Tonight at midnight, many PC gamers will get what they've been waiting more than 12 years for: a sequel to Starcraft. The first part of the trifurcated sequel, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, launches tonight at midnight at various retailers across the globe. In the US, the game will be available in both a regular $60 edition and a $100 collector's edition, which contains a hefty 176-page art book, a 2GB USB drive loaded with the original Starcraft and the Starcraft: Brood War expansion set, a behind-the-scenes DVD, the official soundtrack CD, and issue #0 of the Starcraft comic book series.
The first installment's single-player campaign will focus on the Terran faction but will have the game's full multiplayer component. It will seek to resolve the conflict between Jim Raynor and Kerrigan, which was the crux of the original Starcraft. The second game, Heart of the Swarm, will focus on the Zerg, while the final game, Legacy of the Void, will be devoted to the Protoss. Analysts are already predicting that the title, which uses the new Battle.net, will sell in excess of 6 million copies during this year alone.
Starcraft II was the subject of two controversies even before it came to market. First, Blizzard's decision not to include LAN support drew some very public protest from its users. Then, the Wall Street Journal erroneously published an article that pegged the game's budget at $100 million. A week later, the nation's leading financial daily quietly issued an errata saying it had confused the real-time strategy game with World of Warcraft, Blizzard's money-minting massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
The week will also see the release of Clash of the Titans, the game adaptation of the Greek mythology-inspired film that came out in April. A remake of the 1981 classic, the game will follow hero Perseus as he fights a variety of foes, ranging from the medusa to the twisted, goatlike Calibos. It is a third-person action game in the vein of God of War, which also drew its inspiration from the Greek pantheon of gods. Published by Namco Bandai, Clash of the Titans will be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on Tuesday.
The rest of the week's releases are a mixed bag, ranging from the handheld racer Galaxy Racers to Aksys' PS3 and 360 fighting game BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. Xbox Live will get the aquatic racing game Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and many aging gamers can relive the grease-soaked pizza birthday parties of their youth in the form of the minigame compilation Chuck E. Cheese's Party Games.
For further details on the week's games, visit GameSpot's New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later in the week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
SUNDAY, JULY 25
Napoleon: Total War - The Peninsular Campaign--PC--Strategy--Sega
MONDAY, JULY 26
Heavy Fire: Special Operations--WII--Action--2010--Teyon
Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena--DS--Puzzle--Navarre Corp
Dive: The Medes Islands Secret--WII--Adventure--Cosmonaut Games
TUESDAY, JULY 27
Arc Rise Fantasia--WII--Role-Playing--Ignition Entertainment
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift--PS3, 360--Action--Aksys Games
Chuck E. Cheese's Party Games--WII--Puzzle--UFO Interactive
Clash of the Titans--PS3, 360--Action--Namco Bandai Games
Farm Frenzy: Animal Country--DS--Strategy--City Interactive
Need for Speed World--PC--Driving--EA Games
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty--PC, MAC--Strategy--Blizzard Entertainment
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28
Hydro Thunder Hurricane--X360--Driving--Microsoft Game Studios
THURSDAY, JULY 29
No releases scheduled
FRIDAY, JULY 30
Commander: Conquest of the Americas--PC--Strategy--Jul 30, 2010--Paradox Interactive
Arcade Air Hockey & Bowling--PSP--Sports--Jul 30, 2010--Icon Games
Soccer Bashi--WII, PSP, IP--Sports--Jul 31, 2010--Icon Games