Nearly twenty years since it first hit the gaming sphere and solidified Blizzard Entertainment as one of the premiere game developers in the world, StarCraft has returned. StarCraft Remaster has launched today, as Blizzard promised back in June.
The twelve-month remaster development brings StarCraft and its expansion Brood War into the eight-gen console era, with the updated graphics that support up to 4K ultra-high-definition resolution, while its original soundtrack and sound effects have been re-recorded for modern audio tech. Meanwhile, most importantly, the game’s plot remains completely untouched (why fix it if it isn’t broken, am I right?). Meanwhile, the game’s originally groundbreaking, but by modern comparison, limited, online option has been brought to the 21st Century. StarCraft was the game that launched Battle.net as we know it, and it’s only fitting that the updated version would make the best of what Blizzard’s modern suite has to offer. Players can experience improved multiplayer matchmaking, social integration with other popular Blizzard titles, and cloud save settings that allow them to recall campaign progress, keybindings, replays, and custom maps that are synced whenever the game is launched. Best yet, if you were proud of your win/loss stats in the original game, you can pair your online accounts from the original game to continue in the remaster. And, if you’re feeling nostalgic, a quick press of F5 will revert the game’s graphics and sounds back to the original 1998 version, for the ultimate trip down memory lane – except you still have fully-functional multiplayer options. “I think when you see the 4K sprites, you start to understand the volume of work that was done here,” says Blizzard senior software engineer Grant Davies. “It’s a lot more than just a small content patch. I wouldn’t say it’s a full new game because the gameplay is exactly the same as how it’s been for 20 years, but when you look at it, you go, ‘Man, this is totally a new experience.'”
You can pick up StarCraft Remastered, which comes with the base game and the Brood War expansion, directly from Blizzard’s official site for only $14.99, or you can play the original plus expansion for free on Steam.