Towards the end of the nineties, PC game developer Blizzard Entertainment scored a home run with the release of the real-time strategy game “Starcraft,” a sci-fi spin-off of their “Warcraft” franchise. Such was the runaway success of the title and its expansion pack that it spawned a strong professional gaming circuit in South Korea.

This competition scene kept “Starcraft” relevant until the release of its three-part sequel over the years 2010 to 2015, and was an inspiration for the rise of e-sports. Last March Blizzard announced that the original titles would be returning to prominence with gamers courtesy of “Starcraft: Remastered,” a glorious update of the game with 4K graphics.

After some speculation, the company has set a fixed date for the upgrade’s release for next month.

Shiny and new

On June 30 Blizzard Entertainment announced that “Starcraft: Remastered,” the long-teased 4k resolution graphical overhaul of the now classic 1998 strategy game will launch on August 14th. It will be available both for Windows and Mac, covering all bases where the title got its widespread popularity. As if in consideration of the fact that countries like South Korea contributed greatly to the massive and long-lived appeal of “Starcraft,” Blizzard is going to make the remastered edition available in no less than ten localized languages.

Screenshots of the game rendered in 4K resolution more than live up to the hype of the graphical update, with crisp edges and smooth textures that give everything a shiny polish.

But highly improved graphics are only the beginning with “Starcraft: Remastered.” Even the audio – soundtrack, sound effects and voice dialogue – have also been beefed up to HD.

In addition, campaign missions are given new still illustrations; multiplayer has been revamped with new matchmaking and leaderboard options. Finally, the titles (both basic “Starcraft” and the “Brood Wars” expansion) will be able to sync with the cloud-based successor to Blizzard’s old service for global skirmishing.

Connecting new and old

Blizzard Entertainment’s “Starcraft” takes place in a distant corner of the galaxy called the Koprulu Sector, which is caught in the fires of war between the Terrans – descendants of exiled human convicts from Earth – the psychic Protoss race and the bestial constantly evolving Zerg. The main story campaigns revolve around heroes of three factions as they navigate the chaos of conflict to achieve either peace or domination.

The “Starcraft: Remastered” version bundles the 1998 game plus expansion, with the option to instantaneously change between original and 4K. It will also allow for cross-play multiplayer between this remaster and the old strategy games, which are also being re-released by Blizzard for free. The 4K update, on the other hand, will sell for $14.99, and preorders will also be given limited-time building graphic skins as extra.