[Starcraft 2 Logo]
As of May 19, 2007, Starcraft 2 is no longer a rumor, nor are the details of the game. Starcraft 2, as announced, will be the much anticipated RTS sequel to Starcraft. The cinematic trailer and gameplay videos can be found on Blizzard’s Starcraft 2 homepage. The trailer shows Starcraft 2’s stunning new graphics engine along with hints of a physics engine that might add some extra dynamics to the gameplay.

Having carefully watched the gameplay demo, I am happy to report that the fears discussed in my first Starcraft II post have been alleviated. My main concerns were that Starcraft II would incorporate the Hero system and the smaller unit limits introduced in Warcraft III as well as its pseudo 3D environment. However, unlike Warcraft III, Starcraft II seems as though it will stay true to the original; we will still see the large armies, zerging tactics, and epic battles that made the original Starcraft a heart-pounding adrenaline rush. The addition of new units and fancy graphics should only add to this as demonstrated during the last 5 minutes or so of the gameplay demo.

Regarding the 3D environment, I am still a little disappointed that we won’t get to truly utilize the Zth plane. I understand that there are many practical and logistical usability concerns about this, but let’s face it, being able to fly your units in at different altitudes would be a really cool addition to the game. At least Blizzard has made the use of terrain much more important; both Terran and Protoss have some type of unit that will be able to use terrain obstacles to their advantage. Hopefully, and I am sure they do, Zerg will have some type of unit that can do the same, making the game much more dynamic.

While I am excited for this sequel, the rumors of a Starcraft MMORPG really had me drooling; as much as I love playing World of Warcraft (WoW) and the rest of the Warcraft series, I was always a much bigger fan of Starcraft and would love to see the Starcraft world become an RPG. Since this rumor has been discounted, the question still remains what Blizzard might be planning since they did list several new jobs opportunities on their site for a “Next-Gen MMO”. Maybe they are preparing for a Starcraft MMO after all.