StarCraft II: Legacy Of The Void Out Nov 10th, Intro Now

Lawks a lummy, Blizzard cinematics sure do go in for a bit of spectacle! The Protoss and Zerg are throwing down in some awfully fancy CG for the opening cinematic to StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void [official site], which Blizzard shared over the weekend alongside announcing plans to launch the RTS expansion pack on November 10th. Here, come check out this cool Archon:

One thing I do find funny about Blizzard cinematics is how they try to make epic scenes out of moments that are tiny when you’re actually playing the games. Three Zealots and two High Templars throwing down against a horde of Zerg is a small “Ah hell, I left them out of place” moment, where the horde will knock them down in a couple of seconds, Archon merge or no. You’ll mourn their loss but worry too much. Here, it becomes an epic battle. Granted, that’s to build drama for the ‘And now it is ON’ moment but it still makes me smile. I’m reminded of this silly recutting of Wings of Liberty’s Marine gearing-up cinematic with the reality of a Marine’s life in StarCraft.

Anyway! Back to Legacy of the Void. Rob Zacny has played a bit of both its campaign and multiplayer, so go check that out if you want to know more.

44 Comments

  1. Turkey says:

    I wonder if the guys at Blizzard gather around a huge screen when they get their cinematic back from Blur and go, “Wooo!” and high five each other when a thing hits another thing, or if there’s just a guy that goes, “Looks alright,” and then they ship it.

    • GWOP says:

      Blizzard has their own inhouse CGI team. In fact, I believe they are working on the Warcraft movie themselves. You won’t find Blizzard’s name in the Blur Studio client list.

      • Turkey says:

        Weird. Times are a-changing I guess. I’ve always associated Blur with Blizzard.

        • Xocrates says:

          They’re only come up together often because blur is the only ones making anything near Blizzard (visual) quality cutscenes, but I don’t think they’ve ever worked together.

  2. vlonk says:

    What I hear: All Protoss minds are linked. No observation ever gets lost. There is a greater plan at work here. Losses serve the greater good.
    What I see: Goddamnit! I forgot to send over the shuttle and now my harassment squad gets eaten by the main zerg army. Is it worth defending my warp in pylon? Attrition ftw… might as well fuse the templars and warp in stuff and bank on my superior economy.

  3. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Still would only be interested in the single player campaign, so still holding off in the vain hope a gold edition happens sometime with all three games for a sensible price. (Haven’t picked up any of the starcraft 2 games yet for this reason.)

    I bet I’ll find that all the multiplayer balance changes means that one of the terran campaign missions is now ridiculously difficult or something…

    • ikehaiku says:

      Any balance patch for the multiplayer do not affect the campaign in any way ;-) The campaign doesn’t have the same/all units than the multiplayer to begin with.
      As for the price, both WoL and HotS go for something like $10 each on bnet (but granted these sames are sometimes hard to spot)

      • ikehaiku says:

        I meant, both games go on sale for $10 each on battle.net from time to time.

      • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

        Cool, and thanks for the heads up. I’ll keep an eye out.

        • kael13 says:

          What he means is, the campaign has a whole bunch of super-fun to play with but totally overpowered units specific to it, that aren’t in the multiplayer for balance reasons.

    • SomeDuder says:

      I’m with stupid ^

      While I’m sure it’s fun playing with a country dedicated to a single videogame, it’s only the SP campaign that I’m interested it.

      Also, 2010, what a year.

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        Don Reba says:

        I replayed Brood War recently, and its intro is far more interesting to watch; the story, the mood, the action — everything is better except the graphics quality. And the Legacy intro’s does not even look spectacular by modern standards.

    • ikehaiku says:

      Well, that did not take long: both WoL and HotS are 50% off ($10 each) as of now on bnet.

  4. vargata says:

    i will always be happy to buy any starcraft game. i love it since the very first release and blizzard have never let me down. I cant tell the same about many other developers

  5. XhomeB says:

    Don’t like it. At all. All style, no substance. There’s nothing memorable or stylish here, it’s pure fan service, mandatory slow-mo acshun, horrid writing (just listen to what Artanis says, it’s been a while since I’ve heard anything so utterly stupid and generic, talk about an expository speech at its absolute worst).
    Besides, the Protoss seem to have gotten the “new Star Wars trilogy treatment” (just like the Jedi Knights) – all the mysticism, solemnity, dignified nature of that race (so perfectly captured in SC1&BroodWar) has all but vanished here, they got reduced to “oh so cool”, duel lightsaber-wielding Power Rangers.
    The plot will undoubtedly piss on Starcraft’s grave even more, as if Wol&HotS weren’t enough.

    I’ll take Battle on the Amerigo, SC1 intro, Brood War intro, Mengsk’s Speech over this Transformers-level overdone crap any day of the week.
    It used to be a fascinating, dark, cool-in-all-the-right-ways sci-fi universe. Hate the “new” Blizzard.

    • Asurmen says:

      Trailer is fine.

    • Shadow says:

      Like with Star Wars, some people attach some kind of aura to the older entries which isn’t necessarily there. It’s an imagined construct, sometimes born of experiencing them at an earlier, more impressionable age.

      I mean no offense, honestly. In both the case of Jedi Knights and Protoss, part of the reason is the fact that in older entries a lot -less- was shown about them.

      There were no Jedi in the old trilogy save for Yoda and Obi-Wan (Luke was a new one, and lacked the nostalgic aura the other two had), and they talked about the Jedi Order as a grand, lost thing. Nothing was shown of that “more civilized age”.

      With the Protoss, there’s the fact SC1’s cinematics were more primitive and therefore couldn’t show much. Lots of things happened via transmissions, essentially narrations sometimes backed up by rudimentary in-game animation.

      In both cases, the vast majority of that “mysticism, solemnity and dignity” was left to imagination, and that’s were some people (I don’t exclude myself) built that kind of special aura, imagining exactly what they wanted it to be. So when the creators actually tried to explicitly tread and explore those grounds, it suddenly didn’t match the perfect image in some fans’ heads: it was a single, mandatory definition shoved in the face of as many personal definitions as there were fans.

      Food for thought.

      • SonofSeth says:

        I agree with your analysis of the phenomenon. Instead of writing it all off I take it to show how right XhomeB actually is. Sometimes, and especially in art, less is more, and true mastery comes from walking the line between style and substance while not indulging in either.

        Old cinematics might have been a product of limited resources at the time, but instead of buckling under the pressure of their own ambitions they succeeded in becoming more than the sum of it’s parts.

        This new Blizzard style is all excess and as such it looks amazingly pretty, but lacks anything else.

        • Shadow says:

          While I see your point, Blizzard has always sought to push technological constraints with its cinematics. I don’t think the SC1 material was limited by choice, but necessity. If they could’ve done something as flamboyant as SC2’s back then, my guess is they would have. The same could possibly be said about Star Wars.

          All in all, the earlier, more modest exposition styles in these particular cases were probably more side effect than intended.

          While less can be more, I’m not sure which style is better: at times perhaps SC2 is too flashy, but sometimes SC1 showed too little as well. Jury’s still out for me.

          • thetruegentleman says:

            A lot of what we knew of the Protoss and Zerg came from the manual, and that seems to have been entirely retconned. Not just minor things either: “did we say the Zerg homeworld is Char? Oops, we meant this other planet you’ve never heard of. The Zerg are parasites who built their army accross multiple worlds? Nah, they’ve always had their core troops. The Protoss attacked the xel’naga, and that shame resulted in the current Protoss culture? Nope, the xel’naga just kinda disappeared. The Zerg finished the xel’naga off? Nope, probably never even met them, since it was seemingly a rogue xel’naga that actually made and enslaved the Zerg, to create his own army. This isn’t small stuff.

            Of course, maybe all this shit gets “fixed” in the books, but the ‘heroes’ (who the books revolve around) were never the interesting part of Starcraft: the best parts explained the history of each game unit and the factions as a whole, and these parts have been purged. Literally purged: Starcraft 2 actually had small stories for each unit before the game was released, but Blizzard gave up writing these halfway through and just wiped them all from the website instead of finishing.

          • Asurmen says:

            Well that’s incorrect. Char has never been the homeworld of the Zerg, and why the primal zerg have access to the Swarm strains is explained in the game in that they’ve stolen them and modified them in a matter of days.

            Protoss and Zerg both attacking Xel’Naga is still canon by my reckoning.

          • Mhorhe says:

            Except that, just as the 2 posters above point out, all that thing WAS in the SC 1 manual. Sorry.

          • Asurmen says:

            None of what was listed was retconned or even mentioned in the manual.

      • XhomeB says:

        I was very hesitant to use Star Wars as an example, because I had this eerie premonition that I would get a response similar to yours. Of course, no offence meant, but try to understand what I’m trying to convey here. I refuse to believe that you’re incable of grasping the difference between Force as something spiritual and MIDICHLORIANS or that you didn’t find New Trilogy’s overdone, Matrix-style combat sequences full of fake-looking jumps all over the scenery, omnipresent mid-air flips flat out cringe-worthy… The scene in Empire Strikes Back in which Yoda pulls the X-Wing from the swamp was infinitely more successful at showing his power and wisdom than any scene depicting him as a constantly-jumping rabbit straight from an episode of Road Runner & Wile E Coyote.

        I’d also like to point out that you’re completely and utterly wrong when talking about the “primitive” nature of SC1 cinematics and it’s borderline insulting to the team behind SC1, because contrary to your claims, they showed EXACTLY what they intended and every single animation strives to convey certain emotions, tell a little story or establish a certain mood. Unlike the pew-pew Michael Bayish shite from Wol, Hots and now LotV.
        The Brood War intro or the Battle on Amerigo are flat out spectacular, grand in scale and despite the less impressive CGI quality (1997,duh) have more of an emotional impact than anything I’ve seen in the LotV cinematic thanks to solid scripts, excellent voicework, incredible atmosphere and gorgeous camera work.
        Look at the Zergs in this video. Do they look scary to you? Yet in SC1, they were menacing. Every single scene they showed in was eerie and disturbing, and it was a deliberate choice, they were meant to be perceived by the audience as a threat.1
        Everything in SC1 – from the music, the script, the cinematics to the playstyle of each race – was very deliberate and CONSISTENT.
        Alien 1 vs Alien 4. The devil’s in the details. The same franchise, but it’s clear to me who better understood the subject matter.

        • XhomeB says:

          “offense”. Typo. Darn the lack of an edit button.

        • Shadow says:

          A few clarifications:

          As for Star Wars, I kind of dismissed the whole midichlorians thing. Didn’t like it, but it was little more than fluff and largely irrelevant. As for the far more choreographic fighting, I actually liked it, as it portrayed Force-users as something unique, as opposed to average swordsmen who could deflect blaster bolts.

          Back to Starcraft, I meant primitive in a technological sense. I never criticised the storytelling, nor that they couldn’t pull off what they intended. They were well aware of the constraints, and worked within them. But I don’t believe their approach would’ve remained entirely unchanged with 2015 technology.

          As for the portrayal of the Zerg, a small yet rather important detail: in SC1 they were a largely unknown enemy, and the cinematics reinforced that notion. By SC2 everyone knows them, they’ve lost their mystery, so it’s less feasible to portray them in the same fashion. I do recognize the tonal difference, but at the same time I recognize the circumstances have changed.

          And as a final sidenote, the Starcraft universe as a whole was brand-new back in 1997, as well, and that has an irreproducible effect of its own. Something similar applies to Star Wars’ original trilogy: the first foray into a universe can far more easily succeed than returns to it.

    • dbreed says:

      I hate to break it to you, but this is what Starcraft (or any Blizzard property for that matter) has always been. It’s cheeseball, adolescent shlock, but it’s enjoyable.

      • mechanixis says:

        Really have to disagree here. I mean, it’s never been “high art”, sure, but the old games were dripping with tone and atmosphere that the new ones have totally abandoned in favor of generic and melodramatic cliches.

        Just compare this intro with the one for Brood War. The mood, the pacing, the writing, the voice work…it has a completely different identity and feel from anything in the StarCraft 2 games.

        • XhomeB says:

          So, so true. I can’t believe some people don’t seem to notice the gargantuan difference, especially in terms of overall atmosphere, story and tone.
          It’s like saying Alien 1 and 4 are the same thing, “because the same universe and the same alien”. The same applies to Fallout 1&2 and Fallout 3/4. One can’t dismiss that.

        • vlonk says:

          SC1 had atmosphere in spades. SC2 is a shadow of that. It is derivative in and of itself. It does not take itself serious anymore. Its strife for mainstream appeal purged its uniqueness. It is like die hard 4 is to die hard 1, like mad max 3 to mad max 1, like Diablo 3 to Diablo 1 and 2.

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            Don Reba says:

            Brood War was Blizzard’s last great game. Everything after it (ok, maybe after Warcraft 3) is cartoony and exploitative. Also, now I want to watch Mad Max 1.

        • SonofSeth says:

          I feels like the story department is the only one that didn’t survive WoWs success. Gameplay is still highly polished and fun in SC2, D3, even Hearthstone (in a way), but story is reduced to a mere fanfiction, badly written at that.

          I still shudder at the thought of D3 story and almost feel insulted by how tragically bad Heart of the Swarm story was.

  6. Troika says:

    It has to be posted

  7. Auru says:

    Same day as Fallout 4.

    My moneys gone to Legacy of the Void.. since I expect it’ll be less buggy then Fallout 4 in the opening weeks, avoiding the spoilers for Fallout though.. that will be a task and a half :P

  8. Gordon Shock says:

    Long time Starcraft SP player here, I am excited about the final chapter but this is quite unimpressive.

    Bad on them if they are coasting but good on them if they only want to manage expectations.

  9. mechanixis says:

    This looks like a trailer for a moba.

    • Blad the impaler says:

      Stands to reason. Mobas were first modded from an RTS game, which this is.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Apparently these days any video game ‘looks like a moba’… Even Overwatch. It’s like League of Legends was Year One for video game genres or something.

  10. Mhorhe says:

    I think the trailer’s fine. Ish.

    Now watch this one:

    link to youtube.com

    Seriously, can this Arcturus compare with the chubby neanderthalian they got for the second return of the series?

    Or this one:

    link to youtube.com

    I refuse to accept the argument that technology back then was primitive. By comparison, sure, but back then Starcraft’s cinematics were groundbreaking. Basically EVERY Blizzard game came out with amazing cinematics.. however, as one of the first posters said, with more and more style and less and less substance.

    The original SC’s cinematics were goofy at times.. chilling beer on cold fusion ice.. but then you get a very palpable remake of Aliens’ “they’re coming out of the walls, they’re coming out of the goddamn walls!”

    They could make a Hydralisk and show it slithering around SC 2 style.. but they appeared to know something the contemporary cinematics team forgot, that you’ll achieve a much more impressive effect with a glimpse of that Hydra and of some shadows with teeth and claws.

    Yes, we’re watching with nostalgia tinted glasses. They’re still have 10 times the atmosphere what they’re shipping today.

    Damn shame.

    • Mhorhe says:

      *They still have 10 times the atmosphere of what they’re shipping today. Curse you, lack of edit!