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StarCraft II; Wings of Liberty is here at last

At long last, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty has arrived - it's been 12 years since the first edition.

The sequel, again, is available only on the PC or Mac. And with a few exceptions, each of the levels in StarCraft II unfolds the same way. You land on a planet with a few buildings and a handful of robots. You gather the resources needed to erect more buildings, train troops and develop weapons. Then you pound the enemy with some good old shock and awe.

There are enough variations on this strategy to keep things interesting. You may be assigned to defend a landmark. You may need to escort a group of civilians to escape ships. Or you may be asked to sabotage enemy trains before they abscond with valuable artifacts.

StarCraft II is described as "real-time strategy," meaning your enemies are in motion even when you're plotting your moves.

The plot revolves around the intergalactic war among the human Terrans, the insectoid Zerg and the technologically advanced Protoss. The human protagonist, Jim Raynor, is leading a guerrilla war against the Terran Dominion, which is led by a former comrade. Another old pal has been infected and transformed into the Queen of Blades, leader of the Zerg. Allegiances are constantly shifting, and there are suggestions that an even deadlier power is lying in wait.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

RATING T for Teen

PLOT Intergalactic war, what else?

DETAILS Mac, PC, $60

BOTTOM LINE Long-awaited sequel sparkles.


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