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StarCraft II Hands-On Impressions, Part I

Michael Mcwhertor from Kotaku writes.

"At BlizzCon, Blizzard presented StarCraft II in two distinct, delicious flavors: single player and multiplayer, with demo stations in the hundreds consistently occupied by BlizzCon attendees. The single player demo allowed for a 20-minute, one versus one match with the option of playing as Terrans or Protoss. I played a number of games with each race, trying out different tech tree progressions and strategies-somewhat difficult to fully pursue in such a short time.

Anyone who has played the original StarCraft will feel right at home, as most, if not all, of the game's shortcut keys and unit selection methods remain the same. It's very easy to settle into a game of StarCraft II as the controls and interface are so similar to the first. The game's HUD has thankfully evolved to add better control over your units and provides helpful information on upgrades, build times, skills and unit attributes.

The early game also feels comfortably similar, as each match started off with a handful of workers and infantry units, with base structures already pre-built. Strategically, things began to deviate from the original shortly after the early game. Obviously, you'll notice StarCraft II's gorgeous graphics and stunning effects right away, all of which ran at a smooth clip on the Intel sponsored PCs, so it won't feel too familiar."

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