Game of the Year StarCraft

first_imgStay on target For too long the definition of “Game of the Year” has been unfairly narrow. How boring is it to see every website shower the same stale AAA games with praise at the end of each holiday season? So at Geek.com we’re doing what we can to put a stop to this in Game of the Year, a new column celebrating worthy alternative picks for the year’s greatest game regardless of genre, platform, year of release, or even quality. Here, any game can be Game of the Year!As a bonafide classic and my single favorite game of all-time, StarCraft is a no-brainer for Game of the Year. But I figured I said pretty much all I had to say about the revolutionary sci-fi real-time strategy game in my exhaustive review of StarCraft II’s final expansion. However, Blizzard recently confirmed that the original masterpiece is being remastered, so soon you can play it even if you’re allergic to sub-4K graphics. That’s as good an excuse as any to once again talk about how outstanding StarCraft is.What is there really left to say about StarCraft, though? Almost twenty years ago, god-tier game developer Blizzard evolved the real-time strategy mechanics of Warcraft, added some space opera flair, and created an engine for some of the most satisfying tactical gameplay ever experienced. The three races feature distinct playstyles while somehow remaining incredibly balanced. So whether you’re commanding armies of mechanical space trucker Terrans, swarming bug-lizard Zerg, or uppity alien Protoss, you can have a great time if you put your mind (and clicking finger) towards it.As an unskilled child at LAN parties, I had a blast Zerg rushing as well as waiting patiently to unleash a Carrier fleet. These days I prefer slightly more sophisticated strategies like unexpected invisible Dark Templar strikes or spawning a Photon Cannon near an enemy’s workforce. Can you tell I main Protoss? And that I’m not very good?The first thing that comes to mind for most folks when thinking about StarCraft is Sarah Kerrigan, the spiky, Medusa-esque alien lady who’s basically the mascot for the series. StarCraft’s plot, from the original game to the Brood War expansions to the sequel and its expansion, hinges on Kerrigan’s transformation from hero to villain to anti-hero to goddess. Some dig it; some think it’s dopey, especially once her romance with space cowboy Jim Rayner takes center stage. The later casting of Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer should’ve been the biggest clue about where this was all heading. Personally, any character that can inspire this scene from The Office is okay in my book.However, StarCraft’s legacy as chess for a new generation is almost entirely due to its multiplayer. On any list of wacky facts about South Korea, you’ll find the tidbit that StarCraft is the country’s national sport, an eSport before anyone actually said that gross term out loud. And its enduring popularity is due to how balanced and deep the gameplay is. There are always new strategies to discover and test. There are always new counter-strategies to push the metagame even further. High-level StarCraft requires more brainpower and finger reflexes than I’ll ever have, but instead of being jealous, I just marvel at the potential for complexity. I dislike sports, and I think watching other people play video games is one of the most boring things a person could do, yet I find professional StarCraft matches to be utterly captivating.Bad movie aside, Warcraft deserves credit for introducing us to Blizzard’s take of real-time strategy games, and World of Warcraft is the Tetris of MMOs. Diablo is hugely influential in the loot game genre, and Overwatch is impressive and wonderful new life that sprang from the corpse of a different cancelled game. The Lost Vikings is neat, too. But StarCraft is the Blizzard game that truly means something to me. If they ever made a World of StarCraft, or even just a StarCraft-themed Hearthstone deck, I’d immediately go broke. Heck, I’d even check out StarCraft on the Nintendo Switch. It’s not like it could be worse than StarCraft 64.This summer Blizzard is remastering StarCraft with improved visuals, storytelling, and online support for the same time-tested gameplay. The original StarCraft will also now be completely free. So soon you will have no excuse whatsoever to play the Game of the Year. Close that MOBA and play a real strategy game for once.Check back next week to read about the next Game of the Year! Review: ‘Fantasy Strike’ Is A Fighting Game That Understands…Game of the Year: Jordan Minor’s Best Video Games of 2018 last_img read more