Evil Avatar reports that Blizzard’s just-released Starcraft 2 is getting some heat from consumers, who’ve criticized the game for being “unfinished” – in the sense that this first installment, Wings of Liberty, only represents the human campaign. The Protoss and Zerg campaigns will ship as their own games, at $60 apiece, like this one.
Of course, everyone’s known about this for at least a year. There’s also the point that Wings of Liberty looks pretty comprehensive to me – there are I think 30 single-player missions, possibly more. That’s full-game sized. So is the complaint that they have to buy three games, or that there aren’t three campaigns in one box? World in Conflict had only one campaign and it was totally worth it at 14 missions.
I bought Starcraft 2 by accident yesterday (I was at Best Buy buying a headset and the box somehow wound up in my hand), and played a fair portion last night. I’ve asked Dobry to do First Impressions, because the game deserves his wit. Overall my general reaction is pretty positive.
One thing that’s kind of shocking is that Starcraft 2 is Starcraft. I mean, they changed NOTHING, except adding some external research and unit upgrades. When you consider the evolutionary leap between Warcraft 2 and Warcraft 3, you kind of expect something similar here. But you don’t get it. Now, I really liked Starcraft, so reusing the exact same formula doesn’t bother me too much, but it’s really kind of amazing how much of a throwback this game is. When you consider where RTS has gone since Starcraft – in the direction of Company of Heroes, World in Conflict, etc. – you recognize that the mechanics and style of Starcraft, while still solid, are woefully dated.
It’s like a horse.
Horses are still a perfectly effective method of transportation, but most people wouldn’t use a horse when they could use a car. There’s nothing wrong with the horse, or with using it to get around, but the car is more advanced. Starcraft 2 is a horse.
That’s where the complaint really should lie. I mean, it does seem greedy to release three games instead of one, but if they’re all full sized games, I can’t really complain too much. I’m more interested in what the reaction to its anachronism will be.
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