STARCRAFT II

In the distant future, within the darkest reaches 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’ll have given up the fight.

  • Fast-paced, hard-hitting, tightly balanced competitive real-time strategy gameplay that recaptures and improves on the first 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 large unit and military sizes
  • Full multiplayer support, with competitive features and matchmaking utilities 
  • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a fantasy real-time strategy computer game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released worldwide in July 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. 
  • A sequel to the 1998 computer game StarCraft and therefore the Brood War expansion pack, the game is split into three installments: the bottom game, subtitled Wings of Liberty, an expansion pack, Heart of the Swarm, and a stand-alone expansion pack, Legacy of the Void. In March 2016, a campaign pack called StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops was released.
  • Like its predecessor, the sport revolves around three species: the Terrans (humans), the Zerg (a super-species of assimilated life forms), and therefore the Protoss (a technologically advanced species with vast psionic powers). 
  • Wings of Liberty focuses on the Terrans, while the expansions, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void, specialize in the Zerg and Protoss, respectively. 
  • The game is about four years after the events of 1998’s Brood War and follows the exploits of Jim Raynor as he leads an insurgent group against the autocratic Terran Dominion. The game includes new and returning characters and locations from the original game.

Features

  • Three Unique Races

Whether you command the mysterious Protoss, the nomadic Terrans, or the ruthless Zerg, you want to decide the way to outwit or outgun the enemy in an unforgiving universe of intense strategic combat.

  • New Units & Weapons

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.

  • Story Mode

Lead Raynor’s Raiders in their go after vengeance and glory as they burn a path across the galaxy. You choose which missions to require, which story lines to finish, and where to take a position your hard-earned cash.

  • Mega Multiplayer

Wage unrelenting war on your friends and foes over the all-new Battle.net. Whether it is your first time gaming online or you are a multiplayer veteran, Battle.net’s unrivaled AutoMatch technology makes sure it is often a good fight.

Gameplay

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty features the return of the three species from the first game: Protoss, Terran, and Zerg. In the Terran campaign, the first StarCraft briefing room is replaced with an interactive version of the battlecruiser Hyperion, with Jim Raynor, a bitter and hard-drinking mercenary captain, as the central character. In a departure from previous Blizzard games, the campaign is non-linear, with Raynor taking jobs for money and using that cash to shop for additional units and upgrades. Although each playthrough will vary, the top result remains consistent, keeping the storyline linear. Blizzard’s vice chairman Rob Pardo stressed that every campaign will function very differently. The Terran campaign, Wings of Liberty, places players during a mercenary-style campaign, as Terran rebel group Raynor’s Raiders raise funds by taking assignments from outside groups. The second release, Heart of the Swarm, is Zerg-focused and has role-playing elements. Sarah Kerrigan is the focus of the campaign, and the story revolves around the possibility of her redemption. The Protoss-themed Legacy of the Void is that the third expansion, with the Protoss Artanis attempting to reunite the Protoss tribes so as to prevent Amon, a fallen Xel’Naga.

Wings of Liberty has 29 playable campaign missions; 26 are playable in a single playthrough, three missions are choice-related alternates.

Editor

The StarCraft II Editor may be a campaign, map, and mod editor. It is the first editor by Blizzard to feature built-in mod creation and usage support. Updated art and data from the first StarCraft that weren’t used, alongside models and data that were scrapped during the event process (including those made as of April Fools jokes) will be available in the editor. Unlike previous editors made by Blizzard, it’s the primary to possess Internet connectivity features like map publishing, retrieval, and online activation of the editor client. Lead producer Chris Sigaty has stated that the editor gives players the ability to create role-playing, Hero-type units, and structures resembling those from WarCraft III. At BlizzCon 2009, Blizzard demonstrated a build of the StarCraft II Editor showcasing its capabilities, like the power to customize the interface. The final build includes a third-person style perspective for missions. As a neighborhood of the arcade feature, a custom map called Blizzard DOTA, which eventually has become a standalone game named Heroes of the Storm, was announced alongside several other mods of Blizzard Entertainment at BlizzCon 2010. At that point, the map was developed to showcase the modding abilities that were to be added to StarCraft II.

LAN play

StarCraft II doesn’t offer the power to play directly over an area network (LAN), as is feasible with StarCraft; all network games are routed through the web via Blizzard’s gaming servers.

Plot

Four years after the Brood War, the Dominion is once more the dominant Terran power within the Koprulu sector. News reports reveal that within the four years since the top of the Brood Wars, the standing Dominion military forces are reduced and defense budget has instead been diverted to hunting down rebel forces that operate against the Dominion. For reasons unknown, Kerrigan gathered the swarm at Char then vanished from sight. With the Zerg gone, the Protoss has once more taken a passive role within the galaxy. Jim Raynor has formed a political unit named Raynor’s Raiders so as to overthrow Dominion Emperor Arcturus Mengsk. On Mar Sara, Raynor meets with an old comrade, Tychus Findlay. Together, they liberate the local population from Dominion control and also discover a component of a mysterious Xel’Naga artifact. As the Zerg begin to overrun Mar Sara, Raynor arranges an evacuation to his battlecruiser, the Hyperion, captained by Matt Horner, Raynor’s second-in-command.

Cast

The English language version of StarCraft II has Robert Clotworthy and James Harper reprising their roles from StarCraft because of the voices of Jim Raynor and Arcturus Mengsk. Notable absences included Tricia Helfer replacing Glynnis Talken as Kerrigan, Michael Dorn replacing Michael Gough as Tassadar, and Fred Tatasciore filling certain the late Jack Ritschel as Zeratul. The voice director for the sport was Andrea Romano. Over 58 voice actors were hired for the sport, a number of whom voiced multiple characters.

Development

The development of StarCraft II was announced on May 19, 2007, at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, South Korea. According to Rob Pardo and Chris Sigaty, development on the sport, though initially delayed for a year by the temporary reassignment of Blizzard’s resources to World of Warcraft, began in 2003, shortly after Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne was released. StarCraft II supports the DirectX 9 (Pixel shader 2.0) software, and it’s also fully compatible with DirectX 10 also. The development team had decided to not add exclusive DirectX 10 graphic effects. The Mac version uses OpenGL. The game previously featured the Havok physics engine, which allowed for more realistic environmental elements such as “debris rolling down a ramp” which has since been replaced with a custom physics engine.

Expansions

During the development of StarCraft II, it was announced that the game and its expansions would form a trilogy; each chapter would feature one of the three playable races. The first expansion focuses on the Zerg race; Heart of the Swarm was released on March 12, 2013. The second expansion Legacy of the Void, which centers on the Protoss race, was released on November 10, 2015. An additional single-player campaign called StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops was released in 2016 in three episodes. This is downloadable content (DLC) that focuses on a Terran special ops character called Nova Terra.

Soundtracks

Two soundtracks were released for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The original score, composed by Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford, Neal Acree, Russell Brower, Sascha Dikiciyan and Cris Velasco was released on CD also as on the iTunes Store. Both versions contain 14 tracks and therefore the iTunes version contains additional digital extras. A second soundtrack, Revolution Overdrive: Songs of Liberty, was released on CD, vinyl, and iTunes. This soundtrack features the first and canopy songs heard in JoeyRay’s bar during the computer game.

Release

On April 8, 2010, Blizzard announced that the sport would be available during a standard and collector’s edition. The game was made available for digital download from Blizzard on the discharge date; pre-loading began on July 15. The collector’s edition comes with an art book, 2 GB flash drive modeled after Jim Raynor’s dog tag with the first StarCraft and Brood War expansion preloaded, behind-the-scenes DVD, soundtrack, comic book, unique avatar portraits, a singular model for the in-game Thor unit in multiplayer, and a World of Warcraft pet.

Use in artificial intelligence

In November 2016 Alphabet’s DeepMind branch announced a collaboration with Blizzard to create “a useful testing platform for the wider AI research community.” In December 2018, DeepMind’s StarCraft II bot, called AlphaStar, defeated a top Starcraft II player 5-0, albeit under conditions some deemed to be unfair. A fairer version of AlphaStar attained Grandmaster status in August 2019, an accomplishment called a “landmark achievement” for the sector of AI.

Sales

Blizzard entered into a co-marketing agreement with Korean Air that lasted for 6 months, during which two of the airline’s airplanes on both domestic and international routes prominently displayed StarCraft II advertising featuring Jim Raynor on the fuselage. On August 3, 2010, Blizzard announced that StarCraft II sold quite a million units worldwide within at some point in its release. After two days, when Blizzard began selling the sport as a digital download on its website, approximately 500,000 additional units of the sport were sold, bringing the entire up to 1.5 million worldwide and making it the fastest-selling strategy game of all time. In its first month on sale, StarCraft II sold a complete of three million copies worldwide. As of December 2010, the sport has sold nearly 4.5 million units. The game was also heavily pirated, reportedly being downloaded over 2.3 million times, and setting a record for most data transferred by one torrent in just three months.

Reception

The game was met with critical acclaim, receiving an aggregated score of 93% from Metacritic. Similar to its predecessor, StarCraft II was praised for its engaging gameplay, as well as its introduction of new features and improved storytelling. The game was criticized for lacking features that existed in the original StarCraft game including LAN play and the ability to switch between multiplayer regions. At the time of its release, StarCraft II became the fastest-selling real-time strategy game, with over three million copies sold worldwide in the first month. In November 2017, Wings of Liberty became free-to-play.

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