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About the product
- Fast-paced, hard-hitting, tightly balanced competitive real-time strategy gameplay that recaptures and improves on the original game
- Three completely distinct races: Protoss, Terran, and Zerg
- Units and gameplay mechanics distinguish each race
- 3D-graphics engine with support for visual effects and massive unit and army sizes
- Full multiplayer support, with competitive features and matchmaking utilities available through Battle.net
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment's 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. StarCraft II will once again center on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying favorite units from the original StarCraft, along with numerous upgraded and brand-new units and abilities that allow for fresh tactics and strategies. The game's new 3D-graphics engine maintains the speed and responsive control of its predecessor while rendering hundreds of units onscreen for massive battles. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty's solo campaign will continue the epic saga where it left off in StarCraft: Brood War. The storyline chronicles the exploits of marshal-turned-rebel-leader Jim Raynor and features both familiar faces and new heroes. Players will be able to tailor the experience, choosing their own mission path and selecting technology and research upgrades to suit their playing style throughout the 29-mission campaign. Several challenge-mode mini-games will also be included, with focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies. In addition, dozens of multiplayer maps will be available for competitive play through the new version of Battle.net, which is launching alongside StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. This new version of the service has been built from the ground up to offer an unparalleled online play experience, with new features such as voice communication, character profiles and achievements, stat-tracking, ladders and leagues, cloud file storage, and more.
From the Manufacturer
In the distant future, in the darkest regions of space, the ghosts of the past whisper your name. You are Jim Raynor, a marshal-turned-rebel on a vigilante crusade to bring down the Dominion and its nefarious leader, Arcturus Mengsk. Haunted by betrayal and remorse, some believe you may have given up the fight. But you have promises to keep... and a need for vengeance that’s long overdue.
Key Game Features
- CALL DOWN THE THUNDER
- Whether you command the mysterious Protoss, the nomadic Terrans or the ruthless Zerg, you must decide how to outwit or outgun the enemy in an unforgiving universe of intense strategic combat.
- WEAPONS PRIMED
- Devise and deploy merciless strategies with over 30 new units and weapons at your command. Torch foes with the Hellion’s flamethrower, ambush adversaries with acid-spewing Banelings or deploy the Void Ray’s prismatic beam to annihilate your enemies.
- MASTER YOUR DESTINY
- Lead Raynor’s Raiders in their quest for vengeance and glory as they burn a path across the galaxy. You choose which missions to take, which story-lines to complete and where to invest your hard-earned cash.
- MEGA MULTIPLAYER
- Wage unrelenting war on your friends and foes over the all-new Battle.net. Whether it’s your first time gaming online or you’re a multiplayer veteran, Battle.net’s unrivaled AutoMatch technology makes sure it’s always a fair fight.
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© 2010 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Wings of Liberty is a trademark, and StarCraft, Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., in the U.S. and/or other countries. PC DVD ROM logo © and TM IEMA 2004. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.
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I was extremely into StarCraft a year or so after Broodwars came out. I got it in that big battle chest thing with the two strategy guides include. I spent countless hours playing the game with friends, on my own, and played the campaign two times through completely. The original had this on mode where you could get other people to try out the game by joining your games and it was a lot of fun. It also lacked copy protection and was pirated mercilessly. As a consequence, blizzard has gone 100% in the wrong direction. The copy protection StarCraft two is stifling. It give you an idea, let me tell you, install process went. Remember this is using the disc and not the digital download.
I put in the disc and let the program install the whole 12 gigs. A nice touch, they've put a bit of back story in the installer so you hear a little bit about that previous game to get you started while it's installing. They're still waiting for quite a while, but it's a large game who can fault that? It also asked to activate on battle.net. So I log into my web browser and try to go there,and naturally all my old StarCraft accounts are now invalid. Hooray. So I set up a new account and then go to play my game. But wait, the installer has to run and optimization will take between 15 to 60 min. this is after the entire install from the disc. So fine, I wait for it to do its little thing and then it starts downloading patches conveniently telling me that it has a certain amount time to go before the game is playable, but I can play before it's fully patched. So apparently to aid in copy protection prevention they don't include the whole game on the disc. So now I'm waiting even longer until it can download the freaking installer. Fortunately you can play before the entire patch has downloaded, but still expected to spend more time waiting.
If you're on an AT&T internet account or anybody else with bandwith caps you need to know this. By default the installer downloads some data via P2P. So not only are you downloading the patches (as of this writing about 1.57 GB) you're also losing bandwith as it UPLOADS on your own connection without informing you first. To Blizzard's credit you can disable that feature from the installer's options at the top, but I personally felt stolen from because it was done without my consent. Ask me first Blizzard if you're going to be too cheap to use the bandwith from your own servers! Maybe I'll be cool with it for speed, but not asking isn't right.
So I finally get the whole thing downloaded and happy and I'm prompted to enter my battle.net password and username. It seems I have to enter this every single time I log in. There's no remembering my password so I have to type it every freaking time. Not only that, the game requires a constant Internet connection unless you want a play as a guest. Even then, you're only allowed to play your own game for 30 days between activations. This level of copy protection is freaking ridiculous. Oh, and per their terms they make it very clear that you don't own anything they're only licensing it to you. Again, to their credit they have very prominently how you can return the game for a full refund if you do not agree.
The game includes only the Terran campaign. Personally that's my favorite race anyway, but it seems like they're trying to make a cash cow to separate the game at into three separate parts. Each game is priced higher than the normal freestanding game, but on the other hand there's free online play which you have to factor is built into the price. If you're paying any kind of monthly fee to play online with people you would easily go over the cost of the game so don't find the high initial price all that disturbing. I should note, you do have guest passes that apparently let you have other people try the game as sort of a demo, but they have to download the 13+ GB full game to do so.
Gameplay is quite similar to the original game, but somewhat faster paced. There are naturally more units and everything looks great. The movies in between levels have been improved drastically. Everything looks more lifelike and I have no complaints. That said, after playing it I've just sort of felt like it was just there. I don't have the same emotional attachment and feeling of excitement I had playing the old game. Somehow, I doubt I'll get around to playing the campaign again. The best way I can describe it is like a sequel to a movie that's technically better in nearly every respect, but has all the heros wearing Pepsi logos on their outfits and the theater usher is checking your ticket stub every 10 minutes.
Even with all the extra stuff, I had such good feelings about the original that if this game and come out say year or two before it did I would've bought a new computer just to play it. As it was, I waited until the game was on sale for about one third its initial cost before even considered buying it and even then it was iffy. Blizzard, you kind of lost me guys. I find I'm much happier playing the Warhammer 40k games. Not nearly so much headache. Not planning on buying the next one.
With the current patch you CANNOT play offline. You're stuck with the same always on tether certain other games have. I've read some posts and it may be a glitch, but this is intolerable for me. I can't have my connection up constantly. I truly regret purchasing this game.
Update #2 12/3/12
Just FYI, Battle.net will install itself and it's cache on the C: drive even if you install the game on another partition. The installation has added a bit over 200 MB to my primary partition. I won't bore you with details, but it's somewhat irritating to me because it increases the size my periodic backups need. One reason I tolerate Steam is that at least it plays nice where I installed it; also it's offline mode works. SC2 offline mode is still broken as of today.
It's biggest flaw is the DRM(digital rights management), which is pure trash. I understand the need to combat piracy, but this hurts the real fans more than anything. I have great internet, but my room is 75-feet away from my wireless connection so I don't always get the most stable of connections and therefore I can't even play single player sometimes. This is my biggest issue, and in no way does it take away from the great experience I had with SC2.
Gameplay- standard tactical RTS gameplay, feels very satisfying ordering your troops around and attacking the enemy. First off you start with a small amount of classes and as the story progresses you unlock more and more diverse classes from Tanks, Aircraft, Titans, Spec Ops and more. You have your standard defensive, economical, armory, and class structures to build during your time playing, setting up your base is always key along with maintaining a vast amount of resources. The game has some RPG elements where you can give certain classes and structures particular skills which is a nice addition as you choose carefully what you use with your research points and money. You also have the option to pay for mercenaries which is a nice way to get troops on the battlefield quickly.
Small Flaw: when setting up base and your SCV(builder) gets caught between a structure and essentially becomes useless for the whole game unless the structure is attacked and the SCV repairs it or dies... It's s minor flaw but during my experience it happened quite often.
Sound/Visuals: MAN, MAN! The SOUND in this game is AMAZING! From the movement of your troops to the sound of the combat and even the dialogue during the cutscenes, to the one liners your troops say when selected. Everything just sounds so detailed and crisp it's just great! Graphically the game looks good, nothing spectacular but adequate for a Real Time Strategy game. But the detail in this game is where StarCraft shines, the layout looks very complete and full rather than other RTS' where the environment looks baron and dull.
Story/Characters: I found the story quite intriguing, I enjoyed every single part of it from the very first minute all the when until the credits started rolling. Having never played the original SC I was able to follow along with the story for the most part and I was never really confused at any point during my campaign play through. The voice acting is very good on all fronts, there was really no weak link to be found here. The characters were really cool, enjoyable and interesting I especially loved the dialogue between Jim Raynor and Tychus Findlay.
Over all the story and characters really stick out in StarCraft 2.
Multiplayer: This is what will keep you coming back long after you beat the game. The community is one of the better communities out there and online is still very active to this day. It's hard not to find a multiplayer game.
The balance is good, I always thought it was a fair game when playing SC2.
Overall StarCraft 2 is one of the best in its class, today it still warrants a 40$ purchase whether your buying for yourself or as a gift.