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StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty Collector's Edition hands-on (and more StarCraft 2 stories)

While some of you may be waiting on line at this very moment, queued up for the midnight launch of the much-anticipated first installment of StarCraft 2, reading this post from your phone (or the Joystiq iPhone app?), your pals at Joystiq got our copy a little early. And not just any copy, but the truly fancy Collector's Edition.

Now, hold on, before you get angry let us explain! Sure, Blizzard sent us a copy so we could get some early time with the game, even if it is just a few hours. But instead of doing that, we spent the entire day photographing the box and all the included goodies – like the art book, the comic, the guest passes, the dog tag slash USB drive – and then painstakingly hand-assembling the below gallery, just for you. So while you're waiting on line, reading this post, you know just what it is you've got to look forward to. Still angry? We thought not.

Not waiting on line anywhere? No worries, we'll be giving this bad boy away soon enough. Check out some more StarCraft 2 links from Big Download after the break.

Gallery: StarCraft 2 Collector's Edition (hands-on) | 13 Photos

StarCraft series retrospective
StarCraft 2 has been many, many years in the pipe. We've been waiting a massive twelve years, and in only a few days, it will drop into our laps, resplendent in all its alien-destroying glory. Still, one should never forget to look at the original StarCraft series.
StarCraft 2 – A timeline from the original to the sequel
In March of 1998 Blizzard released StarCraft, its new RTS game. While many thought the game would be a sales hit no one predicted that the title would be a huge seller with millions of copies sold worldwide. No one predicted that the game would still be played even today.
Interview with StarCraft Heaven's Devils author William C Dietz
With the release later tonight of StarCraft 2, the fans of Blizzard's sci-fi RTS game will soon have a new part of the vast StarCraft lore to chew on. However fans of the game series have already had a number of expansions of the back story via a series of novels published by Simon and Schuster. The latest such novel is StarCraft Heaven's Devils by veteran sci-fi author William C. Dietz.
StarCraft 2 Contest 1: Win one of three copies of the game
We hinted last week that we would have some StarCraft 2 giveaways this week, and guess what? We are going to start things off with a bang. We have three copies of the standard edition of Blizzard's long awaited sci-fi RTS game that are just waiting to be one by three of our loyal Big Download readers.

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