Back in the day, my brothers played a lot of Starcraft: Brood War. I was a little young at the time, but when Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty was announced, it was perfect. Finally I could get into a series my brothers really liked without having to go back and play old games! (I played a very little bit of Diablo II with them prior to the sequel, but not enough to really remember anything.)
So Starcraft II was my first (and admittedly pretty much only) experience with real time strategy gaming. Now, I for one love strategy. I’m a huge fan of getting thrown puzzles by way of combat and resource management, but let me tell you, I generally do not like real time stuff outside of MMORPG and FPS games, but I couldn’t really tell you why. I’d like to say it’s because I get nervous when confronted with quick time actions, but I don’t think that’s really the reason. While I tend to avoid PvP in RPG games, I’d say the real reason is because I hate feeling as though I can never improve satisfactorily. But this is a tangent, so let’s say I’ll talk more about this in a me post later and then completely forget that I said this at all like usual.
Long story short, I played Starcraft a lot, but not competitively because I’m really bad. I went through the story, got as many achievements as I could, and played all of the fan-made arcade games that didn’t require actual skill at the game. I also played against the computer a lot.
But enough about me. Starcraft is an amazing game. It’s simple to learn, but requires literally thousands of hours of practice to start getting “good” at it. If you know what to look for, the world championship is incredible. The game requires a lot of thought, but at the same time playing competitively encompasses all skill levels really well.
It also has infinite replayability. Of the three races you can play, there are so many different strategies and playstyles that you can sit there and practice the same one over and over, refining it to learn how best to adjust towards other strategies, or you can just mess around and see which one you like.
I would say Starcraft is probably the biggest RTS out there. I’ve been told that in South Korea it’s practically a major sport (which to me I translate that knowledge to mean there is like a Starcraft channel on TV. Which would be awesome.) This game has a huge following, and there’s so much history behind it that it’s difficult for me to even wrap my head around. You could very easily spend an entire week watching videos, strategy guides, and streams around extremely specific aspects of this game.
The thing that I don’t like about this game in particular is the micro management. Players that are really good can keep track of several groups of troops, handle the production of four and five bases, and adapt to their opponent’s tactics all at the same time. My mind simply doesn’t work fast enough to be able to concern myself with more than one army and one base, so seeing the pro gamers do it flawlessly is just fascinating to watch.
So if this is the sort of game that sounds interesting to you, and it has somehow eluded your attention all this time, I’d recommend just looking up some stuff on YouTube. Maybe watch one of the championship matches. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t hold yourself to that standard. Don’t get intimidated by what masters can do!