"The StarCraft II beta-test period is coming in the months ahead! If you'd like a chance to participate, now's the time to let us know. Simply go to the "Beta Profile Settings" page in Battle.net account management to go through the new beta opt-in process and upload a snapshot of your system specs. During this process, you'll also have the opportunity to opt in to future betas for other Blizzard Entertainment games. Please note that even if you've opted in to our betas previously, you'll need to complete this new process and upload your current system specs to have a chance to be invited," reads the statement on the official Blizzard website.
You can create your Battlenet account here.
StarCraft II sees the return of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg races, though each race has been overhauled to offer further balance to the gameplay.
In addition to its single-player campaign, which picks up the epic saga where the last entry in the series StarCraft: Brood War left off, StarCraft II will offer online play through an upgraded version of its online gaming service, Battle.net, which will include a competitive ladder system and a matchmaking component that aims to bring together players of a similar skill level.
In an interview, Blizzard's Cinematic Creative Director explained: "The controls for these scenes will be much more intricate than before. Since our graphics engine for the game itself can display a wide range of effects, such as normal mapping, we can actually create in-game cut-scenes of near-cinematic quality. And since we have more control over camera movement, unit animation, and lighting, our only limitations here are the engine's limitations. A good part of the plot will unfold through in-game cut-scenes, but the most pivotal scenes are still being told through cinematics."
Aside from looking great, StarCraft II will also feature new units, upgrades to old units and some new gameplay mechanics. We can also look forward to full map-making and scripting tools that will allow players to create custom maps and mods.
A release date has yet to be announced.