GD Star Rating
At the time of this article, StarCraft is 10 years and 10 months old, yet far away from being abandonware. In the past week, Blizzard has released an official patch, probably making it the oldest updated game and last Thursday UC Berkeley started teaching StarCraft courses to its students.. Given the recent buzz, here is GameGoldie’s review of StarCraft!
This is a real-time strategy game like Age of Empires, Command & Conquer and some of the other titles, such as the Warcraft series, that Blizzard has produced. You play one of 3 races: the humanoid Terrans, the bug-like Zerg or the reptilian Protoss. Each race has its own advantages, with unique units, graphics and personality. There’s actually a fairly well-developed storyline for the game in the players’ guide, with histories of each race and run-downs of the characters you’ll encounter in the campaigns. The setting is 24th-Century futuristic, after Earth citizens have burned themselves out and have migrated to other parts of the galaxy. They run into the Zerg and the Protoss while fighting for planetary dominance on the Galactic Rim.
- Buy StarCraft Anthology for $14.99 from the Blizzard Store and own a legal digital copy of StarCraft and the Broodwar Expansion.
- Download a pirated versions for free from The Pirate Bay:
- Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 (108 MiB):
- Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher (1.2 GB):
- Buy a CD-ROM of StarCraft Battle Chest from Amazon.com for $19 – includes StarCraft, the Brood War expansion, Battle.net muliplayer and two official strategy guides. This will also help GameGoldies.org – Thank you!
Latest updates and instructions:
- 9:30 PM March 23, 2010 UTC: ThePirateBay removed the Windows download, please be patient while we find another reliable source or migrate to OpenBitTorrent
- 9:03 AM March 25, 2010 UTC: We have updated the download source. This Windows Starcraft version is easy to install, just decompress the .7z archive with 7zip or WinZIP and run StarCraft.exe. There is no virus, we scanned the files with Nod32 and Kaspersky, however you should verify this yourself. Some of the instructional comments regarding ISO’s and virtual CD’s are now absolete.
- October 10, 2010: New download source for the Windows version. BitLet (the beginners download method) wasn’t working with the old torrent file. However, the new one is very compact and takes less time to download. For install instructions read INSTALLATION.txt. The game installs and plays flawless, and it’s also virus free (please scan the files yourself). Please give us feedback using the comment form.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Like most games of this type, gameplay is on a playing field, with controls and a mini-map at the bottom of the screen. Units are controlled via mouse or keyboard shortcuts. You gather resources, in this case minerals and Vespene gas, to afford to produce workers, military units, buildings and upgraded technologies. You can play as a single player on different campaigns and scenarios, or multiplayer via network or on the Internet at Battle.net. Play, especially in battle situations, is very fast, although games themselves can last quite a while (hours, even) especially if the players are evenly matched. If you’ve already played this type of game before, you should be able to adapt to the feel of play fairly easily. Some units move so fast that it can be quite a task to follow them quickly enough with your mouse to select them. You can also self-design single or multi-player scenarios, or modify design on some of the already-installed scenarios.
Overall, outstanding — some of the best out there. The little movies that they play during some of the campaigns and right after installation are amazing. They do restrict you to a certain screen resolution (640 x 480) but because of the smallish size of the units, this makes sense. Some units, particularly Terran buildings, look so much alike that it can be difficult to tell them apart until you have played for awhile and get used to the subtle differences. The whole visual effect is very dark, which can make units difficult to see sometimes, so you may want to turn up the brightness on your monitor if you are having trouble. The control panel, while graphically nice to look at, takes up a bit too much screen real estate and could have been made smaller in relation to the playing field to avoid having to scroll so much during play. Map borders on the playing field also could be better defined, as it seems as if there is more map to look at when scrolling to the novice player, and you just run into a frustrating dead-end.
Very good and clear. Distinguishing between some of the odd sounds the units and buildings make takes experience, and sometimes the noises seem a bit incongruous with what they are supposed to represent. Music is very good. Definitely a game to buy good speakers for.
There is a tech tree chart of the buildings and a good manual that comes with the game. Reading both before play is a good idea. The manual gives background on the storyline and each of the three races, plus gives more specifics about each unit. Considering that many units look similar and there isn’t a lot of on-screen information about what each unit is and does, the printed material is a big help. If you’re a fan, you may want to buy the StarCraft Battle Chest for $20 because it also includes strategy guides.
This old game, while not as graphically violent as many games out there, is still fairly raw and also includes a fair amount of off-color language. Parents may want to restrict this game to older children.
Starcraft definitely ranks at the top of the heap for games in its class, and this is not only my own opinion. The inclusion of female characters is welcome and mostly well-done, if a bit on the just-there-for-decoration side. The cinematic animations are outstanding, dramatic and funny. Even the voice-over acting is really good. Multiplayer games are fast and furious, though it can take a while to get used to how alliances and teaming works. Scenarios are fun, but unless you’ve played for a while already and are familiar with the game, the computer players will come in and kick your butt. Save those for when you’re used to playing. A great game with lots of replayability and hours of time-consuming fun.
Covers and labels
Starcraft by Blizzard Entertainment,