StarCraft is getting remastered, and a free release of the un-remastered build
The main story
StarCraft II has been a monstrous success. While some diehards can find something to complain about in anything, SCII was pretty much everything I could have hoped for in a sequel to the original.
That being said, there’s something about the OST, the OG artistry, and the OG story, that make the original StarCraft a joy to come back to again and again. It’s also, frankly, a very good RTS – the mechanics are simple as hell, making it a great game for newcomers to the RTS genre, and yet there’s a lot of range in how the units in the game can be used and pitted against each other, making it a great game for even experienced RTS players.
So I was very excited when Blizzard recently announced that the original StarCraft is being remastered (Diablo 1+2 next please?)
The major highlights of this effort include
- Widescreen HD support for up to 4K UHD
- New illustrations for narrative work in the campaign missions
- Modern matchmaking options
- Full connectivity to Blizzard’s online network
- Cloud saves for campaign progress, custom-made maps, keybinds, and replays
- Support for 13 user languages
In terms of what the new visuals deliver, it’s effectively the original game, with textures and sprites brought up to the standards of an HD display. It’s nothing earth shattering, but it is certainly a big improvement
You can check out more side-by-sides of the original and rematered visuals on the official web page (linked above)
Now. For me, the news that is at least as exciting is the fact that Blizzard is giving away a compatibility-tested release of the original game and the Brood War expansion. This is, no doubt, intended to draw people with HD screens into replaying the game – and ultimately deciding they want to pay for the remaster. But “the man wants my money” tin-foil hats aside, this is great. The un-remastered game holds up well, and I had no trouble running it on my modern machine (Win10, GTX970, i5-6500).
Finding that download has been surprisingly difficult. This is in part due to the fact that Blizzard seems to still be tweaking the code. At the time of this writing (4/16/2017), the working download link I used for the free StarCraft release is: https://eu.battle.net/download/getInstaller?os=win&installer=StarCraft-Public-Test-Setup.exe
I guess these days are gone…
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