Everyone who has played computer games, surely has dabbled with Starcraft. It is the quintessential strategy game of the late nineties and was so popular it was still played professionally up until its successor’s release in 2010. At the time of its release in 1998, it was a revelation because previous mainstream strategy war games generally made do with two well balanced but ultimately similar factions to choose from, but Starcraft and its subsequent expansion pack Brood War bucked the trend with three well balanced, but very different factions to play.

What brilliant factions they are. Where the Zerg swarms are your stereotypical insectoid race generally reliant on melee attacks and amassing fast, overwhelming numbers for victory, the Protoss prefer slower, heavily shielded units that can take on multiple units before death and was probably the most flexible of the three. The Terrans are fantastic at defending a position, building and unit preservation to build up their offensive capability with the aim of devastating enemies once and for all when attacking. This is not to take away from the well crafted single player campaigns for each faction that tied into a fantastic story that included political intrigue, betrayal, regime change and, well lots of explosions.

Ironically of course, the big appeal of Starcraft in multiplayer was that each faction had its own valid strategies for victory within the general purview of their themes . I much preferred the old Zerg faction with their flexible rush tactics and absolutely overwhelming numbers and replacement of casualties. Another great thing about Starcraft was the original Battle.net and how you could interact with your friends during multiplayer matches. In the heady days of a 56.6K dial up connection (oh, the speed!), we could do internet chat with our clan mates, wage war against other clans and it was entirely shameless fun. The other big thing was the flexible mission editor that allowed players to create unique scenarios which bent the rules of the game for quick and dirty fun matches.

I have really fond memories of annihilating enemies in Starcraft, with sound strategies such the carrier and dragoon rush, the hydralisk rush and even the mutalisk assault that would spectacularly and overwhelmingly pwn the opposition. If only Starcraft 2 was as captivating as the original. It feels like there’s just that much less soul in the sequel. It’s a brilliantly polished game that is geared more towards competitive multiplayer, and that to me is probably where it falls over a bit. I have nothing against e-sports, but the game is so blatantly designed for it that I just didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as the first. Then again, maybe I just sucked at it!

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