StarCraft Remastered review: Brood War keeps on ticking, clicking

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Enlarge / It’s, uh, not coming, dude. (credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Higher and widescreen resolution. Redone character portraits. Real-time lighting. Less compressed audio. That’s about the long and short of what’s new in StarCraft: Remastered. For $15 you can bolt these nicer-looking and sounding features onto your existing copy of the 1998 classic. (Which, even if you somehow avoided buying a Battle Chest compilation for nearly 20 years, is now free in its unaltered form.)

I’ll admit that this latest excuse to play the original StarCraft and its expansion, Brood War, appealed to me. Maybe it’s because I was eight years old at the time, but the campaign’s dark, sometimes comedic, sometimes horrific tale of space rednecks fighting giant bugs and psychic plant people has stuck with me like few games of the era. It certainly made more of an impression than the nonsensical science-fantasy soup that the series became across the StarCraft 2 trilogy.

Part of the StarCraft competitive scene is in the same boat, albeit for different reasons. “Quality of life” improvements, like better hotkeys and user interface options, made SC2 a fundamentally different experience than the first game and its expansion. It’s more accessible for casual fans (like me), but high-level players have long expressed frustration that the sequels automate too much of Brood War‘s hands-on design. There’s resurging interest in the original game among pro players and casters as a result.

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