Starcraft II beta access included with preorder

Gamers who pony up for Blizzard's real-time strategy sequel at GameStop can now get guaranteed entrance to testing period.

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While Starcraft II still doesn't have a hard release date, gamers who simply can't wait to play the real-time strategy game sequel no longer need to. Customers who preorder Starcraft II from specialty retailer GameStop can now get access to the game's closed beta.

The Terran battle armor is actually pretty spacious, sort of like a walk-in closet with heavy artillery.
The Terran battle armor is actually pretty spacious, sort of like a walk-in closet with heavy artillery.

For instant access, gamers can place their preorders in one of the retailer's brick-and-mortar locations. Those with slightly more patience can order through the GameStop Web site, which promises to e-mail the beta code and instructions on joining to customers within 24 hours of a preorder being placed. (Orders cannot be canceled once the code has been sent out.)

The Starcraft II beta program has been running since February and allows players to play a variety of multiplayer match types. While it doesn't include any of the single-player campaign mode, the beta does allow users to take on computer-controlled opponents in the standard multiplayer modes.

The first installment in the trifurcated Starcraft II series, Wings of Liberty, will focus on the human Terran campaign in single-player mode. However, the multiplayer component will also let gamers wage interstellar real-time strategy warfare as the hivelike Zerg and technologically advanced Protoss factions.

For more on Starcraft II, which is expected to receive a concrete release date soon, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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