Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty has often been in the gamers' public eye since the sequel was first officially announced in May 2007, and the hype hasn't quite died down since.
Instead, Starcraft II has made us sit back and think "Wow, what a great line of games Blizzard have given birth to, and what a great line-up they've got for the future" (Diablo III and Cataclysm, anybody?!).
Currently at GameStop, you can pre-order Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty for $59.99 ready for the 7/27/2010 release date. However, not only do you get Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty the day it's released, but you also get a bonus Beta key to go with it! 24 hours after ordering!
This is great news for avid Starcraft fans who want to sink their teeth into the sequel before it's actual release, and I personally think there's a lot of people who wanted to pre-order anyway, their decisions finalized by a big juicy Beta key being thrown in with it. The good news is you can get a Beta key if you buy in-store, too! You'll find your Beta key printed on your receipt. All of a sudden that bit of scrap white paper becomes a golden ticket; no chocolate factories here though, only vehicle factories.
So what does Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty have to offer? Well, quite frankly- a whole LOT of things.
If you have personally had access to the Beta, which thanks to Blizzard I have, one of the most notable improvements is Battle.net's rich new communication system that has embedded itself into Starcraft II, and is set to become embedded into future titles as well.
"Real ID is totally optional. By enabling this, you can set up your Blizzard Entertainment social network, communicate and play games, and best of all, carry your network forward to future Blizzard Entertainment titles."
-Quote from Blizzards Official Starcraft II website.
*Top Right Corner: "WHAT, 9000!??"
Blizzard have also set out to give map-makers and modders even more room to breathe, with the new map publishing feature, which will allow you to publish your own creations, or download and browse other peoples, whilst having FULL access to all the tools used by Blizzard to create the single player campaigns.
Other great features include:
-Arena Ladder System
-Improved Matchmaking system
-Always connected experience
-More Casual player modes
Wait a minute. We haven't even started talking about the game itself yet. Don't think Battle.net is taking all the glory, I'm sure you can imagine a great deal has been undertaken to improve the game play itself, and it has.
On launch. there will be three playable races. The Terran, Zerg, and Protoss. Three diverse and exciting races make the toughest decision of the game is which one to play first (I, personally am a HUGE fan of the Zerg).
"Is this the queue for the bathroom?"
The graphics have been vastly improved, making Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty a pleasure to play, seeing your own units being blown up has never looked so cool, especially if you're easily distracted such as myself (Oooooooohh, shiny!).
Come on! We all love a good pun...Seriously though, I love this screenshot.
There are quite a lot of new additions to Starcraft II, but Blizzard have focused a lot on fairly balancing each race equally, and if you've taken part in the Beta, you'll have noticed the frequency of balance patches that take place weekly. It is great to see Blizzard take great care in the balance of each race, and it is evident that they have not just added units just to fill the game up- each unit has it's pros and cons and it's time to shine.
Fantastic Cinematics, highly realistic.
With a all new single player(currently unavailable in Beta), Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is set to be a fantastic game which will hopefully reacquire it's original loyal fanbase, as well as new welcome additions to ever-growing Blizzard community.
Hopefully this article has been eye-opening for new players to the Starcraft series, or just a good read for those excited and just wanted to hear the word "Starcraft" again, either way, feel free to comment below.
Are you pre-ordering Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty? What are you most excited for?