the Andrew Bailey

StarCraft: Remastered

I'm not enthusiastic about "remastered" games, so when Blizzard announced when they were remastering StarCraft, I was suspicious about it. I know that an incredible amount of these remasters are for games that haven't even been out for 10 years. The original StarCraft is like 20. That's four console lives! Okay, fine, I guess I'll take it.

Screenshot of StarCraft: Remastered, showing an assault on the Zerg Overmind.

StarCraft is kind of like the national sport of South Korea. From what I've read, it's still popular there. So it begs the question of why remaster the original StarCraft? Blizzard is kind of like the Apple Computer of gaming (as is Valve Software). Blizzard has never done a remaster of an old game, and it often doesn't follow other's footsteps. I didn't notice that in the push to convert Korea to StarCraft 2, some problems happened. Today, StarCraft 2 is moribound in Korea, but Brood War remains popular. Blizzard smelled an opportunity to cash in.

StarCraft Remastered is exactly what it says on the label. It's functionally the original, but someone has increased the resolution and lighting settings. StarCraft Remastered is in 24-bit true color (not 256 colors), and you can push it all the way to 4K! The units and their behavior is identical to the original. Commanding ground units to attack the other corner of the map might set them off in the wrong direction, or cause them to get stuck, like the good old days. It is even rumored to play with original installations in the same multiplayer games.

A text interstitial, with added visual

Aside from the resolution, Blizzard created new art and re-encoded the original source assets. Whether the units render in 3D, I can't tell. In the campaigns, there are establishment scenes before the talking heads room. These have been completely redone, as have the menu backgrounds. The text interstitials have added visuals. These new pieces take heavy inspiration from StarCraft 2, which I approve. It seems that before Artanis got that fancy golden armor, he looked like some kind of Space Tarzan. The video cinematics have not been redone, and retain the 90s flat 3D look, but they have been re-encoded. In one establishment scene in the original, a faint silhouette of what looks to be a Protoss Nexus looms on a red sky. The remaster reveals an entire base.

A Protoss base under a red sky.

This is how StarCraft has always looked to me. I wanted StarCraft 2 to look more like this, but Blizzard went with a cartoonish look instead. I might have to play that all the way through soon, simply to remind myself that this has a happy ending.

Posted under Gaming. 0 complaints.