StarCraft: Brood War
A solid expansion that continues where StarCraft left off.
It would appear that help is on the way for those who have blazed through all three campaigns in the original StarCraft and crave more. All previous races are back in Blizzard’s add-on, Brood War, covering a terrific plot, fresh missions and the requisite new units and buildings that you would expect from such an expansion. Brood War picks up smoothly from where StarCraft left off, and many characters and locations are carried over. The plot again is in the three-episode format and is even more immersive than the original. The missions are well designed and vary greatly from the “find the enemy base and destroy it” genre, as did the original.
One main issue addressed in Brood War is the balancing of units among the three races. Debates have gone on for a while now on how to balance one races air power versus another’s, and so on. For the most part it seems that the Terran and Protoss units got a little help, and the Zerg units have generally been “weakened” by making it a little tougher to amass large numbers of powerful units to throw at the enemy.
Six new units are included in the game, two for each side. Terran players get a medic and a missile-laden spacecraft. The Zerg have evolved a subterranean attack unit and a more powerful flyer. Dark Templars and spacecraft capable of neutralizing attacks are added to the Protoss. These are integrated well; the new graphics and sound effects are of the same fine quality as the old. All of these units are useful, and fascinating strategies on battle.net and Gameranger have arisen. The only real problem in the game seems to be the unavoidable ungrouping of units after they exit a transport or escape a stasis field on the unpatched version of Brood War.
The new terran air-to-air fighter, the Valkyrie, is effective against multiple targets and is an excellent companion to the Terran Battlecruiser, which packs firepower but never did too well against massed aerial attacks (i.e., Zerg Mutalisk). Instead of just affecting one target, the missiles explode and damage units in the surrounding area, again making it a good defense against swarm attacks by closely grouped units Fresh music adds to the atmosphere. New tilesets are introduced and present a nice variation to the old scenery. More than one hundred new multiplayer maps are provided, and of this is smoothly integrated into the base product.
System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Windows 95/98
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