...In this age where movies have more sequels than one
can keep count of and games which are heading the same way, very few
game-makers can resist the urge to make the next version of their
super-hit best seller titles. There are very few games from the last
century that can stand in today’s world equally competent of engaging
the grey cells of today’s gamers. There are very few games which have
been such hits that the gamers want a second version of it and there
were none in the pipeline.
This is a game which is not splurged with 10s of varieties of
civilizations that would require you to spend the first 10 minutes of
your time deciding on which civ to play with. This is not a game where
you spend days honing your skills on one particular civ and then having
to forget it all for the next type of civ that you would be playing
with. This is not a game where random distributions of resources become
a matter of life and death for your civ.
Enter StarCraft, nay enter StarCraft II, probably the most awaited
sequel this year and in all probability the most awaited sequel of any
game of all time. StarCraft is all set to return to the screen of the
RTS fans with a bang and captivate the hearts of the gamers yet again.
StarCraft II was officially announced last month and the second part of
this series will be released about a decade, yes that’s 10 years,
after the release of the first part.
StarCraft again keeps the formula clean and simple. StarCraft II comes
with the usual 3 factions – Protoss, Terran and Zerg. Each faction has
their own distinct styles of gameplay and each faction has its own sets
of strengths and weaknesses. No single style of play will be suited to
all the three factions. The Protoss and Terrans are the technologically
advanced civilizations having their own set of strengths and abilities,
while the Zergs are still those highly evolved and intelligent creatures
that emphasize the strengths of the masses. The units that are available
range from the cheap and innumerable Zerglings of the Zergs to the
highly powerful Mothership of the Protoss.
Each unit will perform very effectively against some particular units
while it will be miserably thrashed by units of another kind. The best
way then is to create a mixed force and adapt the army to the weaknesses
of the opposition. Among some of the new units that will be coming out
in this version are, as I have mentioned, the all pervading mothership
which has tons of armor and killing power, but can be created only once
in the course of the game and has huge costs. Smaller, faster and ranged
units can easily defeat larger ones by the tried and tested strafe-fire
formula. Massed melee units can easily take down unprotected large,
powerful and slow moving units. Factions can use their agility by
teleporting in and out of locations in a variety of ways. Units can also
hide themselves and set up a trap for the incoming enemy units.
In addition to the new units the terrain has also been heavily worked
upon. Large units with, ahem, longer legs can climb over small obstacles
and differences in terrain whereas the ones without the power to do so
would have to travel all around the terrain such as over ledges. Flying
units can intercept land units that are moving from point A to B by
taking the shorter route over crevices. Outnumbered units with jump
packs can escape their enemies by leaping over ledges and out of range
of their enemies. The gameplay has been taken to a new level in this
version of Starcraft. Experts can formulate their own exclusive
strategies and games between pros can end within 20 minutes.
The physics engine has also been worked upon and the explosions and
damage effects are more realistic than ever seen before. Realistic
explosions have been incorporated with fragments flying off the
destroyed pieces. Lots of new maps have also been added with rich
never-seen-before layouts and textures. The launch is still tentative
but in all probability this game will be launched next year to
commemorate the 10th anniversary of the release of the first version of
this great game.
By Prashanth K S