StarCraft: Brood War resurfaces


StarCraft: Brood War Screenshot

Will Nevin, News editor

During an annual “I <3 StarCraft” event in Seoul, South Korea two weeks ago, President of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Morhaime announced that the company is officially updating their famous real-time strategy game StarCraft: Brood War with a free standard edition as well as a HD remastered edition.

The standard free edition will be “as close to the original game as possible,” Morhaime explains, meaning Blizzard is only offering a widescreen resolution in the free edition which creates black bars with modern HD monitors.

The remastered edition will support 4k resolution for HD monitors as well as improved graphics for every unit and building. Both editions are compatible to play with each other, offering all six episodes from the campaign mode, multiplayer, as well as supporting the map editor.

“StarCraft is a pure distillation of Blizzard’s DNA—its story, its balance, and all the little details reflect our long-running commitment to epic entertainment, and it’s been a staple in competitive gaming and esports for almost 20 years,” Morhaime said.

Originally released in 1998, StarCraft progressed the RTS genre to a new standard with a seamless campaign storyline, iconic voice-lines, and the ability to control massive armies with simple ‘hotkey’ commands.

Due to the popularity of StarCraft in Korea, official competitive tournaments were organized with million dollar prize pools where some of the greatest StarCraft professional players have shown their skills.

Entire novels could be written about various professional StarCraft players and their impact on the game. “The Emperor of Terran” Lim Yo-Hwan (BoxeR) is considered one of the most successful StarCraft players ever after winning multiple tournaments within a short period of time due to his creative army builds.

Zerg rival to BoxeR was Hong Jin-ho (YellOw) who is nicknamed the “King of Silver” due to his second place finish in multiple tournaments in a row, the “Boxer of Protoss” Kang Min (Nal_rA) is considered one of the most creative and game changing Protoss players in StarCraft history after using anti-air units corsairs against Zerg flying supply units, a strategy which changed the entire way Protoss and Zerg fought each-other.

Classic Games senior producer at Blizzard Pete Stilwell, in an interview with Yahoo esports, describes how the “original StarCraft didn’t have an [automatic matchmaking] button like Warcraft III. Players threw down a gauntlet in chat channels or hosted open game lobbies for other players to join and discuss terms. We’re retaining that style of interaction as an option. That is an essential element of [StarCraft’s] culture.”

Stilwell went on to confirm that StarCraft: Remastered  will be available in the official Blizzard app homepage.

A free Public Testing Realm, or an ongoing alpha server, has been established for the StarCraft 1.18 update and available within the StarCraft Forums.

Once StarCraft 1.18 is updated to the main Blizzard client app millions of gamers around the world will be able to play StarCraft for free.

StarCraft’s last update 1.16.1 was in 2009 when the average screen resolution was 720p and Windows Vista was the latest compatible operating system.

Blizzard is resurrecting a forgotten RTS legend prior to their twenty year anniversary (1998) as well as making the standard edition free to play.

Hopefully, StarCraft: Remastered’s success will lead to other classic Blizzard games like WarCraft and Diablo getting remastered editions.