March 31, 1998 a computer game was released to millions around the world. Some were fascinated by the graphics, some were awed by the very idea of the Sci-Fi epic, and some claimed it to be a simple rip off of its successful real time strategy predecessor WarCraft. No one knew its potential, not even the developers. No one knew that this game would snow ball into being one of the world’s most popular RTS games and possibly the largest turning point for what we now know as Esports.
This game was StarCraft.
After nearly 20 years of enormous success with their original game, Blizzard Entertainment has
now remastered this timeless classic known as StarCraft and made the original free to play.
Many fans have been asking for this remaster and Blizzard listened. Some insisted on having
many changes including a remake to the initial UI and AI of the game. While others hoped they
wouldn’t “ruin” the classic with updated engines. So, which of the requests for these did Blizzard heed to?
Nearly everything is StarCraft Remastered is essentially the exact same. Playing StarCraft
Remastered feels like reconnecting with an old friend who has now gone through puberty and is a few pounds lighter than when you last met with them. It’s essentially just like how you
remember it but is much better looking. Every structure, unit, menu, scene, sound, move, and
click is just like you remember it, only better. To most, this is a wonderful nostalgic trip through
time when they open the game. To some, it’s a disappointing, outdated game with some prettier
StarCraft is infamous to many for the terrible AI pathing when it comes to controlling units.
While still annoying at times back in the day, this was not out of the ordinary for most games
released around that time. Nowadays with new methods in coding as well as new technologies,
most games have overcome this struggle and have become much more precise in units
responding to the commands given by the player. Some also complained about the inability to
select more than 12 units at once. This also has been changed in more recent games like
StarCraft II. However, many argue that these seemingly small imperfections in the original
StarCraft's engine is quite literally what makes the game. Like any other rules or restrictions in
sports, certain fans feel these limitations that add more inconvenience to the gameplay, separate the good players from the great.
I personally enjoyed the originality. It’s a wonderful feeling to have your eyes, ears, and your
hands all experience the same nostalgia. I will admit I would appreciate a version of the
StarCraft campaign to also be on the StarCraft II engine but if that never happens I won’t be
disappointed with just having classic experience of the epic tale.
Enhanced narrative, cloud saves, remastered dialogue, and up to 13 different languages, the
campaign is an enhanced version of everything you remember. From the heroes, to the maps and even the cut scenes everything is the same just with a fresh new look. The most noticeable feature Blizzard inserted was new narrative slides after some missions to help better explain the effect the previous mission had and the importance of the next. With all new images behind these narrative inserts, Blizzard added even more to the already beloved campaign to make it slightly easier to follow and appreciate. You might also notice the original cut scenes remain unscathed, with nothing changed about them but a crisper look. If you loved the campaign back in the day, you are sure to enjoy this enhanced version even more.
Multiplayer & Leaderboards
Possibly one of the most anticipated features added to the game is Matchmaking. As of right now, there is only 1v1 matchmaking as a option but hopefully the popularity of the game will
eventually demand more online multiplayer options soon. You will be ranked according to your
skills by points, similar to the MMR system in StarCraft II, you can climb the ladder by winning more games and earning more points. Leaderboards were added to the system as well. This allows you to see where you stand against your peers, but also with the entire world.
I was really excited to hear about this feature when it was announced because I remember the
difficulty of trying to find an opponent of my actual skill range. I remember seeing lobbies called “NEWBS ONLY” and I would join only to find out these newbs had a whole different definition of newb than I and I’d get steamrolled or I would annihilate them with ease. This new system will help make it easier and faster to find opponents about your skill level. It’s also fun to see where you are at in comparison to your comrades and also adds a nice new way to find people with similar skill on the ladder.
StarCraft Remastered did not disappoint me. There isn’t really anything I wish they did better. I
was originally disappointed that the cut scenes in the campaign didn’t get a completely new look like the rest of the game but after a few missions and hours of play I began to re-appreciate the classic cut scenes with the remastered quality. The difference between StarCraft and StarCraft Remastered is staggering.
The quality difference is like putting on your eye glasses, everything is much clearer and better than you remember. The thing I love most is that Blizzard tried to keep it as close to the original game as possible in the looks and they did a stunning job. Many people complained about the announcement trailer saying it looked the exact same.
While I’ll admit I had a similar thought, the graphics of remastered are as good I remember the
old graphics being when I first played the game. When you press the F5 key in game and you can see the major, and beautiful change. It like the difference between watching a game like
Minecraft and then playing TitanFall, they just don’t even compare graphics wise. With 4K
resolution and widescreen support I’m sure StarCraft Remastered will add another 20 successful years to the timeless classic.
Whether you are new to StarCraft or a veteran I highly recommend playing the campaign.
StarCraft not only has a difficult and entertaining multiplayer, the single player campaign is
easily one of the best stories I’ve ever played through. The writing is a beautiful Si-Fi symphony composed with darkness, betrayal, love and death. All this with updated scenes, sound and graphics, the campaign is more epic than ever before.
Multiplayer has added a much more welcoming atmosphere for those who crave competition and strive to be better and better. With the new matchmaking system of 1v1’s and the leader boards, even my small competitive nature was drawn to it. The whole UI remains the same in the menus while also making everything much easier to navigate such as finding new friends and connecting with your current ones. Blizzard also kept LAN alive in StarCraft for fun local parties and tournaments.
LAN is something I truly appreciate Blizzard for keeping around, seeing as
many new and remastered classics did not all keep this option available for its players.
Though many are upset addressing that the game wasn’t reworked to be easier and more modern in its controllability and AI, I know Blizzard refrained from this on purpose for good reason.
This game is not being released as simply a money grab of reselling a game they made 20 years ago. This is a tribute to all the fans around the world but especially in South Korea. The
remastered treat wasn’t expected to become the most played RTS like it was so many years ago. It was meant as a reminder of the good old days and provide a better opportunity for new fans to learn more about what StarCraft is about and why it is important to so many.
Whether you are a Commander, Executor, or a Cerabrate, StarCraft Remastered will not
disappoint. I hope to see you in the Koprulu Sector, En Taro Adun!