Blizzard announced on the Battle.net Blog on Tuesday that StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will release on March 12, 2013. Pricing for the expansion varies, with the standard edition priced at $39.99.
There will also be a collector’s edition of the game available for $79.99. In addition to the main expansion, the boxed retail-exclusive StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Collector’s Edition contains exclusive in-game content. Gamers will receive a Torrasque skin for the zerg Ultralisks in Heart of the Swarm multiplayer, Swarm-infested portraits and decals for StarCraft 2 character profiles, a Baneling pet in World of Warcraft, and a set of zerg style blade wings for use in Diablo 3. The collector’s edition also comes with a 144-page Heart of the Swarm artbook, zerg rush mouse pad, behind-the-scenes Blu-ray and DVD set, and soundtrack.
Pre-orders for the expansion pack are now live. Gamers who pre-order through Amazon will get access to the game’s beta. The online retailer will send beta codes out to players who pre-order the game within four business days of their purchase.
Heart of the Swarm picks up where StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty left off. The real-time strategy game will follow Sarah Kerrigan, Queen of the Blades, as she regains her human form, escapes a high-security research lab and attempts to seize control of the zerg Swarm. She then plans on using them to strike at Arcturus Mengsk. Heart of the Swarm will include 20 new campaign missions.
Of course, the expansion will also add new gameplay elements. New weapons of war include units such as the Protoss Tempest, which has the ability to gain air superiority, and the Swarm Host, which can engulf entrenched enemies. Existing units will be receiving new capabilities through upgrades.
StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty released in 2010. The game sold more than 1 million copies worldwide in its first day and 1.5 million within the first 48 hours of release. It has also generated great reviews. It has a score of 92 percent on Game Rankings and 93 percent on Metacritic.