StarCraft Remastered out this summer, original to be free

Blizzard have fired two blasts from the news-barrels, finally revealing a vague release window for the long-rumoured StarCraft Remastered [official site] project, and informing the world that the original version of the game will be free to download and play once the next patch arrives. What’s more, owners of the original will be able to play against those using Remastered. StarCraft is back, even though it never really went away.

Although presumably aimed at the esports crowd, Remastered contains all of the singleplayer content and the Brood War expansion. On top of that it has 4K visuals, widescreen support, improved online functions and remastered audio. It’s coming in summer and you can see it below.

Last year, I started wearing glasses for the first time and this video reminds me of the first time I tried them on. I thought the whole world had just got a bit muddy around the edges but it turns out my eyes had started to break and the world was doing just fine (in terms of its resolution at least). The glasses were like an HD upgrade and the StarCraft Remastered trailer captures that feeling, right down to the way some parts of the world don’t look quite right in the higher resolution.

I don’t even know what most of the StarCraft units are but I can imagine some people recoiling from the screen when the new 4K version of their favourite unit doesn’t look quite like they expected. It’s a bit like when normal telly channels went HD and some newsreaders and presenters really suited the increased fidelity, but some looked a bit like sinister slightly iffy doppelgangers.

The newly free version will be called StarCraft Anthology and will have all expansion content and will be released in the form of a patch to the original, later this week.

From this site

50 Comments

  1. Apocalypse says:

    LAN play included. :D

    Overall, is this blizzard admitting that the SC:Brood War is simply the better game and giving is the SC2 engine and UI improvements for it? :D

    • Shadow says:

      I don’t think this is the SC2 engine. It still appears to be 2D.

    • Moraven says:

      Its the same engine, code base.

      The only changes they made to gameplay is the Valkyrie missile bug and Dragoon stop bug. Dragoons and Goliaths have their same derpy movement and everything else is the same.

      Mostly the same UI.

      Its a Resolution bump, sprite reskins, built in observer support for broadcasting games, matchmaking.

      This is for the South Korean crowd, where Brood War remains popular than SC2.

      • Horg says:

        I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Nu Brood War becomes more popular than SC2 in the west. It was always are more tactically demanding game to play at pro level and made for a more interesting e-sport. A new coat of paint on the old game play could easily lead to a revival.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      If you do want to play SC1 in the SC2 engine, there is the Starcraft Mass Recall mod. It’s quite faithful to the original, with the addition of in-engine cutscenes and harder AI.

      The cons are a rather convoluted installation process and again, the harder AI (it’s fine if you are competent at multiplayer, not so much if you just played the campaign 15 years ago)

  2. Premium User Badge

    zinzan says:

    Wow, props to RPS – you broke Blizzard!!! :)

    Errrrmmm entry seems a little strange – whole text below vid is a link -> to a “You broke Blizzard page

    Amused me on a boring morning – well done.

    – edit – Looks like it mighht just be me – edit end –

  3. Treners says:

    Ooer, something gone wrong with the formatting here?

  4. Sin Vega says:

    Trying to make an RTS look exciting and dramatic is just awkward all round. Especially when you include the dreadful Starcraft music, by far the worst part of an otherwise great game.

    Frightening to think how old this one is now. Sigh.

  5. michelangelo says:

    I’d pay for original, that just work on modern systems. Definitely not for remaster. I am sick of all those nostalgia selling bussiness methods, obviuos calculations and trained customers, who pay for them, therefor keeping this trend alive. There is so little good remaster approaches, that not even one comes to my mind as I am writing this.

    Do we remaster old movies? —No. Do we remaster old paintings? —NO. Do we remaster books? —NO! Let games to get a history and proudly stand for time period of their birth. Make new games instead of ******** pseudo remasters!

    Oh. It’s a Blizzard article. ))

    • Premium User Badge

      N'Al says:

      Uh, what? Movies get remastered all the time.

      • Ghostwise says:

        And novels get rewritten and rewritten and rewritten and rewritten many times, though admittedly it takes place before publication.

        Non-fiction gets reissued in new editions all the flarking time, though. Atop the rewrites.

    • haldolium says:

      “Do we remaster old movies?”

      Yes, and also plenty of much worse “reboots”

      The rest of your comparisons are a bit off, since movies and games are inherently intertwined with the technological progression of the medium itself, which isn’t true for either paintings or books. But even those get touched all day long to make them survive through the ages (true for many old art pieces or historical relics). Books do get re-releases as well with minor and sometimes major changes.

      • Thankmar says:

        “…since movies and games are inherently intertwined with the technological progression of the medium itself…”
        Ouuh, I would love to have that discussion. Unfortunately, I’ve got no time.

    • thelastpointer says:

      A lot of movies get remastered; even more of them are remade (and there are a lot of reboots as well). And books are reprinted all the time with shiny new covers, to make a closer analogy.

      Speaking of this remake, I was a bit worried when I heard the news, but this trailer got my hopes up. I liked the chunky sprites from ’98 but this seems perfectly fine.

      • Premium User Badge

        Herring says:

        Books get reprinted with changed content too; new forwards or whole chapters removed / changed.

        • michelangelo says:

          I sort of expected good examples of remasters as a justification of such trend. Except inevitable nitpicking.

          Old movies remasters are technologicaly based, aren’t they? By current days technology process of source tapes. Book reprints are done with their authors participation, or as reaction on never before revieled materials related to book. Right? I don’t have same, or simular, process impression from reading about game remasters.

          And movie remakes? Tell me 5 that ended up being better then original, therefor proving their existence. I’ve seen many, none would fit it.

          Still no paintings remasters, hm? Which, heavily based on its visual side, seems closest example to the problem I have with game “remastering”. Losing birthdays, being crippled by poor and forced visual edges softing and bluring, and color palette fading.

          Let’s make old games work with modern systems, give them hi–res option, absolutely. But don’t touch their aesthetic legacy and gaming history footprint.

    • Horg says:

      ”I’d pay for original, that just work on modern systems.”

      You can literally do that right now on battle.net, the classic version still works fine. Also, soon you wont have to, as it’s going free.

    • Slazer says:

      So you still watch all the old movies in VHS? Because I cant remember HD movies on DVD and Blu-Ray in the 80s and 90s

    • pekingduckman says:

      TBH, the original game was in 640×480 resolution, 256 colors, and have problems running on Windows 10 without going to admin mode. The old Battlenet also had a lousy account system which apparently deletes your account due to inactivity. It is in dire need of a remaster.

    • Werthead says:

      “Do we remaster old movies? —No.”

      Yes, as George Lucas proved and, more recently, we have seen old movies turned in to 3D pictures, not to mention colourised versions of old films.

      “Do we remaster books? —NO!”

      Yes. Stephen King added (or re-added) tens of thousands of words to The Stand and Ray Feist did the same thing to Magician. Sequels and interquels, revisiting the same events from different perspectives, are surprisingly commonplace.

      • Vandelay says:

        Colourising and turning into 3D isn’t an apt comparison. This is more like transferring an old film into a digital 4K version, cleaning it up and releasing it on Blu-ray. This is most definitely something that happens all the time and far better than remakes or re-edits in the style of Star Wars Special Edition.

        And it is an important thing to do. Ensuring that old games work on modern systems allows us to maintain the history of games. StarCraft is an important cultural artifact in games and should remain widely accessible.

  6. BaronKreight says:

    Yep, that’s blizzard alright. Squeezing more buck out of a 20 yo title.

    • thelastpointer says:

      …by working hard to redo all graphics, presumably porting the game to a new engine, implementing new features like widescreen support, stressing QA to make sure it runs on modern computers, and launching a potentially very expensive marketing campaign.

      They are practically stealing our money, right?

  7. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Looks great. And maybe now that Blizzard got reacquainted with the old art style, they won’t make Starcraft 3 as cutesy as 2.

  8. buenaventura says:

    OMG YES YES YES YES GIMME

  9. Neutrino says:

    This is what they should have done instead of Starcraft 2.

  10. nailertn says:

    Do the same for Diablo 2… please?

  11. Kefren says:

    Will it be available DRM-free, or will you have to have an account with Blizzard and the game tied to that online account?

    • Nauallis says:

      Oh c’mon, you already have one, so it’s no big deal. Everybody has a blizzard account.

      • Kefren says:

        I’m assuming that’s a joke.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drib says:

          The idea that a large company (activision, whatever) would release a game fully DRM free is a bit… silly?

          Major releases that go fully DRM free end up getting copied all over everywhere without even needing to be cracked. The pirating is super casually done.

          It’s a bad thing. I know people worry about DRM services being invasive or going down in the future or whatever, but when they’re given the option to just copy stuff without DRM? They just copy stuff.

          Yes, I’m sure you and all your friends are paragons of virtue that would never do that.

          But other people do. Often.

          • Kefren says:

            “The idea that a large company (activision, whatever) would release a game fully DRM free is a bit… silly?”

            Activision have released more recent games than Starcraft DRM-free. As have Bioware, EA, CD Projeckt and many others. It wasn’t out of the realms of possibility that a slightly updated version of a game that didn’t originally require a Blizzard account might not require a Blizzard account.

            And my previous assumption that it was a joke was because the poster said “Everybody has a blizzard account”, which I assumed no-one believed. I’m fairly certain none of my friends or family do.

      • that_guy_strife says:

        Actually no. Blizzard fell off the map for a while there. I’m continually shocked at the amount of gamers under 20 that never played or heard about StarCraft, WarCraft (before World of), Diablo. Heroes of the Storm didn’t do much for Blizz, since it was considered a lower quality clone of DOTA/LOL. Overwatch recently put them back on the map, but Blizz hasn’t been a very popular company for the last what, 10 years ?

        • Nauallis says:

          Yes, it was meant in jest. But also some truth to it, at least for PC gamers. On this end, most people I know under 20 prioritize phones/phablets over PCs, and generally would rather deal with the ease of use and quick access to fun that a gaming console provides. PC gaming isn’t quite a niche market in terms of sheer size, but compared to the gaming marketplace on the whole… yeah, it is.

          We’re not all 20-somethings. My guess is that the average age of the RPS reader is late twenties to mid-thirties. PC gaming has a significant cost of entry, often making it prohibitive for younger folks.

        • Asurmen says:

          That simply isn’t true.

  12. Ser Crumbsalot says:

    So Starcraft they’re remastering, but the first two WarCraft games are “too old” and “not mechanically enjoyable”, or whatever blizzard claimed? Ok then.

    • Xocrates says:

      To be fair, there is a significant jump between Warcraft 2 and Starcraft, but barring some quality of life improvements the RTS genre has stuck fairly close to the Starcraft mechanics since.

      It’s still a bullshit excuse, mind you.

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