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Friday, August 24, 2007

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Banshee Update For StarCraft II Site
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has unveiled more information about the new Banshee unit for the Terran race in the upcoming StarCraft II. The update offers a brief history of the Banshee and a screenshot of the unit in action. StarCraft II will return players to the conflict between Zerg, Protoss, and Terran several years after the end of Brood War, offering a strong single player storyline and Blizzard's signature multiplayer experience.

Many experiments with dedicated air-to-ground attack have been undertaken by the terrans. Various dead-end approaches were tried and then discarded: ordnance packages for dropships, remote semi-autonomous drones, and airborne artillery platforms, to name but a few. Such continual compromises eventually led to retrofitting variants of the Wraith space superiority fighter with a belly-mounted burst laser to fulfill the role in the short term. Even so, the abiding problem of finding truly effective air-to-ground support below battlecruiser weight remained.

Procyon Industries has been the latest to tackle the problem by approaching it from a different direction. Instead of attempting to adapt existing aircraft designs for a role they were never intended to fulfill, the technicians at Procyon designed the banshee from scratch. As a planetary craft, the banshee wouldn't need high-powered engines to achieve escape velocity and fight in orbit, so instead technicians fitted it with economical twin turbofans. Any air-to-air weaponry was deemed unnecessary: the banshee would only hunt ground targets. Thus, it was equipped with powerful air-to-ground cluster rockets.

The resulting aircraft was cheap, relatively robust, and well suited to its intended role of making tactical strikes on the battlefield. The banshee was adopted by the Dominion as a light infantry support craft that could be quickly transported to any world. Despite the banshee's many fine traits, Dominion commanders initially derided its apparent inflexibility and relegated banshees to a minor support role in backwater militias.

However, with the benefits of being lighter and much more mobile than a siege tank, the banshee soon gained itself a fearsome reputation in spite of its detractors. It particularly shone as a jungle and desert fighter that could hunt across vast areas of inhospitable terrain and suddenly strike at unsuspecting enemy forces. The surprise attack value of the banshees has been further enhanced by modifications that allow them to mount salvaged Wraith cloaking fields, enabling banshees to hit and run even where the enemy dominates the skies.
Click over to the site below to learn more about the currently revealed crop of StarCraft II units.

StarCraft II: Banshee
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
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