Want to get a leg up on the competition when StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty releases? The company that FPS gamers love, Razer, wants to help you do just that with its new line of official StarCraft II peripherals set to release later this year.
Featuring a look and feel inspired by the StarCraft universe and developed in conjunction with Blizzard's input, these line of peripherals are each named after a Terran unit from the game: the Razer Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse, the Razer Marauder StarCraft II Gaming Keyboard, and the Razer Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset. Additionally, each unit will have individual spot lighting along the logo, the sides, and underside. Each light can be individually lit and set to any desired color. Razer has said that each peripheral will also feature a gaming-optimized design with an emphasis on portability for tournament play.
However, these are not merely your standard Razer peripherals gussied up with StarCraft decals, shapes, and colors. Razer says each accessory will contain features designed to enhance and improve gamers’ StarCraft II experience. The lighting system was designed not to just look good, but to actually serve a function in the game. You can set any alert in the game, such as your base being attacked for example, to correspond with a particular color or a flashing effect. This will allow players to focus on their offensive strategies much more efficiently.
All of the Razer StarCraft II gaming peripherals will also feature an Actions-Per-Minute (APM) Lighting System that can provide a gamer with feedback on his or her performance. Razer claims that professional StarCraft players can play at about 300 APM while a decent APM for the average player would be around 100 to 120. In order to improve his or her APM, a gamer can set the various lighting systems to provide notifications when certain APM goals are met during gameplay. This is a great training tool for those who want to succeed in the competitive multiplayer aspect of StarCraft II.
So what are the actual specs on these bad boys and how much will they run you?
Razer Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse
The Razer Spectre StarCraft II Gaming Mouse promises to be lightweight and have five buttons. Via utility software, the force settings on each button can be adjusted to match the gamer's preferred mouse click speed and control. The Spectre will be equipped with a 5600dpi Razer Precision 3.5G laser sensor and have a 1000Hz Ultrapolling 1 ms response time. Use this mouse and you'll only have yourself to blame when you get your butt kicked. The Spectre is set to cost $79.99.
Razer Marauder StarCraft II Gaming Keyboard
The Razer Marauder has elevated keys for rapid command input and a dedicated on-the-fly macro recording system. The keyboard is backlit and has some nifty-looking laser-etched keys. Razer also promises that the Marauder will have a 1000Hz Ultrapolling/1ms response time. Good luck finding a cooler looking keyboard. The Maruader will will set you back $119.99 .
Razer Banshee StarCraft II Gaming Headset
What is an online gamer without a high-quality headset? Razer says that the Banshee will be comfortable for marathon gameplay sessions and and will isolate sounds. Additionally, the Banshee will be equipped with a configuration utility so that you can make adjustments of the equalizer, pitch, and volume. You'll also be able to detach the microphone boom to make transporting the headset a little bit easier (and safer). Lastly, the headset has built-in volume and microphone control buttons as well. The Banshee will also cost $119.99.
If you decide to invest in all of these peripherals, you'll need a way to safely carry this stuff. You could probably just use any ol' backpack, but if you want to be the ultimate StarCraft II fanboy, then you may want to consider the Razer StarCraft II Zerg Edition Messenger Bag. This item features artwork from the game and is allegedly designed to protect your precious equipment. However, this was one item we did not get to see so we can't verify this claim. This bag comes with a fairly steep price tag of $89.99.
We did have an opportunity to inspect the prototypes of each peripheral, and they were what you would expect from a company like Razer. Every item had a high-end sturdy feel to it, and all looked great. The keyboard in particular stood out as a particularly exciting addition (frankly, I would have liked to have taken it home that day). While these items were designed to complement the StarCraft II experience, the devices may just as easily be put to good use in other demanding PC games. Just keep in mind that the lighting-alert system was only designed for the StarCraft II experience.
While we did get to place our dirty little hands on Razer's newest offerings, we didn't have an opportunity to put the devices to the test while playing the actual game, unfortunately. Nonetheless, we highly recommend that you StarCraft junkies keep an eye out for these peripherals when they release later this year to see how popular they are among the professional gamer community. Even if you're not aiming to be a pro yourself, you'll definitely stir up some envy amongst your friends if you purchase these items. Of course, if this is all too rich for your blood, there's always SteelSeries StarCraft II-branded keyboard, which is only $24.99.