Blizzard Announces StarCraft: Remastered, Due Out This Winter

Everyone's favourite real-time strategy game is getting a face-lift. As Blizzard president Mike Morhaime announced at this weekend's I <3 StarCraft event in South Korea, the original game and its Brood War expansion are both getting an HD overhaul and being repackaged as StarCraft: Remastered, due out later this winter.

The new version will be in 4K and include refreshed audio. More importantly, it will also be supported by the company's Blizzard App (formerly Battle.net), meaning you can easily launch the game from the same PC client you use to play Overwatch and Hearthstone.

This will provide players with matchmaking that takes their skill and preferred race into consideration, helping to streamline the process of finding people to play with online.

Blizzard swears it isn't tinkering with any of the gameplay, however. While the new version will facilitate zooming in and out of the field of play in more detail and include some fresh narrative interludes for the single-player campaign, Morhaime promised the original balance of the game would be preserved.

As for the old versions, StarCraft and Brood War will both be free to download once patch 1.18 is rolled out at the end of this month. The first update to the game in eight years shouldn't change much beyond fixing a few bugs since both StarCraft and StarCraft: Remastered will be compatible with one another in terms of save data and online play.

While the game is expected to come out in later this year, a price for the remastered package wasn't revealed at the 1 <3 StarCraft event, a mini-tournament between some of the game's best players being held to honour the game's legacy.

Rumours of a remastered StarCraft first began last year after a South Korean news outlet reported that the project was in the works. The original game helped revolutionise the real-time strategy genre, hitting level of quality and balance that helped set it apart from contemporaries like Total Annihilation and Age of Empires, as well as Blizzard's own Warcraft series.

It went on to take South Korea in particular by storm, coming the closest to a national pastime as any video game ever has.

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Comments

    Insta-buy!

      Aaaaaand just watched the video.

      If they're not updating the animation AT ALL then I'm not that keen anymore. Too many jerkies!

        Have you tried Mass Recall?? (I believe it was a fan remake of SC with the SC2 engine.)

        It might sound tiny, but Starcraft pro players are attuned to when damage is dealt based on animation frame progress, and that level of micro wasn't uncommon at higher levels of play. Keeping the stilted animation may be a deliberate choice to preserve that information.

    Mainly interested in this to see what effect - if any - it has on observing and commentating.

    would much rather have seen it remade in the sc2 engine instead of this very minor graphics increase on a 20 year old game.

      Off to play Starcraft Mass Recall then :P

      Last edited 26/03/17 7:44 pm

      I would too. Unfortunately Blizzard wouldn't be able to market it as re-mastered, it would not be cross compatible with the original SC and most importantly it would require more effort which in turn means more money.

      There would also be a chorus of old school players that would can it saying it's nothing like the original which would also be correct unless Blizzard altered the SC2 engine considerably which would also further increase cost.

      I would like to see a Starcraft TV series or movie series hehe.

        If they shifted it to the SC2 engine it would have lost a lot of appeal to a large group who want it to be identical down to the gameplay per frame of animation and weird AI pathing etc.

    Awesome. I had the urge to play this the other day but I have lost the game discs.

    Awesome. I had the urge to play this the other day but I have lost the game discs.

    This might look good, but if it still plays exactly the same way as the original with the idiotic AI and archaic mechanics like 12-unit selection limit, it's going to play like arse.

    I tried going back to play BW after a while with SC2 and I just couldn't. Never mind what it looks like, the gameplay itself just hasn't aged well. I mean, as much as I loved SC and BW back in the day, compared to SC2 it's really inferior.

    Half the "skill" in that game is knowing how to actually get the units to do what you want them to. I mean ffs you needed to micro manage 2 dragoons just to make sure they walked over a bridge properly, and let's not forget the joys of trying to micro 12 zerglings at a time that refused to stay in a bunch and just wanted to run headlong into battle single file. The BW purists call that "skill". Everyone else calls it poor AI and pathfinding and a pain in the arse. That just won't fly in 2017, but if you change that then the BW purists will hate you.

    Apparently this will also be able to play alongside the original SC:BW - so yeah, pretty much confirms the mechanics are going to be identical. This is a minor graphical update with some new network code thrown in and nothing more.

      That said I think if they changed it too much, people would bitch that it isn't a direct copy of the original and all their old tactics and micro go out the window.

      they arent changing any of the mechanics or gameplay for one big reason, Broodwar tornaments are comming back in popularity over on korea

      It's a hard line to draw. I mean we might not respect them but the techniques used to fight the UI are actual skills. Being able to juggle cats shouldn't give you a bigger advantage than solid tactics, but those skills set the talent requirements that built the competitive StarCraft scene.
      Not to mention that those skills are balanced in already. If Zerglings were easier to managed they'd make the faction easier to master and upset the balance. If it's too easy to play Zerg at a competitive level then they'll dominate.

      That said, the sort of updates you're talking about are my key interest in the remaster. I just think they're harder problems to solve than they appear.

      Apparently this will also be able to play alongside the original SC:BW - so yeah, pretty much confirms the mechanics are going to be identical. This is a minor graphical update with some new network code thrown in and nothing more.

      We don't want anything more; BW is superior in every way in spite of and because of many of the 'issues' you've listed. As has been pointed out, handling the interface is important in fostering mechanical skill which actually enhances tactical and strategical decision making; the best players make impeccable tactical and strategical decisions WHILST flawlessly maneuvering and positioning their army, and building their bases and economies. There is a good reason that Brood War launched an entire industry in Korea and set the standard for competitive gaming the world over.

      If you want to play an updated version of the original or an updated RTS, Mass Recall and Starcraft 2 respectively are there for you :)

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