In the mood for some StarCraft-related action but need a break from StarCraft 2? Good news then, because Blizzard Entertainment is making a remastered version of its classic real-time strategy game and its Brood War expansion, described by the press release as a "reverently crafted modernization".
First things first though - Blizzard isn't messing with how the game plays. If you remember a Terran siege tank doing a certain amount of damage or a Protoss Mothership having a certain amount of health, you won't be in for any surprises with the remastered version, as "gameplay and balance have been precisely preserved, for an experience that will feel identical to veteran players". Everything other aspect however - visuals, audio and online support - will be modernized.
In addition to remastered graphics and audio, widescreen UHD support for up to 4K resolution will be included, as will new illustrations to "enhance storytelling" in the campaign. Updates on the online side of things consist of advanced matchmaking, social features and updates via connectivity to Blizzard's gaming network and even cloud saving for the campaign.
Other things you can expect include custom maps, replays, keybinds and an addition of eight new languages.
"StarCraft is a pure distillation of Blizzard’s DNA—its story, its balance, and all the little details reflect our long-running commitment to epic entertainment, and it’s been a staple in competitive gaming and esports for almost 20 years,” said Blizzard CEO and cofounder Mike Morhaime. “With StarCraft: Remastered, we’re modernizing the original game’s visuals, audio, and online support to ensure that players can enjoy StarCraft for another 20 years and beyond.”
But the good StarCraft-related news doesn't stop there. Later this week, StarCraft: Brood War will be updated to version 1.18, which adds compatibility improvements for Windows 7 to 10 and other additions and fixes. Once that happens, the StarCraft Anthology containing both the original game and Brood War will be free to download. As for StarCraft: Remastered's release date, it's anticipated to arrive this summer for Windows and Mac, with pricing to be announced later.
Well then, looks like this year's a good one to revisit the original StarCraft saga, or to experience it for the first time in the modern age.