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Critic Reviews 89% add missing review
Cyber Stratege ( )
Après un an d'attente Blizzard sort enfin le successeur spatial de Warcraft. Un western galactique saignant et sans pitié, déjà un classique de la stratégie en temps réel !Jun 1998 · Windows · read review
GamesFirst! ( )
The bottom line with Starcraft is that it’s just plain fun, and you can’t fake that. No matter how much money you pour into a game, no matter how flashy the graphics are, no matter how innovative the interface or features, if the game isn’t fun, it’s not a good game. I don’t know how Blizzard does it, but every game they make is fun, and Starcraft is no exception. Here’s how good Starcraft is: I review a lot of games, and most of the time I get bored with even the very good ones by the time I finish reviewing them; usually I just want to get on to the next one. But I really hope nobody sends me anything to review for a while, just so I can spend more time with Starcraft.1999 · Windows · read review
Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( )
With all the pre-release publicity surrounding STARCRAFT, it would have been more than easy for Blizzard to tumble off that mountain of hype and fall flat on its face. With expectations at an unprecedented high, anything less than a great game would likely be seen an utter failure. After months of delays, the game is out and the verdict is in: STARCRAFT isn’t just great game: it’s the kind of game that grabs you by the brain stem and compels you to play it. This baby’s gonna stick around.Jul 1998 · Windows
Gamers' Temple, The (96 out of 100)
StarCraft is one of those rare games that is not overly complex, but provides a challenging and fun gaming experience. It never seems to get old or boring, and the free online service provides an always changing game experience. This game is one of the best in the genre and should be a part of all strategy gamer's libraries. You'll find yourself coming back to StarCraft again and again.Apr 8th, 2002 · Windows · read review
IGN (9.5 out of 10)
Finally, Starcraft is still a thriving multiplayer game. Consider the numerous third party maps, scenarios, and even campaigns that are available for download. Consider, too, the game's phenomenal sales. There are still people playing Starcraft all over the world. Just log onto Blizzard's battle.net and you'll find thousands of them.Jun 2nd, 2000 · Windows · read review
Electric Playground (9.5 out of 10)
StarCraft has lived up to much of its promise in that it fits very nicely in the must-have category of games. Over the course of this year you are going to see 1001 different real-time strategy games vying for your dollar. Each of them will say that they are "the best" and "the next level of real-time combat". Most of them just won't have experience on their side to back up the hype. Blizzard does, and once again developers will be looking to StarCraft and Cavedog's Total Annihilation as the models by which all other games in the genre should be built. StarCraft may not be the next generation of the genre but it is easily the current pinnacle of how good it can be.May 5th, 1998 · Windows · read review
GameBlitz (95 out of 100)
To begin with I'll lay my cards on the table. The Warcraft series is arguably the finest in the history of gaming. So, with that noted, I'll go on to say that Starcraft - the latest incarnation - is the best game yet done. Forget all other real-time strategy titles - even Command and Conquer and Total Annihilation - Starcraft is light years ahead as it improves the series in every respect and throws in a ballsy touch of Aliens savagery as well.1998 · Windows · read review
PC Jeux (93 out of 100)
Starcraft porte le jeu de stratégie en temps réel en 2D à un niveau inégalé : une référence.Apr 1998 · Windows
Svenska PC Gamer (93 out of 100)
Det är helt klart att det är värt att vänta på StarCraft. Spelet är bra inom alla områden, trots att det inte erbjuder några avancerade strategiska element. Blizzard har alltid legat steget före Westwood på senare tid, men snart kommer Command & Conquer 2: Tiberian Sun. Tills dess rekomenderas alla strategifans att rikta sina blickar mot StarCraft.May 1998 · Windows
Gameplay (Benelux) (92 out of 100)
Starcraft is een klasse product in alle opzichten. Wanneer je een liefhebber bent van het genre, mag je dit niet laten liggen.Apr 30th, 1998 · Windows
Game Captain (92 out of 100)
Auch wenn Starcraft nicht die angekündigte "neue Echtzeit-Dimension" ist, gab es bislang kein anderes Spiel dieses Genres das so perfekt ausbalanciert war. Außerdem bietet es einige interessante Verbesserungen gegenüber seinen Vorgängern und ist somit jedem Echtzeit-Fan ans Herz zu legen.May 13th, 1998 · Windows · read review
PC Action (Germany) (91.5 out of 100)
Auch wenn es doch noch länger gedauert hat als angenommen, ist und bleibt StarCraft für mich das derzeit beste Echtzeit-Strategiespiel. Überragendes Missionsdesign, ausgewogene Rassen und die dichte Atmosphäre sorgen besonders für diesen Erfolg. Natürlich wünschte ich mir noch weitere Extras, unter anderem richtige Höhenunterschiede, eine höhere Auflösung sowie Sicht- und Schußlinien. Daß diese Features größtenteils komplett fehlen, trübt den Spielspaß jedoch kaum. Blizzard hat die essentiell wichtigen Punkte verwirklicht und somit ein klassisches Echtzeit-Strategiespiel erstellt, das keinen Vergleich mit moderneren Genrevertretern scheuen muß.May 20th, 1998 · Windows
GameSpot (9.1 out of 10)
Passing judgment on the most eagerly anticipated game of the last few years is no easy task; it's difficult to set aside prejudices that would sway one's opinion either way. Let's face it: Starcraft comes with a great deal of anticipatory baggage, and it would be easy to say that it's either a huge disappointment or the greatest thing since real-time strategy became a household phrase. Truth is, it's neither. Weighed on its own merits, Starcraft is an extremely well-crafted game, albeit one with a few notable problems. It doesn't stray far from the blueprint created by its predecessors (namely the Warcrafts and Command & Conquers), but it is, without a doubt, the best game to ever adhere to that formula.Apr 15th, 1998 · Windows · read review
PC Play (91 out of 100)
Kada nekom ignorantu pokušate opisati Starcraft, obično ćete se poslužiti naznačnicom “Warcraft u svemiru”. Ovo djelomično odgovara istini budući da je igra uvelike inspirirana jednom od najboljih realtime strategija svih vremena, u kojoj ste iz ptičje perspektive malo gradili i puno ratovali, no osim osnovne ideje (bolje rečeno - “pravila igre”), Starcraft uveliko nadmašuje slavne prethodnike (Warcraft 1 i 2), te bi ga se moralo staviti u neku zasebnu kategoriju koja odgovara zahtjevima današnjeg vremena (tehnologije). Autori su Starcraft vjerovatno proglasili “Warcraftom u svemiru” jer su vjerovali kako ćete uz njega provoditi jednaki broj neprospavanih noći kao što ste to svojevremeno činili uz Warcraft. Tu, bogme, nisu pogriješili.May 1998 · Windows
All Game Guide ( )
All in all, Starcraft is a crowning achievement in this cluttered genre. It truly revolutionizes and sets a new standard for real-time strategy games on the PC.1998 · Windows · read review
GamePro (US) ( )
What makes a good game good? I suppose, in a way, this is what the reviews section is all about (along with what makes an awful game awful). But in the case of Blizzard's Starcraft-a very good, if outwardly rather conventional game-the question seems particularly apt. Why has a game that doesn't feature any significant advances or innovations kept me fastened to the computer for hours on end?Nov 24th, 2000 · Windows · read review
Gamesmania.de (90 out of 100)
Die einzige Sensation an Starcraft ist, daß sich endlich keine Erntemaschinen mehr blockieren. Reicht das aus, um ein Spiel an die Spitze des Genres zu setzen? Wohl kaum. Starcraft ist nicht so putzig wie Age of Empires, nicht so spektakulär wie Total Annihilation, hat weniger Optionen als Dark Reign - und gefällt mir trotzdem besser als diese. Warum? Das Spiel wirkt ausgegorener, runder und dürfte auf Dauer mehr motivieren als die Konkurrenz. Scheint ganz so, als hätte sich das Herumfriemeln an Details eben doch ausgezahlt. Daß die Gegner unterschiedliche Einheiten haben, ist an sich ein alter Hut, und drei statt zwei Rassen macht den Kohl nun auch nicht fett. Doch noch nirgends waren die Unterschiede so groß wie hier. Die Einheiten sind nicht nur optisch ganz unterschiedlich, sondern auch von der Funktion und den Fähigkeiten. Außerdem zieht Blizzard noch ein paar Register, um den Spieler bei der Stange zu halten.1998 · Windows · read review
GameStar (Germany) (90 out of 100)
StarCraft erfindet zwar technisch keine einzige Radkappe neu, reizt aber die etablierten Genre-Zutaten perfekt aus. Seit C&C 1 und Age of Empires hatte ich nicht mehr so viel Spaß mit einem Echtzeit-Spiel!May 1998 · Windows
Overall, Starcraft is an excellent game. The minor drawbacks outlined above keep it from being among the best currently available and yes, it's based on an overused idea. However, its well-developed plot, unique races, intuitive interface, and excellent campaign editor make it worth the price of admission, especially for those that liked Warcraft II. Blizzard took everything it learned from its years in this business to create a very well-rounded game, one that excels in execution, polish and overall playability.Apr 20th, 1998 · Windows
GameTrip.net (9 out of 10)
Si on fait les comptes, pour un Starcraft acheté vous avez le droit à trois campagnes solo, un mode multi-joueurs, un mode de combat contre l’ordinateur et un éditeur de carte. Pas mal pour une vieillerie. Et le plus beau dans tout ça, c’est que le jeu est estampillé Blizzard, et donc gage de qualité. Il ne manque plus qu’un café bien chaud et les nostalgiques vont pouvoir passer des nuits blanches devant leurs ordis.Oct 8th, 2013 · Windows · read review
Oldies Rising (18 out of 20)
Au final, les années d'attente qu'il a fallu endurer pour jouer à ce jeu furent un calvaire mais c'était pour le meilleur, Blizzard nous offrant un soft exceptionnel. Ils ont réussi à créer tout un univers de science-fiction cohérent et à renouveler les principes du RTS. Starcraft est l'un des meilleurs RTS auxquels j'ai pu jouer et je m'y replonge encore de temps en temps.Oct 13th, 2008 · Windows · read review
PC Games (Germany) (90 out of 100)
Es gibt viele Sterne am Echtzeitstrategie-Himmel, aber nur wenige funkeln so hell wie StarCraft: Blizzard hat ein handwerklich solides, hochqualitatives Spiel kreiert. Leider fehlt es an technologischen und spielerischen Impulsen: 2D-Grafik dieser Qualität hatte der Vorgänger schon vor zwei Jahren, und eine StarCraft-Mission unterscheidet sich letzten Endes kaum von einem Level in WarCraft 2 oder Alarmstufe Rot – Gegner in Schach halten, Basis aufrüsten, Einheiten bauen, noch mehr Einheiten bauen, Gegner vernichten. Dank des enormen Unterhaltungswertes ist StarCraft sein Geld mehr als wert, allein schon wegen des erstklassigen Editors und der hollywoodreifen Inszenierung. Und auch mit dem konkurrenzlosen Mehrspieler-Modus samt Battle.Net ist Blizzard allen anderen um ein Lichtjährchen voraus. Wer sich seine Begeisterung für Spiele im WarCraft 2-Format bewahrt hat, sollte zugreifen.May 6th, 1998 · Windows
PC Player (Germany) (88 out of 100)
Starcraft wird nicht ganz seinem Hype gerecht, vereint aber nahezu alle denkbaren positiven Tugenden des Genres. Wer eine Art verbessertes "Warcraft 2 im Weltraum" erwartete, wird keinesfalls enttäuscht.May 1998 · Windows
Power Play (87 out of 100)
StarCraft hat es mir nicht leichtgemacht. Nach der langen Entwicklungszeit war meine Erwartungshaltung gerade bei einem Blizzard-Werk besonders hoch. Anfangs folgte die Ernüchterung. Missionsdesign und Handling erinnern nur allzu sehr an das gute alte Warcraft. Die Künstliche Intelligenz schaffte es, mich mehrmals zum Lachen zu bringen. Aber nach spätestens der sechsten Mission begann ich, in den Sog der Story und in das geniale Missiondeisgn zu versinken. Gerade die Upgrade-Optionen und die verschiedenen Charakteristika der einzelnen Rassen haben es mir angetan. Jede benötigt komplett eigene Strategien. Was andere nur versprechen ist Blizzard ohne Einschränkung gelungen. Die Rangliste im Battlenet motiviert immer wieder eine Runde zu spielen. Weder grafisch noch in der Funktionalität bietet StarCraft Neues und dennoch gehört es zu den besten Strategiespielen im Genre. Zur Zeit ist es mein Favorit und ich freue mich auf die kommenden Schlachten im BNet. Alle Leute greift zu!May 1998 · Windows
PC Joker (86 out of 100)
Das Fazit fällt damit relativ leicht. Denn zwar hat Blizzard das Genre hier keinesfalls neu erfunden, doch das abwechslungsreiche Spieldesign reizt es weitgehend aus. Starcraft ist ganz klar das bessere „Warcraft 2“ — und war der Kampf gegen die Orks neben „Command & Conquer 2“ nicht ein unbestrittener Höhepunkt in Sachen Echtzeitstrategie?May 1998 · Windows · read review
JeuxVideoPC.com (17 out of 20)
Deux ans qu’on l’attend. Deux ans à souffrir les nombreux retards de Blizzard, à voir défiler les images du jeu dans les magazines spécialisés. Mais nous tenons maintenant le messie du RTS entre nos mains, le seul capable de nous faire revivre les émotions procurées par un Warcraft 2, le seul, l’unique, Starcraft. Trêve de plaisanterie, redescendons sur notre belle terre ferme et mettons de côté la campagne de pub géante que Blizzard a orchestrée pour mettre en avant son petit dernier. Alors ? Est ce qu’on tient le Warcraft de l’espace entre nos mains ? Non, on tient bien mieux.Sep 13th, 2001 · Windows · read review
Score (8 out of 10)
Starcraft rozhodně posouvá vývoj v realtime strategiích o notný kus kupředu svými znatelnými vylepšeními, zvláště v geniálním navržení jednotek zřejmě ještě dlouho nebude mít konkurenci. Rozhodně je na světe výborná hra, která si nezaslouží tak úplně nálepku "klon Duny 2".May 1998 · Windows
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) ( )
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this title provided the amount of entertainment it did, and managed not to disappoint despite the incredible amount of hype that proceeded its arrival and somewhat unrealistic expectations that were placed on it. I think this game is definitely worth the money so long as you go in with the right frame of mind. This is not a TA-type of game where you will see lots of things you’ve never experienced before, although you probably will see some of that. More importantly, it is a well-designed and implemented concept that has a few shortcomings but a big upside. I’ll tell you this, if more “clones” were as much fun as Starcraft is, we wouldn’t complain about them nearly as much as we do. I say go buy Starcraft and experience the thrill of unleashing 100 Zerglings or a fleet of Terran battlecruisers on your enemies…I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.Apr 9th, 1998 · Windows · read review
Hacker (80 out of 100)
Uglavnom, zbrojimo li sve što nam Starcraft pruža, dobit ćemo zadovoljavajuću igru s kojom vam je zajamčena vrhunska zabava. No, ne dajte se prevariti: ovdje nema ništa revolucionarno, ovo je samo jedna kvalitetna igra koja će opravdati svaku potrošenu kunu. So, have fun if you like things like these...Apr 1998 · Windows
Christ Centered Gamer / Christ Centered Game Reviews (77 out of 100)
Well, Starcraft is and was a global phenomenon. It was GotY when it came out, it has been nominated for Walk of Game 2005, and millions of people still play it to this day.Oct 28th, 2005 · Windows · read review
Game Revolution (B)
All in all, if you buy StarCraft, you're buying it for the multi-player. The single-player is just too short and disappointing. The multi-player is a great setup, and, if you buy StarCraft, you will enjoy countless hours of gaming goodness. Unfortunately, the game just doesn't live up to the lofty goals of its predecessors, and for that, it suffers.Dec 5th, 1998 · Windows · read review
Edge (7 out of 10)
In multiplayer gaming, the months taken play-balancing the individual races seems well spent, they feel different. From superficial distinctions in the interface and music to the Protoss’ reliance on psychic energy and shields or the Zerg’s ability to burrow and spread underground, Starcraft is a true melting pot of extra terrestrials. Combine this with the dependable structure of Warcraft II and the result is an enjoyable game that, despite apparently ignoring the advances of the likes of Age of Empires and Total Annihilation, can still teach the pretenders a thing or two.May 21st, 1998 · Windows · read review
Micro Hebdo N/A
Plus compliqué que les échecs, mais nettement moins monotone. Un logiciel complémentaire permet de créer de nouvelles parties en confectionnant soi-même ses décors et ses scénarios. Il est possible de l'utiliser à plusieurs, jusqu'à huit joueur, en réseau ou en se connectant au site de l'éditeur Blizzard (www.battle.net). En visitant ce site, vous verrez que Starcraft, qui compte déjà des milliers de fans de par le monde, est le nouveau must des jeux de stratégie.Apr 23rd, 1998 · Windows · read review
Considered a legit sport in some countries. And for good reason!
by Stijn Daneels (84)
StarCraft was a game I heard much about before I actually played it. I heard that it was considered a huge E-sports game in some countries (particularly in South Korea) and that it was considered one of the greatest games of all time. After seeing the game along with its expansion Brood War for just 3 Euros in my local videogame store, I finally decided to buy it. And it was money very well spent.
There are plenty of great stuff in StarCraft that I want to talk about, but I will start off with the story. StarCraft takes place about five hundred years in the future and focuses on a conflict between three distinct races. The first one is the Terrans, in other words, us, homo sapiens. The second race is the Protoss, a technologically highly advanced humanoid race with superior physical and mental powers. Both species are being targeted by the third race, the Zerg, which are a mixture of various assembled alien species. The Zerg plan is to become a master race and destroy everything else in the universe. In other words, there are like some kind of space Nazis.
While the story may sound cliche at first, Blizzard made it very compelling with a diverse cast of characters for all three species and there are plot twists galore. Alliances are formed and broken, hidden agendas are discovered and significant characters get killed. Hell, one particular character not only changes sides but undergoes a complete physical and mental transformation (fans of the series will definitely know who I am talking about).
Not only that, but Blizzard created an entire, highly detailed fictional universe with its own history and lore. If you are planning to read the manual, you better take time for it as StarCraft's full story consists of more than twenty pages, with plenty of them fully dedicated to all three playable species and their respective sub factions.
But enough about the setting and story, time to talk about gameplay. StarCraft is a Real-Time Strategy game that plays very similar to the Command & Conquer series. You build a base, gather resources, create units and destroy the enemy before they destroy you. But they are two things that made StarCraft's gameplay stand above your typical RTS game.
The first thing are the species themselves. Every side has its own unique set of units, structures and style of play. The Terrans rely on flexibility and guerrilla tactics. They have stealth units, fast moving vehicles and can move virtually their entire base in case they get attacked or if they have depleted all local resources. The Protoss, on the other hand, have the strongest and most efficient units in the game, but all their units are slow and expensive to produce. If you are proficient with them, however, you can kick some serious ass using a small group of Protoss forces. Finally, the Zerg are the most primal of all three species as their style consists of nothing less than building lots of weaker units in order to swarm the Terran or Protoss settlements.
The second great thing about StarCraft's gameplay is the overall game balance. You will never feel at an unfair disadvantage no matter what side you choose or fight against. Every unit has its own purpose. Some walk, others fly. Some units can only attack ground or air units while others can attack both. Take the Zerg Ultralisk for instance, a giant, mammoth-like beast that can both deal and take enormous amounts of punishment. Its only weakness, however, is that it can only attack units on the ground. So send some air units its way and it will perish faster than a fly on a cobweb surrounded by a dozen spiders.
When it comes to music and sound, everything is top notch too. Every side has its own musical style. Terrans have an adrenaline pumping mix of rock and techno, the Zerg have dark ambient, threatening noise-like "music" and the Protoss have mysterious, somehow very relaxing music that would suit well for yoga sessions. The main character's voice actors do a good job at bringing their characters to life and every unit type has its own distinct voice (although the Zerg units rely only on growls, screeches and other animal sounds). I personally love the voice of the Protoss Archon, sending a group of those baddies to an enemy settlement while they say one word battle cries like "eradicate" and "destroy" certainly get my blood pumping.
While the enemy AI can be quite challenging and smart at times, they are also pretty predictable when you get to know how it works. Most of the time the AI you fight against limits itself to a more or less predetermined combinations of units. It does not happen all the time, but I did notice it quite a few times while playing the single player campaign.
And speaking of the AI, during some missions the AI has access to more than one species at the time. Do not be surprised if you have to duke it out with Terran and Zerg units at the same time or multiple sub factions at once. This may be intimidating and unfair at first, but eventually you can always find a way to even the odds.
The Bottom Line
If you have not yet played StarCraft then I would almost force you to play it. The game's story, setting, presentation and gameplay are awesome and then some. And despite this game being released more than fifteen years ago, fresh copies of this game are still being made and shipped today. So snoop around a bit on Amazon or your local video game store and you will certainly find a copy of this game packed together with its expansion pack for like 5 euros or something. Now go buy it, before I will send a swarm of Zerg Hydralisks you way, or do you prefer Terran Goliaths or Protoss Carriers!
Aug 30th, 2014 · Windows
Good but annoyingly overrated
by Maw (881)
Starcraft is the most popular of Blizzard's strategy games, and is one of a handful of games that has gone beyond being merely popular and become a legitimate pop culture phenomenon, from the professional gaming scene in Korea (where Starcraft matches are broadcast on national television) to the much-publicized death of a 28 year old man after a day-long stint spend playing Starcraft.
Despite being a cultural zeitgeist, Starcraft is a fairly modest game. Prior to the game's release some critics called the game "orcs in space" (jeez, I wouldn't want to be those guys now) and while most Starcraft fans would disagree they did have a point in that the game is mostly an updated version of Warcraft 2 with new graphics and revised gameplay. A Warcraft 2 fan could jump in and play without even reading the manual. The resource-collecting system is the same, and so is the way the player "techs up" in the game (basically, some buildings require a certain technology to be researched and some units require a building, in this way the player advances through the game, unlocking all the cool stuff as he goes). Starcraft is a very conservative game.
What makes Starcraft so great? Simply put, it is the first strategy game to successfully integrate a story into the gameplay. As I'll explain, this is no mean feat, and I don't think any other strategy game has managed it as well as Starcraft has.
A short word on storytelling in RTS games. This has traditionally been the genre's most lacking attribute. Many games (like Total Annihilation and Age of Empires) have dispensed with stories altogether, and the games that have tried to include them (Warcraft 2 and Command & Conquer) frankly have the emotional impact of a get-well card The genre just isn't designed with storytelling in mind. In -- say -- an FPS game it is no issue, as you are seeing the action through the eyes of a character and creating dramatic tension from that perspective is the easiest thing in the world. In an RPG or adventure game you become that character, so you might as well be watching an interactive movie or reading an interactive book. But how do you put a story in a strategy or simulation game? Or develop believable characters? Sanitarium copped flak because its isometric perspective distances you from the character you are playing as, and the problem is about ten times worse in the average strategy game, where the guts of the game are designed to allow you to command soldiers and build bases with ease rather than allow you to emotionally identify with anything on the screen. Trying to put a story into a strategy game is like trying to put a story into Monopoly or Risk; the framework for constructing a narrative just isn't there.
The two seminal RTS games, Command & Conquer and Warcraft 2, took a "hands off" approach to storytelling. You'd play a set-piece mission, then have the story progressed to via text messages or FMV cut scenes. It was like playing a game of chess and then watching a dramatic re-enactment of the game afterwards on the screen. This worked well for games at the time, but had its limitations. For one thing, the game was divided into two aspects (gameplay and story) that often clashed and never felt like a seamless, organic whole. For another, the player never felt like he was a full participant in an interactive, on-going story. He felt like an onlooker who was playing completely unrelated missions and then having a story spoon-fed to him.
Blizzard, with the release of Starcraft, realised that if you wanted to suck the player in to a believable, realistic word and make him care about characters, a text message or film clip every now and then would not suffice. In what may be compared to Half Life, they took the step of merging story and gameplay together as one. Plot developments happen as you are playing the game, and important characters are represented as "heroes" who can directly affect the outcome of the story. Starcraft, in one 30-hour game, introduces a sprawling tapestry of plot lines, characters, and worlds worthy of Star Wars. It isn't quite as efficient or engaging as an adventure or RPG (it is still foremost a strategy game), but it is a success -- a thousand fan fictions can attest to that. This idea for a plot-driven RTS was new at the time, and like all good ideas it seemed self-evident as soon as it was done.
Moving on to gameplay, Starcraft is a streamlined, fast-paced RTS. It's about speed and click-reflexes rather than complex strategies and planning. On a 1vs1 map between two equally skilled players, there's every possibility the game will be over by the five-minute mark (compared with, say, Age of Empires 2, where you will seldom be fighting before the 10 minute mark). Like Warcraft 2, this gave Starcraft a powerful selling point in its multiplayer, and not long after the game's release the overwhelming majority of people on Battle.net were playing Starcraft.
But unlike many multiplayer-oriented games (i.e. Quake 3) Starcraft did not neglect single player fans. The campaigns that come with the game are masterpieces, even better than the Warcraft 2 ones. There are the usual "build up from scratch" missions, other missions where you have a base already built up and must go hell for leather against a huge enemy army, and even some pseudo-RPG missions (which smack of Diablo) where you control a fixed group of soldiers and must infiltrate an enemy base. And since it is being driven along by the best story yet seen in a strategy, you'll come back to the campaigns again and again. There's also a solid skirmish mode where you spar against a computer-controlled opponent. Yes, the AI is much improved from Blizzard's Warcraft 2 days and this mode is actually worth playing.
Starcraft is not nearly as innovative as Warcraft 2 or Total Annihilation but still contains some worthwhile gameplay concepts. The most notable of these is the way the races in the game are balanced. There are three playable races, all of whom are different. By different I don't mean they get different soldiers and buildings or whatever, I mean they are completely different to the extent that playing as Protoss compared to playing as Zerg is like a whole new game. Terran are the most versatile of the three races, they can build anywhere, cloak or stimpack their units, and relocate their own buildings if necessary. The Protoss are powerful and possess near-godlike technology, but are few in number and are not very adaptive. The Zerg have large numbers of cheap, weak units and rely on sheer force of numbers to overwhelm their enemies. All three races are perfectly balanced and have a wide variety of options on different maps.
Like all Blizzard games, Starcraft gives you a very intuitive way of controlling your units. You can order them to move somewhere (meaning they walk straight to their destination) or attack-move (which is the same, except they attack everything in their path). You can also put them on automatic patrol, if there is a large area of land that needs guarding. Many tasks are completely automatic (you can right-click an area and a unit will perform the task that seems most appropriate, whether it is harvest resources, repair something, or whatever). Unit AI is spot-on and you'll rarely have to waste time redirecting lost units.
Another valued innovation was the ability to record games as "replays" that can be viewed and shared with other players. This fostered the pro-gaming scene as games between skilled players could be recorded for posterity and new players can upload their own replays for critiquing and comments. This feature was quickly adopted by other games and has become commonplace since.
And in what has become a Blizzard hallmark, there's lots of pathos and humor. When you click your units they'll respond with hilariously generic action movie one-liners and pop culture references. When you click the "Help button" you'll get tips and advice mixed in with numerous stupid suggestions.
Like Half-Life, Starcraft's hype has eclipsed the game itself. I really liked Starcraft, but I just don't get how people act like this game is curing disease. There's a lot of room for improvement in Starcraft, the game is hardly the perfection or pinnacle of the RTS genre. Starcraft does almost nothing new, and some things it actually does worse than other games of the time.
Firstly the user interface sucks big rusty nails. In contrast to the clean, minimalist control panels of Dark Reign and Total Annihilation, Starcraft has a huge, awkward dashboard thing that swallows up about a third of the screen and is probably twice the size it needs to be. Look at the screenshots. And since the game is stuck at an unalterable 640x480, the result is a tiny, cramped play area. It's the kind of design that would make a modern UI designer cringe, wondering how Blizzard got away with such a horrible and inefficient design. It feels like playing a game through a freaking telescope.
The game's graphics are nothing to rave about, being merely average for the time period. The game's terrain is bland as hell (although the indoor levels are cool) mostly consisting of generic sand, rock etc textures, and there are no hills in Starcraft's landscape. Everything is flat. The sprites have a cartoony, hand-drawn look that is very out-of-place considering the game's setting, and the coarse resolution doesn't help things.
The game only lets you select and move 12 units at a time, and this gets very, very irritating. Come on guys, this isn't 1995. Age of Empires II lets you move 40 units at a time and Total Annihilation has no limit at all. I seem to recall Blizzard's rationale for this pointless limitation being something along the lines of "we don't want this to become a 'select a bunch of units and over-run the enemy' kind of game". Yeah...so how does only letting the player move 12 units at a time help things? At best it's a distracting nuisance that serves no purpose and screams "artificial limitation" even worse than Age of Empire's 50 unit population cap did.
But these are small nitpicks compared to the game's biggest issue: gameplay is horribly one-dimensional. In contrast to the near-infinite number of strategies or tactics that could be employed in Total Annihilation, Starcraft is a one-trick pony. This game is about rushes and more rushes. There's no point in planning ahead or experimenting: unless you can get 10 zerglings in your opponent's face by X minutes you will lose the game. It is true there are advanced strategies that can be employed at high levels of play (such as early probe attacks) but by and large the game's outcome is determined by rushing. Far from revolutionising the genre (or even evolving it) Starcraft's gameplay was a polished reversion to the dumber days of the strategy genre where victory was determined by who could click the mouse the fastest. Heck, the game gave a name to the practice of rushing, "zerging", which I suppose should say something about the predominance of the tactic.
Starcraft supported multiplayer exclusively through Battle.net, which all things considered was little more than Mplayer with a GUI back in the day. It would have been nice if Blizzard had supported multiplayer through other, better platforms such as the MSN Gaming Zone, but that's just idle speculation.
The Bottom Line
Although its influence on the genre is undeniable, my take on Starcraft is that is a good but not great game that could be termed a victim of its own success. The only area it truly excels in is story, where it stands head and shoulders above the rest of its genre. If I had to rate the major 1997-2000 strategy games I'd put Age of Empires II first, Total Annihilation second, and Starcraft third. At the risk of angering Starcraft Luddites better games came out both before and since, and as far as I know the game does not cure cancer.
Oct 1st, 2007 · Windows
An amazing game by all standards.
by Tomer Gabel (4631)
Ah, finally! The most noteworthy RTS in years!
This game has some of the most spectacular graphics in an RTS to date. The movies are clearly directed by a professional and (unlike the C&C series) add to the game so much it seems almost lacking without them. The music is simply marvellous, and the AI is much better than in most games too. The storyline is very good and so are the campaigns, and the game itself is really good - the only game I consider better, in fast, is Dune II.
Oh, and the internet play is very good (no 3rd party plugins and crap).
Well, the music is kindof repetitive (although very good) and the Protoss campaign is kind of annoying. And the ending movie really sucks :-)
The Bottom Line
The best RTS since Dune II. Get it, play it and love it.
Nov 5th, 1999 · Windows
The world needs another Starcraft review...
by gamefan87 (3)
First and foremost, Starcraft features three unique, balanced, and interesting races. Whether playing as the human Terrans, organic-alien Zerg, or advanced-alien and somewhat-human Protoss, there are a variety of units, and even more strategies, to be utilized for each specific race. Furthermore the single-player campaigns were well structured and enticing enough to make me want to complete all thirty of the missions. This game uses simple, but effective, 2-D graphics (a godsend for those with older computers). Interspersed between the single player missions were some nice cutscenes which, although not graphically impressive, were a nice bonus. Also the ease of playing Starcraft online was a real treat, as there are no third-party software installations necessary to play online, and Blizzard's own battle.net is the means of online play. Finally Starcraft also has a great deal of replay value, as the powerful map editor enables players to create all sorts of maps for online play.
As nice as Starcraft is, it's not flawless. My chief complaint is the lack of real in-depth strategy. Starcraft is similar to Warcraft in that both are of the "horde resources and make as many units as possible" type of RTS games. Thus those looking for strategy to parallel games like Sid Meier's Civilization are going to be at a loss. Hence the end result is, to some extent, Warcraft II in space. Also the music is very average and the AI is very, very simple minded.
The Bottom Line
Starcraft is a truly great RTS game, but it is not a flawless one. It's gained a lot of notoriety and has become quite historically important, yet at the time of this review (May, 2004) it's long been outstripped by several other RTS games. Thankfully, because of its age, Starcraft can run on older and low-end systems. I'd recommend getting Starcraft plus its expansion Brood War in the Battle Chest package while its still available.
May 8th, 2004 · Windows
This game remains the only good game I have come across where the races are different. In many, many games they have directly opposing units (sometimes with a small alteration to how they work) while other games go a bit further and have genuinely unique units. However in Starcraft every unit bar the resource-gatherers are unique. There are a few similar units, but always with very different roles. Even more surprising is the base setup. While, there are some similarities between the Protoss & the Terrans (both possessing buildings that build individual....) the zerg are totally different. They build technology buildings, then one building builds everything. This results in a totally different playing style, allowing Zerg to change unit type with far greater speed than the other races. The Protoss can build bases very fast - they don't have to have a unit build their structures, just placing them then leaving for the next one. The Terrans have the most flexible base setup - allowed to build almost anywhere on the map, not just near control srtuctures like the other two. They can also move existing major structures around at will, although the structures are slow & inoperable while in transit.
The result is a game with three sides, not a game with one plus a handful of idiosyncrasies. With great balance between the races the game is very replayable, and the map editor has created almost limitless numbers of special objective maps for those bored with the standard game.
The single worst pint has to be the unit AI, as already mentioned. Arranging units can be a nightmare. Path-finding is poor, but comparable with other games of the time. The computer controlled players are infuriating however. Sometimes they appear to know everything about you, other times they can't build there own base even without any opposition. While in general they are fairly easy to beat they gain immeasurably powerful units - as they can control every units special at once they can do things no human could ever hope to achieve, individually targeting every one of your units with an appropriate ability. While the AI does respond to your actions in building units that are capable of fighting what you are currently using they are still very poor defenders, so if you can ever stage an assault on them you are likely to be able to cause a lot of damage while having a relatively weak attack force, as by attacking in multiple areas in sequence their units will simply run from one place to another, never actually engaging any attacking force in numbers.
The Bottom Line
A great game - but mostly only for playing the campaign or for playing other humans. While online you will often find humans back-stab you, those that do tend to be very poor players & signal their intent well in advance.
For those who wish to play computer opponents - look elsewhere.
Jun 1st, 2007 · Windows
The greatest RTS of all time.
by Wizdon Alexi (2)
This game is a perfectly balanced affair, yet still managed to have so much differance between the three races. There are no unit equivilents, as with almost all other RTS games, even he more popular ones. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest RTS ever, and that Blizzard have done it again, except much better (and less popular) than the Warcraft series. I can't wait for Starcraft 2.
Backstabbers in melee games on battle.net.
The Bottom Line
Go to your nearest retailer and buy this game. But dont stop at that, buy Brood War as well. Because its more of the stuff you are about to fall in love with.
Oct 6th, 2001 · Windows
Best strategy game ever made for the pc, it has all that you are looking for...
by Ulwiz (2)
The AI is very good, the requirements are not a problem, good vehicles and troops, it is a pleasure to play a multiplayer game. It's a masterpiece.
I would like it to have more missions...
The Bottom Line
Best strategy game ever made for the pc, it has all that you are looking for... Try it and you'll love it, if you liked warcraft then hang on this masterpiece and defend yourself against your opponents...
Feb 12th, 2001 · Windows
A MUST play Real-Time Strategy Game.!
by MajorDad (534)
Great graphics and sound, 3 completely different races with unique units, strategies and engrossing campaigns. Intuitive interface, gradual learning curve. Fascinating storyline that makes you want more. Good campaign editor.
The 3D perspective is not very good and doesn't give you a real feeling of true 3D terrain. There could be a few more units for each side.
The Bottom Line
As much as I didn't want to say it, this is the finest RTS game of its kind, ever. In my top 5 games ever.
Nov 8th, 1999 · Windows
Difficult strategy game with great equipments
by Atif Shahid (22)
This game is so good. It has very good maps and equipments. All three forces have good army. And it is very good that there exists army upgrades. That makes our army more powerful.
For the time there is nothing bad I have to say.
The Bottom Line
Play this game if you like difficult games. You will really enjoy each level. Each map has its own adventure. Collect minerals and vespine gas as much as you can, prepare your enemy and defeat your opponent. All forces types have their own army type. TERRAN, ZERG and PROTOSS. Make one of them your best one.
Jan 21st, 2004 · Windows
I love the smell of napalm....
by GAMEBOY COLOR! (1997)
Just about EVERYTHING! This game may not be the most technical strategy game ever made, but boy does this come close to being perfect! I'll start the actual review by going through the three campaigns.
The Terran. This is the only campaign with a tutorial level so be warned. It starts off easy enough. Move some units, kill lightly scattered Zerg, find people, you know the drill. But around level five is where it gets interesting. The plot turns (I won't reveal any of it) and things get hectic. Building units was a breeze, and attacking with HUGE amounts of siege tanks was very fun. All the characters are well fleshed out and superbly acted. I love those funny one-liners from the fire-bats the most. "Got any questions about pro-pain?"! Hilarious. The landscapes could have been better but all the units were highly detailed and very fluid looking. Plus the sound effects were fantastic. Who doesn't love hearing the sound of twenty siege tanks go off ?
Zerg. Apparently if you are on the receiving end. The Zerg campaign was fun, but somehow forgettable. But doing the Zergling Rush was always fun! Now one thing that sets this campaign apart from the other ones is nothing is built. All the structures you need are mutated from lower units. This is cool because all you'r buildings and units heal over time, saving precious minerals. While you can have units come two at a time, it unfortunately has negative effect later in the game that give you a throw-away attitude towards your units if your not careful. The graphics get their most detailed here, because everything is alive, everything moves. It's actually kind of creepy seeing your buildings bleed. The sound gets excellent props too with lots of ear-splitting screams and shrieks that sound great!
Protoss. But they don't sound so great when those screams are attacking your forge. The Protoss campaign is the hardest one of them all, but the most rewarding. The Protoss have shields but they are not as good as having units heal themselves. This campaign by far has the coolest looking graphics of all. Lots of blues and greens give it a very technical, and mystical feel to it. And the units are AW-SOME! Strong, nearly indestructible against any other units but your own! But the best feature in the whole game is here. You can take a probe and have it open a rift to bring in a building, and LEAVE IT TO BUILD SOMETHING ELSE!!!!!! Talk about time saving! And to wrap up this section with the sound. Best sound effects ever. Period. You have to hear it for yourself.
There isn't much actual strategy in here but different rush attacks, but it's still cool to see a attack come off without a hitch. Overall the graphics were some of the best 2D graphics I've ever seen. The sound and acting were superb, and the story ALONE is worth playing this game.
TOO @!#%^$ HARD! Near the end of each campaign, better get in lock down mode or you'll be obliterated before you even get established! The last three Protoss levels demonstrate this perfectly. I have wasted so many hours trying to finish this game I will dwell on it no longer. And my last gripe is that there are NO video options whatsoever. Even Age of Empires Gold had better options than this. And the in-game con-trolls don't tell you where the screenshot key is.
The Bottom Line
Get it if your willing to put up with massive frustration near the end, but get it if you love story and rush attacks ! And the sound of twenty siege tanks going off. Unless you'r on the receiving end.
Dec 14th, 2007 · Windows
A great on-line game.
by Attila (587)
I met new people on-line. It was well thought out and balanced where the protoss cost a lot of money, the terran sucked but were cheap, and zerg had really low health but you can make a lot of guys at once.
After you beat the computers and then your teammate turns on you, also known as backstabbing. I wished the terran were a little stronger.
The Bottom Line
It's a good game with a lasting appeal.
May 28th, 2001 · Windows
Thou shall behold and bow down to #1 RTS of ALL TIME!!
by Indra was here (20774)
It's amazing to know that not one single dang Real-Time-Strategy game has accomplished the pure genius this dang game has achieved!
Like the other guy said, the world needs another StarCraft review cause I'm totally gonna kiss ass when it comes to this game. The adventure world had Loom, the RPG world has the classic Dragon Wars and the modern Fallout and the semi adventure/RPG Ultima VI, the Playstation world has Final Fantasy VII, dang it the Real-Time-Strategy game has this one!
Funny to say, I didn't actually play the "real StarCraft" to begin with. I played some StarCraft module that replaced the races with "Gundam" (Japanese battle-mechs) characters (not knowing what the real StarCraft was). The graphics in that version was actually a little better than the original StarCraft...but nevermind.
Once I realized which one was the original StarCraft (there are a lot of custom versions), I was hooked. But, then again StarCraft isn't really all that "new" in the RTS genre, since it's obviously an upgrade from Dune games. So what's so special about StarCraft?
shout out load STORYLINE! STORYLINE! STORYLINE
WHEN IN THE HELL WILL DEVELOPERS AND THEIR MONEY DRIVEN PUBLISHERS REALIZE TO START FOCUSING ON A GOOD STORY FOR A GAME THAN FOCUSING ON DANG 3D GRAPHICS!
Sure you can't see what's so "great" about a storyline at a stupid gaming expo, just to hear "the wows and gasps" of crowds looking at the last graphical 3d experience. Hmm...got carried away there...haha
Starcraft had a story. In fact, it wasn't just a story, it was a whole dang book of storytelling. It had stories about individual players, your little heroes that lead your armies. It had stories about the struggles of each race there is, the good, the bad, the hardships, the victories. It was a juggling act to balance all races in a perfect equilibrium of each micro victory and defeat as a contribution to the overall macro story of storytelling genius. Dang this game had a great way to tell a story, the last game that actually got away with this is probably Final Fantasy VII and VIII.
One of the toughest thing's you can do to create a balance of units and races. When you find a RTS game where each race has totally different units but the only reason you pick a race just based on "personal taste", you know your looking at a work of genius! Other famous RTS games such as Age of Empires and Red Alert could never in their wildest dreams be compared to the balance of races and units this game has to offer.
The fact that the game I played lacked the cutscenes is a major bummer. Gotta get me the original version this time.
The Bottom Line
You know what the world needs better than another StarCraft review? It's another StarCraft game. No question.
May 23rd, 2004 · Windows
A Dune 2 Clone
by Jon Wilson (2)
The Playability is fun.
Music completely stinks. Although the playability is fun, lets face the truth people, because I'm not sure if any-one else noticed, but this game seems to play like Dune II a little too much. In fact I would call this a Dune II clone with very little going for it. In my personal opinion this game is popular because they copied off of Dune II so much and the fact that people will buy just about anything that Blizzard makes. Lets face it Blizzard hasn't done much in the way as "new" and "innovating" when it comes to the video game industry.
The Bottom Line
A Dune II like feel, that although fun is a bit repetitious. Blizzard might as well have created a game based off Dune.
Oct 16th, 2003 · Windows
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by Alsy, Scaryfun, Patrick Bregger, nyccrg, garkham, Kabushi, Tim Janssen, Zerobrain, Xoleras, PCGamer77, Plok, Flu, Big John WV, Wizo, Emmanuel de Chezelles, oct, Cavalary, Cantillon, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy).