Editor's note: Despite the hype, are you on the fence about Starcraft 2? Juan has helpfully provided a list of other real-time strategy PC games for you to check out while you wait for the verdict on Blizzard's latest. Did he miss your favorite? Tell us in the comments! -Rob
After a 12-year slumber, Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty — the most popular game in both South Korea and PC gamers’ hearts — is out this week. Hooray, right?
But when dining out with others, I like to order a different plate than my friends.
In other words, I won't jump onto the Starcraft 2 bandwagon at the moment.
Does the lack of early reviews have you mulling over the purchase, too? Well, I'd like to introduce you to other real-time strategy games for the PC.
Age of Empires Series (Ensemble Studios)
Not so long ago, Microsoft Game Studios was RTS royalty. Their crown jewel was the Age of Empires series. I am not one to boast sales, but in-house developer Ensemble Studios cumulatively sold over 20 million copies of the franchise.
I played so much of Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings that my obession impacted the course of my video-game path. First, instead of playing Final Fantasy 7, I let my cousin borrow the Square-Enix title. I've been a virgin ever since. Second, the series instilled an appreciation of history that resulted in the subject becoming my major in college.
Sins of a Solar Empire (Ironclad Games)
Sins of a Solar Empire takes resource, research, and economic management to a place far, far away — beyond previous RTS games — into 3D space.
The epic, two-sided resource tree poster gave GFW Radio (97.5 Brodeo) podcasters Jeff Green, Sean Molloy, and Ryan Scott a good laugh back in 2008. Later on, the poster would proudly hang in the 1UP/EGM men’s bathroom stall.
Warcraft 3 (Blizzard)
I may have missed the watershed moment of Playstation gaming (i.e., the fate Aeris), but I played and witnessed the fall of Arthas, son of King Terenas and heir to the throne of Lordaeron. Tears.
I may have to wait another 12 years to finish that fight in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King — I'm still stuck in the Barrens chat.
Company of Heroes (Relic)
If only Company of Heroes was available during my time at San José State University, I would've changed my social-history focus to military history.
What other game allows you command German tiger tank squads in Nazi-controlled Western Europe? None. What RTS game before Company of Heroes allowed cover and destructible environments? None.
The Zerg has never experienced the Blitzkreig!
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War series (Relic)
Space Marines/Terran, Eldar/Protoss, and Tyranids/Zerg: The character species may seem interchangeable, but the original Dawn of War trumps the Starcraft universe with Orks.
For those keeping count, Dawn of War has four races, while Starcraft 2 has only three. Pulling on the heart strings of Warhammer fans, the series tells a space fantasy that rivals Blizzard's. WAAARGH!