Tasty ‘StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm’ Details Divulged

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Just like that, Blizzard’s teasing StarCraft II expansion numero duo details, including a teaser that probably shouldn’t have been teased yet. See what happens when you take a day off?

As expected, the expansion—dubbed Heart of the Swarm—continues Blizzard’s epic sci-fi soap, including scruffy brooding cowboy-type Jim Raynor’s pursuit of lost love Sarah “Borg queen” Kerrigan. Here’s the trailer you probably weren’t supposed to see.

And here’s the one you are, out today.

You’ll actually be able to play as Kerrigan in Heart of the Swarm, trying out four unique forms to access discrete abilities (if she dies, she just re-spawns, thus ensuring gaming’s do-over maxim doesn’t goof up fictional continuity). New “Battle Focus” stats also let you tweak Kerrigan health, damage, armor, and energy.

The first batch of screens suggests the expansion won’t diverge (much) from Wings of Liberty‘s mold. There’s the beautifully detailed and animated campaign hub, the various advisors providing color commentary and unpacking the story, and a bunch of subsidiary areas that’ll supplant the interactive locales on the first game’s battlecruiser.

Look for changes to existing units (plenty new, but some old ones possibly removed), a multiplayer beta that could last up to five months as the game slow-cooks to launch, and a solo campaign with roughly 20 missions. And of course don’t look for LAN support: like its predecessor, Heart of the Swarm will be playable online only.

Alas, the game probably won’t be out this year. Heart of the Swarm‘s director Dustin Browder told Eurogamer in February: “I don’t think you’ll be playing it this year… That seems very unlikely to me.”

Guess we’ll have to settle for Diablo III this summer instead.