A bit of sneaky news arrived yesterday regarding the final launch date for Blizzard’s next RTS, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, but the studio has since confirmed the news – we’re jumping into the skins of the Zerg in March 2013!
Releasing on March 12th, 2013, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, this time allowing you to take control of the ridiculously disgusting (but highly effective) Zerg race in a new campaign, while continuing the story of everybody’s favourite infected host, Kerrigan, Queen of Blades.
Heart of the Swarm acts as an expansion to 2010’s StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (which saw players take on the role of the Terran) – here’s the story setup for Heart of the Swarm:
“Heart of the Swarm features a new campaign continuing the epic story of Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of Blades, as she gathers the remnants of the zerg Swarm and plots her revenge against the treacherous dictator of the Koprulu sector, Arcturus Mengsk.
“It also introduces several new multiplayer units and features that enhance the acclaimed StarCraft II online experience.”
Heart of the Swarm (the expansion) has been set at a price of €39.99, while players can also get it digitally from StarCraft2.com from the same price.
CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, Mike Morhaime, said of the game:
“With Heart of the Swarm, our goal has been to expand on the multiplayer action and cinematic storytelling of Wings of Liberty. Combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new leveling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels.”
Blizzard also announced the Collector’s Edition and Digital Deluxe edition of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm – here’s what you’ll get in each:
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Digital Deluxe Edition (€54.99):
- StarCraft II Torrasque: Crush the enemies of the Swarm with the indomitable Torrasque, a fearsome new look for your zerg Ultralisks.
- StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested Battle.net portraits and decals help you customize the look of your online profile and in-game army.
- World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: The Baneling companion pet is bursting with enthusiasm and ready to explode onto the Pet Battles scene.
- Diablo III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil: Grow zerg-like wings in honor of the Queen of Blades, and unfurl an exclusive banner sigil to mark your allegiance to the Swarm in Sanctuary.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm – Collector’s Edition (€69.99):
- Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray: Immerse yourself in the StarCraft universe with developer commentary, interviews with voice actors, and an in-depth historical retrospective on StarCraft’s eSports legacy narrated by key members of the community.
- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD: Enhance your Heart of the Swarm musical experience with this collection of more than a dozen tracks from the game.
- Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book: This 144-page tome features never-before-seen art from the expansion, including early concept sketches and meticulous 3D renderings.
- Zerg Rush Mousepad: This Collector’s Edition mousepad depicts the Terran Dominion holding out desperately under the onslaught of the Swarm.
If you’re not yet convinced about Heart of the Swarm, here’s some emotive language to get you excited all over again:
“Over the course of 20 campaign missions, players will follow Kerrigan as she sweeps across the galaxy, incorporating a variety of distinctive zerg species into her brood. Kerrigan will grow in strength from mission to mission, and players will be able to customize her with powerful new abilities, as well as evolve various zerg strains into fearsome new subspecies to suit their play style.
“New weapons of war also debut in Heart of the Swarm’s multiplayer, including new units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, while certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new capabilities.”
New features will enhance the game experience, including:
- group and clan systems
- unranked matchmaking
- Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions around the world
- additional stat tracking
- user interface improvements
- an enhanced physics system, for more visceral looking battles
- multiplayer replays, to watch replays with friends;
- a leveling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customization options for their online profiles
- … and much more.
Will you be playing Heart of the Swarm next year?