After months of rumors and speculation, Blizzard has announced that they plan to release StarCraft: Remastered. This new release is an overhaul of the original StarCraft and the Brood War expansion, and it features 4K graphics and 1080p cinematics, new audio and new mission interludes designed in a comic book style.
“StarCraft remains very popular, especially in Korea. It’s doing so despite legacy Battle.net’s aging infrastructure, and from the client perspective, graphics, compatibility, and online features that are not up to modern standards,” Classic Games senior producer Pete Stilwell explained. “We decided this was going to be our love letter to the SC diehards. So while the team dusted off the repos, rebuilt the pipeline, and rediscovered the codebase, we also spent hundreds of hours connecting with passionate and proactive folks all over the globe: The ones who have been keeping this game going. They gave us insight into the add-ons, game servers, and defined what made Brood War, Brood War.”
Along with the better audio and visual, StarCraft: Remastered also comes with modern connectivity. This includes full Battle.net integration and matchmaking as well as chat features, friend list support and even saves to the cloud.
“If you remember, the original StarCraft didn’t have a button like Warcraft III,” Stilwell said. “Players threw down a gauntlet in chat channels or hosted open game lobbies for other players to join and discuss terms. We’re retaining that style of interaction as an option. That is an essential element of the game’s culture.”
One thing that isn’t getting an overhaul is the gameplay. Everyone agrees the original gameplay was top notch, and Blizzard doesn’t appear to be making any changes to how you play the game. In fact, it seems they are leaving the gameplay completely untouched.
“Updated graphics, modern amenities, and other new features won’t matter if we ruin gameplay. Replays from 1.16 still work in SC Remastered. That’s how true we’ve been,” Stilwell continued. “Whether players are continuing to play daily in an IGR, coming back after a long time away, or discovering the game that started the war for the Koprulu sector, this is the game the original developers intended you to play.”
It sounds like Blizzard has checked off all the boxes to do things right, perhaps in the hope of revitalizing the StarCraft scene which over the years has slipped from major headlines in most major eSports tournaments despite once being one of the biggest eSport titles on the planet. One other thing to note, after the 1.8 release of the original StarCraft and Brood War expansion, Blizzard is making the game completely free. That’s free to play and free to get. The new remastered version, however, won’t be free, but it will be multiplayer compatible with the original. That means that you can upgrade at anytime and you won’t lose any of your progress. That’s not a bad deal if you ask me.
What do you think about this latest Starcraft news from Blizzard? Do you think they are doing the right thing or would you have rather see them do something different? Tell us all your opinions about Starcraft: Remastered and Blizzard’s StarCraft plans in the comments below.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.