StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Collector's Edition pictures and hands-on

StarCraft II's epic Heart of the Swarm expansion is due to hit the shops on 12 March and Pocket-lint has been lucky enough to get its hands-on a collector's edition to help you make your buying decision.

It ships in the usual chunky box that Blizzard likes to keep all its collector's editions in. If you have seen the previous StarCraft II special edition you'll get the picture. It does differ slightly however from that of the slimmer Diablo III set-up.

Inside the box is quite a selection of StarCraft goodies which should keep any fan of the series happy. You get a copy of the game for both PC and Mac, naturally, as well as a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray and DVD two disc making-of set, so you can really geek out.

Throw in the soundtrack on disc and you really do have every possible StarCraft II outlet covered. And those keen on taking things even further will be happy to find an awesome Heart of the Swarm art book.

The hardback book features 144 pages of renderings, sketches and other artistic development material - incredibly awesome if you're a StarCraft fan.

READ: Diablo III collector's edition pictures and hands-on

The expansion is of course the highlight of the whole package and, as you would expect, just as finely balanced and expertly produced as StarCraft II itself. We will be posting more on exactly what Heart of the Swarm adds once we have had more playtime with the expansion.

Usually these collector's editions come with some form of toy or trinket that you can give pride of place on your gaming mantlepiece. With Diablo III, it was one of the most over the top USB keys we have ever seen.

With Heart of the Swarm, things aren't quite as fun, taking the shape of a mousepad that shows Zerg and Terran battling it out. It certainly looks good, but doesn't have quite the wow factor of some of the other freebies thrown in with special editions.

Finally purchasers of the box set will also be granted exclusive ingame content. This means a Torrasque Ultralisk and three special Heart of the Swarm game portraits. World of Warcraft players get a rather awesome pet Baneling, which you can use in pet battling. Finally those still plugging away at Diablo III are given blade wings and a special banner.

The collector's edition is priced in at £54.99 and goes on sale on 12 March. It is worth noting that Heart of the Swarm is an expansion and does require you have the original game, which for those interested is £17 on Amazon right now