SC is the closest I’ve ever seen any game come towards sheer perfection. It is sublime. Its multiplayer is fast and furious, easy to learn but impossible to master, with dizzying complexities due to the myriad match ups, unit combos, and the innumerable tricks, and the units are overflowing with character. The single player campaign and background lore is interesting if you like sci-fi – blatantly stolen from Warhammer in some instances, granted, but the storyline is carried on the back of solid characters and superb dialogue performances (e.g. Raynor, Kerrigan and her transformation to Queen of the Zerg, probably the best video game villainess ever).
Hundreds of thousands of people still play it around the world. I still play it every once in awhile, although I watch more often since it is one of the main planks of the current e-sports community, with major tournaments drawing ridiculous audiences. Watching the best SC players in the world is quite the experience, they are just inhuman. They’re treated like celebrities too. Have you ever seen a SC VOD? It’s like a hardcore gamer’s wildest fantasies, with throngs of teenage girls screaming and swooning over each match, carrying huge banners with their favorite player’s picture, invariably surrounded by glitter and hearts. It’s just plain unreal.
So it’s understandable why SC2 will garner so much attention. I don’t think Blizz will be able to pull it off though, the expectations are just impossible to meet. The Blizzcon build did look pretty nice, although a couple design decisions are a little off putting, but it probably won’t be out for years so they’ll have plenty of time to tweak things. Personally, I’ll be satisfied if they just continue the campaign story without doing anything too weird like de-infesting Kerrigan or turning the Xel’Naga into the SC equivalent of the Burning Legion.