More than 2 years after the release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Blizzard has finally announced the first expansion, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, will be available in stores and digitally March 12th, 2013. Digital presales are available now over at StarCraft2.com. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Blizzard release without a Collector’s Edition that will be loaded with physical and digital goodies like a behind-the-scenes DVD and art book for those looking for more than just the game to accent their Blizzard collection. Also available at StarCraft2.com is a Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes not only StarCraft II bonuses but also bonus content for those who play World of Warcraft and Diablo III. We have gone ahead and posted all the special content Blizzard has announced that these editions will contain below.
The Heart of the Swarm expansion, one of two that have been planned since the release of StarCraft II, gives us an all new campaign to play which follows Sarah Kerrigan, as she plots her revenge against the dictator Arcturus Mengsk. As the title of the expansion implies, Kerrigan is concerned with gathering the remnants of the zerg Swarm in order to take out the dictator in 20 campaign missions as she travels across the galaxy looking for more zerg species to add to her growing brood. Kerrigan will be able to gain powerful new abilities and the zerg that she collects can be evolved to tailor to your style of play.
Blizzard has also added in several new multiplayer units and features to enhance your StarCraft II online experience. Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment, said that along with the new single player campaign, when “combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new leveling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels.” Other new features will include: group and clan systems, ‘Global Play’ which will enable players to battle others in different regions around the world, an enhanced physics system, additional stat tracking, user interface improvements, and multiplayer replays.
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.