Posts Tagged ‘StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty’

Let’s get Raynor to rhumble: StarCraft 2 launches free version

Blizzard have released a big free version of sci-fi real-time strategy game StarCraft II, offering one full singleplayer campaign along with all the multiplayer. This launched overnight, available now if you sign up for Battle.net and download its client doodad. The free version contains the campaign from 2010’s Wings of Liberty–the one focused on humans–plus bot battles and online competitive, casual, and co-op action. That’s a fair chunk of clicking for free. A big ol’ SC2 patch has launched alongside this for all players too. Read the rest of this entry »

SC2: Heart of the Swarm now free for Liberty owners

If you, like me, bought the original StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty then skipped the sequels, good news: you can now get the Zergy one, Heart of the Swarm, for free. This little freebie comes ahead of Blizzard launching a big free version of SC2, including the Wings of Liberty campaign, next week. Yeah, I’ll give this a go now for free. Stomp around as Kerrigan and make some meatfriends, sure, why not? Read the rest of this entry »

StarCraft 2 launching generous free version this month

A huge chunk of StarCraft II is going free later this month as a sort of big ‘ol demo for the wider trilogy. From November 14th, everyone will be able to play the full Terran story campaign from the original Wings of Liberty, the competitive multiplayer including units from all three chapters, and — with some limitations — the cooperative mode too. If you dig it, you’ll be able to buy the other bits of SC2 separately or in one big lump.

Oh, and people who own Wings of Liberty but skipped Heart of the Swarm will be able to get that Zergy instalment free – if they claim it in time. Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzard and Google betray humanity with StarCraft 2 tools to train artificial intelligences

When the robots come for us, bad sci-fi has taught me, it’ll be teenage whizzes who save the world. In light of that, I believe that Blizzard and Google’s DeepMind Lab are taking the audacious and treasonous step of pre-emptively toadying to our future robot overlords. They’ve teamed up to release a machine learning API and toolkit to use StarCraft II [official site] as a testbed for artificial intelligences. In short, they’re trying to teach robots how to outthink and outmaneuver twitchy teenagers in war.

Congratulations, you’ve sold the human race out for… what? Smarter surveillance tools? Better self-driving cars? When those spy drones hunt us and your car transforms into a bipedal robot with you still inside, you won’t find it so exciting. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning to love imbalance in strategy games

From the forum threads full of arguments to the constant tweaking and occasional overhauls via patches – balance has long been one of the pillars of strategy games. It means fairness, a level playing field, and in competition it means that victory comes purely from player skill. But balance, and the quest to reach it, can easily become the enemy of surprise and of the joy that comes from succeeding against the odds.

Balance’s lofty position implies that nobody wants to be the underdog, that conquest is only satisfying if you have the exact same or at least equally effective advantages as your opponents. Sure, when actual money and trophies are involved, this sort of balance is necessary, but when you’re playing for fun? When you’re playing on your own? Give me the imbalanced every time.

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The 50 best strategy games on PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now brought up to date with the riches of the last two years. From intricate wargames to soothing peacegames, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we’ve gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free to download and play forever. They’re all brilliant.

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Starcraft Universe: Hands On With The Open Beta

I think one of my favourite things about seeing a game jump genre is what it means for the ground-level stuff. An Ultralisk is never going to be scary, viewed from top-down, with a small army at your disposal. Leering down at you, with so many hit-points that the mission is more about distracting it, it becomes a very different matter.

Ever since World of Warcraft landed, Blizzard fans have longed, nay, demanded the chance to go on similar RPG adventures in the company’s other beloved series – The Lost Vikings. Sadly, today is not that day. However, a few days ago one of the most exciting fan-projects to remind people that the Starcraft II arcade exists hit a pretty big milestone – Starcraft Universe: Beyond Koprulu went into open beta, with the full game due in a couple of weeks. While I’m sure we’ll have some more on it then, not least because ‘open beta’ turned out to consist of a lot less content than I was expecting after playing through the three extremely long ‘prologues’, I went to take a peek.

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StarCraft II Co-op Mutators Shaking Up Missions

Blizzard are jazzing up co-op missions in StarCraft II [official site], adding optional ‘mutators’ to change missions in strange and difficult ways along with a rotating lineup of ‘weekly mutations’. Each week, expect new preset challenges on a certain missions, such as the combination of infested hordes spawning in waves, infested monsters bursting out of corpses, and a deep dark fog of war for the Oblivion Express co-op mission. Blizzard are also boshing in a ‘mastery’ system for co-op, which will let max-level commanders earn more boosts to their commander’s powers.

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Nihilistically-Named ‘Free’ Starcraft LOTV Prologue Is Out

‘Legacy Of the Void’, ‘Whispers Of Oblivion’. Man, whoever’s in charge of names at Blizzard needs to go and lie on the grass in the sunshine for a while, otherwise we’re going to end up with ‘Warcraft IV: I Just Feel So… Empty, Y’know?’ The aforementioned Mutterings Of Unconsciousness is the name given to a ‘prologue’ for upcoming Starcraft II [official site] expansion Inheritance Of Nothingness, which is now available for ‘free’ to anyone who pre-orders the add-on.

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Wot I Think – StarCraft II: Heart Of The Swarm Singleplayer

It probably won’t come as any shock to learn that none of the current RPS team have gone the distance in StarCraft II’s incomparable multiplayer, but I can at least tell you what I made of the expansive singleplayer campaign in its first expansion, Heart of the Swarm. No throwaway side-dish, this is a vast, bubbling, consciously epic, setpiece-filled cauldron of scifi RTS-RPG. This time around, the stars are hiveminded alien nasties the Zerg and their sometime ruler Sarah Kerrigan, seeking a comeback and revenge after the events of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Scuttle this way and I’ll tell you more.
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StarCraft II: Heart Of The Swarm Swarms Into Sight On…

look at them all, swarming away there

Oh, that was such a dick move of me, wasn’t it? To do a … and everything to make you read the story? It’s not even because I’m chasing hits. Hits, shmits – it’s just that I’ve got a tiresome headcold and am feeling highly belligerent as a result.

I’ll make up for this awful wasting of your time by definitely not posting the StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm release date underneath the ‘Read the rest of this entry’ jump.
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Starcraft II: Where’s Me Warhound?


RPS chum Rich Stanton has been contemplating the loss of a classic Terran unit over in the Heart Of The Swarm beta. Here are his thoughts on the matter.

Let’s not beat around the bush: I love building Marines. Starcraft II may as well be called ‘Marines’ for me, because making lots of these little guys and then sending them off to destroy alien forces is pretty much all I’ve done for the past two years. Terran scrubs represent! Starcraft II rather encourages this, I think, because there isn’t really a better option for the Terran army than Marines. Sure, the odd fancy-pants will try Hellion openings, and gods among men like Thorzain can dominate with all-mech strategies – but for a bog standard Terran like me? Marines mate. A few Marauders, couple of Medivacs, if it’s Zerg or Terran then add a few Siege Tanks. It is often said that the Terran army in Wings of Liberty has more options than any other, which may be true, but things begin and end with the Marine.
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Crafty: SC2 Heart of The Swarm, The Mod

Tyranids, right?

WITCHCRAFT, TRICKERY, DEVILRY, PERVERSION. A man, if he truly deserves that title, has sullied the noble art of waiting a long time for a new videogame. He has jumped the gun in the most devious possible way. He has… no, I can barely stand to repeat it.

But I must. His crime must be known. He has recreated the units from the impending StarCraft II expandosequel Heart of the Swarm, before it has even been released, and packaged them into a four-map mod for the current version of Wings of Liberty. I… I don’t know what to say. He might as well have wiped Blizzard’s hard drives and then taken the very bread from their mouths, such is the heinousness of this thought-crime and the surely catastrophic consequences of making something that looks and plays a bit like something in future might play.
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Competitive Clicking: Starcraft II Tournament

click click click click build build build build build click click build build lose

It seems like only last week that I found myself watching men playing Countertstrike and wondering how they came to be so good at man-shooting and here I am today watching two people playing Starcraft 2, which makes me realise how bad I am at mouse-clicking. These people though? Very good at mouse-clicking. They’re playing in the Grand Final of Blizzcon’s Starcraft 2 tournament and the winner scoops $50,000, which is probably half of America’s forecast GDP for 2012. I don’t follow the competitive Starcraft community, but I believe the two fellows playing have what the kids call ‘beef’ with one another. Enjoy

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Oh! And Also A Heart of the Swarm Trailer

I am going to hotkey so fast!
There was something else that Blizzard were talking about at Blizzcon this weekend, which was the next instalment of Starcraft II. The beta for Heart Of The Swarm is apparently “months” away, so it looks like we can expect the next game before the end of next year. Anyway, the trailer (below) shows a bunch of CG and in-game scenes, basically telling the story of Kerrigan’s lust for revenge, as well as teasing a bunch of the stuff that’s going to happen (and the units that are going to appear) in the new campaign.
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Starcraft II Demo Now “Starter Edition”


Blizzard have removed the Starcraft II demo from Battle.net, to replace it with a “Starter Edition” – a move which echoes World Of Warcraft’s free 20-level trial. The Starcraft II starter edition allows you try out a bunch of the single player game, and also the Terrans in custom games and single-player vs AI games. More details below.
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StarCraft II vs Bejeweled vs L4D vs Iron Chef

If my job was drawing saucepans on aliens' heads, I'd be a whole lot happier than I am

One of these days, we must take a long, hard look at ourselves. And also at the StarCraft II modding scene, to see how well it’s living up to the promise that the modkit could turn the game to whole new genres.

Blizzard themselves have now made good on that promise, releasing the final, public versions of three long-promised cheeky nods to other games…
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Testy: SC2 1.3 Patch Hits Test Server

Mr. Lava man. Shabba~~

Grandmaster leagues, faster Battlecruisers, Bunkers that take longer to build and tweaked Infestors are just some of the many changes coming in the 1.3 patch for StarCraft 2, now live on the game’s test servers (thanks, Bigdownload!). The Grandmaster league (currently only available for 1v1 matches) is more than a little demanding, accepting as it does the top 200 players in each region, making it more exclusive than becoming, say, a real-life judge. Full patch notes after the jump.
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SC2 Master & Grandmaster Leagues Exist

Some winners, yesterday

Are you a bit of a StarCraft 2 contender? Do you keep build orders in your wallet, eat nothing but egg whites and speak not of your poops, which have started resembling shaving foam? If so, I suppose you’ve probably heard this news already. Nevermind.

With the new 1.2 patch Blizzard has introduced a Master League for its sci-fi RTS, comprised of the top 5% of the game’s Diamond League (or the top 1-2% of the total players in a region). Blizzard has also revealed plans for a Grandmaster League, made up of just the top 200 players in a region. Personally, I’m hoping for all these numbers to keep extending in such a way that the very top of the league table somehow ends up linking with the very bottom in an ouroboros loop. I think that’d be swell. Thanks to BigDownload for the tipoff.

Athlete’s Fleet: Star Battle

Question, hot shot. What’s the most popular user-created map on the European StarCraft II servers right now?

I bet you have no idea. I bet a single bead of sweat just appeared on your forehead. Ah, youth! You’re cute. Here’s the answer: It’s Star Battle, a 6v6 Defense of the Ancients-style mod that uses not fantastic heroes, but sluggish, superpowered space-ships. So, Defense of the… Space.. ncients? Anyway, it looks swell.
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