StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm will be released in stores and online beginning March 12, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment has announced.
The long-awaited expansion to Wings of Liberty features a new campaign continuing the story of Kerrigan, Queen of Blades, as she gathers the remnants of the zerg Swarm and plots her revenge against the dictator of the Koprulu sector, Arcturus Mengsk.
The game also introduces several new multiplayer units and features such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests, while certain existing units from Wings of Liberty will be updated with new capabilities.
"With Heart of the Swarm, our goal has been to expand on the multiplayer action and cinematic storytelling of Wings of Liberty," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. "Combined with features like unranked matchmaking and our new levelling system, this expansion elevates the StarCraft II experience for players of all skill levels."
In addition to the regular expansion, a Collector's Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition will be offered.
The Digital Deluxe version of Heart of the Swarm includes a full digital copy of the expansion along with the following in-game bonus items:
- StarCraft II Torrasque: Crush the enemies of the Swarm with the indomitable Torrasque, a fearsome new look for your zerg Ultralisks.
- StarCraft II Battle.net Portraits and Decals: New Swarm-infested Battle.net portraits and decals help you customize the look of your online profile and in-game army.
- World of Warcraft In-Game Pet: The Baneling companion pet is bursting with enthusiasm and ready to explode onto the Pet Battles scene.
- Diablo III Blade Wings and Banner Sigil: Grow zerg-like wings in honor of the Queen of Blades, and unfurl an exclusive banner sigil to mark your allegiance to the Swarm in Sanctuary.
The Collector's Edition of Heart of the Swarm includes the full version of the game on DVD-ROM and contains the following exclusive bonus items, in addition to the content from the Digital Deluxe version:
- Behind-the-Scenes DVD and Blu-ray: Immerse yourself in the StarCraft universe with developer commentary, interviews with voice actors, and an in-depth historical retrospective on StarCraft's eSports legacy narrated by key members of the community.
- Collector's Edition Soundtrack CD: Enhance your Heart of the Swarm musical experience with this collection of more than a dozen tracks from the game.
- Heart of the Swarm Hardcover Art Book: This 144-page tome features never-before-seen art from the expansion, including early concept sketches and meticulous 3D renderings.
- Zerg Rush Mousepad: This Collector's Edition mousepad depicts the Terran Dominion holding out desperately under the onslaught of the Swarm.