Preview: StarCraft II multiplayer
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be invited over to Blizzard headquarters down in Irvine to get the first hands-on look at the eagerly anticipated StarCraft II. While the original plan was for us to get some hands-on time with the Terran campaign in the single-player mode, we were informed a few days before the event that the focus had shifted, and that we would be seeing multiplayer instead. Either way, I was happy; it’s StarCraft II!
Hit the jump and see what StarCraft II multiplayer is like, the cool new stuff they’re adding to the game, and some of the gameplay changes you’ll have to prepare for when the game is officially released.
StarCraft II (PC, Mac)
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
After getting to the event and signing in, we were herded into an auditorium-like room with a bunch of really, really comfortable seats. After a very brief presentation on where StarCraft II was at, all the secret things we weren’t allowed to talk about, and how everything we were seeing was subject to change as a result of balance tweaks or design alterations, we got to watch two Blizzard employees go at it.
This was particularly intimidating, because, as you would expect, Blizzard employees are very, very good at StarCraft. While I previously had never understood the appeal of watching competitive StarCraft, these matches were actually extremely interesting, thanks in large part to the guy who was doing all the commentating. As the two Blizzard players slammed out units quicker than most people can set up three pylons and a gateway, you could hear all the games press muttering to each other about how long it had been since we had all played StarCraft and how badly we were going to get our asses kicked.
After watching the three games, they let us loose to try out the multiplayer part of the game ourselves. So, let’s get straight to it. Is StarCraft II good?
Sweet jesus, yes.
If you’re one of the .01% of gamers who has never played StarCraft, it’s a game that helped define the real-time strategy genre. You pick from one of three races — the Terrans, the Protoss, or the Zerg — and build up your base and army while trying to take your opponents out.