StarCraft Remastered: Welcome Back Old Friend
Ah StarCraft, many a childhood afternoon, evening, and weekend was spent basking in your glory. And a few teenagehood (is teenagehood a word ?) and adulthood years as well.
Back when you didn’t have to wait 43 years between each instalment of the same game, or run the risk of your whole install becoming corrupt because one map update didn’t download properly, because Blizzard assumes everyone has the world’s best internet, StarCraft 1 was one of the defining games of the late nineties, early naughties. It didn’t define the genre like its predecessor WarCraft, nor did it refine it like Westwood Studios’ vast catalogue. Still somehow it managed to stand out as the pinnacle RTS game of its time, and much like the original Counter Strike, was about 80% of every LAN party that was had. Not to mention a staple of esports and Korea’s biggest religion.
To me I feel this combination of fun multiplayer mixed with a very in depth story, at a time where the stories in gaming were a secondary concern, made the game so special. It’s legacy is undeniable, one of the first video games to go into space (as in the actual CD was taken into space on a shuttle trip), and the hype that sprung up around ,the way overdue, sequel announcement.
Now I know I’m late to the party in covering the Remastered release, but you know, the aforementioned adulthood kept getting in the way. Anyway, you can imagine my giddy over enthusiasm at the thought of diving in head first down the nostalgia river.
Now you might be asking, “is this magical remaster of StarCraft worthy of haemorrhaging my pockets into Blizzard’s retirement find ?” To you I’ll say yes… probably. The price is a bit steep for what is essentially a game old enough to drink, even in America, especially if you used to sweeping up specials on gog.com. But to it’s credit it does have a shiny new polish on top of that classic old engine. The game will be compatible with new systems, and is integrated into your battlenet account. The textures have been cleaned up to a much higher quality (water looks exceptionally nice) and the units all have new animated portraits. The interludes between missions now have many new artworks to spectacle over, and all the audio has been remastered.
You get to play the original StarCraft campaign, the Broodwar campaign, and the custom matches you know and love. The gameplay itself is still the core game you remember, both a pro and a con considering some of the dodgy pathing issues, small selection groups and lack of autocast on abilities, but I loved the game through those back in the day, so I’ll love it with them now. The gameplay is also the extreme hardness more common of the times as opposed to the much easier difficulties of (most) of today’s games. I’d applaud that but I’m too busy dealing with the fact my base is on fire and under 4 separate zerg rushes 3 seconds into starting my skirmish match. Oh the good old days.
For those of you too broke for the remaster, the proper original StarCraft is also available via Battlenet, completely free. So either way have at it, we have adventures to go on.