Queen Of Blades Kerrigan and the ravening Zerg will make their return on March 12th, 2013, by way of the long-awaited Heart Of The Swarm StarCraft II expansion. Blizzard have blown the lid off the new additions to the series and two collector's editions, which we've rounded up below.
Heart Of The Swarm will chronicle Sarah Kerrigan's crusade to eradicate the traitorous dictator Arcturus Mengsk, picking up where Wings Of Liberty campaign left off. Throughout 20 singleplayer missions, players will evolve Sarah's abilities to suit their play style, not to mention bringing fearsome new Zerg strains into the fold.
New multiplayer units include Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, while certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new capabilities. A plethora of new features will also be added, including group and clan systems, unranked matchmaking, Global (region-less) Play, additional stat tracking, UI tweaks and replays. A levelling system will gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customization options for their online profiles, while the battles themselves should look much more visceral due to an updated physics engine.
The standard edition will set you back $39.99 (UK price TBA) on Battle.net... unless you fancy some extra swag, that is..
The Digital Deluxe version of Heart of the Swarm includes a full digital copy of the expansion along with the following in-game bonus items:
- StarCraft II Torrasque: Crush the enemies of the Swarm with the indomitable Torrasque, a fearsome new look for your zerg Ultralisks.
- StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested Battle.net portraits and decals help you customize the look of your online profile and in-game army.
- World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: The Baneling companion pet is bursting with enthusiasm and ready to explode onto the Pet Battles scene.
- Diablo III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil: Grow zerg-like wings in honor of the Queen of Blades, and unfurl an exclusive banner sigil to mark your allegiance to the Swarm in Sanctuary.
The Collector’s Edition of Heart of the Swarm includes the full version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive bonus items, in addition to the content from the Digital Deluxe version:
- Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray: Immerse yourself in the StarCraft universe with developer commentary, interviews with voice actors, and an in-depth historical retrospective on StarCraft’s eSports legacy narrated by key members of the community.
- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD: Enhance your Heart of the Swarm musical experience with this collection of more than a dozen tracks from the game.
- Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book: This 144-page tome features never-before-seen art from the expansion, including early concept sketches and meticulous 3D renderings.
- Zerg Rush Mousepad: This Collector’s Edition mousepad depicts the Terran Dominion holding out desperately under the onslaught of the Swarm.