Nearly 20 years after its release and StarCraft is still one of the best real-time strategy games ever made. So good, in fact, that it’s retained a dedicated fan base even with a modern sequel—three modern sequels, really—released and ready to play. And so maybe it’s time for a remaster.
Blizzard thinks so. Late last night Blizzard unveiled StarCraft: Remastered, arriving sometime this summer. Here’s the brief, straight from Blizzard’s official site:
“We’ve remastered our units, buildings, and environments, improved game audio, and broadened our supported resolutions. Illustrated interludes bring the struggles and victories of heroes like Artanis, Fenix, Tassadar, Raynor and Kerrigan to life like never before. Most importantly, the strategy gameplay that StarCraft perfected years ago remains unchanged.”
That last bit is probably most important. Blizzard claims the game will play precisely the same as it did under Brood War’s 1.16 patch, so it should hopefully avoid a Homeworld: Remastered situation where diehard fans feel let down.
But the remaster part of this Remastered edition is pretty great too: Native widescreen, support for up to 4K resolutions, updated audio, full Battle.net Blizzard app support, cloud saves—all the tech glitter you’d want from a modern StarCraft. Blizzard’s also redoing the mission interludes with “new illustrations to enhance storytelling in the StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War campaign.”
The cherry on top? Blizzard’s updating Brood War to version 1.18 later this week, fixing some 15-year-old bugs, adding in key rebinding, an observer mode, “modern anti-cheat measures,” compatibility improvements, and—wait for it—making the whole shebang free. Yes, later this week you’ll be able to download StarCraft and Brood War for free. Assuming you didn’t already own the pair, of course.
The Warcraft fan in me wants to bellyache about how we’ll never get a Warcraft IV, let alone a Warcraft Remastered or whatever. But you know what? This is still pretty damn exciting. Head to Blizzard’s site for some excellent before/after comparison screenshots, and we’ll update you once StarCraft goes free this week.