Blizzard Announces StarCraft Remastered, Original Game Now Free

Blizzard Announces StarCraft Remastered, Original Game Now Free

Remasters and re-releases have been all the rage in recent years, with popular franchises from the last generation like Assassin’s Creed, BioShock, and Uncharted all receiving the update treatment. In cases like The Last of Us, there was just over a year between its original PlayStation 3 release and the upgraded PlayStation 4 version, but nobody could accuse Blizzard of rushing out an easy cash-grab with the newly announced StarCraft Remastered.

Almost 20 years after it took the RTS genre by storm, the first StarCraft game will return with better visuals and sound, new dialogue and illustrated story interludes, and full integration with Blizzard’s modern matchmaking technology for online multiplayer. Graphics will be upscaled to 4K with support for a range of screen resolutions and all of the audio is being completely re-recorded, including the iconic soundtrack.

The inclusion of expansion pack StarCraft: Brood War means there will be more than 50 missions to play through, once again across the three classic races of the Terrans, the Protoss, and the Zerg. StarCraft’s bread and butter has always been the multiplayer, though, which is what allowed it to become the global phenomenon it is today. StarCraft was the best selling PC game of 1998 and went on to sell well over 10 million copies over the next decade, becoming an eSports favourite – notably in South Korea – in the process.  It meant anticipation was at fever pitch for the release of the long-awaited first installment of StarCraft II in 2010, but plenty have stayed loyal to the original game to this day.

With online clearly the key component, Blizzard is running a social media campaign to gather people’s memories of competing over the years. If you remember your first StarCraft LAN party, or screaming at mum to get off the telephone so that you could play online with a decent dial-up connection, tweet using the hashtag #MyStarCraftStory.

No precise release date has yet been revealed, but Blizzard is aiming for the game to be available this summer. In the meantime, those yet to sample StarCraft’s delights can now do so for free thanks to a new 1.18 update. With new content and updates still rolling out for Diablo III and Overwatch, and a huge patch for World of Warcraft released this past week, Blizzard fans are certainly well catered for at the moment.

In other RTS news, it would seem as though Halo Wars: Definitive Edition is coming to Steam. The 2009 Halo spin-off for Xbox 360 was ported to Xbox One and Windows 10 back in December in preparation for the release of Halo Wars 2 on the same platforms last month, but reportedly muted sales numbers for both titles may be what’s tempted Microsoft to consider Valve’s digital marketplace.

With Microsoft looking to position Windows 10 as a viable gaming ecosystem, the likes of Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3 have only been available to PC players through the Windows Store. Could they make the jump to Steam? We’ll have to wait and find out.

Image/Trailer: Blizzard

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