Ever since Microsoft knocked out Age of Empires by shutting down Ensemble Studios, a lot of AOE players have been looking for an alternative real time strategy game. And I think the search can end!
The other night I found a cheap copy of StarCraft II ($39 USD) at the local WalMart. It was a beat up box and I think they couldn't sell it, as the games typically cost $49 USD.
I heard about Blizzard's StarCraft/Warcraft games was never interested in it. However, this new version looked interesting and I thought I'd give it a try.
To my surprise, the game play experience felt like I was playing Age of Empires again, granted with less options and less races. But despite the fact it has less races, the campaign story was excellently written and the multiplayer experience was astoundingly fast! Due to Microsoft's lack of support in promoting the PC version of Age of Empires, the multiplayer experience has been suffering. But StarCraft II's multiplayer experience was instant. I was able to find players even with 4v4.
Suggestion to Blizzard
If I had to give this a rating of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 9.5. The only missing piece or feature I'd like to see is to find idle military. You can find idle workers but not idle military, which is a bit disappointing if you are used to that. Everything else is wonderful game play and creative programming.
If you have someone that likes to play chess online or strategic video games (games that require you to think and use their brain power), then this game is definitely recommended.
How to Guides for Multiplayer
There's over 3 million people playing this game and it keeps going higher! But it's difficult to play online because other players have played this game even since the original release. No worries, there's a lot of beginner's guides online that will help you in your newbie bronze league stage.
Check out the forums, how to's and strategies at www.sc2gamers.com. You can find terran, zerg, and protoss advice from diamond league players and platinum players.