Starcraft 2 Impressions
For a game that the world has been waiting almost 13 years to see, Starcraft 2 hasn't really redefined it's gameplay mechanics. That's not to say the game isn't fun though. It does exactly what most Starcraft fans want it to do, it incorporates balance, story, and visuals in a manner that very few modern or even classic titles fail to achieve. It clearly isn't perfect, there are still plenty of things that need to be ironed out, but given the time and dedicate record of Blizzard, expect most of those things to be addressed.
The biggest change in the game is obviously its graphics. Where the original Starcraft boasted detailed sprites, Starcraft 2 has moved into the next century with 3D models, colorful textures, and bright and shiny particle affects. The immaculate detail of even the tiniest of Zerg unit is incredible, and should bring relief to the eyes of those who've played the original all these years in waiting. The art style is much the same though, each human male looks like he's done enough roids to make even Barry Bonds blush in envy. The Zerg and Protoss however, are much more refined and detailed than their past selves.
The lack of LAN play and required login to battle.net are quite the significant annoyance. Sometimes it would be nice to load up the game and not deal with the all seeing eye of ActiBlizz, but such is the price we pay in todays age of the Pirate Bay and Bit Torrent. Luckily, after your first login, you can enable an offline mode that will allow you to play without connection to Battle.net, which is very similar to offline mode in steam. The one time login though could be a barrier, if you last played the game on Battle.net, and lose your internet connection, you won't be able to load up the game and play against the A.I. This is the classic case of legitimate users being punished for pirate crime.
We'll have more on SC2 in the coming days, including a roundtable discussion as well as our review, plus some other goodies for those new to the franchise!