This morning’s news starts off with a bang for StarCraft II players, with Blizzard announcing the release date for the much-anticipated expansion StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm: March 12 2013. Sweet!
[img_big]center,8016,2011-05-31/KaldirSet02.jpg,Kerrigan in SC: Heart of the Swarm[/img_big]
Heart of the Swarm features a continuation of the story of Sarah Kerrigan over the course of 20 campaign missions, as she brings together the remaining zerg Swarm and take revenge on dictator Arcturus Mengsk.
According to the press release:
Heart of the Swarm picks up the story of StarCraft II where Wings of Liberty left off, focusing on Kerrigan’s quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. Over the course of 20 campaign missions, players will follow Kerrigan as she sweeps across the galaxy, incorporating a variety of distinctive zerg species into her brood. Kerrigan will grow in strength from mission to mission, and players will be able to customize her with powerful new abilities, as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies to suit their play style.
New weapons of war also debut in Heart of the Swarm‘s multiplayer, including new units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, while certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new capabilities. New features will enhance the game experience, including group and clan systems; unranked matchmaking; Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions around the world; additional stat tracking; user interface improvements; an enhanced physics system, for more visceral looking battles; multiplayer replays, to watch replays with friends; a leveling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customization options for their online profiles; and much more.
SC: Heart of the Swarm will be available in three ways:
- In retail stores and as a digital download for US$39.99
- A Digital Deluxe version will be available for $59.99, and features a new look for your zerg Ulstralisks, extra portraits and decals, a World of Warcraft pet and Diablo III Blade Swings and Banner Sigil.
- A retail Collector’s Edition will also be available for US$79.99, featuring a Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blue-ray, soundtrack, Heart of the Swarm hardcover art book and a zerg rush mousepad.
The expansion has received a Teen rating from the ESRB in the US and an M for violence in Australia, and will be available for Windows Vista/7/8 and Mac on March 12, 2013.