news\ Nov 13, 2012 at 9:40 am

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm release date announced


StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, the first expansion to Blizzard's real-time strategy game StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, will be released on March 12, 2013, Blizzard announced today.

As the sequel to Wings of LibertyHeart of the Swarm will feature a new 20-mission campaign centering on the story of Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of Blades, "as she gathers the remnants of the zerg Swarm and plots her revenge against the treacherous dictator of the Koprulu sector, Arcturus Mengsk."

In addition to the new campaign, Heart of the Swarm will introduce several new multiplayer units and features that "enhance" the StarCraft 2 experience. Some new units include the Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests. New gameplay features include group and clan systems; unranked matchmaking; Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions around the world; additional stat tracking; user interface improvements; an enhanced physics system, for more visceral looking battles; multiplayer replays, to watch replays with friends; and a leveling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customization options for their online profiles.

The game will be available on PC and Mac for $39.99 both in stores and digitally from Blizzard's StarCraft 2 site. There will also be a Collector's Edition offered exclusively at select retailers for $79.99. Alternatively, you can purchase the Digital Deluxe version of the expansion for $59.99 which includes all of the digital items from the Collector's Edition. You can begin pre-ordering Heart of the Swarm today.

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 Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested 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. 
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