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Blizzard unveils StarCraft II

First screens and info straight from the 2007 Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event in South Korea

Blizzard has unveiled StarCraft II at a special event in South Korea. Update: We've got the first screens right here.

"There's the graphical improvements you'd expect from a game that'll be 10 years in the coming by the time it's released - there's physics now, so stuff will roll down hills and explode properly. But it was the new units and powers that drew bellows of excitement - and I honestly swear to you that a sizeable minority of the crowd behind me were actually grunting. I'm in an Olympic Stadium full of people who would rip my face off for a chance to play this game. And wonderful, screaming girls" said our man on the front line. You can read his full blog here.

Here's the info direct from the release: Designed to be the ultimate competitive RTS, StarCraft II will feature the return of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg races, overhauled and re-imagined with Blizzard's signature approach to game balance. Each race will be further distinguished from the others, with several new units and new gameplay mechanics, as well as new abilities for some of the classic StarCraft units that will be making a reappearance in the game.

StarCraft II will also feature a custom 3D-graphics engine with realistic physics and the ability to render several large, highly detailed units and massive armies on-screen simultaneously.

"With StarCraft II, we'll be able to do everything we wanted to do with the original StarCraft and more," stated Mike Morhaime, president and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We recognize that expectations are high following the long-running popularity of the original game, but we plan to meet those expectations and deliver an engaging, action-packed, competitive experience that StarCraft players and strategy gamers worldwide will enjoy."

StarCraft II will include a unique single-player campaign, as well as fast-paced online play through an upgraded version of Blizzard's renowned online gaming service, Battle.net. In addition, the game will come with a powerful, full-featured map editor that will put the same tools used by Blizzard's designers into the hands of players.

Blizzard is developing StarCraft II for simultaneous release on the Windows and Macintosh PC platforms. Further information about the game, including details on the single-player, multiplayer, and map-editor features, as well as system requirements, pricing, and availability, will be announced in the months ahead.

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