(Intro, 8,7 and 6 are here, if you need to catch up.)
Does this game even need an introduction? It's freakin' Starcraft: Part Deux. Remember when Blizzard first revealed this? After years and years of waiting for a sequel? And then they hit us with this beauty:
Damn. Years later, this still gets me hyped. And boy did this game live up to the hype.
First off, let's get one ugly fact out of the way: This is an always On-line game. So thanks, Blizzard, and fuck you too for getting rid of Lan play.
Also, your BattleNet sure likes to crap out on me just at the end of a tense game. That said, this is without a doubt my favorite RTS of the last decade.
The visuals? Gorgeous. Even so, you can still run this on very basic hardware, so you don't need a crazy rig to enjoy the game. Hell, me and some coworkers were playing Heart of the Swarm earlier this year on some basic workstations we had at work with basic Dual-Core systems fitted with dirt cheap NvidiaEN210 GPUs we had lying around.
The music? Here are some of the Terran themes, if you care to sample.
But what about the game? Well, Starcraft has two basic modes: Single-player (Campaign and solo vs. AI) and Multiplayer. The campaign for both Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm were pretty fun to play, with both having varied mission objectives, unit usage and entertaining, if at times dumb, stories. Now if only Legacy of the Void could release... but hey, Blizzard Time™ is in full effect. At the very least, it should come out before Half-Life 3. ...Right?
As for Multiplayer, take everything that made Starcraft great back in the 90s, and make it bigger, better and way easier to get into while not sacrificing an ounce of depth that was in the Original. The matchmaking almost makes Battle Net tolerable. Almost. The UI is uncluttered, with everything easy to find and use. And the 3 races are pretty goddamned balanced, for all that they are so different from each other. (Marines' still OP, but I ain't complaining. Terran FTW). And that's not getting into the numerous other game modes you can get from Starcraft Arcade, either.
So weather you're just there for the campaign, to play with friends or are a hardcore MP ladder player, Starcraft 2 has something for you. And I have only love for it in return. I'm not playing it right now, but once Legacy gets a release window, I'll be revving up the old laptop and getting back to doing terrible, terrible damage.
I played this game so much between 2008 and and early 2010, when I pretty much jumped ship from the 360 to the PS3 and never looked back. I think if there is one single thing I regret most about CoD exploding in popularity, is that the other multilayer
FPSs out there all tried to become CoD. Character progression, weapon unlocks, killstreaks! Meanwhile, here was Halo 3, still daring to let me run a fool through with an energy sword , teabag his corpse, then pick up a nearby Spartan Laser off the ground (yeah, remember when the weapons were spread around the levels and you had to find them?) only to be team-killed by someone that wanted your gun. And for that, I salute it and grant it this honorable reward. Thank you for finishing the fight, old buddy.