Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On Starcraft 2

If you talked to me about games during the previous several weeks, you have probably noticed that I’ve been quite offensive towards new Blizzard’s game—both before and after its release. There are two reasons for that kind of reaction.

The first one is that I grew up on games from the C&C series, including Tiberian Sun and Red Alert, and also this little but fun Herbert-based Dune series. These games have always had the right mechanics, the right amount of units and no need for extreme micro controlling. The action was slow paced, and you always had plenty of time to think about what you do.

Then, everyone knew what Blizzard did. In Warcraft they simply took these Westwood mechanics, tweaked them slightly, changed them a bit, and voi-la! A new game was born. Well, -ish. What’s interesting about first games in Warcraft series is that they were surprisingly similar to C&C. In fact, to the extent where an RTS player sometimes didn’t have to memorize new hotkeys. That’s why WC and WC2 both were like fun change of pace for me, not really like a new type of game.

And here I have to say one more thing: I never played Starcraft back then. I was scared of the space setting, the name sounded bizarre, hence the whole thing got onto my HDD some time about WC3 release. The latter, by the way, seemed odd straight away—they changed the interface, they changed the mechanics, they added heroes and, what’s more—it was my first 3D RTS game. Not sure if it was THE first, but my first impression was shock, to be honest.

And then I saw SC. It was like a revelation—I knew from the start that I didn’t want to play this. The interface and the whole feel of the game was very like WC3 and nothing—I repeat—nothing like WC2. Mechanics were a bit odd, but nothing special, really, I just didn’t enjoy playing it. In fact, each time I played SC I desperately wanted to quit and open Red Alert 2. That’s probably why I only made it to the end of Zerg campaign and got rid of the whole thing afterwards.

That was the first reason I didn’t wait for SC2 whatsoever. Here comes the second.

THE GAME IS AWFUL. Guys come on, I don’t really give a lot of shit about multiplayer, but this campaign is a total and absolute disgrace. Mechanics haven’t changed A BIT. Graphics look like 3 or 4 years old. At least. This plot is just pathetic in 2010. I mean, come on, rebels and oppressive government? And a badass dude sitting in a bar grieving about his lost gf? Are you taking us for morons and teenagers, Blizzard? And then this wonderful payment system, when you have to buy game cards to play a single bloody player game. How fucked up is that? I mean, yeah, I know, Bobby Kotick and stuff, but I really don’t give a shit who's fault is that—I just think that Ubisoftish protection systems must die a fast death and that if I’ve bought a game, I would really like to be able to play it—not to bloody pay again. What the hell.

I know that this subscription model is applied only to Russia, Ukraine and several other countries in Eastern Europe. What I don’t know is whether Activision thinks that everyone here is idiotic enough to pay every month for a single player game.

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