Sep 7, 2007

[Games] The Protoss Like Them Big

StarCraft II - Zeratul

Obviously I'm heavily into the upcoming release of StarCraft II whenever Blizzard feels like finally releasing it. They've been torturing the entire RTS gaming world with their teasers about the new units and such over on their official website

To help appease my own excitement over the game, I thought I'd run a series of entries about some of the early units they've announced at this time. For now let's start with the Protoss, who have revealed the most units so far. After the loss of their homeworld Aiur, clearly they're pretty ticked off and you can see this in the size and sheer power of their new units. Today I'm highlighting the heavy-hitters in their new arsenal that have attracted my attention.

StarCraft II - Immortal

The Immortal is the Protoss answer against big weapons challenging them. A replacement for the Dragoon, the Immortal's main claim to fame would have to be its shields which work best against high impact weapons. The best example would be the blast from a Siege Tank, which used to chew up Protoss armies like piece meal. However the shields are not as strong against small-weapons fire, which means diversity of units is still important. This feisty critter remains more than equipped for going toe-to-toe with the big boys.

StarCraft II - Warp Ray

Think of a giant laser and strap an engine on it and you get the Warp Ray, something like a scaled down version of a Death Star without all the detention areas. For this craft, the longer it keeps its prismatic beam firing on a target, the better the damage. Such craft would need protection from any anti-aircraft units or defenses an opponent may have but at least one or two of these in any armada will help speed up the destruction of an enemy base.

StarCraft II - Colossus

As if fresh from the pages of The War of the Worlds comes this monstrosity - the Colossus. With Twin Thermal Lances, this beast promises to rip any unit into shreds. Plus given its size, it can traverse obstacles with ease, making this unit highly versatile in getting around. However due to its size, it can be targeted by both ground and anti-aircraft defenses.

StarCraft II - Mothership

And now the coup de grâce, this is a capital ship in the truest sense of the term. The Protoss Mothership is meant to be the centerpiece of the Protoss Armada. Beyond its massive size and heavy weapons, this vessel has three primary abilities that make at least one of these essential to any battle.

First comes its Cloaking Field, similar to that of the Arbiter, but this time it appears to work for buildings as well as based on the initial screenshots. Next is something they're calling the Time Bomb, a play on the Arbiter's stasis field. Instead of totally freezing the unit and protecting it from harm, this energy field causes anything within it to move terribly slow including projectiles and weapons-fire. This makes such targets much easier to kill.

And last but certainly not least is its Planet Cracker - a high energy attack right out of Independence Day. The first look at this amazing weapon seems to indicate it pretty much lives up to its name, raining down lighting and destruction against units and structures alike. Killer!

Overall, it seems Blizzard is pushing the envelope in terms of just how strong you can make Protoss weapons seem to be. I'm sure the trade off in terms of resources is going to be stellar and to see large numbers of capital units is highly unlikely. This still gives the other races a decent chance, but this early in the process it's too early to tell who is going to become the race of choice.

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