When I was just starting out on my freshman year at college, one of the many aspects of the “larger world” that now lay before me was the after-school activities I could now engage in, living on my own as it was. A very popular pastime for college students in between classes or at the end of the day was to crowd into some of the nearby computer parlors to play networked PC games. One of their favorite games in this regard was Blizzard’s real-time strategy title “Starcraft”, the sci-fi spin of the original fantasy-themed “Warcraft” series (yes, before “World of Warcraft” supplanted the old RTS series as the “only” game in the franchise).
I never actually played the game in those days, but I was fascinated with watching the pitched battles between groups of student players slugging it out across various alien world battlefields. So many years have passed since those salad days of mine, and while the “Starcraft” sequel trilogy games are a relatively fresh memory even now, Blizzard has decided to dip into the nostalgia by making a surprise announcement. According to The Verge The original 1998 “Starcraft” and its “Brood War” expansion will be returning in the summer as “Starcraft: Remastered”, with 4K graphics and re-recorded soundtrack and sound effects.
In addition, the original 19-year-old titles will now become available free (as “Starcraft Anthology”) for Windows and Mac, just ahead of the Remastered release. They will include a patch to help the classic “Starcraft” and “Brood Wars” run more smoothly on modern hardware and operating systems. Both classic and Remastered editions will have their online features brought up to the current suites used by Blizzard for online play. And for those who can’t spring for the Remastered version and only download the Anthology, the two editions will be compatible for cross-play both on LAN and online.
The 1998 release of “Starcraft” was something of a videogame culture revolution that wouldn’t be seen again by Blizzard until “World of Warcraft” came out in 2004. Nowhere was this most obvious than in South Korea, the birthplace of the “ZERG RUSH!” and “KEKEKEKEKE” gaming memes. Even today that country’s gaming community sees the original “Starcraft” as a national sport, and is arguably one of the founding pillars of modern e-sports.
The patch for “Starcraft Anthology”, numbered 1.18, is the first for the classic titles in eight years. It features compatibility fixes with Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, while making them actually playable on Mac 10.11 and later versions. Other additions are the ability to switch between full-screen and windowed views, as well as an “observer mode” to watch player battles without direct participation.
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