I love me some Blizzard gaming. Diablo III continues to keep me clicking away merrily, and every now and then, Heroes of the Storm distracts me from that other MOBA I play. Take those games away from me,and I would be a very sad panda. That’s the horrible reality that gamers in Crimea are facing at the moment. Due to ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Blizzard have had to suspend their service, Battle.net, in the region, and thus, deny Crimean's access to the titles above along with the likes of World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Starcraft too.
Oh StarCraft, how I’ve missed you. I’m going to be dead honest here: Until last week, I had not touched a single game in the StarCraft II universe. No Wings Of Liberty, no Heart Of The Swarm. None of that, at all. So naturally, I was the right guy to throw into the Legacy Of The Void beta. Naturally. And you know what? The game was easy enough for this noob to pick up on. Here’s a couple of things that I dug the hell out of from the beta.
HEARTHSTONE! Blizzard’s hit card game just keeps on trucking, having earned plenty of converts and fans since it went public. A free to play model that actually works and a meta-game that is open to newcomers and experts has resulted in Hearthstone being one of Blizzard’s big hits of 2014. Still, the game is going to need to keep that momentum going through 2015. And it’ll look to do just that with some new cards in the upcoming Blackrock Mountain expansion. IT’S TIME TO D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-DUEL!
Ever feel like all games are the same? Sure, sometimes we get a cool new one, but especially on mobile every game starts to feel like a clone of another game. Heroes Charge already looked like a weird DOTA clone when we saw it during its Super Bowl ad, but apparently there's another company who thinks they've been copied.
Hearthstone is a beautifully balanced game. Sure there are cards here and there that spark some debate, but the act of logging on, pairing with an opponent and waging digital battle is complemented with a balanced, seamless experience. The game even shuns players who are taking too long to make their move - although there's nothing it can do about this ridiculous recording breaking one.
Legacy of the Void may be the final chapter in the journey of StarCraft 2, but the story shall never end.
It’s been a hell of a long road for StarCraft. With development kicking off on a sequel to the mega-popular real-time strategy game back in 2003, it wouldn’t be until 2007 when Blizzard would officially announce the title. It’d be another three years before fans got to play the first StarCraft 2 game, Wings Of Liberty. It was then another three years before the Zerg-centric Heart Of The Swarm was released. There’s one more chapter to go however, as Legacy Of The Void focuses on the Protoss. And that game will be going into a closed beta at the end of the month.
BlizzCon! Easily one of the most fun gaming conventions of the year, BlizzCon is all about Blizzard games, community and standing in a long line for convention swag that can’t be bought anywhere else. And maybe rocking out with the traditional band that closes the two day event off every year. I LOVE YOU TENACIOUS D! BlizzCon will be back this year, so here’s what you need to know in case you want to make the pilgrimage.
Oh yeah, Blizzard makes other games that don’t end in Craft. One of those other games on the way happens to be another stab at the online market in Overwatch, an arena shooter that happens to be filled with an assorted array of strange characters that are out for blood. From a cybernetically-augmented gorilla to the cheeky speedster Tracer racing around the arena, the game has plenty of fighters to choose from. And Overwatch just added two more of them to its arsenal.
Blizzard’s MOBA game Hero Of The Storm may not be out of the beta woods yet, but its still managed to find itself quite a following. It’s become damn popular according to the Russians who besiege our site with script bots whenever we post beta access codes, growing massively in audience participation. The thing is, with more people playing the game, the higher the chance of the community becoming more toxic, a problem that is prevalent in this genre. But Blizzard has a plan to deal with that.
World of Warcraft is a testament of time. Every time it looks like subscriber numbers are irreparably dwindling, Blizzard manages to suck dedicated fans right back in. Last year that came in the form of Warlords of Draenor, which served as a rather fantastic expansion for the ever popular MMO. This year, it's a new feature that will allow you to play World of Warcraft for free. Sort of.
One day, humanity will take to the stars. And if cheap science fiction novels and movies have taught me anything, it’s that our future astronauts will be outfitted as astronutbusters, clad in high grade armour that will allow them to murder their way across the galaxy. That’s the kind of future that StarCarft 2 has shown me. And even though I’ll be dead before I can step into power-armour of that calibre, I’m hoping that I’ll be alive long enough to afford a small replica of that kickass gear.
Some days, I honestly have no idea why I still play certain games. Take Diablo 3 for instance. I love the game, make no mistake, but I have realised that at this point, I’m bashing away at my controller to inflict higher numbers of damage on foes in order to gain higher numbers of power that my enemies will soon scale their numbers to. It’s a vicious and never-ending cycle and holy crap that little treasure goblin bastard just dropped a legendary mace!
For years now Warcraft fans have been hoping for any word about Warcraft 4 from Blizzard. They’re still painfully stringing us along, but at least now some far more talented individuals than I have recreated Warcarft 3 in a far more modern engine. That’s because the official assets for the game have finally been let loose, letting anyone go wild with mods.
Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm MOBA is pretty much fan fiction made real. You’ve got heroes and villains from all across the Blizzard Universe, joining forces to hit one another really hard. Or something with towers and map defense. I’m not really that big on the MOBA scene, but the game still sounds kinda cool, and having the chance to ride a pony into battle as a prime evil will always be a great draw for me. Right now, Heroes Of The Storm has 33 characters available. And Blizzard isn’t ready to stop adding new units anytime soon.