July 26 - July 30
A complete single player campaign by any reasonable standard that reportedly offers more than 20 hours of solo play and unique units. A multiplayer experience that has been crafted over a public beta period extending more than 5 months and that is already featured at the highest levels of play. A matchmaking system that even during the beta, which was presumably weighted down with Starcraft's most eager fans, was able to provide competitive matches to a non-hardcore player such as myself. A robust map editor system and eagerly engaged, highly established community that is set up to deliver a diverse range of new experiences from day one. A pure RTS experience that is not hampered by the need to serve other systems besides the PC. A level of spit-shine polish that has become the trademark of a company with a flawless game pedigree. These are a handful of the reasons that I believe Starcraft 2 deserves Game of the Week as well as my $60 and pound of flesh.
On the other side I've heard the endless kvetching about the loss of LAN support, the $60 price tag and the supposed cowering deference to the Kotick Doctrines displayed by the weak willed Blizzard. I know already that as high praise rolls in for this game -- which having played over the past couple of months, I take as a given at this point -- many will assume that it is the infected opinions of those either on the take or delivered from the clutches of objectivity by the hype. I can not imagine a world where anything I say will be taken by those that subscribe to the conspiratorial whispers of impending evil as anything less than the musings of the delusional.
Either way, soon enough the only reasonable measure will be the product that lives on the shelves. Let the games begin.
- Starcraft 2
- Arc Rise Fantasia