Archive for August, 2010

Musings on StarCraft II

StarCraft II is, in a word, awesome.  The graphics are awesome, the levels are awesome and the cinematics are awesome.  The new units: awesome.  The old units: still awesome.  Raynor: awesomer than ever.  So, yeah… awesome.

But, lest I be branded a fanboy, or what hip hop fans describe using the wonderfully crude term “dickrider,” I also have some negative criticism too.

12GB of HD space is excessive.  I might be able to overlook it if the load times were fast, but they’re not.  They are painfully slow.

With StarCraft II Blizzard is obviously trying to appeal to people outside the traditional StarCraft/Warcraft fanbase (“Warcraft” referring to the original 3 RTS games).  Now this is perfectly sensible.  Video games aren’t like art, they generally need to be popular in the here and now.  In 40 years time noöne is going to rediscover Daikatana and declare it a lost masterpiece.

Some of the efforts are purely cosmetic, for instance the “Easy” setting is instead called “Casual” which is another way of saying “I suck but I don’t want to admit it.” All these little things make absolute sense from a commercial standpoint.  Nevertheless I will never be able to accept that Cylon lady as the voice of Kerrigan. In Glynnis Talken Blizzard already had a great, albeit unknown, voice actress.  Talken was originally confirmed and then unconfirmed for the role.  Tricia Helfer’s fees would have undoubtedly been much higher but I’m sorry to say that this ploy to rope in casual sci?fi fans at the expense hardcore StarCraft fans (most of whom probably play the game primarily for its multiplayer aspect and therefore don’t care) will probably a successful one.

Sort of splitting hairs I know.  As I said initially, StarCraft II is, and remains, awesome.

Also, as a side note, in my imagination Blizzard has a special Subtitle Department.  Seriously, look at some of these:

Tides of Darkness
Lord of Destruction
Reign of Chaos
Eternity’s End
Terror of the Tides
The Burning Crusade
Wings of Liberty
Heart of the Swarm

Although, their originality may be slipping:
Path of the Damned
Legacy of the Damned
Legacy of the Void