Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Why You Should Buy Starcraft 2

In little more than a week, Starcraft 2 will hit the shelves and I hear not all of you plan on buying it yet. Spinks thinks the game is too hard to get into for an real-time strategy newbie while other players don’t enjoy the competive aspect all that much. Bollocks I say (and will qualify below). Chances are that the game is for you anyway.

The Starcraft II beta was completely multi-player centric, the single player campaign wasn’t available to us testers at all. If you have no real experience with RTS games then multiplayer Starcraft will blow you to pieces. Not because the game is easy or hard but because the game is very skill-oriented and most other players will be more skilled than you. I can understand completely why Spinks would be scared away by losing every single game she played. Who likes losing after all?

The thing is, you aren’t really the target of the game’s open multiplayer just yet. The original Starcraft offered an amazing single-player experience and I’m sure Starcraft II won’t be any worse in that regard. It will not only work as a tutorial introducing you to the concepts of the game but also tell a very interesting story, full of heroic rescues, backstabbing, and tough decisions.

The game will take you by the hand every step of the way. (image: Vi Hart in Blizzard's comic contest)

If you aren’t into real-time strategy yet, don’t get the game for the multiplayer or for what you’ve seen in the beta. Judging Starcraft II by those aspects is a bit like judging World of Warcraft by a heroic Lich King raid – if you are a veteran player that’s where it’s at but, as a newbie you can admire the view at best. Get the game for the single player mode and the story it will tell. Get the game for fantastic characters, the rise and fall of galactic empires, and beam weapons. (Beam weapons!)

Then, when you’ve mastered the campaign, the game will slowly guide you towards competitive play. You will get to defeat computer controlled opponents in a human-like setting and then you will get into the practice league with other players that have just as little clue as you. Even if this part isn’t for you though and you never want to play against another human being ever, I’m pretty sure you won’t regret buying the game for the single player alone. If you do end up enjoying the multiplayer, all the better. It is, however, by no means required to enjoy the game.

Am I hyping parts of the game I haven’t even seen yet? Absolutely. Blizzard’s track record is a good one (even looking at all the quarrels I have with them) and there’s no way on earth they’ll screw this up.

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