AU Shippin' Out March 11-15: StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Do you prefer to fight your battles strategically or face them hands-on? Choose your approach with StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm and God of War: Ascension, out this week!


Real time strategy fans will be pleased to see the release of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm this week. The follow-up to 2010's StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, the game picks up two years after the concluding events of Wings of Liberty. The campaign centres on the story of Sarah Kerrigan after being returned to her human state by Jim Raynor. The Zerg-centric expansion will follow Kerrigan as she seeks vengeance on Arcturus Mengsk.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will feature anti-heroine Sarah Kerrigan.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will feature anti-heroine Sarah Kerrigan.

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will introduce seven new units and remove three from multiplayer; the carrier, mothership and overseer will no longer be present in Heart of the Swarm multiplayer games but can still be accessed in the campaign. Players can expect to encounter new characters in the campaign, as well as the return of familiar faces.

Aussie fans based in Melbourne can head over to the official launch event, which will be taking place at Federation square this evening. In addition to a developer panel featuring game director Dustin Browder and 3D artist Luke Mancini, other planned activities include a cosplay contest, music videos by Viva La Dirt League, and prize giveaways.

A number of special guests will also be attendance, including Australian professional gamers Andrew "mOOnGLaDe" Pender, Jared "PiG" Krensel, Mark "yang" Richardson, and Daniel "deth" Haynes. Show matches will be played and casted by community eSports commentators Leigh "Maynarde" Mandalov and Sean "Flamga" Krauter.

Fans who are unable to make it to the event can catch the action being streamed live. More details about the launch event can be found on the Blizzard website.

Heart of the Swarm is the second instalment in the StarCraft II three-part series and will be available from March 12 for PC and Mac. The Zerg-centric expansion precedes the final entry, titled Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void.

If your approach to war is a little more up-close-and-personal, God of War: Ascension is making its way to PlayStation 3 this week. Sony's action-adventure game is a prequel to the original God of War trilogy, and will tell Kratos' origin story. The game will also feature a two-player co-operative mode and online multiplayer gameplay, marking it as the first entry into the franchise to include friends.

The game has been granted the newly introduced R18+ classification, a rating which saw it pulled from Queensland store shelves in February this year. The state passed the R18+ rating for video games shortly afterwards, enabling the title to be legally sold at retailers in the north.

God of War: Ascension will be available exclusively for the PlayStation 3 on March 14. For more details on games out in Australia this week, check out the list below.

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March 12, 2013
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC, Mac)
WRC Powerslide (360)

March 13, 2013
Monster High Skultimate Roller Maze (3DS)

March 14, 2013
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare (PC)
God of War: Ascension (PS3)

March 15, 2013
Police Force 2 (PC)
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 (360, PS3, PC)
The Basement Collection (PC)

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