In the starting phase, I didn't feel very positive. Not because it was a bad game, or because there was anything distasteful about it. It was more because every scenario left me feeling like a small kid that over and over again found himself beaten up by the older boys.
Every match was like a giant kick to the gamer ego. Every fight felt predetermined. The odds were always against me, it was the only explanation I could think of. It just couldn't be true that every opponent I met knew more tricks and had better strategies than me. All too often I had to turn away from the screen so I wouldn't see the soul crushing battle report, which over and over again crowned me as the worst player ever.
This is were people usually crack. The point were you realize that you are forever doomed to be zerged beyond recognition, or even nuked into atoms. Or you can just pull the plug.
The problem is just that it's way too easy to get addicted. The way all the mechanics work together, into one of the best strategy games ever. It's the reason why so many of us tolerated to be beaten, over and over again. But when a game like Starcraft is so complete, how can you develop it further and hope to provide an equally great continuation? Or even a better one?
If this had been any other company, it would have felt scary - but we're talking about Blizzard. They have made a habit of making truly solid titles. Something that will hopefully prevail in Starcraft II. But I was still pretty nervous as I booted up the multiplayer beta - the Terran singleplayer campaign will have to wait for a while longer.
It's been a tradition amongst RTS developers that when making a sequel you take a whole new concept and try to stack in on top of the concept of the original, thus making the game more complex. Sometimes that works out, but in many cases it has been more damaging that beneficial. Blizzard have decided to take the safer route, and almost everything in Starcraft II is built upon the same model as in the original. That could have been harsh criticism, if the concept and product wasn't so damn good.
If you are one of the player who game up on the pretty ruthless gameplay of the original, you might be tempted to come back and experiment with Starcraft II. The game has been made more accessible to the average RTS player, and it feels much more like a game where everyone has a chance to win. As an old player, almost everything feels familiar though.
One would be tempted to say that Blizzard have completely failed to take any chances when they developed this game and despite the graphical update, the small corrections in the general gameplay and an increase in available units, everything is more or less like the good old days. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, when it's exactly how I like it.