Blizzard Takes on the Console

December 4, 2002

After years of providing PC gamers with some of the best titles available Blizzard has decided they will attempt to return to their roots and produce a console game. In case you’ve been living in a cave and haven’t heard about it yet the game is StarCraft Ghost. If you’ve never played StarCraft or are unfamiliar with the series I suggest that you pick yourself up a copy, or else leave this site because you are clueless.

It’s been years since Pic and I first got into StarCraft. After all these years I still find myself playing on Bnet from time to time. To put it frankly, this game is fantastic. When WarCraft III was coming out I was hesitant to try it out because of my loyalty to StarCraft. About two years ago I remember saying to people “When is StarCraft II going to come out?” When I first heard rumors that Blizzard was about to make an announcement regarding StarCraft, I was sure that my dreams were about to come to fruition. Then came the news of StarCraft Ghost; which is obviously not StarCraft II.

Meet Nova. The future love obsession of gamers everywhere

This news confused me a little bit. On one hand I’ve been waiting forever for the sequel. On the other hand this sounds like a really cool idea. Blizzard has been good to me though, they have yet to let me down before. So I took some time to think it over and decided that I’d give this game a fair shake before I went on a ten-page rant about how bad I want SC2.

Blizzard is working with Nihilistic on this project and the guy heading up Nihilistic’s part of the game actually used to work for Blizzard on the SC project. This is good news for fans of the StarCraft universe. If they’re not going to give us another RTS the least they can do is respect the integrity of the game. I hear the Nihilistic is actually doing to majority of the programming and artwork on Ghost.

In Ghost you play as a character named Nova who is a specially trained Terran super-soldier called a ghost. The ghost is a character that all SC fans are familiar with. Possibly you remember the ghost from the terrifying moments you heard the words “Nuclear Launch Detected.” From the screenshots and trailer it’s pretty clear that Nova is a bad ass (in the trailer she has a really good butt too). Your character is equipped to the basic rifle that the ghost had in SC the RTS. As in any good action game there is a variety of weapons you can pick up and use, including a weapon similar to the ones Firebats use and a really cool looking melee weapon. You have powers similar to the ones in the RTS as well as some additional ones. Another really cool feature that I read about is at one point during the game you’ll be able to actually pilot a wraith or vulture. Vehicles automatically increase the fun factor in any action game.

Blizzard is claiming that they included almost every character and unit you remember from all three races in the RTS. Although the thought of flying around in a wraith or looking a Hydralisk face-to-face excited me, I kind of felt like this game was going to be a recycled version of Metal Gear and similar action games. When I got deeper into the concept of the game I was really impressed. For those of you who invested countless hours of your life into SC, remember the huge battles that used to take place when two rival armies collided. Now picture yourself as one badass ghost in the heart of that battle. Instead of a “you against the world” scenario Ghost requires you to work with your team. I’m sure that parts of the game will remind you of other action games but overall the concept sounds very original. I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to calling down my first nuclear strike when Ghost releases.

“Does your stomach ever get raw from dragging on the ground all the time?”

Blizzard games have always been known for giving units unique personalities and voices. They have promised us nothing less in Ghost. One example I read said that marines are very social, they will hang out together and even talk smack during battles. Expect a Zealot to behave like you’re used to a Zealot behaving and the same with other units that you remember from the RTS.

Ok. Cool vehicles, social marines, nuclear strikes; I see you working here Blizzard. I’m on board now; I’m feeling a little more comfortable with this sudden change of genres. Then I got around to watching the trailer for this game. I did everyone the favor of putting it up on our site so you can download it easily. Check it out here if you haven’t seen it. Now, after viewing the trailer and knowing what I know about the game let me give you my feelings. Holy crap! If the game lives up to half the hype of that trailer it’s going to be one of the best games of 2003.

I was disappointed to find out that Blizzard isn’t really sure if they are going to include any type of online play in Ghost. Multiplayer is one of the things that made Blizzard games in the past so much fun. Hopefully they’ll get this settled before the release date. I think it would really be cool to have massive capture the flag games going, vehicles included. The popularity of games like Halo might help convince them. Also it’s not clear if they plan on including a co-op mode. I am always a big fan of co-op modes.

Ghost is going to be console only, sorry PC gamers. Early indications are that it is going to be available for GameCube, PS2 and the Xbox. My first impression is that the Xbox is going to be your best bet for this game. It seems to be the system best suited to handle this type of games.

Nova whoopin’ up on some zergling.

All in all I can’t wait to get my paws on this game. Seldom do I get this excited about a game after just watching the trailer. I look forward to Blizzard’s triumphant return to the console world and yet another bestseller. Unfortunately I’m still not getting the SC2 that I’ve been waiting so patiently for. Everyone write Blizzard a letter. Support your local RTS player.