Starcraft II took a long time coming and finally arrived this month after almost 13 years since the first one was released. Many critics probably ask, “was it worth the wait?”. The simple answer is neither an affirmative “yes” or a “no” but warrants a “sort of” response. The game keeps the greatness of the first one by recycling the same formula that Starcraft I used. The main addition to the game are the improved graphics and the additional multiplayer features that make it more convenient than ever to blast your rivals across galactic space. When Starcraft I was released in 1998 it featured 3 unique races that quarreled over galactic control. Starcraft II features no new additional races but expands upon each race with new units, some of which replace units know in the first one. That’s not to say a new race was needed, it’s just to say that it would have been nice. When Warcraft III was released it added 2 new additional races(night elves and undead), thus making the Warcraft universe have 4 races. Warcraft I originally had only 2, orcs and humans.
While Starcraft II’s graphics are nice, the game requires a lot of hard drive space and a good graphics card. For example, I had to run the game on minimum settings on a 2009 Macbook. On Battle.net, joining a multiplayer game is easier than ever. Starcraft 2 uses a similar system that Warcraft III used to pair you up with competition that you’re more so on par with and while this system is the easiest way to join games on battle.net, the old style of creating a game manually and joining by search still exists. The user is also able to receive skill attributes in their battle.net profile by playing certain games online. I’m not really quite sure what Blizzard was thinking by releasing the protoss and zerg single player story lines as separate expansions considering the fact that Starcraft’s biggest fans purchase the game for multiplayer as the multiplayer is fully functional for each race with the original terran purchase.
While Starcraft II is a solid game and uses the same great formula as the first with some creative add-ons, it simply doesn’t offer enough new features and I simply don’t get Blizzard’s strategy for marketing the single player Protoss and Zerg campaigns as expansions. While that’s easy to say, Starcraft II offers excellent online play through battle.net and that’s the main area I believe Starcraft II excels in. If you’re a fan of Blizzard games, Diablo 3 is probably the big one most of us are waiting for. Overall, i’d give Starcraft II an 8/10.