The Zerg know how to do two things, swarm outposts and party. The latter is a little-known fact, but come March 11, they will be doing plenty of both with the launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. Blizzard will be holding several parties around the globe to celebrate the release, with festivities planned in the US, Australia, France, Russia, South Korea, and elsewhere. Each location will host Blizzard staff who will be on-hand to greet fans. The official US party will be at the GameStop in Irvine, California, located at The Great Wheel Court of the Irvine Spectrum Mall, 71 Fortune Drive.
In addition to the on-site activities, beginning from 9:00 p.m. local time and running for 21 hours, eSports announcers will commentate on games between top-tier players who will be showing off some of the game’s new units and features.
Attendees will be able to purchase the $39.99 standard edition as well as a retail-only Collector’s Edition for $79.99. The CE will be packed with a behind-the-scenes DVD and Blu-ray, a soundtrack, a 144-page hardcover art book, a Zerg Rush Mousepad, a StarCraft II Torrasque, potraits and decals for online profiles and in-game army, the Baneling in-game pet for World of WarCraft, and Diablo III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil.
Heart of the Swarm picks up the story of StarCraft II where Wings of Liberty left off, focusing on Kerrigan’s quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. 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.
Official Site: Blizzard.com – StarCraft II