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 marked the third time in a row that SC2 weaseled it's way into our annual "best games of the upcoming year" feature. Third try's the charm though, and we know that Wings of Liberty can't go for four years in a row...right, Blizzard?
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Conquers PC Gaming Again
Somehow, it's Blizzard's decade of bottled-up restraint, cancelled spin-offs, and lack of sequels is what's most exciting about StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Waiting more than 10 years to revisit the Zerg, Protoss and Terrans shows Blizzard's respect for the franchise, and this reverence permeates SC2's design throughout, from the fine-tuned roster of simple-but-nuanced units each race is allotted to the intricate animations that bring battles to life.
SC2's vibrant color palette and model design communicates unit types and capabilities at a microsecond's glance, and when the arc welder of a boxy SCV constructor crackles and its pilot reports "Job's done!" in a casual, southern drawl, it makes building bunkers a satisfying task (nostalgia may have something to do with it). More encouraging, however, is SC2's focus on story—Jim Raynor's battlecruiser serves as your mobile base in Wings of Liberty, with fully-rendered versions of your crew waiting inside to chat up between missions, which you can choose by pulling up the galactic map—a feature that should come in handy as we await the release of the forthcoming Protoss and Zerg campaigns.
Protoss | CARRIER
Armament: Interceptor mini-craft, launched from holding bays
Role: Hornet's nest
Terran | THOR
Armament: “Thor's Hammer” particle accelerators, 250mm bombardment cannon
Role: Heavy-assault mech
ETA: JAN-MAR 2010
Who is Jim Raynor?
Full name: James Raynor
Born: 2470, Mar Sara
Skills: Vulture pilot, Marine
Affiliation: Raynor's Raiders
Quote: “The name's Jim Raynor, pal. And I won't be talked down to by anybody. Not even a Protoss.”
In StarCraft, the hero of the Terran campaign saw his Protoss ally, Fenix, felled at the hands of Kerrigan, the woman he failed to save from the Zerg. In StarCraft II, Raynor dealt with this bitter history amid galactic war, alcoholism and the reign of a new Terran dictator, Arcturus Mensk.