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View Full Version : Starcraft 2: Looks Great, Tastes Bad



csandy
07-28-2010, 04:56 AM
StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty (SC2:WoL), the second game I've bought in about 10 years, passes with flying colors on the technical front.

Blizzard, the games' publisher, falls flat on its face with its business decisions regarding the game though.

It's an interesting point with gamers being older, more savvy, and less tolerant.

Less tolerant of what? This:

- SC2:WoL only lets you play 1 or the 3 factions in the game (Terran)
- Blizzard charges for new maps
- A full copy is required for everyone on a LAN (gone is the "spawn" feature
- The other 2 factions will be sold individually (possible at full price each -Zerg and Protoss)
- The game incorporates a consistent online activiation scheme (broadband is a listed minimum requirement)

While StarCraft of the 90s provided so much value, it's unfortunate that Blizzard no seems to devalue their user base. Even stranger still given that loyal user base has 10 years of loyalty and experience under their belt.

Drocket
07-28-2010, 05:48 AM
- Blizzard charges for new maps


Never got around to playing sc, used to be a big fan of the diablo series and used to play wow but gave up, however it seems blizzard (recently) are nickle and diming everything they can now :(

TeZzy
07-28-2010, 05:50 AM
the separate game thing is a bit lame....but I think the amount of missions and depth of story should hopefully justify it. Atleast you can use all 3 race in multiplayer.

archijam
07-28-2010, 06:08 AM
Wow.

That sucks.

I guess Blizzard are hard up for cash ;) ?

Only ever played Zerg myself. Good alien fun.

Skonk
07-28-2010, 06:34 AM
Some of what you said is a little misleading.

You can only play Terran for the single player campaigns but all 3 races are usable for multiplayer and the Map Editor comes with the game allowing anyone to create and share maps at no cost.

Nangleator
07-28-2010, 06:43 AM
Wow. Never been fined for loyalty before. I'll stick with the original, if I want to play it again.

Speedmonk42
07-28-2010, 09:48 AM
Can you clarify something....

When playing the single player campaign, only Terran is available?

It is a shame I can't play with my nephews without buying four copies. I just can't do that.

May not buy it all now. We had so much fun playing Starcraft, but 4 copies will just be too much money.

Danner
07-28-2010, 02:49 PM
Blizzard is not strapped for cash, they have just been getting greedier by the hour.

csandy
07-28-2010, 04:40 PM
Can you clarify something....

When playing the single player campaign, only Terran is available?

It is a shame I can't play with my nephews without buying four copies. I just can't do that.

May not buy it all now. We had so much fun playing Starcraft, but 4 copies will just be too much money.

That's right. During the single player campaign, only Terran is available. You are also right that you need to purchase one copy per nephew.

The map editor is nice, but really? You'd be hard pressed to say Blizzard wasn't "nickel and diming" folks.

inquisitive
07-28-2010, 06:18 PM
Looks like downloading that alien swarm free game from steam is your option (interesting how they already released two free games 'portal' being the other one).

Too bad about SC2, looks like I wont play it (as if there weren't enough distractions already) - we are just not the target audience I suppose.

cgisoul
07-28-2010, 09:26 PM
What I am really looking forward is Diablo 3. Huge fan!
Well, the last game I played was Crysis, 2 years ago, since then haven't got anytime to play games.
I might have a try and see what is all this fuzz about SC at my friends house.

nickdigital
07-29-2010, 04:31 AM
Less tolerant of what? This:

- SC2:WoL only lets you play 1 or the 3 factions in the game (Terran)
- Blizzard charges for new maps


If it's like SC1 you have to finish the terran chapter first before you can play the other races.

Paying for maps does blow though.

Traveler
07-29-2010, 05:40 AM
Not exactly a fair review, is it?

Yes you can only play Terran, but the length of the game hasn't changed much compared to SC1. There still are 26 levels to go through. And they aren't your typical build your base, build an army and destroy bases x,y and z kind of levels. Missions are creatively set up now with primary and secondary (optional) objectives. Each mission I played so far is totally different in set up and gets introduced by impressive cut scenes. You're really drawn into the story from the very start. I've played the first couple mission on Hard mode and while I consider myself an experienced rts player, it's definitely not a walk in the park.

Yes, Blizzard has said it will charge for premium maps. But there still are going to be free maps. Time will tell what the ratio free/premium will become. Btw, Blizzard isn't the only who's going to profit from this. Users may submit and sell maps too.

Yes Blizzard will sell the game in separate episodes. But how is this any different than say seasons from your favorite tv show? On top of that, I've seen games with far less single player gametime that cost the same (COD4 anyone?)

I don't think Blizzard devalued their user base. I think given the current situation where every game studio is fighting piracy, this is a model we're (like it or not) going to see more and more.

Really, if you're into rts games or have played sc1 (who hasn't) go play it. I promise you'll love every minute of it.

WillBellJr
07-29-2010, 07:24 AM
Well I must have missed out back in the day then cause when I was playing Diablo II, I went out and bought additional copies to get local multi-player?? Granted, never tried StarCraft in multiplayer so I never used any "spawn" mode??

I think Diablo II was the last game I played on the PC, everything has been XBox now - I would have preferred a release for that platform, especially for collaborative party play but if it would have been anything like the XB based Command & Conquer games, nah, keep it on the PC!

The only thing I've read that I don't like is the online activation crap but I guess if you're online for multiplayer, you're online anyway...

Either way, I don't feel as thirsty to run out and buy it now.

-Will

4dartist
07-29-2010, 08:17 AM
So far I think SC2 is hella cool. Graphics are good. Game play is fun and refreshing (not so typical). Storyline is entertaining. It works on my MacPro.

achrystie
07-29-2010, 12:58 PM
For one, as others have said, the game is "large" for the price paid, easily as much if not more than most AAA titles at the same price. Installed on my machine this first release is almost 8GB of content, despite the fact that the model resolution isn't as high as most FPS games, it still has a similar "footprint".

While it seems that only Terrans are available, there are about 5 or 6 protoss missions in the single player campaign (sorry that's a spoiler), integrated into the storyline.

Also, Blizzard "can" charge for new maps, but they can also be free. There is nothing that states that "all" downloadable maps (particularly those created by players) will be charged for, nor have they said they wouldn't release their own free maps. They've just integrated the "ability" to sell maps. Odds are, most custom player made maps will still be free.

I agree on the online activation (although it's not as "constant" as you make it out to be, it's one time, and you can play offline as a guest whenever you want), and the LAN play needing an account for everyone (it's not really LAN either, it's still requires the Blizzard servers) isn't that great, this is pretty much industry par for the course nowadays with all the big companies trying to sell more copies and fight piracy. It is what it is.


The game is really good, cool story, voice acting on the entire game, a few ultra high quality cut scenes between episodes, a whole bunch with in game graphics between missions, clickable storyline hooks, tons of online achievements, 4 levels of difficulty, and in "in game" arcade game you can play.
Seems pretty good to me.

WillBellJr
07-29-2010, 02:08 PM
Okay now my thirst is starting to pickup again... LOL

I'll just go ahead and grab a copy on the way home from work (nice having a GameStop right around the corner from me!)


-Will

4dartist
07-29-2010, 02:29 PM
I doubt you'll regret it, it's fun. :)

bugzilla
07-29-2010, 03:31 PM
Blizzard charges for new maps? I don't think so. Maps keep showing up and I don't pay a penny extra.

Castius
07-29-2010, 05:01 PM
I'm glad some people are enjoying the game!

I hope you like some of the work on Kerrigan in the prerendered cut-scenes. :D

h2oStudios
07-29-2010, 10:00 PM
Not much of a gamer anymore, but I saw a commercial for the game about 2 hours ago at a friends place. It was some pretty impressively rendered stuff, though I don't think it showed any game play. Or maybe it did, idk, my ignorance when it comes to games these days is beyond severe ;).

Castius, you guys are somewhere in CT right? An employee was interested in me possibly coming on board a while ago as a LW guy, but I guess now they're trying to get guys trained in-house or something, not sure... Maybe I'll take a look at this SC2. Last RTS I played was C&C something or other, lol... i feel old.

Hopper
07-29-2010, 10:06 PM
I just saw a buddy of mine play for a bit. Looks pretty slick - a lot of fun.

If you haven't seen the intro cinematic, I highly recommend it. Top quality work. You can see it on the Blizzard site:

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/games/sc2/

Click the little movie next to "Footage" then click the cinematic movie.

achrystie
07-30-2010, 04:54 AM
I'm glad some people are enjoying the game!

I hope you like some of the work on Kerrigan in the prerendered cut-scenes. :D

The cut scene where we see Kerrigan left to the Zerg rush?
If so, that's the best cut scene in the game IMHO, awesome. :D

A few more tidbits.

There are 23 missions to complete the storyline, but there are 26 total. This is because three missions have alternate story arcs. (You can go back and do the 3 other missions in any campaign anyway just to get the achievement credit).
There are also a bunch of "challenge" missions against AI opponents that you can do that are different maps with distinct goals, on top of all the maps that are part of the story campaign.
I finished the game last night, I probably played a total of 20 to 23 hours, I didn't time myself, but that sounds about right. You can do it faster if you just "wail through", don't click on the story links, don't play the arcade game, and skip watching all the cinematics.
If you want to get "all" the campaign achievements, you'll have to play every mission at least twice, once on Normal, and once on Hard. Although the achievements for Hard are quite challenging (as are some of the Normal ones), so it's probably more like 3 or 4 plays for the average person.
You can go back and do missions at any level in any saved campaign, but given that you can make story choices as well as customize your units quite a bit, I'll probably do 2 or 3 separate campaigns and make different choices just to see how it goes.

If you want every achievement in the game, you have to do multiplayer coop and competitive play.

csandy
07-30-2010, 05:34 AM
Not exactly a fair review, is it?

I wouldn't say so Traveler. Unless you're saying that my statement that the game "passes with flying colors" is an overstatement.

Otherwise, my comments aren't much of a review of the game at all but a general gripe about Blizzard's business decisions in how the game is packaged, released, and protected.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the game and played every iteration of it many years ago. I'm a bought-the-HARD-COVER-limited-edition-strategy-guide-on-the-first-day kind of fan.

But I'm also a savvy adult consumer that appreciates value like many people on this forum.

csandy
07-30-2010, 05:38 AM
I'm glad some people are enjoying the game!

I hope you like some of the work on Kerrigan in the prerendered cut-scenes. :D

Was that your work? Awesome!

So... you contributed to the first part of this discussion thread? Nice work.

Castius
07-30-2010, 06:42 PM
I did most of the rigging for her thought the games prerendered cinematics. including her hair sim rig. I also simed a few of the shots. It's so fun seeing her finally out there for everyone to see.

TeZzy
07-31-2010, 03:10 AM
congrats on working on such an awesome game :thumbsup:

My brother got the game, although we aren't running the game at it's full glory....i will say it is really addictive and fun. I have to admit I didn't like the fact that the game is split into 3 but honestly the amount of work being put into the game is worth it.

The only thing I don't like is the account thing. It requires online account authentication which means you can't play without internet. Not sure is there a way to play offline but it doesn't amuse me that they think everyone has internet with them all the time. Hopefully someone might be able to correct me if I am wrong because I would be happy to know what I said isn't accurate.

Castius
07-31-2010, 10:52 AM
You can play offline if you don't want to make an account or don't have an internet connection. Just choose "play as guest".

Twisted_Pixel
07-31-2010, 11:52 AM
Nice work Castius and was great to meet you at Siggraph, will be looking for a copy when I get back to the UK :)

cyatic
07-31-2010, 02:21 PM
I don't like the online activation. I remember being on deployment in the gulf on the USS Harry S. Truman when Half-Life 2 was released. I bunch of my friends on the ship pre-ordered it. You can imagine how upset everyone was when we realized you had to activate it online in order to play!!! So, we had to wait months before we got a chance to play the game. We even e-mailed Valve, their response, find a place to connect to the internet and activate it. Since then I will not purchase any games which are activated online. It's just like the gun laws, the only people that are inconvenienced are the ones which follow the law. Count me out for Starcraft 2. Also, 1/3 a game for $60, $40 for each expansions, $140 for a RTS game? They're insane!!!

oliversimonnet
08-01-2010, 04:56 AM
@Castius: oo cool, good job on the into :)
did you hear that on the 1st day of release they sold 1.8 million copy's of the game (not counting Coria) that's a lot hehe