The Command Center with the optional mounted turret gun is an unlockable research point that you get from obtaining these Zerg artifacts that are spread throughout on missions. The resource gathering I talked about is another unlockable research point from, I think, obtaining enough Protoss artifacts. Since it is only a prototype, it is able to mine nearly 300 minerals until it runs out of energy and disappears.

Now, since I am an owner of a certain ATI graphics card, I don't have much of the anti-aliasing goodness that our nVidia counterparts enjoy, but with the Catalyst 10.7 beta drivers (which I haven't installed yet, though) it is possible.
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"I've reached field capacity!"
And...finished the Terran campaign. Without going too much into details, or spoiling it for those who plan to play it at some point in the future, the game is pretty awesome. OK, there may be 26 missions, but you also have to factor in the the 4 or 5 Protoss missions plus that one secret mission that can be unlocked. I'm sure you can search Google to find out how to do that. But it has something to do with that damn government-censored UNN, there's your hint. WinkWink

Oh, yeah, fellow ATi owners: recommend you upgrade to Catalyst 10.7a beta drivers ASAP before playing SC2:WoL.
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"I've reached field capacity!"

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