'StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void' Trailer & Multiplayer Updates

It seemed like a perfect solution when Blizzard first announced their plans for StarCraft II: instead of holding off release until the game was completed, it would be split into three campaigns - one focused on the Terrans, another on Zerg, and finally, the Protoss. The first two installments proved to be full-sized games in their own rite, but the wait for the final chapter in the trilogy has been excruciating to fans.

Thankfully, that wait is almost at an end, as Blizzard has unveiled its first trailer for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, the Protoss-centric conclusion to the story. With the trailer comes a fresh batch of details on new game modes, returning enemy types, videos detailing the multiplayer updates to all factions, and a promise that the finished expansion "standalone game experience" will, again, be worth the wait.

Following on the story told by Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, the upcoming conclusion brings past characters Artanis and Zeratul to a massive battle prophesied years before, with the weight of the Protoss race behind them. But that also means a chance to see the lives of Terran Jim Raynor and Queen of Blades Kerrigan brought to a close as well (for now?).

StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void First Trailer

Fans who have followed the series back to Brood War and before will need no further convincing that a reunion with the mighty Artanis and the reclusive (but no doubt vengeful) Zeratul is in order, but Blizzard also took the opportunity to release a new batch of videos detailing the updates to multiplayer that will be introduced alongside Legacy of the Void.

For the Zerg, that means the addition of the Ravager, a variant of the Roach with an emphasis on long range damage thanks to its Corrosive Bile ability. Updates are also coming to the Lurker and Corruptor. Take a look:

Zerg swarms will welcome the return of the Lurker, a classic creature from the original StarCraft that lays waste to infantry with deadly spines that burst from the ground. The Protoss field a new weapon called the Disruptor, which can use massive energy spikes to wreak havoc through swaths of ground forces. And the Terrans have engineered some new technology, such as Tactical Jump, which allows their Battlecruisers to teleport to any location on the battlefield.

For the Terrans, those looking to stop a Zergling rush in its tracks will likely be interested to see the newly added Herc, an armored unit able to grapple onto targets at range, and cover the distance in a heartbeat (not to mention its other potencies in combat). There's also the Cyclone, a long range unit capable of tracking targets on the move, as well as new tweaks to existing units as well:

Finally, there's the stars of the show, the Protoss. Adding the Disruptors (capable of invulnerability and splash damage) and the punishing Immortals, some new approaches are going to be need. See for yourselves:

Blizzard also announced a number of multiplayer modes intended to change up the formula further, allowing players to work together with a friend... or potentially grow to loathe them.

Archon Mode, a competitive multiplayer mode unveiled at BlizzCon, is a new way to enjoy StarCraft II with friends. In Archon Mode, two players share control over a single base and units as they take on an enemy duo in multiplayer action. By sharing the responsibility of commanding troops and managing resources, players can focus on their own areas of the battle and execute more intricate strategies.

Allied Commanders is another gameplay mode new to StarCraft II. In this objective-based, cooperative experience, players can team up and take on the roles of powerful commanders from the StarCraft saga. Each commander offers unique abilities and upgrades and bestows special bonuses on their armies. Players are able to battle through a series of special scenarios together, leveling up their commanders' capabilities as they progress.

Some theorists may see some similarities between the gameplay, progression and teamwork coming to Allied Commanders are an opportunity to emulate the Dota formula, but until we see more of it in action, that's merely speculation.

Which of these updates has you most excited? The chance to see the story (apparently in the works for years) wrapped up in the campaign, or the dose of new content coming to multiplayer?

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is currently without a price or release date.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

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