StarCraft: Brood War is the expansion pack for the military science fiction real-time strategy video game StarCraft. Released in December 1998 for Microsoft Windows and June 1999 for Mac OS, it was co-developed by Saffire and Blizzard Entertainment. The expansion pack introduces new campaigns, map tilesets, music, extra units for each race, and upgrade advancements. The campaigns continue the story from where the original StarCraft ended, with the sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, continuing from the conclusion of Brood War. The expansion was released first in the United States on December 18, 1998.
Brood War was critically well received, with reviewers praising it for being developed with the care of a full game rather than as an uninspired extra as of May 31, 2007, StarCraft and Brood War have sold almost ten million copies combined. The game is especially popular in South Korea, where professional players and teams have participated in matches, earned sponsorships, and competed in televised matches.
As of April 19, 2017, StarCraft and its Brood War expansion, aka the Anthology, are free to download and play from Blizzard’s website. A remastered edition of StarCraft and its expansion was released on August 14, 2017.
StarCraft focuses around three distinct interstellar species: the psionic Protoss, the adaptable Terrans, and the insectoid Zerg. The game revolves around players collecting resources to construct a base, upgrade their militaries, and ultimately conquer opponents. Brood War’s gameplay remains fundamentally unchanged from that of StarCraft, although it made small alterations to unit costs and some abilities, and added some new units. These changes make rushing tactics—a factor that gained some criticism in the original StarCraft—less practical. The single-player campaign has an increased difficulty; missions are no longer entirely linear, and a greater focus on strategy is needed to complete missions. In addition, the game’s artificial intelligence (AI) has been augmented so that AI-controlled players are more intelligent and tend to use tactics more effectively.
Brood War introduces seven new units. Each race is given access to a unique ground unit: the Zerg can create a defensive unit that can attack from the concealment of its burrow, while the Terrans can train combat medics. The Protoss are able to produce dark templar units, a powerful cloaked melee unit only given to the player in special missions of StarCraft. Protoss players can merge two of these units to create a special spellcaster unit. Each race is also given access to a dedicated air-to-air attack unit.