Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector's Edition
- The special Collector's Edition package will include the following bonus items in addition to the game disc -
- The Art of StarCraft II - Wings of Liberty, a 176-page book featuring artwork from the game
- An exclusive 2GB USB flash drive replica of Jim Raynor's dog tag, which comes preloaded with the original StarCraft and the StarCraft - Brood War expansion set
- A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, cinematics with director's commentary, and more
- The official StarCraft II - Wings of Liberty soundtrack CD, containing 14 epic tracks from the game along with exclusive bonus tracks
- Platform: Windows XP / Vista, Mac OS X
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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Amazon.ca Product Description
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment's 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. StarCraft II will once again center on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying favorite units from the original StarCraft, along with numerous upgraded and brand-new units and abilities that allow for fresh tactics and strategies. The game's new 3D-graphics engine maintains the speed and responsive control of its predecessor while rendering hundreds of units onscreen for massive battles. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty's solo campaign will continue the epic saga where it left off in StarCraft: Brood War. The storyline chronicles the exploits of marshal-turned-rebel-leader Jim Raynor and features both familiar faces and new heroes. Players will be able to tailor the experience, choosing their own mission path and selecting technology and research upgrades to suit their playing style throughout the 29-mission campaign. Several challenge-mode mini-games will also be included, with focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies. In addition, dozens of multiplayer maps will be available for competitive play through the new version of Battle.net, which is launching alongside StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. This new version of the service has been built from the ground up to offer an unparalleled online play experience, with new features such as voice communication, character profiles and achievements, stat-tracking, ladders and leagues, cloud file storage, and more.
From the Manufacturer
Amazon.com Product Description
STARCRAFT 2: WINGS OF LIBERTY COLLECTOR'S EDITION
Silence looms over the ruthless conflict between Terran, Protoss, and Zerg - but the ghosts of the past whisper your name. This limited edition collector’s set has been specially created to commemorate the premiere of the next chapter in the world’s greatest strategy game.
THE ULTIMATE WINGS OF LIBERTY EXPERIENCE
Over ten years in the making, this ultimate edition of StarCraft II features a wealth of rare and exclusive items to aid you in your epic campaigns throughout the Koprulu sector, including:
STARCRAFT II: WINGS OF LIBERTY PC/MAC GAME
The full version of the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty game on DVD-ROM.
THE ART OF STARCRAFT II: WINGS OF LIBERTY
Journey into the game’s artistic development from early concepts to final 3D renderings with this 176-page Collector’s Edition art book.
JIM RAYNOR “DOG TAG” USB DRIVE INCLUDING ORIGINAL STARCRAFT ANTHOLOGY
This battle-worn replica of Jim Raynor’s in-game dog tag doubles as a fully functional 2GB USB thumb drive and comes preloaded with the original StarCraft and Brood War Expansion Set.
WINGS OF LIBERTY EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES DVD:
- Over an hour of developer interviews, delving deep into the game’s development from initial design to final gameplay.
- All 13+ minutes of pre-rendered cinematics and 32 minutes of in-game ‘story mode’ scenes, including director’s commentary.
- A retrospective examining StarCraft’s rich history in gaming.
Join the War Pigs in their first terrifying encounter with the alien Zerg in this exclusive “Issue #0” of Wildstorm’s StarCraft comic.
COLLECTOR’S EDITION SOUNDTRACK
Fourteen orchestral pieces from the Wings of Liberty soundtrack, plus exclusive bonus tracks.
EXCLUSIVE IN-GAME WORLD OF WARCRAFT PET
Hammer of the Gods! Summon a Baby Thor to accompany you on your journeys throughout World of Warcraft.
EXCLUSIVE BATTLE.NET DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT
Unlock special features through Battle.net, including in-game army icons, unique avatar portraits, and an exclusive version of the in-game Thor unit.
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© 2010 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Wings of Liberty is a trademark, and StarCraft, Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., in the U.S. and/or other countries. PC DVD ROM logo © and TM IEMA 2004. All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective owners.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is the collectors edition. Its about thirty dollars more than the base version. While that may seem like a lot being one third more cost, you do get a ton of really cool extras. I will put a + next to the ones I think are good. Whats different in this version vs the other version. For your thirty dollars you get:
..>> A nice art book with paintings, character models, sketches for behind the scenes look into the art of the game.
+ >> A making of DVD with behind the scenes movie of how the game was made.
..>> A CD of the music from the game.
+ >> A 2GB Flash drive shaped like Raynor's dog tag. In the drive there is the original Starcraft plus the Broodwar Expansion. You can use this drive for anything its still a 2GB drive in the end.
..>> A Starcraft comic book
+ >> A different icon for your character on Battlenet.
+ >> Special Icons and logos for your units in the game
+ >> Special collectors edition of the Terran Thor.
+ >> MY favorite a MiniThor pet for WoW that is for all characters on your Battlenet account. Just like the Pandaren monk or Mountain Dew promotional pet.
Its alot for only a few dollars more. I spent that much on 3 WoW pets, so if your into unique items this may be the upgrade for you. I have too many books now as it is so the extras are not IMHO worth it all that much. That being said the DVD has a nice production value to it and the other pieces are well made so if you are into that aspect you may enjoy it more.
The review of the game:
Blizzard has taken this game into the modern time with a new look, 3D engine and new strategies. You do not have to have played the original Starcraft to understand what is going on here. Blizzard has made this game to be completely stand alone and to train you as the player from the ground up. This means that if you may be new to the story then you will be brought up to speed quickly. If you are a veteran you will appreciate the new and exciting look and feel plus the new units.
+ For the first time you can swing down and check out your units and see what they can see with regard to the terrain.
+ Beautiful 3D terrain and environment. You really feel immersed in the fantastic vistas and look of the game.
+ Smooth performance even with low end graphics cards. I played this on my PC which has a GTX 470 and of course it was beautiful. I then tried it out on my wife's Macbook Pro (with old ATI card) and while not as rich looking it was very playable and smooth. Which means Blizzard cares enough about their fan base to let older slower computers play this game.
+ Zerg squishy noises are awesome and make me nauseous to hear them. The clink of the space marines are so fitting and the phased sounds of the Protoss are spot on. Great sounds that add to the immersion.
+ Voice acting is some of the best I have heard in a game. It has a cinematic feel to it as you play.
+ The single player mode is fun and it is what I have played most sofar. It is challenging and without using any cheats (I am sure they are there but not released as of yet), it means I really have to watch my resources and units well.
+ Units are easily queued and respond with amazing AI. Give them a general order and they follow it and can think on their own better than any other RTS I have ever played, thats saying alot because I have played probably most of the RTS games even back to the original Civilization ( yes I am dating myself here).
+ Games are quick to get into and feature a nice interface that makes the waiting time pass.
+ The ranking system thus far seems very fair and well thought out. I am sure it will change in the future but for now is very good.
This is more than an update of the original. It is more like a movie playing homage to an old classic. What you get here is a brand new game with a history behind it as being one of the best video games of all time. Don't believe me ask one of the professional SC1 players. This game will grow over time and by the time the last iteration comes out it will be so polished that it may surpass SC1 as the seminal RTS game.
I am not an employee of Blizzard nor am I a Fanboy. I merely purchased a game, enjoyed it wrote a review here on Amazon. Nothing more nothing less. I am passing on this information to you the consumer in hopes you will find this to be the case for you too.
It is great RTS game, get it.
UPDATE: August 1 2010
Ok Multiplayer just rocks. I spent 10 hours today playing head to head with my friends and against others. Its really good. From time to time people may crash and then the game gives you the win after 45 seconds. The chat is great, you can talk to your allies, your team mate and the opponents by just hitting tab. The achievements are great and really fun. I am still doing the unranked challenges, you get 50 total then you are ranked. By then you should know what your doing. You can create your own custom games, maps and setup. Very customizable.
Overall this is fantastic and really engaging. I haven't sat this long in one sitting since raid nights on WoW. I still don't get where people say you cannot chat with the other team, your team or whatever? I think its a ton of misinformation that is spreading. Oh well I am enjoying the heck out of this.
Get this game and get in the battle!
Thank you for reading my review.
..:::USB Dog Tag:::..
This is one good looking custom USB thumb drive and solidly constructed. It is 2GB and over 700MB is used by the original StarCraft (SC) and Brood War (BW) installs. I was kind of praying the games were pre-installed on the thumb drive and I could just plug it in and play off the thumb drive ...but oh well. :) When you plug the thumb drive into your machine the install window pops up. It will auto-populate its CD Key into the install screen, but if you already have SC1 and have the CD Key handy you can use your old SC1 key instead and save the CD Key on the thumb drive for a friend/family member.
The orange portion of the USB Dog Tag lights up with a very cool, calm orange glow. LEDs use very little power so don't worry about that. Some people are sensitive to lights so that might not be a plus to them. I find it very cool and if I was able to use thumb drives at work I would use it for sure. There is also a small blue activity light near neck ring that shows when it is in use or transfering data. When you use your operating system to safely disconnect the usb thumb drive all LEDs turn off letting you know it is no longer in use and safe to disconnect. You can wear it around your neck with same metal beads you'd expect with a real dog tag. The USB connector plug pushes in and out, so there is no need for a cap to it.
Very well constructed - coffee table quality. It is binded well and presented quite professionally. Honestly you can find many of the same pictures on the SC2 website as the website has over 500 artwork images you can download. There are some unique to the book as I didn't see every picture in the book on the website. This can be both a pro and con depending on how you look at it. Part of me would like to have completely unique images in the book, but it is also nice having a digital copy of some of these great images. Also having the artwork hardbound into a nice book is still unique in of itself to the CE. This is something you can show to your friends who are curious what SC2 is and why you spend so much time on it.
The artwork is mostly a mix of artist renditions of the most popular units (not all), some buildings and some planet landscapes. The book showcases all 3 races but has more pages dedicated to the Terran, which makes sense.
There are 14 Tracks of in-game music. Doesn't beat a real music CD but at the same time my office mates didn't complain. In fact, they asked me what movie it was from. It's decent background music to break up silence while working. About four tracks are 2min long, couple 4min, one 9min, but most are around 5-7min long. In the end, you probably still have to be a SC gear head to enjoy and appreciate it. I like it, as it will be nice to mix in when need a break from standard music. Though I will say 8 - Firstborn - is probably my favorite as it seems more like the iconic SC music I've come to love all these years.
Here is where you will hate my review. I did not look at it as I'm not much of a comic book fan so figured I'd keep it in the cellophane in case it becomes a collectible later on that someone might want. It is issue #0 so I'm guessing at some point Blizzard will decide to turn it into a real comic book. Heard mix reviews on it, most the negative ones came from people who already were negative toward the game so was kind of hard to really gauge from other reviews. Though even if I looked at it, I really couldn't offer a good review for it since I don't read comics.
..:::SC2 In-Game Content:::..
- BNet portraits (Night Elf Banshee, Tauren Marine, Diablo Marine, Raynor Marine)
- Three decals (Alliance symbol, Horde symbol, Diablo skull)
- Unique skin for the Thor unit
When you edit your profile in Battlenet (Bnet) you have a portrait that shows next to your name whenever you join a game. You unlock different portraits by earnings achievements within the game. This is a way to show off what you have accomplished and also a way to distinquish yourself. The CE comes with 4 portraits (listed above) and they all look good. My favorite is the Diablo Marine. Even though I don't play WoW the female Night Elf Banshee would be second favorite.
Every time you select a race in Battlenet you can also have a separate picture representing that race. If you're military, think of it like a patch for your Regiment/Unit/Wing/etc. Keeping with SC terminology, it would like how there different Broods and having a patch for that. This image displays next to the race name when it shows what race you selected in the game. Just like with portraits you unlock these by completing achievements. For the CE you get 3. They look nice - they could look nicer, though I do prefer them over the default.
..:::WoW In-Game Content:::..
Cannot comment on the quality as I don't play WoW, but just like with the SC2 in-game content they are tied to your account/cd-key.
..:::DVD of Cinematics and Making of Documentary:::..
This is broken up into sections so you should be able to watch the Making of SC2 without worry spoiling the story of the game. I'm not really a fan of watching the "making of ___" videos so I'm holding off till I finish the single player campaign so I can watch the cinematics as well.
You don't need this DVD to watch the cinematics of the game. As you progress into the game (need to beat Mission #3) you can watch all the cinematics from the game using the Mission Archives you find on the ship's Bridge. You can also save your campaign as a whole and restart your whole campaign and just Load your old campaign if you say want to watch some of the later cinematics. So you don't need the DVD to enjoy the cinematics you watched while playing the game. This just makes it convienent if you want to watch it on your TV in your living room or without loading up the game.
The cinematics are gorgeous - already re-watched some. Being a Protoss/Zerg fan I loved the Zeratul ones.
Overall this the only CE pack I don't regret buying. But $40 is a lot of money, especially for things I won't enjoy on a day-to-day basis like I will with the actual game. But considering the original SC/BW is anywhere from $10-$20, which I've played almost every year since 1998 and I can keep/gift the cd-key to someone is a nice feature. A non-custom designed 2GB flash drive is roughly $8-$13. I think when Blizzard released a cinematic DVD it was released at $20 ...which I think is way too expensive and never did buy. So between those three things alone, the rest pretty much becomes gravy. But if you're not into bonus stuff just like I don't watch bonus material with movies, than that $40 extra dollars in your bank account might look more appealing. But like I said ...this is the only Collector's Edition I've actually liked.
Far as the game is concerned, my review was posted on 30 July 2010 in the SE copy of the game. I broke it up because I wanted to address the CE material separately. If you don't feel like chasing down my review, to quickly sum it up:
Despite the drawbacks (no LAN, region lock, no unique bnet name, no private channels in bnet, online activation) I not only find the game overall to be so strong that the Pros outweigh the Cons I find the Pros to be so strong I still give the game is a 5 star rating knowing full well those cons are significant ones. So many games these days, some of which are $60 SE, only offer a 6-8hr single player campaign. Even if you are quick enough to beat this game in 14.5hrs (which would be 30min per mission) the amount of replay far exceeds that. There are decision points in the game that may make you want to play it again with a different choice. There are Tech upgrades you may want to try out that you weren't able to try the first time around. There are multiple difficulty levels. The are achievements to earn, and some are actually very fun to try. Then you include Skirmishes and the Challenge missions, which will actually get you better prepared for the Multiplayer experience then the single player campaign will and you throw even more hours of enjoyment on top of that. Then you have a very balanced multiplayer experience that is extremely fun to play if you decide you want to participate. You can also play CO-OP against the computer with friends if you're not multiplayer fan.
Very few games offer both a very solid Single Player (SP) and Multiplayer (MP) experience. And I find Blizzard games to offer the most hours of enjoyment for both SP and MP. With SC2 you can easily get yours money's worth with just the SP. Some people only play the MP aspect of the game and are satisfied with their purchase.
I still play the original SC and BW to this day, since its one of the few games my parents computer can play and I find SC2 to be better in every way. I think some people just remember the fun they had 12yrs ago and don't remember details too well because Bnet 1.0 was horrible. Yeah it had chat channels but my friends and I had to talk on IRC to setup games because Bnet 1.0 was always lagging and caused too much confusion as sometimes it would lag by 5 minutes.
One thing I didn't mention in my SE review is to make sure you use Replay functionality when you play games online. It records everything but the enemey's conversation. You can even watch from your opponents point of view and see how they build their base, what they saw during the game, what they didn't see, etc.. It's a very powerful tool and far more improved than previous Replay tools. Make use of it. The file space is very minimal too as it records actions via a text file and the replay tool reads those files and translates it into a video for you to watch. It's great for learning where you went wrong, what you did right and learning tricks off your opponents. If you want to learn tricks for multiplayer, search for Day9 TV. He is litterally the SC encyclopedia and goes into better depth than anyone else explaining the mechanics of the game. He uses the replay tool to commentate on games.
Ok I wasn't expecting to add the last three paragraphs or it would have been a quick summary on the gameplay. Sorry!
First off, this game is gorgeous. I have a four-year old system that I constantly upgrade components on. I have a 1g graphics card (middle of the line from 2009) and high-end power supply that I upgraded last year, along with 4 gigs of memory on WinXP. Even with that much memory I still run into the occasional message that my graphics have been turned down due to memory loss, so be forewarned--the 'autotune' settings will run well, and the game will look good, but they will use everything your system has. As I said though, the game itself is beautiful. I've seen three of the cutscenes so far and they compare with any CG movie out there (plus, they're very exciting--particularly the ones that haven't been released in the ads yet).
The gameplay is where it's down-graded just a bit, as it's pretty much exactly the same as SC. I suppose that's to be expected from a sequel, but I expected at least some of the RTS innovations that have come along since then to have been applied here (i.e. longer building queues, technology 'stealing', waypoints systems for movement) and really there is nothing new. There are a couple of new units that are cool, and as mentioned before, they all look amazing.
The storyline itself is presented in a Knights of the Old Republic style where you have a ship that acts as your "base" that you can move between levels, select specific technology upgrades and talk to other members of your "crew" for backstory or new missions. It's not exactly innovative, but it's done well, with Blizzards usual eye for detail. There are a couple of fun "easter eggs" hidden throughout, some visual and some interactive, and the "news" is usually good for a chuckle or two.
I've been playing the "normal" setting through 15 missions so far and haven't found anything too challenging. Some of them are optional but provide money or alien technology for future upgrades to your forces. I've heard there are 29 missions overall (which I believe is as many as the original SC had) but most of them are Terran missions. There are also 9 "challenge" modes that are a bit repetitive but fun as a time-killer. Of course there's the usual "skirmish" mode where you can play the computer A.I. over a random map as well. Content-wise it looks to be about the same amount as any other RTS game I've played--particularly the Blizzard RTS games.
I haven't tried the Battlenet match-ups yet, but it looks easy enough to do. You don't have to be online to play, but it calls you a "guest" if you're not (which matters not the least little bit for anything) and doesn't keep track of any sort of stats. I am always connected so I just log in.
Word to the Wise #1: buy an authenticator from Blizzard. They're cheap, and will work for any Battlenet game they release from World of Warcraft forward. It's the safest way to protect your account.
Word to the Wise #2: Choose your name carefully when you're installing it because you can't change it later.
If you've never bought a Blizzard collector's edition before then I recommend looking over everything that comes with them and decide if you're interested in those items or not. This is the second Collector's Edition I've bought by Blizzard (the other was WotLK) and I've yet to be disappointed. The items included are high quality (plus, the WoW pet is awesome looking--especially when it flies) and there is a lot of extra stuff (including the original SC and it's expansion--a $20 value by itself, and pre-loaded on an awesome looking dog tag USB drive).
If you just want the game it's exactly the same in the CE or the regular game.
From the game itself, the collectors edition includes are few nice knickknacks; an artbook, OST, dog-tag USB w/ Starcraft and Starcraft Broodwar preloaded, comic book, WoW mount, and several guest passes for WoW and Starcraft itself. The box itself is made of sturdy material, looks great, and opens in a unique fashion. It opens like a set of jaws. Very cool!
Note that unlike Blizzard's classic games, only one [...] account is tied to each CD-key. As of today, there is no way to change your in-game-name. Amazon user Bryssa has kindly correct my error, but it is possible to play [...] offline via a Guest Account. Bryssa states:
"Guest account - This completely ignores your BNet account and is entirely local. All your saves only exist on your PC, they will never sync with the Blizzard Cloud, and you do not earn achievements. Log in once to your BNet account and you can use this Guest account as much as you want for 30 days, then it'll nag you to touch base with the BNet servers again. This isn't meant to be the true offline mode, but is fine for letting friends and family try the campaign/skirmish to see if they'd be interested in the full multiplayer."
Also, there is an offline mode: as long as you log on once in a while, you may use your local profile to continue playing. There is no LAN (Local Area Network) play for Starcraft 2. For some players, this is awful, and worth complaining/whining/not buying SC2. That just means there are less jerks in the community to hassle dedicated players who enjoy their gaming experience.
Now here's the most important thing: Gameplay. I'll break it up into two parts, Multiplayer and Single Player Campaign. Multiplayer features a new sleek interface for their new [...] project. It has a friending and chatting system for networking. Something new to the PC gaming world is the ability to hook up your Facebook to your in-game-name. Unfortunately, some people see this as a security risk or invasion of privacy, because it reveals your full name. However, this is not required when adding an individual; you may used your in-game-name and a friend code, and your name will not be revealed to other users.
Continuing, multiplayer features a state-of-the-art Ladder system. It has dedicated system calculating scores of players in order to assure players are pitted against another player of equal skill. It's not as sophisticated as it seems: the better you opponent is, the more points you will earn if you win; if you lose, you will lose less points. If you're opponent is calculated to be less favored than you, then you will earn less points with victory, but lose more points if you lose.
The points determine your rank in a league; each league comprises of 100 different players or teams. This means if person A plays with person B in 2V2 ladder, he will have a different ladder score when he plays 2V2 with person C. Leagues are also ranked in terms of skill level: Copper, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, from least to most skillful. Blizzard confirmed that ladders will be reset on a cyclical season. The community, so far, is great. There are forums where people may direct questions towards each other. From the 30 so games I've played, my random opponents have been courteous and respectful, save a few jerks.
Onto the actual gameplay in multiplayer. It contains three distinctly unique races, Zerg, Protoss, and Terran. Note that mechanics of Terran units/gameplay in multiplayer will be different to a certain degree from the campaign. Players will head off in real-time and victory is achieved by destroying your opponents base. Months of dedicated beta-testing have proven fruitful; I myself (I am ranked 12 in Platinum when I wrote this) cannot really notice any great disparities between the three races. However, Blizzard will continue to work on balancing through the work of patches.
Single player is almost a distinctively different game from it's multiplayer half. Players will go through missions given by important characters in the game, and as they progress, they will unlock and obtain powerful, permanent units, upgrades, and mercenaries. Through the campaign, there are achievements, some which go towards unlocking portraits for the player's avatar. There are four difficulties to play in: casual, normal, hard, and brutal. In brutal, the AI opponents receive boosts in their speed (not only movement and attack, but build, collection, etc) and it provides a real challenge!
The cinematics are beautiful; it's on par with the current state of graphic animation. It's reported to have over 45 minutes of CGI. The music sounds great. They re-hauled a lot of the classic Starcraft music. They also have several tracks from country/rock/jazz bands playing on a jukebox which the player may interact with. The story itself is filled with deep, complex characters. The character's themselves will not develop, but their interactions with allies and enemies deliver a dramatic and intense plot-line. Speaking of the characters, Voice-acting is top-notch, and is on par with many others, such as Red Dead Redemption.
From what I experienced, Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty delivered one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences for the PC ever. If there's anyone who considers themselves a PC gamer and has not heard of Starcraft 2, I recommend them buying it ASAP to add to their library of games. The learning curve is moderately steep but SC2's ranking system and difficulty system will make sure you enjoy your experience either if you're a Pro or New to the game. As for a 60/100 dollar asking price, it is a bit steep. If you can hold out, I wouldn't blame someone to wait for it to go on sale. But the experience is definitely worth the money.
[EDIT 07.30.2010] I corrected the wrong information I posted in my review. Thanks Bryssa!