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 Vraeth
Vraeth

To the usual "SC AND WC COPY WARHAMMER AND SUK LAWL" crowd- I guarentee more people play and enjoy the SC and WC games way more than the Warhammer games. Now shut up already about them. They borrow from Tolkien, so should we just say they are LoTR clones? No, that'd be pretty stupid.

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T-dog595

This is great. Oh man... This is better than waiting for a new GTA title. Hope they go with a world of starcraft.

Avatar image for One-Star-Bandit
One-Star-Bandit

I still can't belive it's real...I keep expecting it to turn out to be a dream.

Avatar image for lazycomplife
lazycomplife

/me hugs everyone

Avatar image for foxhunter10
foxhunter10

MUY bueno!!! Tremendo juego, hace mas de 5 años que lo esperaba

Avatar image for Loseraph
Loseraph

Hope that Blizzard really makes something new this time. I still cannot dissociate Starcraft from W40K.

Avatar image for ppau08223
ppau08223

it looks like starcraft will be supporting dx 10 too. sweet !!! << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for jjfz
jjfz

Just curious, why is Starcraft so popular in Korea. It's popular here, but we play lots of other games too.

Avatar image for Tyuca
Tyuca

As I say in my last post, YUUUPIII!! BUT!! mmm it looks like that the engine work with plastic colors!!.. The Battlecruisers looks like the toy of my little brother!.

Avatar image for jjfz
jjfz

so?

Avatar image for cubemastert27
cubemastert27

If their cinematic trailer is that Beautiful, Don't hesitate to make a FEATURE LENGTH MOVIE!!!!! It's About Time!

Avatar image for protek_0813
protek_0813

The video is freaking sweet. Thank you god, thank you blizzard. THIS GAME IS GOING to BAD A**. CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS GAME TO COME OUT>

Avatar image for roma_turok
roma_turok

I not play the first game But from game play screen shots its looks bad Like 2D game with plastic colors

Avatar image for Mr_Shadovski
Mr_Shadovski

I think half of the world is now getting drunk from happiness...

Avatar image for UpInSmoke0803
UpInSmoke0803

I can't wait for this to hit the shelves. Absoultely awesome.

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Ground_Zero

sweet

Avatar image for Kiyoshu
Kiyoshu

*cries* thank you... thank you so very, very much...

Avatar image for acidic_snake
acidic_snake

..can't wait! ^_^

Avatar image for blitz567
blitz567

Well finally! =D I hope it don't get the starcraft ghost fate. If all the elements of the first game are present, then it's gonna be awesome

Avatar image for joeyfine
joeyfine

bout time man... its been soo long! this maybe the best RTS made.

Avatar image for stealth89
stealth89

omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomg

Avatar image for TrueEevil
TrueEevil

I might cry tears of joy ;_;

Avatar image for Woodford69
Woodford69

What Happened to Starcraft Ghost for the Xbox? Big fat no show....

Avatar image for nch_maximus
nch_maximus

Protoss seems so powerful.....especially that MotherShip.......

Avatar image for smoothn00dle
smoothn00dle

finally.. MGS series release the same year as starcraft is up to forth games plus two PSP spin offs. Starcraft has NOTHING!!

Avatar image for MASTERCHIEFUSMA
MASTERCHIEFUSMA

i could cry im so happy.....*Sniffle*

Avatar image for SemiMaster
SemiMaster

I just watched that trailer for the 5th time, and it still gives me goosebumps.

Avatar image for TheBlaklyon
TheBlaklyon

Hallelujah!!!

Avatar image for ppau08223
ppau08223

oh yeah this just made my day. more like my month. just cant wait for it.

Avatar image for malfreds
malfreds

Remember, it won't be 9 years later. It will be 11 at least from Starcraft.

Avatar image for -Adob-
-Adob-

Actually Azure, in the other news (the Q&A on Startcraft II) the company said it had started work on it Just after The Frozen Throne, which was 2003. And that it is far along. Here is the quote: "The panel answered questions on numerous topics, including Starcraft II's development history, which Pardo expained "started shortly after Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne" back in 2003. According to Pardo, the game is "very far along," and that the game is already playable in multiplayer with all three factions." The Story can be read here: << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for revolutionbr
revolutionbr

Take notes: May, 19th 2008 - Starcraft 2 released internationally (or 2009, we know blizzard famous postponing releases policy) Why this day? 10 years of Starcraft.

Avatar image for iron_zealot7531
iron_zealot7531

meh, i hope it's great but after looking at some screens it really just looks like a graphically updated starcraft I. Here's hoping that the gameplay mechanics make up for the wait.

Avatar image for AzureLivesOn
AzureLivesOn

Looks great (yes, it's a CG trailer without in-game, go back into your mom's basement and stfu already) and I'm definitely excited, but I have to agree. Blizzard's production track record makes Nintendo and Square-Enix look like jack rabbits. And lolWoW pooling their resources doesn't help matters either. True, it's been 9 years since StarCraft. But hearing Blizzard use the terms "early lines of code" means knowing them this baby hasn't touched a hard drive until 3 months ago. 2011 at the earliest, and even that's generous. And yes, I'll wait that long.

Avatar image for silent_stalker7
silent_stalker7

tony2077ca How is HG:L not Diablo 3, because it doesn't have the name? Its from the same developers as Diablo I and II, or did you forget they left before D2 turned to crap

Avatar image for grafkhun
grafkhun

the zerg sexiness level just went so high for me, the GG at the end of the trailer, the sheer #'s of them in one of the screen shot and their original awesomeness... can't wait to rip up some protoss and terran as zerg in the campaign and then prob. get owned by all you guys online... and see watch the zealots and marines do the GG...

Avatar image for iron_zealot7531
iron_zealot7531

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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slayer12bot

I loved starcraft, but where is my diablo...!

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morrow4

oh my YYYYYYEEEEESSSSS

Avatar image for tony2077ca
tony2077ca

they kept it under wraps for 3 years my god

Avatar image for ONS47
ONS47

did any of you see the other trailer where they showed in game footage? go look at that before you keep talking

Avatar image for Built
Built

looks like da good time are bak!!

Avatar image for tony2077ca
tony2077ca

all i want to know is more about the hybrids

Avatar image for finalf01
finalf01

Its so pretty...sob sob...after all these years...sob sob.. I'm so happy....

Avatar image for Blah8
Blah8

The world is one again! StarCraft 2, baby! Now, obviously the game won't look like that cinematic trailer there, but there are plenty of gamplay videos all over YouTube that give us more depth into the new units, gameplay mechanics, and look and feel of the game. And if those aren't good enough, people can just check out www.starcraft2.com for a few detailed unit bios and a gameplay trailer which will be released tomorrow. Personally, I'm most excited about the two things: the storyline, and the incredible possibilities for battle.net and multiplayer online gaming. As always, the user-created maps that will stem from this game will be incredible. -Poog

Avatar image for REd_toe
REd_toe

wow 9 years blizz, 9 years and you finally show up with the SC2 RTS!

Avatar image for tony2077ca
tony2077ca

where is a time machine when you need one

Avatar image for zeecorner
zeecorner

cool starcraft 2 huh? Well, I guess I'll see you in 2013...

Avatar image for Sparticus247
Sparticus247

YEEEEAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been waiting on this for forever, just hope it is a lot different from Warcraft

Avatar image for DFTricks
DFTricks

FINALY!!! I wonder how long they have been working on this witout telling us, cuz it seems that it's almost at it's beta phase, wich is pretty close :P I just hope that the camera and the controls are not like Warcraft 3 and you can chose the knowledge of the AI.