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Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment    Genre: Strategy & War
Min OS X: Not Supported    CPU: 601    RAM: 16 MB    2x CD-ROM    Graphics: 640x480 @ 256 Colors

September 20, 1999 | Bart Farkas

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The Races
There are three races in Starcraft, which is somewhat of an oddity in this genre, and it certainly caused plenty of eyebrows to raise when it was announced. For anyone in the business, the thought of successfully balancing three separate races seemed an impossible task, but Blizzard has successfully done it. Although the early versions of the PC Starcraft favored the Zerg slightly (the Zerg’s ability to build Hatcheries quickly gave them an advantage), this version has been ever so slightly rebalanced to make the gameplay completely equal.

This race is in short, the human race. They are the balance between technology and numbers, with enough cool technology to satisfy most without having to break the resource bank in order to obtain them. The Terrans have some very cool units such as the awesome Battlecruiser with its Yamato Gun (a very powerful one-shot attack) and the Siege Tank with its ability to bombard enemies from afar. The Terrans can also build special bunkers which can house up to four Marines or Firebats. The Bunker acts as an extra defense and will absorb all damage pointed at it thus protecting the units inside. Of course, the Bunker can be destroyed, leaving its inhabitants vulnerable. The Terrans also have the ability to repair mechanical units as well as structures, making it possible for them to reduce the costs of producing new units substantially.

These are the ‘Borg’ of the Starcraft universe. The Zerg are an entirely biological race, with limited technology, but they can reproduce quickly and in great numbers. Since every Zerg unit is alive, it’ll repair itself over time once damaged, which is a handy feature because this ‘passive’ style of repair doesn’t require any extra resources. The Zerg special weapons are also biologic in nature, with the Defiler’s ‘Plague’ and the Queen’s ability to Infest Terran Command Centers (thus creating Infested Terrans). Infested Terrans act as human (or Zerg as the case may be) bombs that walk into the enemy’s camp and then explode. The Queen can also infect any biologic entity with a ‘Parasite’, thus causing the enemy to act as a visual scout for the Zerg! Another great skill the Zerg can research is the ability to burrow. Most of the Zerg units can burrow underground and lie in wait of an enemy that happens by. It’s a great way to set up ambushes or deceive the enemy into thinking that your base is undefended when in fact you have an army beneath the ground ready to pop up at a moments notice.

This is the most highly evolved race in Starcraft, and as such they are technologically superior to the other races. They cannot repair themselves in any way, however, each Protoss unit has a shield that will slowly regenerate after being damaged. The Protoss have both a life force and a shield, so as long as only the shield is damaged in battle, then the life force will never change. However, once the life force (or hit points or whatever you want to call it) gets damaged, it’s damaged for good. The Protoss have special Shield Batteries that will quickly recharge a unit’s shields, thus providing an excellent defense if placed around a base. One of the coolest Protoss units is the Reaver, which looks like a large metallic slug that fires Scarabs (mobile exploding bombs) that will track an enemy unit then explode on their doorstep! The downside of the Protoss race is that all of these very cool hi-tech units cost an arm and a leg to build.


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