StarCraft II unveiled

In development since 2003.

Blizzard unveiled StarCraft II on Saturday in Korea, revealing that the long-awaited PC real-time strategy sequel has been in development since 2003.

The developer says that it is "very far along", but it doesn't plan to release anything until "it's ready".

The new game continues to focus on the three factions of the '98 original - the Protoss, Zerg and Terrans - but introduces a range of new units and gameplay tweaks that should enhance and broaden the combat experience.

With the game so popular in Korea primarily because of its suitability for competitive multiplayer, Blizzard unsurprisingly chose to focus a lot of its reveal in this area, talking about how it expects to include numerous subtleties for high-end players to exploit, with the potential for a more divergent early-game technology tree to increase the range of possible "rush" strategies.

New units on the Terran side include siege tanks, which shell from distance, reapers, which are medium infantry with jetpacks, and battlecruisers, while the Zerg can mutate into suicide troops that explode and shower their enemies in acid.

Protoss saw the most reveals though - Immortals, heavy tanks with energy shields; prisms, which transport units across the battlefield; colossi, which are gigantic walkers with cutting lasers (and the ability to walk up and down cliffs) and vulnerability to air attacks; phoenix units, which can "overload" to eliminate squads of nearby airborne enemies at the cost of immobility for a short time; and motherships, which are "incredibly expensive" and can distort time to stop enemy gunfire reaching them and fire "planet cracker" lasers to wipe out whatever's below them.

Meanwhile, Protoss zealots can now close distance on Terran gunners more effectively, and stalkers gain the ability to "blink" jump to anywhere else on screen, described as being handy for pursuit.

Blizzard said fans can expect another game about large armies against large armies, with a mostly familiar feel but lots of changes that alter the gameplay in important ways.

Look out for more on StarCraft II soon.

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