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New StarCraft 2 HD Gameplay Videos Explained

Three new videos, all in high definition, have emerged from the Leipzig Gaming Convention. Although players were given the chance to play for 15 minutes at a time, so far, these short videos contain the only worthy StarCraft 2 gameplay footage from the event.

The first video shows a Protoss base, as it is being built, up close. Nothing majorly interesting happens, but one can’t help but notice how pretty it all looks.

The next one is the most interesting of the bunch. It features a Terran attack on a minimally-defended Zerg base.

The two defensive buildings in place, the Spine Crawlers, are quickly taken out by Siege Tanks in siege mode, and the reinforcements being hatched come too little and too late. The Swarm units are making their first appearance – these can be seen when the Terran army destroys the Spawning Pool at 0:47.

Swarm

The Swarm are the same units that emerge from the Swarm Guardian‘s new attack, and are basically StarCraft 2’s Broodling units. They are very fragile, deal little damage – 4 points at melee range, and die off by themselves after a few seconds. However, they serve to keep an attacking enemy busy for a short time, which can be precious under some circumstances. In this video, we can see another great benefit – they close the distance to the attacking Marines quickly, drawing Siege Tank fire to them, and this greatly damages the friendly Marines themselves.

The Swarm are only created when major buildings are destroyed – the more important the building is, the more of them will come out. This is very reminiscent of the Command & Conquer games, where basic, wounded infantry units have a chance of popping out of destroyed buildings.

The rest of the video shows the slow and painful death of the Zerg base by the remaining Terran Siege Tanks. Two Reapers make an appearance before the end, moving in on the mineral line, quickly mowing down Drones with their dual guns. It’s clear that these units were designed with devastating the enemy economy in mind, as evident by the amazing speed in which two of them completely obliterate all the workers.

Reapers

The last video is another short one, with a few brief, interesting bits. A few seconds of the living, breathing Zerg base are seen, and the video quickly jumps to show Protoss units abusing an unhatched Zerg egg. Later, a group of Zealots and a Stalker are captured at the moment when they destroy a neutral barrier, moving on to attack another Zerg base.

Barrier

Throughout the videos, and especially in the Zerg portions, it’s very easy to see how alive everything looks. The creep is constantly shifting underneathe its purple skin, buildings have protruding, constantly undulating tenctacles, and everything seems to breath. Everything in StarCraft 2 is always in motion, enhancing the sense of immersion,  yet such high level of passive activity might impede the player’s ability to focus on meaningful animations. Either way, it’s highly apparent, with each new demonstration, that the graphical aspects of StarCraft 2 are being constantly honed and adjusted, just like the gameplay.

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