Last Monday at about 11:45 at night, I found myself standing at the mall in line for a game that I knew very little about. For months, I’d been hearing from my boyfriend and his friends about how wonderful StarCraft was, but I had never seen it in action. They had been literally counting down the days to the sequel’s release for weeks. I had promised my boyfriend that I would go with him to pick up his pre-ordered copy of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty at midnight. The moment it was in his hands, we rushed back to his house to start installing the game. Once I finally saw the game in action, I understood why he and his friends had been so psyched about its release.
The original StarCraft was released in March of 1998. Since then, fans have been promised a sequel for years. There were rumors, release date hints, and pushbacks about one of the most highly anticipated video game sequels ever, but finally the wait is over. StarCraft II was released this past Monday on July 27th, 12 years after the original StarCraft’s release.
The story of StarCraft II picks up four years after the original game. The hero, Jim Raynor, continues to fight against the Dominion that rules the galaxy’s outer planets. There are still the three different races found in the original: the Terran (humans), the Zerg (insect-like army), and the Protoss (humanoid aliens). The Zerg are now on the run from the Terran, but you quickly discover that the Zerg are not as weak as they lead the Terran to believe. Jim Raynor is forced to deal with not only the Dominion forces but also the Zerg and the Protoss.
Blizzard did a fantastic job with StarCraft II, which after 12 years that’s to be expected. It is an amazing RTS game that allows you to oversee the offense, defense, and various stages of production of military units. There is no set strategy when it comes to StarCraft II. It’s all up to you. You decide how you want to accomplish your goals.
There are a total of 26 different missions. Every time you finish a mission, you will have the choice of three or four different missions to move on to. Missions consist of anything from defending refugees from Zerg attacks to learning more about your enemies and their weapons to searching for artifacts for the mysterious Mobius organization. In between missions, you will be stationed on the Hyperion spaceship. There you can visit the lab, upgrade armor, go to the bridge to select your mission, or speak to crewmates to gain insight about current events.
So how are the graphics this time around you might ask? Well Blizzard went with 3D polygonal graphics. Compared to God of War III and Red Dead Redemption, I don't feel that StarCraft II has the most amazing graphics. Now, I'm not saying the graphics are bad, because some of the cut scenes actually have fantastic quality, but during gameplay the graphics are good but not incredible. Fortunately, Blizzard is kind enough to build their games in a way that doesn’t require gamers to go out and buy a new graphics card. You can basically play StarCraft II on any kind of computer which is nice. All you need is a 2.6 Ghz Pentium IV and a 128MB PCIe Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT or ATI Radeon 9800 Pro video card. That’s not too hard to find.
Yes the game is $59.99, but for those who love StarCraft or RTS games, it will definitely be worth it. The online multiplayer mode keeps the game fresh and replayable. Multiplayer allows you to fight against the CPU or other online players in four-versus-four matches. There are four different difficulty levels, and there are achievements to players can compete for.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is amazing. According to my boyfriend and his friends, it is everything that fans hoped for. The story is great, the strategy is enticing, and the gameplay is just what everyone was hoping for. Hopefully, it won’t take another 12 years for Blizzard to release the next installment in the StarCraft series.
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