Blizzard to Remaster StarCraft for Summer 2017 Release
StarCraft, Blizzard’s 1998 title that redefined the RTS genre, is slated to receive a full facelift in time for its 20th anniversary, and fans couldn’t be more excited.
A remaster for the iconic title has made its way around the rumor mill for quite some time now, with fans speculating that Blizzard would unveil their plans for the project in September of last year. Unfortunately, no such announcement came at the time and, like many rumors, it soon died down in shame until StarCraft: Remastered was announced at I <3 StarCraft in Seoul, South Korea, by Blizzard President Mike Morhaime.
Like with any other proper remaster, the classic will be receiving a complete graphical overhaul to make every rock and every ship as shiny as it deserves to be in the new 4k resolution. The official page provided a slider that allows fans to check out the changes that have been made to the overall visual quality of a game that helped lay down the foundation of esports that is largely taken for granted by fans of other titles.
There will also be a zoom-in function so fans can, “Zoom out for a Battlecruiser’s view of the battlefield, or zoom in to see the veins on a Mutalisk’s wings.” This is particularly intriguing for fans of the StarCraft esports scene, which has been slowly crumbling since the shuttering of KeSPA’s StarCraft II division and Blizzard’s region-locking rules, as it will allow for a more exciting and personal narrative to gameplay than what was previously offered.
Additionally, Blizzard has refreshed the game’s audio by re-recording StarCraft‘s original soundtrack and lines of dialogue.
What truly leaves fans tickled pink, however, is the understanding that the gameplay mechanics will remain exactly as they were left in Brood War. Many remasters will adjust keybinds and make changes to major gameplay features to adapt to newer technology and player bases – sometimes for the better, sometimes not – but Blizzard has assured fans that the only in-game differences between what they played as young adults and what they will play later this year will be purely cosmetic.
Meanwhile, the matchmaking is being completely revamped. StarCraft: Remastered will be hosted by Blizzard App (Formerly Battle.net, if you’ve been out of the loop). This is the same program that launches Overwatch and Hearthstone, meaning that the streamlined matchmaking will be faster than ever before will pairing players based off of skill level and preferred race. StarCraft and StarCraft: Remastered will be compatible with one another in online play.
Accompanying the news was the announcement that the original StarCraft and Brood War will be released for free later this month with patch 1.18, which will mostly be fixing some bugs after eight years. As this announcement is only involving the original title, StarCraft II will still require normal purchase to be played.
A certified weeb that passionately live-Tweets his reactions from esports events, Sian is one of those people that hasn’t seen the sun in weeks. You can find him on Twitter @FriendlySenpai