Friday, March 7, 2008

Starcraft II

I just found out that Blizzard is teasing Starcraft II on its website. My feelings are mixed.

When Starcraft first came out, Blizzard had already released Warcraft and Diablo. They were already showing off how good they could be. Starcraft hit the game market like a flaming, runaway truck in to a lake of gasoline. It was HOT. It redefined real-time-strategy in to a serious mass market DOOM killer. I would say Starcraft catapulted Blizzard upwards allowing it to launch the now "most revenue generating ever" title of World of Warcraft.

I played the zergy guts out of Starcraft. I played in the Brood War beta. I played the Brood War beta so much that when the damn thing finally launched I was nearly sick of it. But I played anyway. It was a great, great game. Wonderful game play and beautifully done cinematics. It set the bar well above what any other code shop could deliver. I'd say that Starcraft and Brood War are still the benchmark that all real-time-strats are measured.

So... now we have Starcraft II, another real-time-strategy. Of course... the problem now is that RTS is damn near cliche... It has been done, re-done, over-done, done badly and done some more. What can Blizzard possibly do to make it fresh again? I have no idea. I suppose if anyone can, the Blizzard Wizards can. But still I'm skeptical.

Not long after Diablo II, Blizzard announced a console spin-off title called Ghost. It never launched. The Starcraft line has sat unloved for more than 5 years now. That's like a century in game-years. The game teaser cinematic was a thing of beauty. Blizzard has really pushed the limits of animatics. No question that whatever they produce will be visually appealing. I'm sure that will be enough to eek a few million dollars in revenue. But a small game-dreamer part of me is excitedly restrained that maybe... just maybe... Blizzard can deliver another awe inspiring, story adventure combined with the very best game playing experience. Blizzard has some mighty big shoes to fill. Let's all hope...

Game On!

1 comment:

Ben said...

Ok, historically has Blizzard ever released a title that has left you with a sour feeling? Although they've not got even 40% of the staff they originally had, and got purchased by Vivindi (a french company, notorious for Alizee lovin goodness), I'd still say this is a safe bet.

To generalize, no one ever got fired for buying a Blizzard game. I miss RTS games, and I think this will really fill an empty hole that I've had for some 10 years. Another thing that's good is that this will provide some great multiplayer aspects that I've lost since quitting WoW. It'd be nice to sit down and play with my buddies and have them all 'zerg' me. I look forward to the game, and really plan on buying every Blizzard game they come out with until I find one which is just horrid. Hasn't happend since my first Blizzard game 'Warcraft:Orcs and Humans'. Each Blizzard game since that time has provided exceptional gameplay, and a 'fun factor' which has nearly been unmatched in my opinion