For a long time, fans of Starcraft have waited patiently, putting their faith in Blizzard and believing that the game developer would deliver on its promise to produce a sequel to the original game and not abandon the franchise. It seems that their faith has been answered as Blizzard and IAHGames have officially announced the launch of the long-awaited sequel, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty today.
Read on to find out more.
Would you wait 12 long years for a video game sequel? For most people, the response to that question would probably be something along the lines of 'are you crazy?'.
But for fans of StarCraft, the patience of holding out for 12 years has finally paid off, as Blizzard and IAHGames have launched the sequel to one of the world's most popular games today (27 July) at Funan Digitalife Mall, a shopping mall that is known for its wide variety of technology and consumer electronic gadgets and devices.
As with the original game, the base version of "Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty" released today puts the player in the hot seat of the Terran campaign, while the option to play as either the Zergs' or the Protoss' campaign will be added at a much later date via the Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void expansion packs respectively.
According to Blizzard, Wings of Liberty takes place approximately four years after the expansion Starcraft: Brood War, and will follow the adventures of Jim Raynor in his waging a revolution against the tyranny of Arcturus Mengsk and the Terran Dominion, while he fights his own internal battle with the demons of his past.
Making a special appearance at the launch event was Blizzard's Lead Writer, Brian Kindregan, who spoke about the additions made to the game, as well as the challenges faced in attempting to make Starcraft II a sequel that truly lived up to the gamers' expectations. Note that this was kept under development for almost 12 years, a duration which is almost unheard of in the industry (save for the yet-to-be-released Duke Nukem Forever, which is in its thirteenth year).
“We are trying to do the most ambitious single player RTS campaign ever,” he said while addressing the crowd at Funan. “We got 29 missions, many of them have unique mechanics. You've probably heard about some: there's one with lava that rises and falls periodically, so you have to time all of your actions around that. We've got one where you're robbing a train, so there's a lot of unique stuff that you haven't done in an RTS before… putting the story together like that and introducing all of these different characters…takes a lot of work and a lot of thinking.”
Blizzard reaffirm its commitment to gamers from Southeast Asia, claiming that the company values its customers and has taken their requests to heart including setting up a local office and opening official Battlenet servers in the region.
“You have told us over the years that you want Blizzard to be in Southeast Asia. You know what? We heard you. We have an office in Singapore. I'm here. That's proof of that,” said Oh Jin Ho, Managing Director of Blizzard, Southeast Asia. “You've also have told us over the years that you want better latency. Right? You've been playing in North American servers. Well, we have servers in the region. You're going to get amazing latency. You get the box and play it, and you'll feel it.”
He also revealed that Southeast Asian gamers will get an additional bonus not available to any other part of the world: the inclusion of a free North American client for gaming in both the Southeast Asian and North American servers.
“Those of you who are purchasing Starcraft 2, you will get the North American client, for free. This is the only region in the world that is getting Starcraft 2 for your region and for another region,” said Oh.
And if you thought for one second that the long waiting time may have turned many players off the franchise, perhaps these pictures might change your mind. And no, these are not taken from the Great Singapore Free Gift Giveaway (if such an event ever exists).