Starcraft 2 Single player preview
Starcraft 2’s single player experience promises to be Blizzards most epic RTS venture to date. The game will be split into three separate parts, first to be released will be the Terran campaign Wings of Liberty, following the struggles of Jim Raynor, battling Emporer Arcturus Mengsk and his evil Terran Dominion. With optional missions, tech upgrade choices to make, and hireable mercenaries the campaign will have a lot of replay value. The game also hosts 13 minutes of high quality cinematics and 30+ minutes of in game cutscenes to tell the story.
One of the most important things of note is the old briefing screen of the original game has been replaced with the deck of the Hyperion where you can roam the halls and interact with many of the characters crewing the ship. Talking to Raynor’s ship mates unlocks cut scenes and new missions some optional, others necessary to the plot. Choices you make on which missions to participate in directly impact what missions will become available in the future, and close off previous missions you did not accept. Thanks to this system the campaign has massive replay value, you can play through a second time and take a completely different path on which missions to complete.
Mercenaries come as a squad of stronger hero units that can be purchased with your credits to help with more difficult missions, however, you only get them for the one mission, so it pays to only use them when necessary. Mercenaries are existing unit types like marines, marauders or ghosts but with bonus stats over the original units. For example a squad of mercenary marines may have 40% more hp and 50% more damage than regular marines.
Every mission you complete earns you credits, which are used to buy new unit upgrades allowing for creating unique armies with unique technologies. The single player game contains a lot more units than the multi player game does, including old favorites such as the Firebat, Goliath and Vulture as well as some new ones like the Diamond back anti-air hover vehicle. Another type of upgrade that can be done is Protoss or Zerg research. Throughout the missions Protoss and Zerg artifacts are hidden, these can be found and then used to give you a permanent tech choice. You only get to make these choices once, these choices range from adding flame thrower turrets to your bunkers to increasing the mining rate of your Scvs.
Wings of Liberty has a long list of new features that are vast improvements to what has been seen in the original Starcraft or even Warcraft 3, with all the campaign offers from massive replayability, decision making and in depth story telling this game promises to be around for a long time just like its predecessor.