The opener for the upcoming Starcraft II expansion pack lets us know that Blizzard has still got it when it comes to CGI cinematics.
Ominous, thumping drums and a sinister voice over from Kerrigan herself plays over scenes of Zerg warriors devouring Terran troops, leveling a city, and tearing down a gigantic statue of the tyrannical Augustus Mengsk. It ends with Kerrigan waking up in what appears to be a Terran complex, confused and scared by her terrifying visions. The trailer is up to the standard you would expect from a Blizzard cinematic, and gives us a short glimpse into what we can expect to see when the game launches on March 12th.
While Wings of Liberty told the story of Jim Raynor and his struggle to unite the Terran, Heart of the Swarm will let you play as 'the bad guys' by following Kerrigan as she tries to gain control of the Zerg forces. The expansion boasts a number of new features, including new units for all three races, new maps, various graphical and balance chances, and a 'level up' feature for Kerrigan that persists as you play through the campaign, adding a bit of an RPG element.
Blizzard cinematics have a long-running history of being extremely high quality and well produced. They have won awards in the past and set a pretty high standard for storytelling in videogames.
Blizzard made a controversial decision to split Starcraft II into three separate games preceding the launch of Wings of Liberty in 2010. Heart of the Swarm is the second installment and is currently undergoing beta testing. Little is known of Legacy of the Void, the final piece of the Starcraft II trilogy, except that it will see release in the years following Heart of the Swarm and will focus on the Protoss.
You can pre-order the standard, digital deluxe and collector's edition of the game through Blizzard's online store. The digital deluxe and collector's edition come with a wealth of goodies, including exclusive digital content for games in all three of Blizzard's franchises.