Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty- RTS Perfection
By Umar Farooq (Kluey), OnRPG Journalist
Starcraft 2 is the long awaited sequel of the extremely popular E-Sport PC Game, Starcraft. Starcraft 2 has many features to offer that were not available in Starcraft 1. The big ones that stand out are a simpler unit interface and unit control. In Starcraft 1 we saw that players who did not spend every waking hour focusing on tactics and builds would struggle just because of how hard Starcraft was for beginners. In Starcraft 2, the game has shifted to more of a “mind game” rather than speed test. Starcraft 2 has made the Campaign more enjoyable for all types of players by adding in difficulty modes. Starcraft 2 shows fans that the producers have acknowledged the problems people had in Starcraft 1 and have taken care of them without losing focus of what made the original so great.
The difference between Starcraft 1 graphics and Starcraft 2 graphics is huge. The producers obviously wanted the game to be visually appealing to new audiences without losing the appeal of the original. This was the most needed change as games have evolved so much graphically since the early 2000s.. Now in Starcraft 2 no one should talk poorly about the graphics because they are clearly refined and ideal for a AAA RTS.
Starcraft 2(My computer can’t even handle highest graphics setting)
In this comparison we see the same buildings in both games. We see the Nexus, the Forge on the right, the Gateway on the left and a pylon on top. We also see the User Interface is much more clear and understandable in Starcraft 2, easing the learning curve quite a bit.
My favourite part of Starcraft 2 is definitely the multiplayer. The multiplayer is what made Starcraft 1 one of the greatest games of all time and built a platform on which today’s booming Esport industry stands. The ranking system is really impressive compared to any other competitive games. Thanks to their match making system, you have a very small chance of ever dominating or being dominated by your opponent. You have five placement matches that will determine which league tier you begin in. After that, after each win you get around 12 points based on how good your opponent is. In addition, you have a bonus pool which can give extra points along with the points you get for winning. You will receive one bonus point every 112 minutes or 90 bonus points per week. This makes sure that players that take a break from Starcraft and lose their rankings have the ability to climb back to their original place with ease because you will get 24 points rather than just 12 per game.
There are seven leagues in Starcraft 2. These seven leagues are Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Masters and the Grand Masters respectively. Grand Masters is currently only for the top 200 players on the server. This league is usually filled by professional gamers and their respective teammates. In the multiplayer you have a choice of 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 or FFA. They all have leagues except for the FFA which is non competitive.
In Starcraft 2 there are three races. Each has a distinct ability and play style which players need to adapt to in order to play well. There are always new strategies and play styles released and Blizzard is always on top of the balance between the three races. Starcraft 2 is a very new game and yet the game’s balance exceeds expectations.
The first race is Terran. Terran are the only race with actual humans. They have decent offensive and defensive abilities. This race was often called the imbalanced race because of how many options you have in being both offensive and defensive. As the game progressed on, Blizzard nerfed anything that they thought was too stron. Despite the early complaints about imbalance, this race isn’t easy to play. It is very micro intensive and macro oriented. Micro is how you control your units and how cost effective you make them and macro is the ability to swarm up a large army and economy.
The second race is Zerg. Zerg are the race affiliated with insects and creepy monsters. They have superb macro abilities with their larvae mechanics. Unlike other races, the Zerg have no need of production buildings. All Zerg units are produced from larvae that autospawn at the base. The limitation factor on which tier of units you can build is based on which technology buildings you have constructed thus far. The Zerg play-style is often based on the overall direction the game follows. The Zerg overrun their opponents with superior numbers late game with their ability to mass produce units. This is balanced due to the general weakness their units display in a straight up fight with equal upgrades, so you have to rely on your economy to back you up and beat your opponents in numbers rather than power.
The last race is Protoss. Protoss is the race that uses high tech buildings and abilities. They are the offensive race. Protoss has the strongest units but they are the most expensive and take the longest to build. With this knowledge, Protoss players are very careful with their units and try to be the most cost efficient because losing a unit that takes a lot of resources and time puts you far behind the other races. The Protoss play style is very micro intensive in order to minimize losses on the frontlines. The strength of this race lies in their armies without a doubt.
The campaign of Starcraft 2 is the continuation of the Starcraft: Brood War campaign. It is definitely not the focus point of this game but it does exceed the average RTS campaign on the market. You can run the campaign on different difficulties making it suitable for all audiences. The campaign even features unique units not available in multiplier so it is certainly worth checking out.
Even though this was not intended to be this huge, the Custom Games in Starcraft 2 are just addicting. There is no other way to describe them honestly. I think that the custom games really add the finishing touch to this game. After playing the multiplayer for a couple of hours and being extremely exhausted, it is a great feeling to know that you can relax in fun custom games made by either Blizzard itself or other players.
I think that Starcraft 2 is by far one of the best RTS games of all time. Its pros far outweigh the cons which there isn’t much of. From being able to battle it out in the multiplayer league to commanding an entire race on the campaign and then relaxing with custom games, Starcraft 2 has an infinite amount of things to do. Multiplayer never gets repetitive and shoots the replay value of the game sky high. In conclusion, Starcraft 2 is a superb game and is one that everybody should try.