Starcraft 2: The legend, the excitement…. the wait

Stacraft and Starcraft: Brood War were argueable the best real time strategy or RTS games ever made, and the world is on the brink of experience the long awaited sequel. The original Stacraft, which sold over nine million copies worldwide and holds countless awards awards including “Best Selling PC Strategy Game” and “Game of the Year”. Starcraft is also a hugely popular competitive multiplayer game in Korea, where pro league matches draw crowds of up to 120,000 people.

I could go on for pages and pages about how amazing the first game was… and still not even come close to describing it, because thats how good it actually was. Needless to say, my point was Starcraft 2 has some very big shoes to fill, and the question on everyones mind is….  Can they do it? With a flawless track record of best selling games, if anyone can do it, it’s Blizzard. First lets take a look at what Blizzard intend to impliment into Starcraft 2.


Starcraft 2 will feature many revolutionary additions to the genre, the first of which is many new units for each race, these include:


Reaper: A fast moving terran infantry unit equiped with a jetpack and duel gauss pistols. The Reaper will be a standard hit and run unit, with its jetpacks enabling it to navigate the terrain very quickly and pray on unprotected workers and buildings. The Reaper will be weak and unarmored, leaving it vulnerable to direct attack.

Viking: Based roughly on the Siege Tank, the Viking will look something between a Goliath and a Valkyrie. The Viking can act as an air superiority fighter using MT50 Lanzer Torpedoes to engage targets in the air, but it can also land and turn into a mech like unit, using Twin Gatling Cannons to decimate enemy ground forces. The Viking will add an interesting twist to the game with its incredible versatility.

Banshee: The Terran answer to the Zerg Guardian, the Banshee will be exclusively an air to ground bomber. Propelled by giant turbofans, the Banshee is quite fast compared to other slow moving aircraft. Banshees also, like Wraiths, have the ability to cloak and conceal themselves from enemy units. The Banshees primary attack will be Backlash Cluster Rockets, a fearsome weapon against any ground unit. However, like any other bomber, it will be vulnerable to air attacks.

Thor: The Thor will be a heavy ordnance combat mech that can only be built by an SCV. The Thor will be easily twice the size of a Siege tank, and sporting Particle Accelerators and 250mm Bombardment Cannons, the Thor will be a weapon feared by any ground force. Slow moving and ungainly, the Thor will be used as heavy support during ground battles, with its bombardment cannons allowing it to range attackers with ease.

TF-620 Nomad: An interesting replacement for the science vessel, the Nomad will be an aircraft that can be used to detect cloaked enemies, but also as a mobile production center. The Nomad will have the ability to create smaller gun turrets to fend off smaller ground attacks, as well as several other key construction abilities. The Nomad will provide further mobility to the Terrans when expanding and protecting mineral nodes or strategic areas.


Immortal: A beefed up version of the Dragoon, the Immortal will be a heavy assault ground unit for the Protoss. Armed with Twin Phase Disruptors and a special shield, the Immortals will be an asset to any ground force. The special shields make the Immortals extremely powerful against heavy attackers, but weak against smaller attacks, much like the Dragon of old.

Stalker: Another variant of the Dragoon, the Stalker will be a “dark dragoon”, or more specifically a Dragoon inhabited by the spirit of a fallen Dark Templar. The Stalker will be a fast ground walker with the unique ability to blink around the battlefield, allowing it to catch fleeing units or take enemies by surprise. Expect to see Stalkers as a popular unit in competitive gameplay, as thier mobility allows for a larger role in battle tactics.

Phase Prism: An unarmed airship with the abilities of an Arbiter and a Pylon, the Phase Prism will be a key asset for an Protoss Player. The Phase Prism will be able to warp units across the battlefield, much like the Arbiters recall ability. Also, the Prism will have the ability to create temporary energy fields to power protoss structures, which we all know is invaluable when an enemy player targets your Pylons.

Phoenix: The new Protoss air superiority fighter, the Pheonix will be a ship specializing in taking down enemy aircraft. The Phoenix will be armed with Twin Ion Cannons, and also will have the ability to “overload” its weapons systems, allowing it to unleash destructive energy in close quarters, but shutting down the ship for a couple seconds after the burst of energy. The Pheonix will be the new Scout, except without the ground machine guns, but they were useless anyways.

Colossus: A blatant rip off of the War of the Worlds walker, the Colossus will be a towering ground unit that has a splash damaging sweeping ground laser. The Colossus, using Twin Thermal Lances, will be the perfect weapon against swarms of smaller ground units, as seen when fighting the Zerg. Although slow and ungainly, the Colossus will have the ability to step up and down different terrain levels, giving it increased versatility.

Warp Ray: Acting as a new Protoss capital ship, the Warp Ray will be basically a mobile beam cannon. The Warp Rays main ability is to use a Prismatic Beam with great effectiveness against single large targets, as the beam gets more and more powerful the more time it attacks a target. This will make it a perfect counter against enemy defensive structures and larger aircraft and ground units.

Mothership: The name itself should be enough.. These massive Protoss warships are aptly names, as they can almost single handedly destroy entire armies, from small units like marines, to larger units like Battlecruisers. The Motherships are extremely powerful and a player can only have one at a time. The abilities are what truly make the mothership powerful though, the first being a cloaking field that can even disguise buildings. The next ability is the “time bomb” which freezes time in small areas, making defensive structures eneffective. The last and most powerful is the “planet cracker” which basically allows the Mothership to fire a laser of destruction below itself, kind of like Independance Day.


Baneling: An evolved form of the Zergling, the Baneling is basically an Infested Terran with the speed of a Zergling. The Baneling is a blown up, acid filled, Zergling that rolls towards its target and explodes on contact, showering all nearby enemies with corrosive acid. The Baneling is a more accessable Infested Terran, allowing players to use them without taking over an enemy command center, which is an annoying and difficult endeavor.


Those are just a few examples of the new units implimented in the game, and many of the original units have been edited and given new abilities, for example the Zealot now has the ability to “charge” opponents. Another feature is the impressive physics system put in, which accounts for falling debris, and slope incline, which means a downed Battlecruiser will actually slide down a ramp in a pile of smouldering metal rather than simply dissapear. Also implimented is the use of neutral Xel’Naga buildings in the maps, giving players watchtowers to control in vital strategic areas. Players will also see many exciting environmental aspects in the game, such a destructable rocks blocking mineral nodes, and even different types of high yield minerals.

So far, Starcraft 2 looks like the promising expansion we have all been waiting for, gameplay videos and cinimatic trailers are available at the Starcraft 2 website. For now though, the world must wait as Blizzard perfects its most sought after creation yet. Although the game is available for pre-order at EB games, and has a vague release date of “2009”, Blizzard has many people holding thier breath for this next installment. One thing is for certain though, whatever the wait, it will definately be worth it.

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