Friday, August 20, 2010

Making Starcraft 2 for consoles

When Blizzard releases a game, it's pretty much a guaranteed license to print money. Starcraft 2 was a long time coming, but honestly, I was not interested, at all. I had stopped playing the real time strategy genre many years ago. I think Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War was the last RTS I had played, which was great by the way. Dawn of War removed the need for the micromanagement of resources, but the formula was getting stale.
However, when Starcraft 2 was released, I couldn't resist. Having such fond memories of playing Starcraft with a bunch of friends in a LAN, finally made me take the plunge into the sequel. Was it worth it? Indeed it was! Even though not much has changed, Starcraft was one of the best RTS games ever made. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? The campaign is great fun and only starts to get a little stale near the end.

I think the game could benefit from being ported to consoles. You might remember the first Starcraft was ported to the Nintendo 64? That was an odd choice. While the PlayStation had seen the likes of Warcraft II, Command & Conquer, Z and Red Alert to name a few, someone made the decision to release Starcraft on the N64. It didn't sell very well, obviously.

The biggest complaint for RTS games on consoles has always been the lack of a mouse and keyboard setup. On the PS3 this could be rectified with a USB mouse and keyboard, but the lack of USB ports on the console makes this a bit of a hassle. Both are used up in this setup and it's not much fun using a keyboard (let alone a mouse) on the ground or on your lap. But with the Kinect and Move being released, we have new controller opportunities. Would these controllers provide the ultimate precision for commanding your troops, or would it all be a futile attempt of frustration from lack of accuracy and tired limbs from flailing your arms around? We'll know more when the hardware is released.

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