Remasters are often an indication that the developer has run out of ideas and is milking an age-old franchise. A classic business move that easily fills up the coffers. With StarCraft Remastered, you can never accuse Blizzard of doing the same. StarCraft Remastered is all about providing the same old gameplay that the world fell in love with, which has now become the benchmark for RTS games, but with improved graphics and a few other improvements based on player feedback. And guess what, Blizzard released StartCraft and the Broodwar Expansion for free just before launching StarCraft Remastered for $15. A $15 paint job for an RTS classic such as StarCraft is a really good deal in our books.
What’s new with Starcraft Remastered
When Blizzard announced the title in March 2017, it took the world by surprise. There were very few naysayers since it was Blizzard who were handling the remaster themselves and they’re known for being player friendly. However, we’d be lying if we said that we weren’t apprehensive of such a fan favourite being rolled into the operation theatre.
All these fears were laid to rest when the game launched this August. You were presented the same old gameplay but with a graphics upheaval. The campaigns were the same but the whole storytelling experience had evolved to match today’s standards. And if you were playing it on anything later than Windows 7, you wouldn’t face the glitchy colours. Blizzard fixed this a while ago but those who’d played the game after a while are most certain to have experienced this issue. You now have the advantage of cloud saves thanks to the new Blizzard app, support for more languages, improved dialogues and audio, 4K screen support without blotchy graphics and matchmaking based on what we believe is an Elo system.
Aside from the easily caught improvements that we’ve mentioned here, there are others as well. For starters, you can easily switch between the new graphics and go back to the blotchy but familiar version with the F5 key on the fly. You can even zoom in all the way which ends up being a double-edged sword. On one hand, you get to see the individual scales and features of the Protoss and Zerg units, but when you look at the main story characters, they appear to be different from what you’d have imagined earlier. Of course, if you’ve played StarCraft 2, then this point is moot.
The Yay(s) and the Nay(s)
If Blizzard had to make just one change and skip everything else, then 4K resolution support would be high on everyone’s list. Because of the obvious advantage that you get to focus on a lot more things at any given time. And then there are things that certainly could have changed such as queuing build orders and adding more units to groupings. As of now, they’ve retained the 12 unit cap, which after StarCraft 2 feels too darn less. What feels thoroughly wrong is the unit pathing which seems to have worsened a bit. We don’t mean with respect to SC2 but when compared to Broodwars itself, the pathing is definitely off.
A decent addition is the APM counter which even comes with an alert system should your APM drop below a certain threshold. While it might not make much sense to a filthy casual, it certainly goes a long way towards keeping you on your toes in multiplayer matches. Speaking of multiplayer, stay away from the Asian gateway in the multiplayer selection window if you know what’s good for you.
We understand Blizzard’s intention of just providing a graphics overhaul while tackling some of the pressing issues while leaving the game largely intact. They’ve done a great job at that.
StarCraft remastered – The Verdict
Blizzard has certainly accomplished what they set out to do. StarCraft has been brought to the same level as today’s RTS titles in terms of graphics without hurting all the elements that truly defined StarCraft for what it is, one of the best RTS titles out there. What this means is that it’s not an explosion of eye candy akin to an acid trip, nor is it a blast from the past. With StarCraft Remastered, Blizzard has taken the balanced approach that has not alienated the current player base but has made the game more appealing to those who’ve only experienced StarCraft II.
The campaigns certainly feel like they can be played all over again, (that’s true regardless of the remaster) but it lacks the high-end production value of StarCraft II. Gameplay has remained the same except for the pathing and the 4K resolution is going to take some getting used to because of all the extra information that’s now on your screen. Thankfully, there’s the APM counter to help. And lastly, if you love custom maps, then all of them are compatible with StarCraft Remastered. That’s countless more hours of Zerg rushes for us.
|Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS
Price: $14.99 / Rs. 1,000
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