‘StarCraft: Remastered’ adds matchmaking and new visuals to the RTS classic

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In March, Blizzard officially unveiled StarCraft: Remastered after months of speculation that a rerelease was in the works. Now, the studio has officially opened pre-orders for the game, which will launch on August 14 at a price of $15.

StarCraft may have started out as something of a spinoff from Blizzard’s other big RTS franchise, Warcraft, but it soon took on a life of its own. The game was a true phenomenon, and is still played competitively to this day — especially in South Korea, a major hot spot for the game’s popularity.

With that in mind, Blizzard has made sure that StarCraft: Remastered doesn’t make any changes to the tried-and-tested gameplay of the original release. Taking command of Terran, Zerg, and Protoss forces should feel exactly as it did when the game first launched in 1998, albeit with the benefit of subsequent updates and its Brood War expansion pack.

This parity allows Remastered players to take on opponents playing the original version of the game — which is now free to play. The rerelease also features a brand new matchmaking system that will pit players against someone of a similar skill level.

Some big changes have been made to the game’s visuals, in order to bring it up to the stringent standards of modern gamers. Blizzard has introduced 4K support and a native widescreen aspect ratio, and all artwork and visual assets have been remade to look their best at HD resolutions, according to a report from Gamespot.

Veteran players may look at the remastered graphics and think that nothing has changed since they first got their hands on the game — but, of course, that’s the benefit of rose-tinted glasses. Pressing F5 at any time during gameplay will switch between the new and classic visuals, showing off exactly how much work Blizzard did to refine the experience.

It’s long been rumored that Blizzard has plans to rerelease several of its classic games, and StarCraft: Remastered seems to be the first installment of that initiative. It wouldn’t be too surprising at all to see the classic titles from the Diablo and WarCraft franchises get a similar treatment over the coming years.