Starcraft II warps into Seoul

Blizzard Entertainment unveils long-awaited sequel to PC real-time strategy game at worldwide invitational event.

1082 Comments

SEOUL, South Korea--Crowds of fans and press file continuously into the Olympic Gymnastic Stadium in the Gangnam province of Seoul, South Korea, to await the announcement of Blizzard's new game title. The big-screen monitors onstage, which previously showed looped footage of tournaments held at last year's Blizzard Worldwide Invitational, now show only the logo for this year's event, which takes place today and tomorrow. The anticipation and excitement in the air from the crowds of fans and international press are palpable.

The announcement session is underway, and the lights are up. The Korean emcees are making announcements about the tournaments and music concerts that will also be held at the event. Blizzard Korea managing director Jungwan Han has taken the stage to deliver the opening remarks, greeting and thanking Blizzard fans worldwide for their support. He takes his seat, and the emcees briefly introduce Blizzard's top brass, including Mike Morhaime, Rob Pardo, and Chris Metzen.

Next up are the introductions for the professional gamers, who are greeted with great fanfare by the audience as they're announced individually and step onstage. First are the Starcraft players, introduced by their name, faction played (protoss, zerg, or terran), and country of origin. These are followed by the Warcraft III professional players, also introduced by their name, played faction (humans, orcs, undead, or night elves), and country of origin. After the players are all onstage, they are brought forward individually to take an "oath" of fair play.

Press from around the world arrives at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event.
Press from around the world arrives at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event.

Once the players are ushered away, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime takes the stage to make the big announcement, noting first that this year's event will host more tournaments than any previous event (including competitions for Starcraft, Warcraft III, and World of Warcraft), then introducing a video montage with footage from Blizzard's previous games (such as the original Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft) and previous tournament events. Morhaime is finally getting closer to the announcement...the crowd cheers in anticipation. Says Morhaime, "When it came time to make this announcement, it was easy to decide where it should take place." The president praises the enthusiasm and support of Korean game players, then introduces a video trailer for the new game.

The pro gamers took the stage to tremendous fanfare.
The pro gamers took the stage to tremendous fanfare.

The trailer begins with a spaceship lowering a coffinlike object. The camera cuts to a chamber, then to a gigantic metal gate that cranks open, and finally to a man with a cigar in his mouth, wearing shackles on his ankles. The man steps into mechanical restraints that lock around his ankles and the platform around him rises. The cofflinlike object sprouts metal pincers that brace his wrists while the champers reveal whirring turbines that sprout metallic drills and rivets that fit metallic armor on his body. The figure is a Terran soldier, and the camera pans up his body, cutting to scenes of Protoss and Zerg warriors rushing to battle. The new game, as rumored, is Starcraft II.

Morhaime then introduces the lead designer of the project to discuss it--none other than former EALA designer Dustin Browder (who worked previously on The Battle for Middle-earth and Command & Conquer series). The video screen cuts to a demonstration that shows a fleet of Protoss ships that disembark several zealot infantry units, then cuts to a scene showing Terran transports touching down and becoming base structures, spouting infantry and vehicle units. Browder points out that this demonstration is in a very early stage of code. As we see in the demonstration, the new game will add abilities to existing units--the Protoss zealot, for instance, will now be able to charge into battle to quickly close the distance against Terran gunners. The Terrans retaliate by bringing in siege tanks to shell the Protoss from a distance. The Protoss respond by commissioning Immortals--heavy-duty tanks with powerful energy shields.

Blizzard's Mike Morhaime can't help but grin as Starcraft II is revealed.
Blizzard's Mike Morhaime can't help but grin as Starcraft II is revealed.

The Terrans then commission reapers, which are medium infantry with jetpacks that can jump barriers to raid enemy bases more effectively. The reapers leap into action against the Protoss base to attack the pylons, but the Protoss have a new series of structures that help them be much more resilient when attacked at their base, such as phase prisms, which let you quickly move units from place to place. The Protoss stalker unit has a "blink" ability that lets them jump anywhere they can see and makes them excellent pursuers.

The Zerg have arrived, sending Zerglings to overwhelm the Protoss stalkers--a huge swarm of them charges the Protoss. Browder points out that Starcraft II will still be a game about large armies against large armies. The Zerg then run into a few Protoss colossi--gigantic walkers with cutting lasers that specialize in liquifying Zerglings. The Zerg have mutated into a new kind of suicide unit that explodes in a burst of acid. The colossi also use inverse kinematic animation to walk up and down cliffs. The colossus unit is vulnerable to air attacks, such as mutalisks, which slaughter it. In response, the Protoss have a new unit, the phoenix, which can "overload" to eliminate squads of nearby airborne enemies but leave them helpless and immobile briefly afterward. The new game will also have new texture work and deep space background environments. The phoenix can't hold its own against Terran battlecruisers, which crush them--in response, the Protoss commission the Warprey, a laser-firing ship that deals more damage the longer it focuses its fire on an enemy.

Browder caps the demonstration with one last new unit, the Protoss mothership, the ultimate weapon in the Protoss army. It's an incredibly expensive unit with a "time bomb" ability that distorts time within an energy field, making enemy fire too slow to actually reach and hit the mothership. Once the time field collapses, enemy shells clatter uselessly to the ground. The mothership also possesses the "planet cracker," a stream of multiple lasers that devastate anything beneath it. Finally, the mothership can create a black hole--an extremely damaging ability that wrecks flying enemies. The glowing black hole simply sucks in the Terran warships, which distort in appearance before disappearing utterly into oblivion.

Blizzard's presentation literally turned heads.
Blizzard's presentation literally turned heads.

The demonstration ends with a battle between the Protoss and the Terrans, who wail on each other mercilessly. As you might expect from the successor to Starcraft, it seems clear that the key to success in the sequel will be combined force of arms, as both armies pummel each other to a standstill, racking up casualties on each side as they grind away at each other. The battle ends with an orbital strike that wipes out both sides, save for one infantry unit on each side. Both get mobbed by Zerg units, which crawl out of the ground and butcher them and then mutate into their new form and crawl into formation to spell out the letters "GG" (an abbreviation many online players use to say "good game").

After the Starcraft II demonstration, another video montage is shown, this time featuring a series of concept art drawings that gives way to another gameplay demo that highlights various units new and old, such as the Protoss colossus, the Zergling, and others, ending with two portraits that appear to be Jim Raynor and Kerrigan.

That's it for the presentation. Be sure to check back soon for more coverage of Starcraft II.

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Avatar image for tony2077ca
tony2077ca

hoping it comes out near the end of this year or the start of the next

Avatar image for djynen
djynen

Considering Blizzard's track record, expect to see this game around the end of 2009. I'm sure they'd prefer to release a relatively stable game rather than rush it into publication. Also don't expect cutting-edge graphics - Blizzard have always gone for graphics engines that work on a wide range of computers. Nevertheless, looking forward to seeing whether or not Blizzard can still make great RTS's. Or whether they've lost the magic touch after losing most of their past design and coding teams, and years of WoW.

Avatar image for ScotMTrager0183
ScotMTrager0183

ummm... no new sides? what ever happened to blizzards promise of bringing back 1-2 of the races they cut durring the original sc's development cycle? (for those of you who don't remeber SC was supposed to have 6 unique sides)

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gamingfreak47

.......... HOLY **** I have to get this. x,x finaly after so many years.

Avatar image for NoLimitJay1
NoLimitJay1

Just saw the clip for the Protoss Mothership and... Wow. I'll be shocked if that doesnt get nerfed because it looked GODLY.

Avatar image for ZennyX
ZennyX

"JACK UP AND GOOD TO GO"

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ocdog45

this was the wrost kept secret of all time

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Nightmareplus

This should kick ass, don't slack off blizzard!

Avatar image for decebal
decebal

That's all Blizzard can do: SEQUELS! They long lost their tallent of surprizing us with amazing new games like Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft. Now all we get is sequels. Disapointment.

Avatar image for Slayer_vaLI
Slayer_vaLI

THANK YOU BLIZZARD !!!!!!!!!!!! They are right HELL IT WAS ABOUT TIME!!

Avatar image for Nzilla
Nzilla

THANK YOU GOD!!!

Avatar image for CloudStrife9288
CloudStrife9288

yeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssssss FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar image for carenot15
carenot15

YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YEA YYYYEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Avatar image for Warfust
Warfust

I can't wait! Great trailer too.

Avatar image for Etherninty
Etherninty

Oh my ... freaking God! I've been waiting for this since years... been playing since the first day SC hit the market. I'm surprised that Blizzard is doing the right thing, after WOW I was a little bit disapointed. Take Starcraft and makes it even more perfect with a 2007+ technology update, and that's exactly what they are doing. They are doing things even more rights than I excepted. The only thing that would make it even more better is that they fully take advantage of DirectX 10 and have a built-in clan support(with personalised tags). Go on gametrailers and watch the trailers, they look good, very good indeed. << LINK REMOVED >> OMG... and it's just an Alpha version. Imagine when they will release it in some years! Make it look even more like War Of The Worlds, I am a WOTW fan and was blasted away by that movie. I had to watch the videos a few more times but by now I'm really certain this will be even better than Starcraft was. I'm also happy to see that Blizzard won't bother with time or budget limitation like most companies do and end up with average products. Blizzard want the best and will make sure they will do what they have to. Don't forget that Blizzard has a cash cow now(milked WOW fans) and they can make this project on an almost unlimited budget =D There is just one thing I don't get, why they call it Starcraft II instead of Starcraft 2. I can understand for Diablo II because it's an epic title so it's okay to use roman numbers but SC2 is suppose to be Sci-Fi so it should use more modern numbers.

Avatar image for Alucard7321
Alucard7321

Hope the music aint buy "Jermy SEoule" or its another great game semi-ruined with a taudry boring soundtrack.

Avatar image for EmptySki
EmptySki

should make some gooood money :D

Avatar image for rokkuman09
rokkuman09

I would agree with hammer_of_thor_ even if this game ends up being not so great, it will sell awesome.. But chances are it will turn out awesome, I can't think of any Blizzard games that have ever turned out crappy. I just can't wait for this to come out :D.

Avatar image for Rikstah
Rikstah

Exiledtemplar: Me too! I remember that bonus mission and dreamed that day of how cool the Zergtoss would be... n then i found out when i played CnC 3 :P But seriously, Starcraft 2, cream, pants, now

Avatar image for joeyfine
joeyfine

you know what i love the most... i havent read a single negitive post by anyone here. everyone really loves Starcraft II

Avatar image for hammer_of_thor_
hammer_of_thor_

This is guaranteed to make tons of money, regardless of if it's a good game or not, so many people will buy it.

Avatar image for Aldarius
Aldarius

every one will simply die when this game comes out

Avatar image for FlashNovice
FlashNovice

Man... too much protoss coverage, and only one new terran unit... O well...

Avatar image for FREEKENERD
FREEKENERD

tear.

Avatar image for ExiledTemplar
ExiledTemplar

"Hell, its about time" God this game is gonna rock minds man! I have been a fan of this series since I was a wee child and now they finally make the second one. I hope we find out what that protoss/zerg hybrid thing will look like?

Avatar image for rikhan_z
rikhan_z

starcraft domanites Gamespot news headlines... this game is sounding and looking awesome. :)

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muffhunter0123

thnak god it aint world of **** starcraft

Avatar image for Ashietaka
Ashietaka

OMG, now this is game is worth looking forward to. WOW,, finally they're making a Star Craft 2. I actually thought they wouldn't go forward with it since it took so damn long, I've been saying they should make a sequal for forever now. Star Craft 2 looks amazing and I have no doubts at how great it will be in the end. Star Craft 2 is finally coming and it's here to stay for a long long time. FINALLY!

Avatar image for Bavoke
Bavoke

finally they pick their RTS's up again, i'm bigining to like Blizzard again :D Bavoke 8)

Avatar image for ravingrabbid
ravingrabbid

I hope the game keeps the simple but tactical game play element that i enjoyed for years. this is going to be a great year. :)

Avatar image for selbie
selbie

The Terran summed it up for me....it's about damn time!

Avatar image for scout10101
scout10101

Goosebumps. This is a true pinacale of gaming.

Avatar image for X-Robert
X-Robert

I may update my PC for this game.

Avatar image for jameeler91
jameeler91

wow looks soooo good i have the first one with expansion used to play it all the time now i cant wait for this one

Avatar image for tony2077ca
tony2077ca

all i want to know is what happens to samir and the hybrids

Avatar image for Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Four word: Deus Ex - Invisible War. How gamers can go so crazy so soon is beyond me.... I will believe it when I see it - and not before. Too many great games have ended up being bad to average even though the constant advanced hype will always always say otherwise! Heck, Bioshock will be out before this, so if anything that's the title I am thinking about!

Avatar image for ziko1664
ziko1664

I'll be waiting for it it..... i'll give the supurb 10!!!

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superDioplus

Hope this time Raynor can finally gets something from Kerrigan. :)

Avatar image for CapoX
CapoX

Oh yeah !! finally !!!

Avatar image for juggong
juggong

I................. i am............................wow. I think i just shat myself.

Avatar image for D-mazing
D-mazing

frickin sweet FINALLY Starcraft 2 im stoked!!!!!!

Avatar image for mrxdemix
mrxdemix

I cried.

Avatar image for cyw1988
cyw1988

I shed tears of joy when i saw this... Finally!!

Avatar image for luke_717
luke_717

Bravo! Bizzard! Grate games. And a money makeing impire...

Avatar image for _JPH_
_JPH_

I just hoped they included a 4th race, like when the Hero Samir Duran (a human), joined with the zerg, and then put himself in the protoss tube. Which means he became 3 races in one.

Avatar image for KoruKinshi
KoruKinshi

Break up with your girlfriend beforehand? Are you out of your mind? You'd choose a game over a girl? That requires a whoopin'...

Avatar image for betatester
betatester

Ah finally, can't wait for the bnet custom maps as well

Avatar image for xXrebel666Xx
xXrebel666Xx

i just creamed my pants =] warhammer will never lay a finger on this, never.

Avatar image for beirjio724
beirjio724

I think i may just break up with my girl beforehand. can we get a release date please blizzard? We know you are real bad with them, so give us one, and then we'll just assume the actual release date is two years from then.