SC2 Week: The games of '08 feature

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As part of our ongoing celebration of all things StarCraft, we're hosting a Starcraft smörgåsbord, with a different theme for each of the days leading up to and the week following SC2's release. This article is a part of the "Everything We Know About StarCraft Day", the first of the bunch, and is an online release of our Games of '08 feature way back in our January 2008 issue, back when no one had any clue about the game's release date, but we wanted to believe it was coming soon.

The Top Games of 2008: Starcraft II

Nearly a decade after the release of StarCraft, the undisputed king of real-time strategy classics, Blizzard is preparing to release arguably the most hotly anticipated sequel in PC gaming. The continuing epic struggle between the Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg will make StarCraft II the RTS to beat this year, and the day of release may very well be declared a South Korean national holiday. While Blizzard is notorious for pushing back games until they're good and ready, the vague 2008 release date announced for SC2 gives us hope that we'll be ringing in the new year with Kerrigan, Zeratul, and Jim Raynor.

[Top annotations from left to right]

  • Protoss Stalkers can teleport to anywhere in their visual range. This guy just jumped down from an impassible ledge.

  • Terran supply depots can be used as obstructions to keep enemy units out of a base, and can now be lowered to the ground, allowing friendly units to pass over them.

  • The Protoss Templar can cast Psi Storm to destroy groups of small enemy units.

  • Firebat sighting! Right now, the classic flame-throwing infantry units make an appearance in StarCraft II, but we're warned that could change. These guys are getting beaten up by groups of Zealots.

  • Terran radar towers reveal incoming threats behind the fog of war. Maybe it's the Zerg.

[Bottom annotations from left to right]

  • The Protoss Colossus' long legs allow it to step over obstacles and into position to rake its powerful energy beams over swarms of enemy targets, dealing massive damage.

  • The Thor is the biggest kid on the Terran block. In addition to its heavy close-range weaponry, it packs two massive bombardment cannons that can shell enemies from long range.

  • Here, Reaper jumpjet infantry spread mines under a Twilight Archon and Phase Cannons (in energy form).

  • A Phase Prism flies in and deploys an energy field on the battlefield. The Protoss player uses the Prism's new warp-in ability to begin construction on reinforcement Stalkers, but the Terran Battlecruiser strikes before they can be completed.

  • Dark Templar try in vain to prevent a nuclear missile launch. Too little, too late.

[Boxout]

Genre: RTS

Developer: Blizzard

Publisher: Vivendi

URL: www.starcraft2.com

Release Date: “When it's done” 2008

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