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 dodgers4life87
dodgers4life87

Cant believe it i jus hope its not another Starcraft Ghost but other than that ive been waiting for this day for about 5 years

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Atomic1977

Oh my god its Starcraft 2 after all these years. I thought they gave up on that series. :)

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Nosnitsttam

oh come on, blizzards trailers/cutscenes have ALWAYS been amazing. They had the develop their OWN TECHNOLOGY just to get them to look that good for WC3. I can't remember a blizzard game that used gameplay footage in any of their teaser trailers. Why should this one be any different??

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Cobra5

Haha, its too bad the name "Return of the King" is taken.

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StSk8ter29

All that extremely detailed teaser junk for a game that won't even look like that. Come announce a game when you can make it actually look like that in real time or stick to the game itself, we aren't buying the movie we are buying the game.

Avatar image for Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

to zahnrad: why in the HELL would you want this game to be more like WOW?? that is one of the WORST things you could say to a bunch of SC fans. To some, WOW was blizzards way of nailing shut the coffins to all their great franchises. It also saw Blizzard start CHARGING a monthly fee to do what they used to let us do for free, and they're support was WAY better too. I think a return to what they do best is pretty much the ONLY way they can redeem themselves in the eyes of not only the fans burned by WOW, but the employees that left because of it as well.

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bennae66

holy crap cant believe it-its finally back. god you took nearly 10 years too long!

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japuks

I am just happy. I hope this doesn't end up to be another Starcraft Ghost.

Avatar image for Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

I wish people would stop complaining about the trailer not showing anything. It's a TEASER people!!! it's not supposed to give away anything, it's just supposed to get you excited about the game itself and i dont know about the rest of the people on here, but i needed knew boxers after that. Also, Hellgate:London is NOT diablo 3. yes, it involves most of the diablo team from blizzard, but it's NOT diablo. I would really like a blizard-made sequel to continue the story. The 3 evils are dead, but so much changed at the end of LOD. there's PLENTY of material for a 3rd game EASY. I'm psyched for Hellgate as much as the next guy, but it's just not the same.

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C0ldasICE

Yahhhooo !!!!!!

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night_haunter

oh yea lets ROOOOOCCCCKKKKK!

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TeeDee1978

It's about time!!!! :D Can't wait to see how the story continues after that cliffhanger at the end of BroodWars

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mcreyon

Praise the maker!

Avatar image for Chainblast
Chainblast

I'm going to retract my original comments about SC2 looking like it was running on a modified Warcraft 3 engine. After seeing a hi-res direct-feed game-play video it looks much, much better. I'm still unsure of whether or not this kind of RTS is drained of anything innovative, but if anyone can find a way I'm sure Blizzard can. I'm more excited about CoH:OF.

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Agronot

Thanks Blizzard! Make sure this one becomes a classic too!

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blazemasta

IS THIS APRIL FOOOOOOLLSSS?????? OMGGGGGGGGGGGGG OMGGGO GGOGMGMOMGMOGMOGMOGMOGMOGMOGMOGMGMOGMOGMOGMOGMOGMOGMOMGOMOG

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One-Star-Bandit

Is it April 1? No....then... YAY! I can't believe they've actually announced it!

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night_haunter

HELL! ITS ABOUT TIME! this is the happiest day of my life!

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ilikegodalot

wow, that was a horrible trailer, that told me that I get to make my own guy in starcraft 2... NOTHING else, what a disappointment of a teaser.

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tony2077ca

only death will stop me from getting this

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ponche_wow

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

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ponche_wow

I just had a heart attack! It is impossible to make a Dota game in Starcraft...its not RPG based so...stay cool Dota fans

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klyzzard

i can belive this hahahaha its amazin men =) i cant wait ... ^^

Avatar image for Gargantrithor
Gargantrithor

Although I'm not quite the oldest, I've played my fair share of strategy games - both RTS and TBS - since Civilization II, Command & Conquer, and WarCraft II, and I have to say that StarCraft was and still is the best balanced RTS that I've played. Sure, Age of Empires II had some more in-depth features, such as the economic, diplomatic, and replay systems, but the gameplay, both single-player and multi-player, didn't feel quite as well tuned. If you're really complaining for depth however, you might want to turn to TBS games, because RTS games seem to be much more action oriented (The Total War system being a decent compromise).

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tony2077ca

it was kerrigan

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SimsDevil

I. Can't. Wait. I wonder...was that woman in the trailer kerrigan? or someone new?

Avatar image for tony2077ca
tony2077ca

it would be nice if they put it on the consoles but they won't :(

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tony2077ca

how is hellgate: london diablo 3?????????????????

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Wanderer5

All right. I didn't play the first one but I may try this one.:)

Avatar image for tony2077ca
tony2077ca

no 360 no ps3 and no wii only PC

Avatar image for DarthStryker
DarthStryker

I've been waiting for this since I was 12, "Hell, it's about time!"

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MikeJones4evr

i want it. yea it'd be cool for the wii too.

Avatar image for MoldOnHold
MoldOnHold

Very awesome stuff.

Avatar image for silent_stalker7
silent_stalker7

Screw this game, there is no way in hell its going to be better than Co. of hero's now that all the great people have left the company. And Diablo 3 is called Hellgate: London.

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Newsboy

Sweet. How about a Wii version Blizzard?

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zahnrad

Looks crappy. I was hoping this would be a more immersive game. More of a WoW with updated graphics.

Avatar image for Mooshu92887
Mooshu92887

Oh god i HOPE they dont defile this game with a DotA rehash. (although they most likely will).

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james1607

Man I want this game hard!

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Chaos_KnightX

DotA ===> DotF? Defense of the future? Cant wait to see all the great mods for this when it's made. I hope that like in WC3 there are hero units with items

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tony2077ca

the prime evils are dead and buried so is diablo 3

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tony2077ca

only blizzard game i hate is wow

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iamgian

I'M GONNA SPLOOOOOOOOOOOGE! Wasn't Diablo 3 supposed to start development sometime within the last couple of years?

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tony2077ca

i don't think there will be a diablo 3

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Monsooon

This is the greatest new in the name of history since sliced bread+Penut butter.

Avatar image for Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

"Hell, it's about time" is ******* right!!! when did they release brood war?? For those of you who forgot: IT WAS NINE YEARS AGO!!!!! I mean they pumped out a sequel to every other franchise at that time (diablo, warcraft which had 2 sequels AND an MMORPG) I was starting to think they were going to abandon everything in favor of WOW, which is making them stinking rich but i think it's one of their worst games ever. It's really good to see them getting back to the games i liked them for. Now all i need is Diablo 3 to get announced with another awesome trailer and i'll be set for the year.

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MangyForestCat

You wish it was 0011...

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showto

Although i have to agree that age of empires 2 has a more indepth tech tree, the gameplay of starcraft is unbeatable.

Avatar image for 0011992288
0011992288

Because it is Mangy. Because it is. BTW every1 you can download the trailer in HD from: www.starcraft2.com

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Wurz1515

well, saw that announcement coming. Glad though because I was a pretty big fan of Starcraft; hopefully though Diablo III will be coming shortly as well.

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MangyForestCat

AOE II came out 8 Years ago... what's your point? I'm not here looking for friends. I'm here offering for a little enlightenment to the fools who say Starcraft is the alpha and omega to everything RTS related...