Every time I write about Stacraft I find it difficult, not because I’m incapable, or the task too large, but simply because its hard to put such an immense game into a few words. As any Starcraft player knows, there alot more to the game than hitpoints and armor, or attack and range, the more you become acquianted with the units themselves the more you realize this.
The Xel’ Naga were a race of godlike aliens who traveled the universe creating life in the hope of one day giving birth to a “perfect race”. Both the Protoss and the Zerg are creations of the Xel’ Naga in this attempt, although the Protoss were created first and considered to be a failure due to thier aggresive nature and civil strife. The Zerg were created to be a “hive mind” with the swarm controlled by an intelligent overmind, this was a success, so much so in fact, that the Zerg exterminated thier Xel’ Naga creators in a swift and brutal attack. The Zerg are much the same in the game, a race of aggresive aliens with a resemblance to insects on steroids.
The Zerg, in my opinion, are the most difficult race to play in Starcraft, you usually end up controlling twice the units than other players, and the frigality of these carapace armored aliens usually means most other units can destroy them with relative ease. The mighty Zerg are also poor defenders, and rely on vast amounts of units over a fixed defense, this then forces you to be aggressive and in turn continuously attacking your opponent. These characteristics lead to a diverse and dangerous group of units under your control, all of which made for one sole purpose. To kill.
The Zerg have several innate characteristics which give them an advantage over the Protoss or Terrans. Firstly they may have lower hitpoints and armor in general than other units, but they can regenerate health over time. They also have the ability to burrow underground to hide from enemy units, this is a huge advantage in a strategy game if you are devious enough to exploit it. Another interesting feature is that all the Zerg units can be created from a single building called the Hatchery, which means there’s no need to have unit specific buildings which allows you to churn out units at a much faster rate. All things considered, the Zerg are a difficult race to play, and not for beginners, but once you get accustomed to the numerous unique characteristics they become a fearsome tool of war. The below list is a compilation of Zerg units that are making a new appearance in Starcraft II, keep in mind the list is only new or “changed” units, and does not represent the Zerg in its entirety.
Corruptor: The corrupter is a new Zerg air unit that resembles a squid gone terrible, terribly wrong. Although not a particularly strong unit, the corrupter has the unique ability to turn anything it kills into a stationary floating Zerg turret that attacks enemies for a short period of time. This makes it the ideal counter for such units as the Terran Banshee or Protoss Void Ray, which kill buildings quickly.
Infestor: One of the new and most deadly units available to the Zerg is the Infestor. The Infestor a support unit which has the ability to burrow underground to avoid enemy fire, and can use its special abilities both above and below ground. The first ability the infestor uses is “plague” which acts similar to the defilers plague attack from the original game. The second ability, and most dangerous, is “Neural Parasite” which gives the Infestor control of a targeted unit for 10 seconds. The infestor also has the awesome ability to create infested marines, which act the same as the normal marine except move much slower and have a limited lifespan.
Brood Lord: The Brood Lord is the beefed up replacement to the Zerg Guardian, spawned from the Mutalisk. The Brood Lord is essentially as close to a capital ship as the Zerg are going to get, which a ton of hitpoints and armor. This unit also has the strange ability to spawn a broodling from each attack, which does minor melee damage and acts as a “meat shield” to soak up damage. There is still a fair bit of speculation on what the final form of this unit will be after beta testing.
Overlord: The Zerg Overlord is generally the same as the unit in the original game, but has undergone enough changes to be mentioned. This unit is no longer a detector, it must evolve into an Overseer to gain detection abilities, this is due to the Overlord being too easy a detector to acquire in Starcraft I. Secondly, the Overlord now has the ability to create a patch of creep on its own, which is great for expanding into areas and also preventing enemy contruction.
Overseer: The Overseer evolves from the Zerg Overlord to act as a detector and gain access to a few unique abilities. This unit also moves much faster than the Overlord and its sight is increased whenever it is not moving. The first ability available to the Overseer is to spawn a “changeling” which is a special Zerg spy unit that can take on the appearance of any basic enemy it approaches. The second ability is the creation of a Nydus Worm, which can be placed on creep and allows Zerg units to be transported from one location to another much like a Nydus Canal. The last unique ability is the Spore Cloud which can impair line of sight of the enemy for a period of time in a small area.
Changeling: This is a cool new unit available to the Zerg which is spawned by an Overseer. Once spawned the changeling resembles a small agile Zerg unit, but it instantly changes to resemble an enemy unit the second it comes into contact with one. It will always change into a “basic” unit, so if it runs into a Tank it will change into a Marine, or if it runs into a building it will do the same thing. The only downside to this sneaky spy unit is the short times life it has, other than that its a great way to scout out an enemy base.
Queen: Although this unit shares the same name as the unit in original Starcraft its so different the only resemblance is.. well, the name. The Queen is spawned from the Hatchery, it does not hatch, it actually walks out of the Hatchery, Cool eh. The Queen is also no longer a flying unit, it is now a large ground unit with a powerful attack, and acts as almost a “hero” unit. The first ability the queen has is called “Creep Tumor” which is a structure that quickly extends the creep like a Creep Colony in original Starcraft. The next ability is “Spawn Larva” which instantly creates new larva at the targeted hatchery, these extra larva also grow faster than normal ones. The last ability is called “Transfusion” which instantly heals the targeted unit or structure for 200 hit points.
Roach: The Roach is one of the cooler new units implemented in Starcraft II for the Zerg. The Zerg Roach is basically a light ground unit with very heavy armor and an incredibly fast health regeneration. This means the Roach is extremely strong against even ground of units or in smaller skirmishes, but can be killed by focus fire by a group of units. This makes the Roach a very strong or weak unit depending on the situation and a great asset when used wisely.
Ultralisk: While still a giant Zerg juggernaut of destruction, the Ultralisk has gotten a few new upgrades in Starcraft II. Unlike its lumbering predecessor, the Ultralisk now has the ability to burrow along with the rest of the Zerg ground units. Besides this, its attack now does cleave damage to multiple targets at once and bonus damage to buildings, making it an ideal siege weapon. Its great size also allows it to walk over units, although doing this does not damage them.
Baneling: The Baneling is a very dangerous unit that evolves from the Zergling when researched. This unit is essentially a living bomb that moves towards its target and explodes in a spray of corrosive acid, dealing massive damage in a small radius. This unit moves slowly at first, but can be upgraded to roll quickly towards enemy units, giving them little time to react. They are particularly dangerous when burrowed underground due to their ability to pop up in the middle of enemy units or explode underground like an acidic landmine.
There it is, a quick look at everyone’s favorite race, the mighty Zerg! Don’t take these unit descriptions to heart though, because there have been numerous unit changes and adjustments as the game is being continuously developed and balanced. There are also a few original units that had minor changes, but not major enough to be mentioned here, and there are a series of new buildings as well. I hope this quick look into the world of the Zerg has given you the information you desire, stay tuned for more updates and articles on Gamer Syndrome!
Article from Gamersyndrome.com