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Released in 1998, 'Brood War' is development team Blizzard's official expansion pack to the hugely successful sci-fi real-time strategy game Starcraft, featuring new story-driven campaigns consisting of around 30 new scenarios as well as new units, fmv sequences and artwork.
As before the game allows you to play as any of it's 3 races in either single or multiplayer modes, as either the grotesque, hive-mind Zerg race, the human Terrans or the Protoss, a hugely technologically advanced race of ethereal warrior-beings.
The expansion grants each race one new ground unit and one new air unit. New additions to the Zerg race com in in the form of Lurkers, tactical units that can be made to burrow out of sight beneath the ground and attack any units within range with their subterranean tentacles, as well as slow but incredibly powerful air-to-air Devourer units. The terrans meanwhile have female medics that can dramatically increase the lifespan of your combat troops in the field, and heavy anti-air Valkyrie attack ships.
Finally the Protoss get Dark Archons, units with the ability to cast numerous destructive spells including mind control, as well as fast but only modereately strong air to air craft in the form of Corsairs, and can now also produce Dark Templars; melee stealth-units that were in the original game but were only available in special single player missions.
The new additions tweak the original gameplay without altering the finely-tuned balance too much, working well overall, and the expansion pack does a great job of giving the original game a new lease of life. Every bit as polished and well-executed as the original game, Brood War is an excellent and hugely entertaining Expansion pack.
Brood War is the add-on pack for a little-known RTS game by the name of StarCraft. Well, maybe a bit known - it’s probably one of the biggest-selling RTS games of all time and has remained my favourite game of its type in the three-odd years since its release. Though I touched on this in my StarCraft opinion, Brood War, in my opinion, is an essential add-on for an essential game. The sheer amount of new stuff that comes with this add-on is amazing. Many companies simply repackage their games with a new set of missions and sell them as a sequel of sorts. With Brood War, you get three huge new single-player campaigns, seven finely balanced new units and a massive selection of new multiplayer and skirmish maps, not to mention updates to the campaign editor and four more of Blizzard’s expertly-made cinematic sequences. Probably the biggest new feature of all those mentioned above are the new single-player campaigns. There are 26 missions split into three campaigns, only four less than were included in the StarCraft campaigns. The Protoss (first) and Terran (second) campaigns have eight missions each whereas the final Zerg one has ten. The story continues from where StarCraft left off and is still as good as it always was, with many of the best characters returning and some interesting new ones added. Each campaign is concluded with a long cinematic, made to normal Blizzard quality. Those who found the StarCraft campaigns a bit easy will have lots to look forward to here, as all the campaigns offer much more of a challenge, and the Zerg campaign in particular is very difficult in places. However, the new feature that affects every aspect of the game is the new units. The Protoss get three and the other two races get two each. Seven new units may not sound like much, but it makes a big difference to strategies used within the game, considering that every new unit has a multitude of uses. Amazingly enough, the new units have been impl
emented without ruining StarCraft’s finely tuned play balance. They do not serve to make one side more powerful than the others. The new units have been added with a specific philosophy - they are not ‘general use’ units. Each side has at least one new spell-caster (those units that use special abilities to manipulate the enemy and/or cause damage) and one new ‘support’ unit, usually an airborne one. Support units are units that can be absolutely lethal if used in the correct situation but generally do not stand a chance on their own. For example, the Terran Valkyrie missile frigate can tear apart air units if well defended. However, they are defenceless against ground units, so it would be foolish to send a squad in alone. As far as spell-casters go, take the Terran Medic. A simple-sounding unit, the Medic’s primary function is to restore the lost hit points of Terran infantry. However, not only can the Medic help your Marines to win battles you never thought possible and lend a new lease of life to their Stim-Pack ability (the Medic can restore the hit point drain), but the unit is actually a powerful spellcaster, able to remove negative spell effects from any unit (such as Parasite, Plague and Lockdown) and ‘blind’ enemy units, also removing their ability, if any, to detect cloaked units. The new units really do try and encourage the recommended playing style of using combinations of units. And finally, there are the new multiplayer maps. Many of them are well made and extremely popular. The range of scripts and triggers available in the Campaign Editor has been expanded as well, making an already powerful utility even more capable. There are many campaigns made by users available for download on the Internet, which can expand the game’s single-player mode if you don’t feel like or can’t play online. There aren't really any disadvantages specific to this add
-on, but those that plagued StarCraft still apply in places. Brood War does nothing, for example, to improve the graphics engine, and the Skirmish mode is still quite repetitive. Most add-on pack reviews usually come down to this, so I might as well say it anyway: if you liked StarCraft you’ll like this. However, if you thought StarCraft was lacking that little bit of extra variety and longevity then this may be just the thing to make StarCraft a game you’ll enjoy. And to make it even better, you can pick this AND StarCraft up for only £8.99. Buy it now and you won’t regret it.
Everyone who enjoyes online RTS games and keeps up with the news will definately know about StarCraft, one of the top online games of all time. This is the first and only mission disk for the game, but is it a must, or simply a quest for extra money to fill various koffers? Read on... I am doubtless that most of you know about the game, but for those who don't, here is a breif summary. The plot of the game, starting from the original Starcraft, concernes three waring species. The human race, called the Terrans, a xenomorph style aliens race known as the Zerg, and a powerfull religious orientated race called the Protoss. The three races begin separated, but as the zerg move into the Terrans space a war breaks out between them, and then the Protoss come in, all guns blazing, in an attempt to destroy the Zerg. The story of the game is played out though campaigns, each of 10 missions, featureing NPCs of various forms, and varied mission goals. Now that everyone is up to speed on the game at hand, onto the mission disk. The 'expantion' part in 'expantion set' refers to the 6 new units, and the various balancing changes and of course the 3 new campaigns. Each of the three speices gets 2 new units, and the Protoss get the ability to produce one of the NPCs from the original game. One of the games best qualities was the near perfect balancing of the three sides, and it is not spoiled here. The new units contribute each other exceptionally, and neither of the three sides is best. The other balancing changes are all unit and structure cost issues, and more were added in various game updates. The three new campaigns add immensly to the plot, takeing off from where the old one left off. The Protoss and Terran ones are lacking 2 missions from their parents, but this does not affect the overall performance of the missions. Each of the new units gets its own introduction mission, where the starting setup is geared tow
ards the use of the new unit in question. The games plot still remains as involving and as deep as it was in the original, but with more twists than a average mental case, and never fails to suprise the player. There are no disadvantages with the mission disks content, only with the game it is based on. There are no inherent problems with the game itself, but in this day and age, anyone who is new to the series may be swayed by the fact the game is still 2D, and that the AI of some of the units is suspect. The fact that it is 2D is a problem, but the other things about the game more than make up for it. To be honest, i think that if the game was 3D, it would take away the simplisity that most players love about it. The AI is not as bad as others make out, and is never a problem unless single square bridges come into play. The bottom line is this is a must for any starcraft lover, and even people new too the series should not pass up the oportunity to get the game with SC in the DVD case package. This is a fine game and is the last classic 2D RTS. Because of its online fanbase, it will be around for a long time yet.