You're going to want to fullscreen this one.
StarCraft's gameplay has aged considerably better than its graphics over the years, which were simple enough to grace our computer screens back in 1998, when we were still using weird phone witchcraft to call up the Internet. Things have changed a lot since then, and Blizzard is finally changing StarCraft to make use of all our extra computing power.
In sci-fi and fantasy, I've noticed that the Smurfette Principle often combines with Trinity Syndrome. That is to say, usually the lone Smurfette will also be super bad-ass. What would it be like if all of these women teamed up together for the ultimate crossover dream team?
BlizzCon 2015 is in full swing now, which means lots of incoming announcements about Blizzard games -- such as this one about an upcoming StarCraft DLC story expansion pack called "Nova Covert Ops."
(Minor spoilers ahead.)
Sarah Kerrigan sits in a high-security research lab, obediently following Prince Valerian’s instructions. To assess how much of the Zerg mutagen is left in her system, he asks her to psionically control a drone in a chamber nearby. This is, of course, the tutorial mission, but there’s more going on here than a lesson in unit control. Kerrigan does as she’s told, but her tone is dangerously apathetic. “You know this is going to end badly, right?” she says. There’s a hint of laughter in her words, condescending and bored. Valerian is not the one in control here.
When will these people ever learn that underestimating Kerrigan is a very stupid idea?
It's a good day to be a human! Not only are we at the top of the food chain here on Earth, but according to a recent study by researchers at the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh, we Terrans would totally run the show in the StarCraft universe if it were to actually play out in real life.
There are few video game characters from my formative years that I regard as highly as Kerrigan. She was complex and unforgettable, the sort of villain who makes you forget that you’re supposed to root for the good guys. To this day, I can’t help but feel awe when remembering the emergence of the Queen of Blades.
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
, on the other hand, left me unimpressed. Naturally, the Zerg were going to get stomped, but to see that brilliant character stripped of her power, both literally and figuratively, then carried off into the sunset by her former boyfriend — come on
. Kerrigan deserves better than that. The trailers for SCII’s
upcoming expansion, Heart of the Swarm
, seem to agree, pointing toward a vengeful reclamation of the leaderless broods. While the expansion's release is still a few weeks out, tie-in novel StarCraft II: Flashpoint
, written by Christie Golden
, raises some interesting questions about how Kerrigan’s next chapter will unfold (minor spoilers ahead).
is rather fond of hiding little easter eggs
in their search page, but today's is a doozy. In an homage to Blizzard's StarCraft series
, if you search for "zerg rush
" your screen will be filled with innumerable attackers that you must destroy. The perfect way to waste time on a lazy Friday.
After twelve years since the Lord of Terror was unleashed, it’s finally official: Diablo III
will be raising hell on May 15. All I’ve ever really wanted in life is a co-op hack-and-slash dungeon crawler, so I was excited for this game from the get-go. But after spending a little time poking around on Diablo III’s official website
, I’m really excited. Like, super excited. I am downright stoked
. And it’s for a very simple reason:
All of the female characters look like someone I’d like to play.
As I mentioned back in January
, Diablo III
will be the first game in the series to offer full gender customization for player characters. This on its own is a welcome addition, but the fact that the female character models are so good has earned Blizzard
a stamp of approval in my book. To help explain why, I'm going to put these new ladies into the greater context of how Blizzard has portrayed women throughout their games.
And I'll Form the Head!
Speaking as a person who has never managed to finish the Star Craft
single-player campaign because I would inevitably get really tired of the suite of squelching, sucking, squealing noises that every Zerg unit made with each click; arixystix's Overlord plush creation is super appealing.
And if you think that little fanged face is cute, you should see what it looks like floating.
Meet Kim Shee-Yoon
. You can call her Eve, as that's what she's called in game. She's been playing StarCraft
since grade school (Terran, if you're interested). She'll be turning twenty-two this year. As of last month, she holds the distinction of being the first woman to join a pro StarCraft 2
team. Naturally, this news was greeted with cheers, accolades, and parades in her honor. And by that, I of course mean a massive facepalming dramafest like only the internet can provide.
It certainly seems like major league gaming and eSports has, of late, received its share of press. Whether that’s good
or some strange gray area
of press, there’s been a relative glut of news relating to it and its players recently. There are certainly more folks keeping a closer eye on things than before.
That in no way means to imply that this is a recent thing. eSports have been around longer than the term used to describe them. The exact kind of competition has varied over the years, depending on the game’s genre, among other factors, but it hasn't been any less intense than the recent bouts. In fact, some franchises have long been known to be hardcore.
Internet addiction clinics aren't exactly a new thing, but South Korea has found the problem of Internet addiction to be so pervasive that they have set up a clinic not to deal with addiction, but to prevent it. StarCraft is a huge deal in South Korea to the extent that it is a professional sport, and it seems that this national obsession, in conjunction with the Internet at large, is having a negative affect on the nation's youth.
The children at the camp who show warning signs of becoming raging internetaholics spend their time playing reality-based games, taking hikes, reading books and going to counseling sessions, all without the aid of internetahol. Because large-scale Internet connectivity and personal computers are relatively new to South Korea, many parents are simply at a loss to help their children find a healthy balance.
2010 has become a year of a comparatively tame Blizzcon, and it's hard to blame Blizzard
After all, last year they had World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
to announce. This year, it's coming out in a month. 2008's Blizzcon was a showcase for the then-fairly-recently announced Diablo III
, now the game is nearing fruition (for Blizzard, anyway). And StarCraft II
is less than a year old, with its second installment not due until 2012.
And so, given the quietness on the western front, there was a low current of expectation that we might even see something about Blizzard's fabled Questing Beast
of the last three years: their mysterious unannounced new MMO.
The good news is players don't have to wait another fourteen years for the next installment in the StarCraft franchise.
The bad new is that they've got to wait until at least 2012
As a World of Warcraft player, I am fairly inured to the Blizzard definition of "soon," but now all my StarCraft loving friends can get a taste.
From Gamespot UK:
When discussing such future Battle.net features as trading replays, broadcasting replays, and upgrading profiles, [Battle.net Project Director Greg Canessa] said they were "a main area of focus we're going to be seeing on the Starcraft [II] side over the next 18 months between now and Heart of the Swarm."
Kotaku reports that South Korean authorities have been cracking down over the weekend on unrated games, and this may mean considerable bad things for Korean Steam users.
Korean law states that all games available to the public must be rated by the Game Rating Board. That's all well and nice, except that game makers must pay to get their game rated, and many cannot afford the price. When South Korea says all games, they mean all games. Tiny indie games, flash-based or mobile whatsits, big blockbusters, and everything in between.
Team Liquid, a StarCraft community site, reports that Steam games may even be in the sights of Korean authorities.
Video game sales data is in for the month of July, and we all know what to expect: complete and utter StarCraft II
Unsurprisingly, that's what we got. Blizzard
sold more than 700,000 retail copies of the game in the last five days of July, causing an 103% increase in US PC game sales from June. Overall, Blizzard says it sold 1.5 million copies in the game's first 48 hours.
No, I haven't bought a copy of StarCraft 2
yet. Even if I had, I'm leaving tonight for parts unknown and won't be back until the second week in August, so I wouldn't get to play it.
/sigh It's going to be excruciating, not playing StarCraft 2
whilst sitting on a California beach with a good friend that I hardly ever see anymore. I'll just have to watch this to tide me over.
This past week, the single most important story in geekdom has been the unfolding of Blizzard's Real ID saga, which concluded this afternoon when Blizzard announced that players would not be required to use their real names on future Blizzard forums, which, if implemented, would have affected millions World of Warcraft and StarCraft II players. Blizzard is one of the 800-pound gorillas of the gaming world, and had they gone ahead with this, it would have changed the culture of gaming, and, arguably, the Internet. But ultimately, Blizzard backed down.