Party like it’s 1998! StarCraft: Remastered out today

We’ve trapped in two main cycles of revamps, revivals, remakes, and rethings. One is giving us revivals and remakes of games from 20 years ago, while the other goes revamping games released during the previous generation of consoles. StarCraft: Remastered [official site] is from the former camp, a remake of Blizzard’s wonderful sci-fi real-time strategy game from 1998, now fancied up with new art and better support for modern systems and all that. And it’s out today.

If you had expected it to be out by now, hold on. Blizzard say that “our deployment is taking longer than initially expected” so the launch is due around 9pm (1pm PDT).

StarCraft: Remastered is the same old StarCraft (and its expansion, Brood War) with some new clothes and a few new tricks. It boasts new art and “higher fidelity” music and sound, plus the ability to switch all that off and go back to old StarCraft with the press of a button. It also packs support for modern screen resolutions and aspect ratios, cloud saves, and multiplayer matchmaking with leaderboards.

Even if you prefer the old look (I might?) the backend stuff is nifty.

StarCraft: Remastered will cost £12.99/$14.99 from Blizzard when it comes out in, er, maybe two hours?

Blizzard are hosting a two-day launch stream with a load of old StarCraft players including White-Ra and Ret, plus of course the casting Archon of Dan ‘Artosis’ Stemkoski and Nick ‘Tasteless’ Plott. That’s due to start at 8pm (noon PDT) on the Twitch channel of Day[9], the other Plott lad.

Do remember that old StarCraft is free these days, bundled with Brood War as the ‘StarCraft Anthology’. Blizzard had once planned for the Anthology to get Remastered’s matchmaking too, but changed their minds and said it would be too likely to be abused by griefers.

38 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    The only memory I have of Starcraft (Brood War, I think) is trying it for the first time in a LAN match with my asshole Zerg maining friend.
    By the time I had two bunkers with marines I was drowning in a sea of Zerglings.

    Yeah, I didn’t bother after that.

    • H. Vetinari says:

      a LAN match with my asshole Zerg maining friend.
      By the time I had two bunkers with marines I was drowning in a sea of Zerglings.

      he was just being a good friend – drowning a noob in Zerglings was a propper method of introducing the multiplayer game for us :-)

      I’m getting this, however, just for the campaign. I’ve been dying for a proper strategy campaign.

      • Xocrates says:

        Given that no gameplay changes were made, and most of what was changed was related to multiplayer, why not just play the (still pretty good – if not better – looking) free version?

        • shde2e says:

          Depends on if they included the SC2 UI improvements in this one. If the free one still has things like a 10 unit selection limit, or no rally point for your workers, then the remastered edition would seem pretty tempting to me.

          • ezbez says:

            They did not include any UI changes since those amount to substantial balance changes.

          • Xocrates says:

            Yeah, none of those changes you mentioned were made. I would get this if that was the case.

          • that_guy_strife says:

            Check out Mass Recall. The entirety of SC and BW’s campaign, rebuilt in SC2’s engine.

          • Werthead says:

            12 unit selection limit, but yeah, they’ve still got that. It does have a much higher resolution though.

        • xvre says:

          They can’t due that because it would ruing the balance of the game. Having to manually struggle with the 12 unit selection limit is the only thing keeping the Zerg relatively balanced to play, compared to the other races.

    • J.C. says:

      I was never good at Starcraft Multiplayer. That’s why I only played Starcraft for the singleplayer and even that was really hard for me, but damn did it feel good eventually winning tough missions and beating up the AI, while following along with the cool story.

  2. wonkavision says:

    Going by their examples, I prefer the original in every way. The interface, the particle effects, the grass, the way objects fit in their environment. The original still looks like great pixel art. The new version looks like bad 3D from back when developers first started using it.

  3. DoomBroom says:

    Is the camera still stuck in the dirt without any way to zoom out?

    After seeing how it looked in the level editor compared to the actual game I never touched it again. The zoom level was perfect in the level editor.

  4. Senethro says:

    Does it have grid hotkeys and uncapped unit selection?

    • DarkFenix says:

      Judging by the UI at 0:38, unit selection is still capped at 12.

      • dontnormally says:

        I understand why but it is a shame they didn’t opt to address this.

        • Moraven says:

          What would there be to address?

          limited Unit selection is a big part of BW’s identity at this point, even if it was a programming limitation at the time.

          Building selection to hot key groups. I wish that was a bit less tedious. But its part of the identity also.

          • shde2e says:

            Bizarrely true. Although why one would make something as annoying and pointless as that a part of the game’s identity is beyond me.

          • Premium User Badge

            SuddenSight says:

            The 12 unit selection was never a technological limitation. Age of Kings (released one year later in 1999) had a limit of 30 and Dune 2 (released before Warcraft 1 in 1993) had an unlimited selection. Here and here are two articles discussing how a limited selection was an intentional design feature of warcraft 1 (originally just 4 units). They later expanded it to 12 for Warcrafts 2 and 3, as well as Starcraft. For Starcraft 2 they made the selection unlimited, I believe because so many other RTS games had moved toward an unlimited selection.

          • Werthead says:

            In Dune 2 you could only select one unit at a time. You might be thinking of Dune 2000.

  5. elder_pegasus says:

    Assume it’s because it’s targeted solely at esports market, the old interface is ridiculously dated.

    Worth checking out “mass recall” for a fan attempt to do originals in sc2 engine.

    • Aim Here says:

      It’s not really targeted at esports, it’s targeted at the Koreans who still play this in PC Baangs.

      Starcraft 2 failed to win them over, and Blizzard isn’t making any money from all those BroodWar copies still lying around, so this is an attempt at monetizing the old game by throwing a skin over the old gameplay and hoping people switch (and, by extension, extract cash from online players in LAN cafes). Korean Baang owners are already annoyed with the tactic and have tried suing.

  6. Moraven says:

    I never played BW on competitive maps. Really only BGH and mods.

    SC2 I got into laddering quite a bit and had fun at it. Will certainly give BW:Re some knocks and see how bad my control is.

  7. zephram says:

    I’ve never liked the art style of Starcraft, much like how Command & Conquer’s art became unpalatable after EA took over from Westwood.

  8. DingDongDaddio says:

    That trailer made me laugh out loud when it first showed the comparison to the new graphics and the units still have the same stilted animations. You couldn’t add a few more frames in?

  9. TotallyUseless says:

    My physical discs of SC are no longer working lol so many scratches. Although the Anthology is now free, I’d want to experience my childhood once again but on widescreen resolution. Definitely getting SC Remastered. =)

    • Michael Anson says:

      I think you’ll enjoy it. They did upscale (well, technically rebuild) the graphics faithfully and improve the audio quality, but they otherwise left the game the same. It feels the same, it looks how you remember it (not how it was, did a comparison run recently), and best of all, they kept the same bad 3D cutscenes, just slightly improved for newer monitors. It’s been a genuine delight to play the game again.

  10. Czrly says:

    I essentially have to buy this version. Why? Because my shitty Dell IPS monitor can’t even do scaling with a constant aspect ratio so I have to manually fiddle with its on-screen menu to force a 4:3 apsect ratio every time I try to play the original Starcraft. For a moderately-high-end monitor bought in 2016, this is a poor show.

    I do hope that they have at least fixed a few things. For example, I found that clicks on the mini-map were really unreliable when I last tried to play SC1. And rally points! Oh wow. Rally points worked about 10% of the time.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Gnarl says:

    Also headlining like it’s 2014 and 2012 .

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