Blizzard Entertainment’s Starcraft Franchise Review

Starcraft is a military Sci-Fi media franchise, created by Chris Metzen and James Phinney and owned by Blizzard Entertainment. The first game was released for Windows on March 31st of 1998. Followed by Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, released on July 27th, 2010 and its expansion Heart of The Swarm, released on March 12th, 2013. The newest expansion for Starcraft II is Legacy of the Void which was released on November 10th, 2015 and is the final part of the Starcraft trilogy.

Starcraft’s Story

The story of Starcraft is unfolding in a distant part of the Milky Way galaxy known as the Koprulu Sector. The franchise is set at the beginning of the 26th century and focuses on a galactic struggle between different species which are:

  • Terrans (Humans)
  • Zerg
  • Protoss
  • Xel’Naga (Not Playable in-game)

The Xel’Naga, which are “god-like” creator species genetically engineered the Protoss and Zerg in an effort to create perfectly pure beings. Their plan backfired and they were ultimately almost completely wiped out by the Zerg. In 2499, the international government of Earth, the United Earth Directorate (UED) approves a colonization program as a part of the solution to overpopulation. However, due to colony ship’s malfunction, the Terrans were pushed off course to the edge of Protoss space. The first game begins days after Protoss’ attacks colonizing Terrans.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

Wings of Liberty has 29 campaign missions, but only 26 of them are playable in single playthrough since 3 of them are choice-related. In addition, there is one secret mission named “Piercing the Shroud”, which can be unlocked on the “Media Blitz” mission.

Wings of Liberty was the most popular installment of this franchise. Blizzard Entertainment announced that Starcraft II sold more than one million units worldwide on day one of the release. Few days later, when Blizzard released the digital copy on their website, another 500,000 copies were sold, making it a total of 1.5 million copies sold within days. This makes Wings of Liberty the fastest-selling strategy game of all time.

Gameplay

There are 3 playable races in this franchise: The Terran, Protoss and Zerg. Each race has different number of units withand its special skill trees and upgrades. For example, the Terran race can equip its Marines with “Stimpacks” and Shields, increasing their attack speed and HP (hit-points). In addition, the Protoss’ units have a protective shield, effectively increasing their HP by default. The Zerg’s advantage is that their units are insanely cheap and they can quickly create a massive army and overrun their opponents.

Starcraft II Gameplay
Starcraft II Gameplay

The game is based around effectively micro-managing your units and resources, therefore being a step ahead of your opponent before you even engage in battle. There are only two resources in Starcraft:

  • Minerals, and
  • Vespene Gas

Starcraft is known for its huge learning curve, which means that anyone can play and be somewhat good, but only the best of the best can fully master the game. In conclusion, this makes Blizzard Entertainment’s popular RTS one of the most respected eSport games to this day.

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