BlizzCon 2011: Starcraft 2 – Heart of the Swarm gets a new trailer

Also out from Blizzcon is a new trailer showing off a bit more of the story in the next installment of Starcraft 2. It’s spoiler worthy stuff meaning that if you haven’t finished the first game, Wings of Liberty, you might want to avert your eyes as it picks up right after the ending with former Zerg queen/Terran Ghost operative Kerrigan finally returning home, so to speak, for revenge.

Wings of Liberty focused on the Terran story and Heart of the Swarm is going to be all about the Zerg along with adding a number of new units to spice things up online. All in all, it looks like RTS players are going to be playing with new and improved Zerg swarms when this breaks.

Starcraft II – Heart of the Swarm trailer rolls out, but don’t hope for a release date yet

A short tease was released for the next chapter in the Starcraft II saga, Heart of the Swarm. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that the game might actually be coming out this year. Earlier this month, Activision had their quarterly financial call in which Thomas Tippl, COO and CFO of Activision Blizzard, had said:

“As I mentioned on our last call, given Blizzard Entertainment has not
confirmed the launch date for its next global release, our outlook at
this time does not include a new game from Blizzard in 2011. Should
Blizzard not release a major title this year, we would expect, for
planning purposes, to launch a minimum of 2 Blizzard titles in 2012.”

Of course, that only says that Blizzard hasn’t said anything yet about dates so they’re planning on two Blizzard titles in 2012 if they don’t pull the trigger this year. It’s a safe guess that the two titles could be Heart of the Swarm and the long awaited Diablo III.

One odd thing about the trailer. It was posted on Gametrailers, then pulled. It didn’t take long for it to show up elsewhere, though, with the Gametrailers intro stripped out (but you can still see the watermark). Check it out while it’s fresh.

Capsule Reviews: R.U.S.E. and H.A.W.X. 2

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I’ve got two short reviews on two Ubisoft acronyms, one taking you back to WW2 and the other taking to the skies in hardware worth millions of dollars. Both are great alternatives to fielding your own army or air force, but whether they’re worth the money is something that I wanted to find out.
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The Cold War Lives – World in Conflict

The Cold War, aside from hanging the threat of nuclear annihilation over everyone’s heads, had also given birth to James bond, chilling thrills for Tom Clancy’s fans, Tetris, and plenty of tactical fodder for armchair generals to duke it out in the Fulda Gap between the former East and West halves of Germany.

During that time, a wealth of PC titles dedicated to military scenarios built around WW3 filled store shelves from shops such as SSI with their “When Superpowers Collide” series to shoot ‘em ups such as Access Software’s “Raid Over Moscow“. Although it’s no longer around, its indelible presence on history continues to provide developers ideas on where to take their own stories and answer several “what-ifs” of their own, even if it means fighting Russian ultranationalists as the new bad guys with Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare.

One particular title had asked the question of what would have happened if the Soviet Union hadn’t fallen, if the Kremlin had decided that war was the only way to survive inevitable collapse. Massive Entertainment’s “World in Conflict” was an incredible RTS released in ’07 focusing on an invasion of the United States in 1989 and which had an expanded re-release in ’09 which included the Soviet perspective. It’s an RTS with a good story, too, focusing on the soldiers and even the letters written to their families.

It was slated to come out for consoles, but the plans were scrapped last year. It could have made a great compliment to other RTS-type titles on the Xbox 360 alongside Halo Wars or the PS3 but whether Ubisoft, the new owners of Massive Entertainment, will ever revisit the IP is hard to say. I wish they would, though. The game ends on something of a cliffhanger.

Trailer: World in Conflict – Soviet Assault (WARNING: Some graphic violence)

Review: Halo Wars

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Ensemble Studios helped to lead the RTS revolution since their first game, Age of Empires, in 1997, and the following entries into the series would continue transforming the often arcane rules of tactical warfare into a language that spoke to every level of player with a healthy dose of history. It would become one of the most influential approaches to the genre in recent times. Unfortunately, history also tends to repeat itself in the worst way possible.
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