One thing is clear in StarCraft 2: the cinematics are pushing the envelope. During the StarCraft II gameplay panel at BlizzCon 2008, the cinematics team definitely pulled out the big guns. In the unveiling of the opening cinematic (about a minute out of four total) Zeratul is seen battling four Hydralisk in what can be described only as jaw-dropping. Slicing and dicing and then finally pinning a Hydralisk with its own claw, I thought I was watching a live-action film. You can watch the full length cinematic and Kerrigan's demise cinematic, as well as other media here.
If this is what we can look forward to in StarCraft 2, count me in. Equally important if less salivation-inducing, is the unveiling of part of the single player UI. Rob Pardo, Blizzard's VP of game development, walked us through the Hyperion and a Mar Sara bar all the while showcasing the new features (including interactive environments) of the StarCraft II single player. He also showed the new Star Map function which will be the mission selection screen and will allow users to determine their own fate in the Koprulu sector by choosing which missions they undertake, when, and in what order.
Of course the announcement that dominated the panel was that StarCraft 2 is going to be a trilogy. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Did everyone really think Blizzard was going to let this game be less epic than humanly possible? I didn't doubt it for a minute.
Jonathan Tietz is the admin for StarCraft2Forum.org and will be updating the latest news from Blizzcon with the Escapist and WarCry teams!