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Gaming

Starcraft II: Now that's what I call real-time strategy

Starcraft is a decrepit 11 years old, but it's still hugely popular, especially in Korea, where it's some kind of religion -- and the sequel looks just as holy

Blizzard, makers of World of Warcraft, finally -- after about, oh, a million years -- announced a new game at the weekend. But this isn't the time to be churlish, because it's the sequel to one of the best-loved, longest-played, most influential videogames of all time, Starcraft.


It's real-time strategy, Jim -- and exactly how we like it

Starcraft is a decrepit 11 years old, but it's such a stonking game that there are still massive tournaments, especially in Korea, where it's some kind of religion. Its multiplayer battles have been particularly important in making the real-time strategy genre such a mainstay of hardcore online gaming. It's hard to think that games such as Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War would have attracted such a following if Starcraft hadn't blazed the trail.

Anyhoo, the sequel, Starcraft II, looks absolutely splendid. It's staying true to its roots, with the same three playable races, and no hero characters -- just massive armies smashing the wotsit out of each other. Blizzard aims to make it playable on fairly basic PCs and will consult with pro gamers to make skill as important as possible in multiplayer. I can't wait.

Our sister site GameSpot UK has lots more, including a full preview and the brilliant CGI trailers.