‘StarCraft II’ Impressions


As much as i’m tempted to do a review on StarCraft II, strategy games have not been my cup of tea, and trying to do so wouldn’t give justice to a game that took 12 years in the making. So, instead of rambling on my personal thoughts I gathered some of the first impressions and reviews regarding StarCraft II plus some tips to check if your PC can handle the excitement as well.

On the eve of its launch, StarCraft II has racked up almost a million preorders and yet unlike other highly anticipated games, there have been no advance word from professional game reviewers. The reason is that Activision and Blizzard did not hand out any press copies of the games, so even the critics had to wait just like the rest of the world. 

But before you even think of buying StarCraft II, you first need to check if your current setup can run the game.

With so many gaming possibilities,         StarCraft II can be an intense graphic experience for your PC, but the good news is that Blizzard has stayed true to what made the original StarCraft a hit—reasonable system requirements. Almost everyone could play StarCraft II, and so almost everyone did. 
StarCraft II follows those very wise footsteps with some reasonable requirements for a PC game of its caliber.

To start off, StaCcraft II will still run on Windows XP (minimum), which means that it would only require 1 GB of RAM, as compared to 1.5 GB or more if you’re running Windows Vista or Windows 7. The remaining minimum specs is as follows: 2.6 GHz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor; 128 MB PCIe NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT or ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card or better; 12 GB available HD space; Broadband Internet connection and 1024X720 minimum display resolution.

The recommended specifications on the other hand are; Windows Vista/Windows 7; Dual Core 2.4Ghz Processor; 2 GB RAM; 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX or ATI Radeon HD 3870 or better. 

If you want to check out the compatibility of your PC, check out the site called Can You Run It? (http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri). It will compare your PC’s specs against the game you want to play, and will generate a list that points out where your PC needs a bit of help.

So does StarCraft II live up to its hype? Hell yeah. 

Reviews have been slow to coming out, but each one has been praising the game for being both traditional and innovative at the same time. 

The review from Joystiq says StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty isn’t just traditional, it’s a tradition.

“If any other company but Blizzard had simply put new graphics over the same old interface, it would have resulted in an interesting novelty at best. But within moments of putting my hands on StarCraft II during the open beta, it was clear this was no mere novelty. It’s been more than a decade since I played the original, but the sequel feels both instantly fresh and familiar. It’s not a game that will be forgotten in the rush of the coming months’ releases. It feels timeless,” he added. 

“What’s most striking about the single-player game is the familiarity. The standard missions are all there—stealth, base defense and straight-up battles—and the core strategies still work. Blizzard didn’t change StarCraft, because StarCraft didn’t need changing.” 

The gaming blog gave it a perfect score of 5/5 and called the multiplayer mode “hopelessly addictive.”

Revered gaming site Kotaku shares the same praise saying that “playing the campaign is like “stepping back in time,” but rather than a problem, they believe that’s exactly what Blizzard needed to do to please their massive fan base.

The Guardian on the other hand said the game “looks amazing and every level is crammed with detail” and that it captures the “perfect balance between the capabilities” of the game’s three distinct races.

Surprisingly, the game has mediocre rating of 3/5 based on over 300 user reviews at Amazon. Top-rated user Neosplicer gave it a 3/5 and wrote 
“Although priced even more than a full premium game, this is not a complete StarCraft sequel.” “You would not know this by its price-tag [!] but this is only A . . . third of the game.”

The game’s single-player campaign only covers the Terran race so it may take a while before you get to play a proper campaign mode for the other two races.

Another user laments the absence of chat channels, no private lobbies, no cross region play, no offline mode, no LAN and poor custom game options, adding that’s it’s an “incomplete masterpiece” and gave it 2/5.

StarCraft II’s release is expected to be a big earner for Activision Blizzard, with one analyst estimating its fiscal-year worldwide sales could reach as many as 7 million. That would net gaming’s second largest publisher $350 million in sales and over $170 million in profit. The original StarCraft has sold almost 10 million copies since its 1998 release.

So what are you waiting for? Head over to any DataBlitz store now and get your copy of StarCraft II, I heard that stocks are running out real fast!

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Datablitz picks of the week 
Not up for StarCraft II? Don’t fret, here are some other games which might be better suited to your gaming palate.

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‘Sniper: Ghost Warrior ‘(X360)
Based on the covert, shadowy world of the military sniper, Sniper: Ghost Warrior throws players into the chaos of a military coup, as they aid the rebels in restoring the rightful government to the embattled country of Isla Trueno.

When the democratic government of Isla Trueno is overthrown, an aggressive and hostile military command rises to power.

A highly trained special ops unit is sent in to help the rebels accomplish objectives that only a sniper can handle. In addition to intense sniper missions, players will also take part in a variety of assault scenarios where their prowess with weapons will be a huge help to the undermanned rebels.

The game features a top of the line ballistic system that accounts for environmental effects like wind and gravity. Non linear gameplay allows players to 
decide how they wish to approach a situation and presents challenges that can be completed in several different sequences, giving players the freedom to explore. There are also a variety of mission types from long-range sniping and close quarter combat, to booby-trapping and infiltration.

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‘Crackdown 2 (360)’
Crackdown 2, the sequel to the award-winning 2007 title Crackdown, is the ultimate open-world action experience developed by Ruffian Games exclusively for the Xbox 360. 

In the vertical, free-form world of Pacific City, tensions are high and escalating exponentially between the Agency and its opposing factions, the Cell and the Freaks. Returning to Pacific City as an advanced Agent, you’ll be judge, jury and executioner as you reclaim the city and eliminate all threats, either solo or with friends on Xbox LIVE.

Building upon the groundbreaking success of its predecessor, Crackdown 2 will elevate the open-world genre to unprecedented levels with the ultimate cooperative and competitive multiplayer experiences. Friends around the world will be able to sweep the streets of crime and lawlessness with the complete freedom to explore, destroy and restore justice to Pacific City, by any means necessary.

For all your PC gaming needs drop by Datablitz’ branches at SM, Robinsons, and Ayala Malls. You could also call (632) 734-5058; (632) 733-8477; (632) 7348 or check out their website at www.datablitz.com.ph. Send your questions and comments on anything gaming to eduyisgood@gmail.com or gamexads@yahoo.com . Check out myeduysblog@blogspot.com for the latest gaming, pop, tech, and music news, and follow me on twitter.com/ed_uy.

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‘StarCraft II’ Impressions

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