Posted Tue, Jun 22, 2010 by Sardu
There were a surprisingly large number of MMOGs to be seen during the all too brief three days at E3 2010, the vast majority of which are solid entries into the genre. A quick glance at our lengthy list of coverage from the show floor reveals that not only is the genre entering a new period of expansive growth, but that the ways in which MMOGs are played is heading in some interesting new directions as well. Many booths went so far as to provide both a gamepad as well as the standard keyboard and mouse setups for their playable demos. This is due in part to a slight shift away from the tried and true stand back and auto attack formula prevalent in the vast majority of earlier titles, with the player’s ability to take aim and land attacks on their target manually stepping up to take center stage.
But as all PC gamers will tell you, while a gamepad is nice for grab and go gaming, it’s still not the best solution for certain types of games like first person shooters or real time strategy where you need absolute control to stand a chance. This holds doubly true if you intend to play on a competitive level or have hopes of ever seeing your name bumping the highest limits of various leaderboards.
It’s in this sense that the hardware we choose to interface our favorite games with becomes equally important as any other system spec for playing newer games. As such, I was pretty excited about one of my E3 appointments that deviated from the MMOG demo crowd and allowed me to check out Razer’s recently announced lineup of StarCraft II gear. Don’t be fooled by the branded merchandising though, as this new hardware packs a solid peripheral punch regardless of your pro level status within the game.
Before I get started on breaking down some of the cool new features of the Spectre mouse, Marauder keyboard and Banshee headset, however, I think it’s worth mentioning what my current setup is at home. Basically put, I will admit a certain bias when it comes to Razer products.
In my current setup I use the Razer Lycosa keyboard and DeathAdder mouse, and with the keyboard in particular I honestly couldn’t imagine using anything else. I not only spend a hefty amount of time gaming on my PC but an even more gargantuan chunk of time writing on a daily basis. So without even getting into features like the customizable hardware profiles or fancy backlit keys, I have had a secret love affair with the Lycosa’s low profile, non-slip rubber keypad ever since picking one up nearly two years ago. Simply put, it’s like typing on butter, only thankfully not quite so messy.
So how does Razer’s newest product line stand up? Do the new StarCraft II gaming peripherals offer more than a cool new themed chassis? Having used and even recommended their products many times in the past, not to mention having spent a fair amount of time playing the SC2 multiplayer, I’ll give you a rundown on Razer’s newest branded creations below and let you be the judge.
Heading into my appointment, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that none other than the President of Razor, Robert “Razerguy” Krakoff, would be showing me the new StarCraft II product line. Throughout his presentation I could tell that he was not only enthusiastic about these three new peripherals, but about working with Blizzard to help insure that each of them contained plenty of features not just for gamers in general, but specifically geared towards the SC2 enthusiast as well. In fact, Robert explained that pro level StarCraft players helped design all three products, so you know that the included features weren’t just random, arbitrary decisions or that the Spectre, Marauder and Banshee aren’t just standard products with a glowing SC2 logo slapped on the surface.