StarCraft fans, rejoice! Blizzard announced yesterday that the hugely anticipated sequel, Wings of Liberty, will be available at retailers starting July 27 and directly from Blizzard itself shortly thereafter. The game has been in beta since February with a rather hefty update releasing just a few weeks ago, which included the custom map editor, achievements, and a number of other Battle.net additions.
"Thanks to our beta testers, we're making great progress on the final stages of development, and we'll be ready to welcome players all over the world to StarCraft II and the new Battle.net in just a few months," said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard CEO and co-founder.
Wings of Liberty will continue the StarCraft story arc, following Terran rebel leader Jim Raynor. The game will allow players to pick and choose the missions they run, creating a very customizable single-player experience.
If you're lucky enough to be in possession of a Starcraft II beta key, and you own one of them expensive looking Apple computers, you can now get to playing Blizzard's long, long awaited sequel on your nice and shiny Apple-computer-by-Apple. Expect some moderate system requirments to make the game run well. My best guess is that if you can run World of Warcraft you shouldn't have too much trouble with Starcraft II.
Beta keys are still being offered by Blizzard and there's three ways to get it. You can go to starcraft2.com and sign up through a battle.net account, get a key from a friend who is already in the beta, or pre-order the game at Gamestop. You could also appeal to heathen gods but you'll likely end up getting a demon spirit with your beta key, and that tends to suck.
Set your countdown clocks. The “Halo: Reach” multiplayer beta, which is poised to be one of the biggest test events in entertainment history, kicks off in just four days. Among the millions of “Halo” fans eagerly anticipating the beta is actress Aisha Tyler. Available starting today is a video introduction to the beta starring the actress, viewable exclusively through the “Halo 3: ODST” game disc. Tyler walks through all the new game modes and offers her own tips and insider hints for each of the maps while showing off some life-size “Halo” weaponry.
As this is a beta, Bungie will be turning on different modes at different times to optimize testing. The beta kicks off May 3rd with three playlists featuring the all-new, highly competitive Arena mode (4v4 ranked Team Slayer games) as well as “Free-for-All” and “Grab Bag” playlists, which include a mix of classic and brand new game types. Beginning May 7, the new large-scale Spartan vs. Elite “Invasion” playlist will be added to the beta. Finally, beginning May 14 the “Generator Defense” game type will become available.
Everyone who logs in and plays at least one full game of any type in the “Halo: Reach” beta will receive a free “Halo: Reach” Avatar hoodie via the Halo Waypoint portal on Xbox LIVE. To redeem the hoodie, players must access Halo Waypoint and browse their “Halo” Career statistics after completing a match.
It seems as though Blizzard is opening its beta for StarCraft II up to more people. Early this morning I received an email from Blizzard, a legitimate one, mind you, telling me that I can now invite a friend into the beta.
"Congratulations! This is an additional invitation to the beta test for Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft® II: Wings of Liberty™ for you to share with a friend!" the email reads. "You are receiving this email because you are currently participating in the StarCraft II beta test, and we want to encourage you to test out some of the social features of the revamped Battle.net® online-gaming service by inviting one of your friends to play with you. This email contains your additional beta key for you to send to a friend, along with instructions to help your friend get started."
It's hard to say of these friend invites are going to ALL participants or only a select few. I guess it won't be long before we know. Hopefully I'll see you online.
With its beta starting last week, Blizzard revealed that StarCraft II is still targeting a release in the first half of 2010. The latest word comes from yesterday's BlizzCast in which lead producer Chris Sigaty dropped some information on the beta as well as the release plans for the game.
"We were targeting three to five months for the beta. We're really at a three-month period of time for the beta at this point. We are still targeting the first half of this year...[for release.]"
The beta received its first full patch yesterday, addressing numerous bugs as well as making a slew of balance changes. I can tell you firsthand that it's pretty damn awesome, so it's good to see that Blizzard is still on track for its original release schedule.
Valve has announced a new version of Steam which is immediately available in public beta.
This opt-in beta is available immediately to all Steam users. If users already have Steam installed on their computer, they can take part in the beta by clicking this link (steam://open/settings) and then selecting "UI Update" under Beta Participation. If they don't have Steam installed, they can download it here (http://store.steampowered.com/). To preview the new Steam client without taking part in the beta, a complete rundown of the new features is available here (http://store.steampowered.com/uiupdate/).
With the new Steam release, gamers will now be able to see which games their friends have purchased directly within the Steam storefront. News outlets now have the ability to reach the Steam community through the new client's News aggregator functionality. Those organizations interested can contact Doug Lombardi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With users purchasing more and more games through Steam, new methods of library management were needed. The new client introduces library customization tools to help gamers sort, group, and find games in libraries which for some hardcore players contain hundreds of titles. In addition to having lots of games, gamers needed methods of tracking all of their achievements in a standardized cross-game fashion, which is now possible with the new release. (more...)
The Halo: Reach beta is launching this spring, and Bungie is expecting massive participation. The studio predicts an upwards of three million gamers will be playing the beta. To put that into perspective, the Halo 3 beta, which came with every copy of Crackdown, had about 800,000 downloads.
The Halo: Reach beta releases in May and will be available to those who purchased Halo 3: ODST.
As you might already know by now, the closed beta for StarCraft II went live today. Blizzard said "thousands" of people would be included in the first wave, and people are still being selected over the next couple days.
Blizzard confirmed that beta "keys" aren't going out, rather access is tied to your Battle.net account, so login at www.battle.net to see if you can download the SCII installer. If you can, you're good to go. If not, be patient as you might still get added later today or tomorrow.
Currently, the beta is PC only, no Macs. Blizzard hasn't decided if it will open it to Macs, although the game is releasing for Mac alongside the PC.
Microsoft has announced the release date for the multiplayer beta for Halo: Reach at X10 today. It will be hitting May 3, 2010. It will be limited to those who have a Halo 3: ODST disc.
In its conference call with investors, Activision Blizzard announced that the beta for StarCraft II will be releasing "later this month." It will be a closed worldwide beta. The game is planned for a mid-2010 release.
We also learned earlier the full game will be downloadable through the overhauled Battle.net.