Jacked up and Ready to Go

I’m not excited about Starcraft II. I’m not trying to be fashionably jaded or anything like that, I just know from the beta that this not really my kind of game.

But it was once my kind of game, and I love the community of which I am a part. It’s rare that an event comes along that brings us altogether like this, not just mesmerized by hype but also by millions of fond memories. So I’m going to finish this glass of wine, and go hit a midnight launch line for the first time in my life.

  1. Do/did you have a camera of some sort (dunno when you’ll see this)? I like the word vicarious. =p Actually, I kind of prefer that word.

      • Flitcraft
      • July 27th, 2010 7:27am

      Sadly, I did not have a camera with me. But it was a rather unremarkable line, despite how it abruptly swelled at a quarter to midnight.

  2. I’m excited about SCII, but also not.

    On the one hand, it’s an intensely exciting thing for the industry – the return of a major franchise, and a major media event. It’s great to see Blizzard returning to the game that made them big to further expand a lovingly crafted universe. It’ll undoubtedly be great fun to watch all the breathless multiplayer Battle Reports.

    And yet . . .

    From what I’ve seen (I never played the Beta), Starcraft II is a deeply conservative game. If it had been released six years ago, it would have been hailed as a brilliant evolution to the genre. Now it feels like a throwback, like Blizzard have ignored the big RTS innovations of the past decade. No RPG elements, no dynamic campaign, no movement beyond rush-based multiplayer, the same resource collection/base building, no scalable zoom. That just seems, well, out of place to me.

    Of course I’ll buy it sometime in the next few months and perhaps my opinions will change. But, for now, I’m concerned that SCII won’t do anything to advance the genre.

      • Flitcraft
      • July 27th, 2010 7:46am

      I picked up Starcraft II because I wanted to experience “the roar of the crowd.” I love being a part of something like this, even if I’m not sure the product will really warrant the fuss. Personally, I’m about 85% sure that Starcraft is no longer my kind of game.

      I have played the beta and over the past couple hours I’ve been playing the campaign and some placement matches. Nothing I’ve seen contradicts your view that it is a deeply conservative game. It is not innovative and, as you point out, in many ways it’s not even modern. There are a ton of conveniences and conventions I’ve gotten used to with my RTS games, and Starcraft II flouts a good many of them.

      But there are two things that leave me scratching my head at what to make of the game. The first is that this seems like a competition game. It’s tuned to be played at a high level and a rapid pace. It’s a lot like speed chess. What kind of sucks is that, unlike chess, you can’t really opt out of that arrangement. You’re always playing under the gun, using your own skills to overcome the game’s unwieldiness.

      The second thing is that this is very much an updated Starcraft, and there’s something to be said for that. A lot of games get buried by their descendants, and you can never really go back and have the same experience again. For most games that’s probably not a big deal, but for a game as important as Starcraft, it matters.

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