It seems like significant chunks of the gaming blogosphere takes a collective pause whenever there’s a new StarCraft expansion looming on the horizon. For example, when the Brood War expansion was released and gave the original Starcraft game an awesome facelift, RTS and non-RTS fans alike stood in awe, and the global gaming blogosphere gave a collective nod of approval. Well, it looks like StarCraft 2 is poised to draw the same type of reactions with its first of two planned expansions: Heart of the Swarm. If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, let me spell out what this means. Two words, really: new units. That’s right, if you thought you’ve seen all the freakish, funky, high tech, weapons and destructive capability Star Craft 2 can throw at you, guess again. StarCraft 2 looks poised to take things up a notch-not just in terms of new unit descriptions but also in how these units look and perform. Anyway, no amount of black and white digital ink can adequately describe the sheer awesomeness packed into these compact units so be on the lookout for the awesome trailer that just got released for Heart of the Swarm. It is awesome and definitely builds up anticipation for the release of the expansion pack. Sadly, Blizzard has been tight lipped so far regarding when the game’s official beta will start
The good news is that players who thought that the expansion pack will give them units that will tip the scales of gameplay will be disappointed. Blizzard is dead serious about game balance and they have, judging from the unit descriptions and the units’ trailer video, taken great pains to make sure that the units balance each other out. The key is not a straight shoot em/bash em “strategy” (as if that word even applies to this type of gaming style) but to focus the player’s attention on a needs-based or situation-based unit selection strategy. This is the type of deep level analysis that ensures StarCraft 2 retains a massive fan base.