Short Version: The most important lesson I learned from Starcraft II – more of the same only BETTER in every way possible can make for an absolute Masterpiece! The list of improvements are extensive: Extremely high production values, massive amounts of interesting well voiced In-game cinematics, Engaging Singleplayer missions with interesting objectives, a near limitless Map Editor, and a full compliment of Online Multiplayer features including built in league and ladders, Blizzard delivered the Best RTS I have ever played in exchange for the 10 year wait from the original!
What you’ll Like:
• The Graphics are Jaw-dropping and there’s an Insane amount of detail in nearly every aspect of the game.
• The Adventure-like Metagame that allows to you watch your recent exploits on television, play fun tunes on the jukebox, learn more about your companion characters and explore your ship and newly acquired units.
• The Added RPG elements of upgrading your units skills and abilities or hiring mercenaries with in game credits and research points acquired during missions.
• The Extremely Flexible Map Editor allows you to create nearly any type of game you can imagine, if you can get over its learning curve.
• The Branching Story Paths forcing you to choose one mission over another each with unique cinematics and consequences.
• The gameplay from the original remains intact while the new units add new layers to the games strategy.
• Best Part: All of the excellent added story-driven cinematic’s in between missions.
What you’ll Hate:
• As a result of splitting the game into 1 full game & 2 expansions – There are only a handful of Protoss assignments and absolutely no Zerg Missions.
• Battle 2.0 is fancy but ultimately less functional than 1.0. Why did they remove chat rooms, force region restrictions, and strip=out Lan Play? Oh yea. To over-monetize everything they can – be on the look out for more of this.
• Worst Part: Knowing I’m contributing to Activision’s bottom line.
*Final Verdict: 9/10 If corporate influence is to be counted – then consider Battle Net 2.0 changes, Region Locking, No LAN play and The so called “StarCraft II Marketplace”
Kotaku reports that the Australian version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will not be region-locked. This means Australian gamers are free to play with us guys in the USA if they choose to do so during first sign-up.
Here’s Blizzard’s Q&A to clarify things…
Q: Who is eligible to play on the North American servers?
A: All players, including those in the regions of Hong Kong and Macau, who purchase the English Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand Standard or Collector’s Edition of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will have the option of playing on the North American Battle.net® servers in addition to the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand servers if they prefer.
Q: How much will this cost?
A: The option of playing on North American Battle.net servers will come at no additional cost to all players who have purchased the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II.
Q: How will access to the North American servers be granted?
A: Our intention is to ensure that within 60 days after the launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, all players with a copy of the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version will automatically gain the ability to also access the North American servers — this will be handled through Battle.net account management.
Q: How will I know when I can access the North American servers?
A: We will have additional information on how and when to access the North American servers on our StarCraft II community site.
Q: What will happen with my Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand Battle.net account?
A: Once you get access to the North American Battle.net servers, you will have access to both regions for online play. You can choose which one to play on at any given time, and can switch back and forth at will.
Q: How will my friends list and rankings be handled?
A: All account-specific data, including friends lists, rankings, achievements, statistics, titles, and unlockable rewards, will be tracked separately for each region’s Battle.net servers, and will not carry over between them.
Q: If I have already purchased the North American version, can I also play on the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand servers?
A: No. To have the option to play on both servers, you must purchase the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. This solution is specifically targeted to address gamers in Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand who have social relationships with North American players from previous Blizzard Entertainment titles.