Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Beta Preview

I have been playing the Starcraft 2 beta for a few weeks, maybe close to a month, and I think it is safe to say that Blizzard is going to blow our minds once again with this game.  Starcraft has become somewhat of a legend among Real Time Strategy games.  Almost every RTS game that comes out is somehow compared to Starcraft or Starcraft: Brood War.  Although the original Starcraft was released in 1998, over 12 years ago, there is still an enormous amount of people that play it.  We all have memories of playing as either the Terran, Protoss or the Zerg online through Battle.Net.  We all remember the fun UMS maps online which we played, from Madness maps to Bound maps to RPG maps.  There was just so much to do with Starcraft and its map editor.  It’s name will live on through the ages.

Starcraft 2, I believe, will have its own legacy.  Blizzard has improved every aspect of the original Starcraft.  Graphically, the game looks fantastic.  Gone are the old 2d graphics from the late 90s.  The Starcraft 2 engine beautifully renders everything in 3d.  It is really cool to see the original Starcraft’s Units brought back to life in 3D.  Everything looks extremely well polished.  You can zoom in now during the game to see all the small details on the units, buildings and environments.  Look at these screenshots.  The one on the left is Starcraft Original, the rest are Starcraft 2.  You can be the judge.

Starcraft Original from 12 years ago

Zoomed In Marines and Barracks

Zoomed In Stalkers and Zeolots

Starcraft 2 Void Ray vs Marines

There are a number of cool new things in the Starcraft 2 Beta.  Mostly, there are lots of new units for every race.  Rather than give you a list of all the new units, I will link to a website that does do just that.  Click HERE for that information.  My favorite new Unit is the Colossus. It is a huge Protoss unit with three legs that soars over enemies.  It can climb over cliffs which makes it very useful for harassing enemy bases.  This is just one of dozens of new units Starcraft 2 brings.

This is the Colossus

The gameplay is almost exactly the same as the original.  Your goal is to destroy the enemy’s base.  You have to mine resources, minerals and gas, in order to make money.  You then use that money to create units and mass up an army.  Although the gameplay is the same, this is an entirely new game here people.  It is not just Starcraft Original with better graphics.  There are tons of new units and buildings within the game.  That changes the whole aspect of playing starcraft.  You will find yourself losing very quickly if you play entirely the same way that you played Starcraft Original, not using any of the new units within Starcraft 2.

Blizzard has completely redone Battle.net for Starcraft 2.  Within it now is included a fantastic matchmaking system.  Within this system, you play matches and it ranks you and places you within certain leagues.  These are the leagues from lowest to highest as of the newest patch: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.  As you play matches you are placed within one of these leagues.  Within your particular league, you are also placed into a division.  There are hundreds of divisions within a league; maybe more.  You continue playing people, asking the matchmaker to find games for you.  It tries to match you with people who are on your level of play.  I have found it does quite a good job, although sometimes it places me against someone in a platinum or diamond league and I get completely obliterated.  Also, there is an all new buddy system within Starcraft 2.  You can now easily add people as friends and track what they are doing.  You can create parties and play matches together very seamlessly.  Also, Starcraft 2 automatically saves a replay of every match you play; for those of you who want to sit back and learn from your mistakes within matches.  Here are a few screenshots of the multiplayer menus.  Unfortunately with the new patch Blizzard just released, all of my stats are gone and the game shows me as having played zero matches so far =(

Starcraft 2 Achievements Menu

Starcraft 2 Profile Menu

Starcraft 2 Quick Match Menu

The game is as fun as ever.  If you loved playing the Original Starcraft and its expansion Brood War then you will definitely love Starcraft 2.  It brings all kinds of new things to the table.  This is only a glimpse of Starcraft 2, as I only have the Beta.  I will bring you more info about this game as I play it some more and it comes closer to release.

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One Response to “Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Beta Preview”

  1. Definitely excited for the new Starcraft 2, and it will be really awesome when they integrate some of the new Real ID features.

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