back to article StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Starcraft II has been a long time coming and regardless of whether you’re a real-time strategy fanboy or not, Blizzard’s newest release for PC and Mac has generated quite a buzz. It promises to fill a void that has been sorely felt in the console-based wars of recent years. StarCraft II Get started with a quickie The first …

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Sir

Saw this for sale last week and thought it would be worth a punt, but having been burnt so many times on titles that *should* be good, we weren't (SEV I'm looking at you here) that I decided against.

Seems like I ought to take another look, thanks for the review.

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Can't go wrong

£34 at Asda, plenty of stock last weekend in Leicester anyway.

Last game like this I played was C&C so having a (re)learning curve that isn't a brick wall is very welcome. The "tutorials" are pretty damn short anyway :)

I guess the campaign will be way way too easy for most of you but I've been playing Eve for ages so its about right for me.

Having said that nobody should be buying this for the single-player game - slick as it is. Battle.net and building your own maps/playing with friends/etc is what this is about.

For the price and most importantly the online fun its a must-get game. Lots of replayability on this one.

85% from me. Would be 90% but the cut scenes are hammy enough to lose 5% (10% on a bad day).

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What i want to say

Word for Blooming Word

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£45

For a game.

Nuff said.

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@ £45

Don't you mean £135? After all, it's 1 game in 3 parts. And you don't actually own the game either as it still belongs to Blizzard, you are just paying for the right to use it. And then there are any charges for using battle.net.

Does anyone know if the collectors edition is called such because it comes with a 'free' tube of lube?

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Anonymous Coward

45 quid?

I was paying that for Amiga games 20 years ago.

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£45?

Only if your buying it from the wrong places.

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Agreed

It's 240 Malaysian Ringgits over here, and that's for the standard edition. The collectors' box easily runs RM500 and above. Fair enough, Blizzard is owned by Activision, the company that's evil because of the bloody satan minion Bobby Kotick. I'll let that pass. But RM240. If the game shipped on Blu-Ray or with feelies, I would've cared. But for fucks sake, it's only a DVD. Surely RM240 is a bit on the steep side for a single DVD and a booklet?

And oh, just reading some of the complaints at Amazon. Server region locking, RealID support (not that I mind, but...) and of course, the insane price.

I'll wait for it to be relegated to the bargain bin, thanks.

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Re: Agreed

The cost of the physical media and booklet should have almost no impact on the cost of the game.

<s>Obviously the 12 years of development didn't cost a penny.</sarcasm>

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12 years?

I only started hearing about SC2 bout 2-3 years ago. Before that all the hype was focused on SC: Ghost (remember that? It's Blizzard's attempt at pulling off a Duke Nukem Forever).

If by your logic the game costs a bomb since it took 12 years to develop (if it even took that long), The price of Duke Nukem Forever, if it were to be eventually released some time this year (unlikely), would be the same as a high-end graphics card, if not the price of a small sedan. Given that for the price of SC2, one could easily bought a good workable Graphics card. Alternatively, should it be released at the end of the decade, it would cause a minor economic collapse given it's extremely high price.

Plus, I still detest the server region locking.

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Graphics

Don't look to be as good as Supreme Commander (never mind it's sequel) - though if they Game Plays there then that's ok, think far too many games focus on the visual aspect at the cost of everything else these days, why when I was a lad...

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Gad

SCII

I know 5-6 very dedicated gamers who have purchased this already, some veterans of the original and it's expansion, some new to the game. All have delivered glowing reviews, leading me to wonder if I should pick it up myself - your review adds another tick to the positive column and I have yet to hear/see a negative response.

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RTS is the Marmite of gaming

It's all down to whether or not you like real time strategy games. If you do, it's the best there's ever been, and you will love it. If you don't, then it's not for you.

This may sound obvious, but RTS is different from many other gaming categories. Essentially it requires you to enjoy keeping track of many different things simultaneously, and is probably the least relaxing type of gaming. If you're the kind of person who likes to stretch their brain when gaming, rather than turn it off and go with the flow, then you'll love it. If you're a hard core shooter or driving game fan then it's unlikely SC2 is the game for you.

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Mixed bag I feel,

It is exactly the same feel of the first game, shortcuts are the same, voice and sound FX the same. Plenty more units of dubious worth to play with, and some cool stuff like massive walkers and oddities that would make you never build them all. Protoss have a carrier, a ground attack plane, an air attack plane and an air & ground attack aircraft, none of which are any good as I only build carriers like the first game. :)

But GFX issues like it doesn't work on a 64bit system on install, but then does. As if the installer doesn't know what it is doing. So upgrade everything from Nvidia. I am running win7 and my drivers are about 273.xx. On install it says you need driver of 193 something or other. So it can't read windows 7 or understand 64 bit by all accounts.

Also you can't run it in ultra as they still insist on use the havok and unreal engines so it is buggy, I had to run it in high to avoid stutter and slow down. Or you can do the windows 7 memory usage using CMD, taking it from 0 to 4, kind of helps. But you have to be uber sad to risk it.

No LAN play is a cardinal sin, you can play with your friends but they have to have a fairly hefty router and lots of broadband for you to play with a guy sat next to you in a cyber cafe. Blizzard really are retarded at times.

There is only 26 missions in single player. You get three choices that split the linear, you can't play both. That is 25 basic and three choice missions. There is also a hidden level to make 26th after a play through. But I am being pedantic and replaying is kind of alright.

Sadly after going online, already the spamming and sad 14 year old losers in this world have learned how to just churn out protoss and rush you. So without LAN and the same boring crap from the previous game, mulitplayer is boring. And £45 is fleecing you. The game took me a day of faffing at best, without LAN and a dodgy multiplayer it isn't great for that price.

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WTF?

64 bit is fine

Installed and ran on three machines :

1) Lappy with dual GTX280M cards - ie NVidia;

2) Lappy with dual Mobility HD5870 cards - ie ATI/AMD;

3) ION-based HTPC.

1) and 2) were Win7 Ultimate; 3) Was Win 7 Pro. 1) hadn't had any driver updates for 6 months+ until I saw the latest drivers that allow you to EASILY switch SLI focus. The Mobility HD5870 drivers date from February - why fuck about for 5% frame rate increase when it works and is synched at 60Hz anyway?

No issues at all despite the fact the game didn't recognise any of the cards (for its preset gfx settings).

TBH you sound like you have a few axes to grind.....

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Graphics

I too was disappointed by the graphics, but they are better than pants and its all in the game play. Spot on review from my perspective.

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darn fine game

Have been playing this with the mates in beta since May. We all had been in high school when the original first came out and played it obsessively then, I suspect it will be no different this go around. I'm very impressed with the campaign mode so far (am about six missions in as of now), the story is good and it's sufficiently challenging on the harder modes. Multiplayer seems to be blissfully free of trash-talking 12-year-olds, at least for now.

FOR THE SWARM!

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Awsome... so far

Yes, I am one of those people that have been waiting 12 years for them to get this out.

So far I am particularly impressed. The graphics in an RTS have to look nice but imo are not the defining part of it. That's the gameplay's area and this has it well covered.

I started off playing it on the Brutal setting (I always play games on the hardest to get more life expectancy out of them). After the first 3 missions I then dropped it down to normal. This is one of the first games I have had to do this on so I was pleasantly surprised. With the achievements available I will be playing it all through on Brutal after I have finished it on normal.

One thing to note. The difference between normal and hard is quite big. Normal I am finding to easy so might knock it up to hard. This is based on only the first 10 missions so lets not count chickens that haven't hatched and all that.

Overall I think the game has stayed true to it's roots while fitting in new units like they always belonged.

I am not going to play on-line until I have familiarised myself properly with the game and finished the campaign, so I cannot comment on that. But I am looking forward to it.

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FAIL

Playing the campaign won't help in multiplayer.

Half of the units that you have in the campaign aren't available - at all - single player, for example the Firebat. Ditto with many of the buildings. Single player is so heavily scripted that it reminds me of those eastern European RTSs that substitute mindless scripting for AI. Single player is 100% predictable. Multiplayer is also completely predictable: your opponent will rush you with 2-3 melée units and if that fails he'll quit the game.

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Nothing new

"Gushing aside, Blizzard wouldn’t be Blizzard without wanting to fleece us for a bunch of cash and its decision to split Starcraft II into three titles is a clever business move."

I'll also make a clever business move. Download the games then buy them on ebay once I can get all 3 for under £20.

"It’s been a 12-year wait Starcraft II to emerge, but play it and you can understand why it has taken so long;"

Its has not been worked on for 12 years. Thats just marketing bullshit. They just left it and probably spent no more than 2 or 3 years on it. The 12 years of work lies helps sell the "it cost us $100 million" they made up using hollywood accounting.

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Not going to happen.

The game is tied to your battlenet account so there will be no second-hand copies of this game for sale. Again, part of their business model (and a big reason for not allowing LAN) is to kill the second hand games market.

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Anonymous Coward

I can't wait for...

...the ranking system to really kick in. In one occasion, I crushed a guy as if I knew what I was doing. In the next, it was my turn to get crushed and become a splat of blood in someone else's boots (or claws, or...). Not even once I got in a fair and balanced game.

The races sure are balanced, the players aren´t. You have to learn how to beat the AI on ultra-hard first, then you may have a chance of winning one or other match. I dont´call balanced losing 5 matches in a row, for instance, and then having a easy-peasy victory on the next.

Bronze league for me, anyway. Whatever.

By the way, the AI on hard cheats it pants off. You may just comp-stomp a base, leave it be, and in 90 seconds you are in trouble FROM THE RESOURCE PATCH YOU JUST STOMPED. A- friggin' mazing. I placed sentries on every patch, and enemies just popped in from oblivion/orbit.

Those orbital drops are just excuses to AI cheating, obvious when you crush the whole map resource points, and you know it. Nydus worms too. Side-stepping smartpants move, that one.....

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Anonymous Coward

DRM?

What of the DRM?

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Anonymous Coward

Not so fast there sunshine.....

I think a look at the reviews on Play.com, Amazon etc. would be rather more helpful.

1) Game is higher priced than usual

2) Game requires continuous net connection. You play when Blizzard says you can play

3) Multiplayer is subscription only

4) Saved games are held online

5) You can end up playing as "Guest" in your own game.

6) Starcraft 2 is split into 3 parts so there are 2 more overpriced episodes to come.

The accountants have well and truly moved in. Just because the PC is finished as a gaming platform it is not a reason to gush over new releases like some sad sycophant.

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Stop

Except

1. It is. Just like a lot of big releases. Don't like it either but you can always wait for a drop in price.

2. No it doesn't. You need to be online once to verify. After that you can play offline. You might lose out on achievements but other than that you can play single-player as much as you like.

3. Err, no. There possibly might be micropayments for premium maps in the future. It's not decided yet. There's no subscription fee, and remember, Blizzard are still running Battle.Net for Warcraft 2, so you can bet on it being supported for a while yet.

4. Yes they are. And locally too. Aces.

5. This sometimes happens if you try to play offline. That's a bug yes, but totally contradicts your point 2)

6. I'm halfway through the campaign and already spent longer on it than to finish DOW2. I'm annoyed the story is split in to three, but I fail to see how this is any different from any game that ends with "To be continued" - in fact I'm glad Blizzard are telling us this upfront.

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FAIL

Same old, same old.

This is a 12 year old RTS with new and shiney graphics.

They've taken none of the advances made in other games- no formations, no cover, no occupiable buildings (with one minor exception taken from the original). Even the backstory has been recycled from the original: terrans fighting against some wicked dictatorship when suddenly the zerg and the protoss show up.

The campaign is just one Firefly-inspired gimmick after another: for God sake this is an RTS, let me build a base and some units so I can do some unscripted stomping!

No LAN play is just DRM which, as is is always the case, punishes the paying customer whilst the pirates have already thrown together a patch to "fix" it: defective by design.

They've also, quite deliberately crippled the map editor: both by censoring designs they don't like, already happened and Blizzard wouldn't even deign to say why) and by limiting your online storage (the only way to get the maps to other people, including your friends) to a miserly 25GB.

So in summary: re-hashed game play, gimmicky campaign, no LAN, crippled map editor, ( poor acting.)

In many ways it's the kind of game the pre-Activision Blizzard would have cancelled long before it's release.

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I'm glad I didn't opt to turn RealID on.

This game is pulling me away from my WoW 'duties', hehehe.

I don't want my guildies to find me.

Overall, gets a thumbs up from me, but as stated the negative are:

1) no LAN play - Bliz should fix this. But I understand why they are loathe to implement this

2) Less of a gripe for me but all 3 sides should have had solo campaigns out of the box, to get familiar with units etc..

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Not buying this one, sorry

Just like I didn't buy MW2...

Thanks to your reader, Edward Kenworthy, for his honest review.

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Sim Starcraft

Looks like another Spore. Years of excitement and lots of really nifty advertising, beautiful gameplay videos and exciting features, then the game comes out... Loaded down with shitty DRM, missing important features, and overall a disappointment. I won't buy this game until I can get it second-hand, with all expansions, for under fifty USD, and someone has cracked it for LAN play.

Boo, Blizzard. I was prepared to purchase this game. Absent a few foolish decisions, I would have done so.

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Terminator

Blah blah blah

Its starcraft.

In hi res.

Blizzard didn't fuck it up like they did warcraft 3.

That should be enough for you all to start fapping.

Orders? I'm goiing...

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Happy

I started PLaying the Old one!

The old '98 - wow - original is horribly blocky graphics wise - but after playing it a few mins - I really got into it!

It's just the pleasure of destruction that this game thrives on....lush graphics is not needed.

"Wan na piece of me boowy?"

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