Starcraft Remastered Roundup

There have been trembles in the galaxy for some time about the possible remaster of the beloved StarCraft. For once those murmurs and rumours are true and we now have some concrete details about this latest remaster.

Remasters and remakes are all the rage in entertainment currently. Musicians have been doing it for years; movies have now joined in on the trend by turning out every remake they can think of. Perhaps some of these movies are not entirely successfully, but I digress. Games have now entered the trend of trying to capture that lightning in a bottle once more, by reinventing some classics.

We have recently had the remake of Crash Bandicoot launched, which on first glance has gone successfully, but what about the RTS that really made a name for itself in the genre? What about StarCraft?

One of all time best strategy games is about to get a much-needed modern facelift and a few extra features to accompany it.

StarCraft Remastered is due to launch on August 14th, 2017 and includes a whole range of features, both classic to the franchise and some new, welcomed additions.

The game will also include the expansion titled Brood War, so if that’s something you never managed to get your hands on during its first release, there’s no better time than now to play it.

Not only is there an expansion, but the game will also support widescreen UHD 4K resolution. This caught me by surprise when I first heard the news as for a game nearly 20 years old, I didn’t expect there to be the 4k option included. A welcome surprise nonetheless.

As well as that crisp 4K resolution setting, StarCraft is adding another range of features. So far we know that cloud saving, improved music and sound, and new matchmaking and leaderboards will also be included.

I think it’s safe to assume the music will have similar treatment to that of the Homeworld Remastered, whereas the entire soundtrack was either painstakingly re-recorded or remastered with modern technology. Either way, the classic melodies this game had to offer will serenade us once again.

Matchmaking and leaderboards is a feature that needed a makeover as these systems have come a long way since the game’s original release in 1998. Some companies still manage to get this part of their games wrong, but with Blizzard at the helm, it’s safe to say that most things they touch turn to gold and this StarCraft remaster should be no different.

For fans of this classic title, Blizzard Entertainment is including another feature, which I have taken upon myself to name ‘The Nostalgia Button’. It’s a simple, but an almost ingenious idea. Players will be able to switch between both the remastered and original game simply by selecting a button.

Now most people buying this game will play the full remastered version, I imagine, but for those of you who grew up on this game, it’s nice to have the option to sink back into your childhood once again. You rarely capture lighting in a bottle on more than one occasion, but with Blizzard Entertainment at the helm once again, I’d say it’s entirely possible.

According to the developers, remaking this much-loved classic hasn’t been as easy as they’d hoped. The 3D art director at Blizzard Brian Souza stated “We had no code and no art assets,” and that a certain level of eyeballing was to be had when recreating these beloved assets once again.

We hear of projects going through development hell, but it almost seems like Souza thought the team might have been better starting from scratch to recreate the game.

Thankfully this hasn’t happened as original soundtrack and voice recordings are still in backup and will now be reprocessed for the release.

Considering how clear it is that much time and effort has gone into this remaster the price point Blizzard Entertainment is setting is one to behold. Coming in the extremely reasonable $14.99 USD/£12.99 GBP players are getting so much value for their money.

Video Games can be notoriously overpriced these days and especially for something steeped in nostalgia or high in demand. It’s really refreshing to see a huge company like Blizzard Entertainment lead the way in not overcharging for a 20-year-old game. Yes, this is remastered and does include a lot of new features, but it’s not going to be at the level of AAA release like The Witcher 3. That being said, it would have been far too easy for Blizzard Entertainment to charge $30 plus and still get the high demand they expect.

For that, I think a tip of the hat to Blizzard Entertainment is in order at the least.

Starcraft Remastered will be available on both Mac & PC on August 14th, 2017 from Blizzard’s online store. For those of you looking to pre-order the game, you will receive exclusive skins to use in-game. These will be building skins for the Korhal Command, the Char Hive and the Aiur Nexus.

If you’re not one for pre-orders, Blizzard still has some goodies for you and you will receive special bonuses for StarCraft II, including Alexei Stukov as a co-op commander and a number of unique portraits.

All in all, the project began 18 months ago and is ever nearing its impending release to the public. You will then be able to replay this classic once again but in full HD. You can also use the magic Nostalgia button and play it just as you remember it, I’ll leave the decision to you.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.
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