This is the collectors edition. Its about thirty dollars more than the base version. While that may seem like a lot being one third more cost, you do get a ton of really cool extras. I will put a + next to the ones I think are good. Whats different in this version vs the other version. For your thirty dollars you get:
..>> A nice art book with paintings, character models, sketches for behind the scenes look into the art of the game. + >> A making of DVD with behind the scenes movie of how the game was made. ..>> A CD of the music from the game. + >> A 2GB Flash drive shaped like Raynor's dog tag. In the drive there is the original Starcraft plus the Broodwar Expansion. You can use this drive for anything its still a 2GB drive in the end. ..>> A Starcraft comic book + >> A different icon for your character on Battlenet. + >> Special Icons and logos for your units in the game + >> Special collectors edition of the Terran Thor. + >> MY favorite a MiniThor pet for WoW that is for all characters on your Battlenet account. Just like the Pandaren monk or Mountain Dew promotional pet.
Its alot for only a few dollars more. I spent that much on 3 WoW pets, so if your into unique items this may be the upgrade for you. I have too many books now as it is so the extras are not IMHO worth it all that much. That being said the DVD has a nice production value to it and the other pieces are well made so if you are into that aspect you may enjoy it more.
The review of the game:
Blizzard has taken this game into the modern time with a new look, 3D engine and new strategies. You do not have to have played the original Starcraft to understand what is going on here. Blizzard has made this game to be completely stand alone and to train you as the player from the ground up. This means that if you may be new to the story then you will be brought up to speed quickly. If you are a veteran you will appreciate the new and exciting look and feel plus the new units.
3D: + For the first time you can swing down and check out your units and see what they can see with regard to the terrain. + Beautiful 3D terrain and environment. You really feel immersed in the fantastic vistas and look of the game. + Smooth performance even with low end graphics cards. I played this on my PC which has a GTX 470 and of course it was beautiful. I then tried it out on my wife's Macbook Pro (with old ATI card) and while not as rich looking it was very playable and smooth. Which means Blizzard cares enough about their fan base to let older slower computers play this game.
Sound: + Zerg squishy noises are awesome and make me nauseous to hear them. The clink of the space marines are so fitting and the phased sounds of the Protoss are spot on. Great sounds that add to the immersion. + Voice acting is some of the best I have heard in a game. It has a cinematic feel to it as you play.
Single Player: + The single player mode is fun and it is what I have played most sofar. It is challenging and without using any cheats (I am sure they are there but not released as of yet), it means I really have to watch my resources and units well. + Units are easily queued and respond with amazing AI. Give them a general order and they follow it and can think on their own better than any other RTS I have ever played, thats saying alot because I have played probably most of the RTS games even back to the original Civilization ( yes I am dating myself here).
Online play: + Games are quick to get into and feature a nice interface that makes the waiting time pass. + The ranking system thus far seems very fair and well thought out. I am sure it will change in the future but for now is very good.
Summary: This is more than an update of the original. It is more like a movie playing homage to an old classic. What you get here is a brand new game with a history behind it as being one of the best video games of all time. Don't believe me ask one of the professional SC1 players. This game will grow over time and by the time the last iteration comes out it will be so polished that it may surpass SC1 as the seminal RTS game.
In closing: I am not an employee of Blizzard nor am I a Fanboy. I merely purchased a game, enjoyed it wrote a review here on Amazon. Nothing more nothing less. I am passing on this information to you the consumer in hopes you will find this to be the case for you too.
It is great RTS game, get it.
UPDATE: August 1 2010 Ok Multiplayer just rocks. I spent 10 hours today playing head to head with my friends and against others. Its really good. From time to time people may crash and then the game gives you the win after 45 seconds. The chat is great, you can talk to your allies, your team mate and the opponents by just hitting tab. The achievements are great and really fun. I am still doing the unranked challenges, you get 50 total then you are ranked. By then you should know what your doing. You can create your own custom games, maps and setup. Very customizable.
Overall this is fantastic and really engaging. I haven't sat this long in one sitting since raid nights on WoW. I still don't get where people say you cannot chat with the other team, your team or whatever? I think its a ton of misinformation that is spreading. Oh well I am enjoying the heck out of this.