If the massive success of Starcraft is anything to go by, and Blizzard has indeed spent the last four years making sure they don’t mess with success, then Starcraft 2 is going to be an overload of fun. Below are the top ten reasons why Starcraft 2 has all the potential to be the best game to play for the next ten years.
10.) Historical Event
Missing out on something everyone is talking about is never fun. You feel like an outsider and you’re not able to easily relate to what other people are discussing. The release of Starcraft 2 will be an epic moment in the history of the RTS timeline of events. No RTS title has been as anticipated (or expected) as the second coming of Starcraft. While you can always get into Starcraft 2 at any time, there’s nothing like playing a new game from the start. Starcraft 2 might very well be your only chance to play a new Starcraft game at release for quite some time.
The challenge of any RTS game should be in fighting against your opponent, not fighting against the gameplay mechanics. Starcraft 2 is not going to be an overly complicated game. While the legendary reputation of Starcraft’s best players can make the franchise seem like it’s overwhelmingly hard to play, it’s really not. There’s a difference between complexity and depth, and Starcraft 2’s mechanical simplicity, but strategic and tactical depth, will make it enjoyable at every skill level.
Starcraft is arguably the most played RTS game in history. The reason is simple: downright good gameplay, which is something Starcraft 2 will have plenty of. Combined with good support and a strong community, playing Starcraft 2 will never get old. Each game will offer something different, and even the most common strategies will still be fun to use and fun to try and overcome. If you want a game that will stick with you as much as you stick with it, Starcraft 2 is your best bet.
7.) Strong Competitive Environment
For those that play RTS games competitively, you can feel confident that Starcraft 2 will be very well received by every major competitive gaming establishment throughout dozens of countries. The original Starcraft created the most competitively saturated RTS environment ever. There will be an abundance of local, national, and international LANs and tournaments to play in. There will be online competitions and leagues offering prizes and rewards for being the best. Essentially, there won’t be a shortage of competition or ways you can earn a little something extra for doing what you love to do: play games.
6.) Unique Factions
As elementary as this sounds, it’s something a lot of games simply get wrong. Unique factions do two important things: they add depth, and they add replayability. Depth comes from the fact that the strategies you use to beat one faction will not be the strategies you use to beat another faction. It will require different build orders, different unit mixes, and different uses of those units from one faction to the next. It adds replayability because the strategies you’ve learned for one faction, will not be the same for the other factions. Essentially, once you’ve mastered one faction, you still have two other factions to master. In games where the factions are almost identical, once you’ve learned one, you’ve basically learned the whole game. Starcraft 2’s truly and fundamentally distinct factions will keep the game feeling fresh for a long time.
5.) Unit Abilities and Micromanagement
Part of what real time strategy is all about is being in control of your army. What’s important is for that control to have an impact on the outcome of a game. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time. Many of Starcraft 2’s units will have secondary abilities that allow them to be used in interesting and creative ways. Essentially, these abilities provide a player with the means to extend a unit’s effectiveness beyond its default behavior so that being out numbered doesn’t necessarily mean being beaten. Moreover, these specialized abilities will help to contribute to each faction’s unique identity and playstyle. It will simply feel fun and rewarding using your units as you try and use them to their greatest possible extent.
4.) Huge Community
A large community of players is arguably the most important part of a game, even for singleplayer. For starters, Starcraft 2’s community will more than likely have a very low depreciation rate, meaning it will stay strong for a long time. But even as it starts to decline, the player-base will be so large to start with, that by the time the next Starcraft comes out, you’ll still always be able to find a good game. There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting to find a match against someone who is worth playing against, only to wind up with an opponent or team that just ruins it for you. A shortage of players means a shortage of good games. Starcraft 2 just won’t have that problem. Outside of the game, a strong community means active forums, and more resources available, such as technical help, strategy help, mission help, maps, and replays.
3.) Balance and Polish
These two words are part of Blizzard’s namesake. The game will be polished quite well at the start, and there will be tons of little features that Blizzard thought of. Everything from the way the ladder works, to the communication system, to replays. Balance will of course, be continuously fine tuned as new balance problems emerge from the vast amount of strategic depth that Starcraft 2 will no doubt have. Excellent balance will minimize any frustration of losing due to factors outside of your control, and will put the responsibility to win squarely on your shoulders.
2.) Strategic and Tactical Depth
What is the purpose of real time strategy game if not to have amazing strategic and tactical depth? While all RTS games have their own flavor of strategic and tactical depth that sounded good on paper during development, Blizzard will have made it a point to make sure the implementation of gameplay elements works in practice. The strategy and tactical depth will feel real, and provide almost tangible results. The bottom line is that the game will be fun and rewarding to play. Everything will feel like it has a purpose and everything you do will feel like it matters.
1.) Blizzard and Battle.net
It would literally be enough to say "‘nuff said". However, this is the number one reason because it’s the only reason why the other nine reasons are reasons at all. Blizzard commands the same sort of market reaction to its products that Apple does. The driving force behind this is simply Blizzard’s commitment to quality and support. Blizzard is the reason why Starcraft 2 will have phenomenal gameplay. Battle.net is the reason why Starcraft 2’s multiplayer is going to be so substantially better than virtually every other RTS game. If Blizzard settled for being average, this list would be pointless.
Moreover, Blizzard will take the time to deal with cheaters and disconnectors. The amount of money and effort Blizzard puts into this goes above and beyond what’s expected of a gaming company. At a minimum, people just want some form of passive anti-cheat capability built into the game or server system. Blizzard recognizes that this isn’t good enough, and takes an active role in fighting cheaters.
It’s also a company with a sense of humor and personality. The idea of World of Starcraft was a classic. It made some people laugh, it made some people cry. In the past, Blizzard has released bogus (but temporary) patches or patch notes on April Fools, just to mess with people. You just don’t really see that in other development companies. Blizzard is simply a company for gamers. They just get it.