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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Expansion Will Crawl Out In March

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Activision Blizzard have announced a release date for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, an expansion pack to StarCraft II, and the second episode in the planned StarCraft II trilogy.

 

The expansion will feature a new campaign with Sarah Kerrigan, as she gathers the remnants of the Zerg Swarm in a mission for revenge against the dictator of the Koprulu sector, Arcturus Mengsk. Heart of the Swarm will also introduce new multiplayer units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, and will upgrade existing StarCraft II units as well.

 

New features will include group and clan systems, unranked matchmaking, global play, UI improvements, an enhanced physics system and multiplayer replays. Additionally, there will also be some sort of a levelling system that lets you earn customization options for your online profile.

 

Blizzard will release a collector’s edition of Heart of the Swarm, which will be available exclusively at select retail stores for a suggested retail price of $80. The collector’s edition will feature the following bonus items:

 

  • Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray: Will include developer commentary, interviews with voice actors, and an in-depth historical retrospective on StarCraft‘s e-Sports legacy “narrated by key members of the community”.

 

  • Collector’s Edition Soundtrack CD: A music CD with over a dozen tracks from the game.

 

  • Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book: A 144-page art book with never-before-seen art from the expansion, including early concept sketches and detailed 3D renderings.

 

  • Zerg Rush Mousepad: A mousepad that depicts the Terran Dominion holding out under an attack by the Swarm.

 

If you’d prefer, you can also get a digital collector’s edition of the game, titled the Digital Deluxe version, which will contain the following digital bonuses:

 

  • StarCraft II Torrasque: A new look for Zerg Ultralisks.

 

  • StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested Battle.net portraits and decals help to customize the look of your online profile and in-game army.

 

  • World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: The Baneling companion pet.

 

  • Diablo III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil: Grow Zerg-like wings, and an exclusive banner sigil for use in the game.

 

Note that all of the items in the Digital Deluxe version will also be included in the collector’s edition. The Digital Deluxe version will cost $60 on the game’s official website, and if you buy the standard retail edition ($40), you’ll be able to upgrade to the Digital Deluxe version at any time by paying the extra cost.

 

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will be released on March 12th, 2013. You can learn more about the expansion here.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.