Review of Starcraft Remastered

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by CT Phipps, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. CT Phipps

    CT Phipps Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Sep 17, 2016

    Starcraft is one of the greatest video games of all time. Okay, no it isn't. Well, maybe it is. I'm sure South Korea agrees it was/is. Starcraft is one of those games which has an amazingly good nostalgia filter since it was incredibly good for its time-period. It is one of the real-time strategy games which helped elevate the medium like Command and Conquer and certainly was a huge step up from Warcraft 2.

    It had story out of the wazoo that would help influence the release of Warcraft 3 and lay the groundwork for World of Warcraft. Well, at least in the context of, "We have so much world-building from Warcraft 3 that we actually think we can build a gameworld around it for an entirely different system of play." We never got Worlds of Starcraft, sadly, and we didn't even get Starcraft: Nova (or Perfect Dark in Space as my friends like to call it). Note: Actually, there's some evidence we DID get Starcraft: Nova as its plotline bears a suspicious similarity to the original Mass Effect.

    The difference in graphics.

    In any case, Starcraft is a gameworld which bears a special place in my heart like the original Legend of Zelda, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Streetfighter 2, and TIE Fighter. It's just one of those games which was instrumental in formulating a part of how my young mind worked. No, it wasn't as good as later titles like Knights of the Old Republic or Dragon Age (or I'm just going to list Bioware games from here on) but it left an impression on me.

    Strangely, it mostly did that by the story that I felt was genuinely good. I mean, playing the countless matches with my friend was great too but I actually think the world-building is what I remember most about it. It was really a perfect storm of storytelling, fun gameplay, simple but memorable concepts, and likeable characters. Starcraft wasn't a perfect game, mind you, but it was addictive and had a lot more depth than any work of its era had a right to. Now it's been remastered.

    The character models are cleaned up considerably.

    I should clarify when I say remastered that I don't mean remade. Remaking Starcraft like they're planning to do with Final Fantasy VII (and is taking so long because it needs to be like seven games to fit all of the content your imagination filled in) isn't on the table. No, this is just a cleaned up and graphically enhanced but not replaced version. It's the equivalent of the re-releases the original Star Wars trilogy got without Greedo shooting first.

    The premise is simple enough to understand but complex enough to spend hours on if you're so inclined. The simple version is three races inhabit the Koprulu sector: humans, Zerg (bugs), and Protoss (faceless blue space elves). They fight each other. The complex version is that the exiled prisoners and refuse of humanity have settled in a far away star cluster, unknowingly next to an expansionist constantly evolving race of insects as well as an ancient race of theocratic psychics. They fight each other. There's intrigue, betrayal, twists, and turns with three separate campaigns that fill in more backstory about what the Aiur is going on.

    Ah, same old slaughter.

    Part of what makes the game so good is what I call the Metzin twist. Basically, it's a simple but brilliant concept of taking Star Wars and zigging whenever Star Wars zags. The Rebellion is pure and good when fighting against the Evil Empire, those shifty Dark Templars are surely the Sith to the Protoss' Jedi, and the Zerg are surely mindless monsters. Right?

    The characters are archetypes that are extremely memorable despite their comparatively short period of screen-time. Sarah Kerrigan, Jim Raynor, Arcturus Mengsk, the Overmind, Tassadar, and Fenix are all characters who stick with us after the campaign is over. So much so that when I played the far less interesting Starcraft II campaigns, I carried on simply because I'm very fond of them.

    Sadly, the cutscenes haven't aged well.

    Starcraft's single player campaign has a steep learning curve. Very often you just have to guess what each new campaign's best units are and how best to use them. By the time you actually do master them, you'll probably be done with the campaign. The multiplayer was complicated and hard enough that it actually made a viable e-sport but it's not something I'd recommend trying these days. Still, I'm almost tempted to call up some old friends for a match or two since it isn't that hard to get back into the swing of things.

    Starcraft: Remastered also contains the Brood War expansion which is effectively a sequel to the story that never got a third installment. That introduced factions like the United Earth Directorate, broadened the Dark Templar, and made the Zerg Queen into one of the most formidable villains in video game history. Sadly, we had to wait over a decade to find out what all the seeds laid in that expansion were for and the answers were not overwhelming.

    In conclusion, this game was a milestone of its time and the fact they've cleaned it up is a gift to the fans. It'll never be on consoles again but RTS is made for computers and computers alone. Starcraft has its flaws but I'm very glad Blizzard remastered the original. The sequel just doesn't hold up by comparison.

  2. Lone Cat

    Lone Cat It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 8, 2012
    Cutscenes hadn't been retconned nor HD'ed.

    Personally i'd like to see an SC2 mod (can't remember the name but it retells Starcraft 1 and Broodwar in SC2 engine) finished completely. one that all 3D models are those seen in SC1 and not SC2 placeholders. (even though SC2 Marine Armor did exists BEFORE SC1 begin. too bad SC1 raynor is portrayed with 'blue' armor rather than black ones he wore in SC2 (which the new lore retconned that he got one during the conflict known as Guild Wars.. which happened some 10 years prior to SC1).
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