We were expecting it maybe “by Christmas”, but StarCraft II is coming early this year: July 27th.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the first in the RTS trilogy, will arrive in stores throughout the world (including United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau) starting on that date – and if you don’t want to leave the house, you can buy it directly from Blizzard shortly after.
Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment (and generally cool bloke), is delighted:
“We’ve been looking forward to revisiting the StarCraft universe for many years, and we’re excited that the time for that is almost here, Thanks to our beta testers, we’re making great progress on the final stages of development, and we’ll be ready to welcome players all over the world to StarCraft II and the new Battle.net in just a few months.”
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the sequel to the 1998 classic StarCraft (which is still heralded world-wide as one of the best real-time strategy games of all time), will revisit the never-ending battles between protoss, terrans and the famous zerg – and this time, each side has brought reinforcements.
Storywise, the solo campaign for Wings of Liberty picks up where StarCraft: Brood War left off: the on-going saga of Jim Raynor (the marshal-turned-rebel-leader). Of course, a horde of new heroes, as well as some familiar faces, are along for the ride.
Now, if you’re not used to the StarCraft experience, it’s okay. Throughout the 29-mission campaign you’ll come across a bunch of challenge-mode mini-games, each with focussed goals that will ease you into the basics and give you a few tips for multiplayer strategies. Even better than that, the new game will let you completely tailor your experience, choosing your preferred technology and research upgrades to suit your chosen mission path and your own gaming style.
Coupling a new and ‘vibrant’ 3D-graphics engine with masses of veteran, upgraded and all-new unit types, this one would be pretty exciting even if it didn’t also come with the new version of battle.net, Blizzard‘s world-renowned online gaming service. This time around, battle.net has been redesigned – from the ground up – to now feature a whole swag of enhancements and new features, including cloud file storage, achievements, stat-tracking, voice communication and, of course, the new leagues and ladders system, which has gamers everywhere in a spin.
Of course, gamers everywhere are also a bit miffed that StarCraft II will not allow cross-server play (at this point, anyway), but when the game launches on July 27th, I think they’re going to be pretty happy even if they can only play against their neighbours.