StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It was released worldwide in July 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.A sequel to the 1998 video game StarCraft and the Brood War expansion pack, the game is best known as the original installment of StarCraft II which was later followed by a number of expansion packs.Wings of Liberty has been free-to-play since November 2017.
Like its predecessor, the game revolves around three species: the Terrans (humans), the Zerg (a super-species of assimilated life forms),and the Protoss (a technologically advanced species with vast psionic powers). Wings of Liberty focuses on the Terrans, while the expansions, Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void, would focus on the Zerg and Protoss, respectively. The game is set four years after the events of 1998’s Brood War, and follows the exploits of Jim Raynor as he leads an insurgent group against the autocratic Terran Dominion. The game includes new and returning characters and locations from the original game.
The game was met with critical acclaim, receiving an aggregated score of 93% from Metacritic, and it has been cited as one of the greatest video games ever made. Similar to its predecessor, StarCraft II was praised for its engaging gameplay, as well as its introduction of new features and improved storytelling. The game was criticized for lacking features that existed in the original StarCraft game including LAN play and the ability to switch between multiplayer regions. At the time of its release, StarCraft II became the fastest-selling real-time strategy game, with over three million copies sold worldwide in the first month.
The development of StarCraft II was announced on May 19, 2007, at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, South Korea.According to Rob Pardo and Chris Sigaty, development on the game, though initially delayed for a year by the temporary reassignment of Blizzard’s resources to World of Warcraft,began in 2003, shortly after Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne was released.StarCraft II supports the DirectX 9 (Pixel shader 2.0) software, and it is also fully compatible with DirectX 10 as well. The development team had decided not to add exclusive DirectX 10 graphic effects. The Mac version uses OpenGL. The game previously featured the Havok physics engine,which allowed for more realistic environmental elements such as “debris rolling down a ramp”which has since been replaced with a custom physics engine.