Not one, not two, but three classic Blizzard games aren't just being re-released on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but are being stealth-released, and for some, are free. During BlizzCon, Blizzard surprised retro and nostalgic gamers with the Blizzard Arcade Collection, a collection featuring The Lost Vikings, Rock N Roll Racing, and Blackthrone, three games from Blizzard before they transformed into the massive studio they are now defined by franchises like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch.
As noted, for some, this collection is free, but only for those on PC who purchased Blizzard's The Celebration Collection. If you don't own this collection, or if you're on console, you will need to fork over $20.
“The Lost Vikings, Rock N Roll Racing, and Blackthrone ultimately made it possible for us to go on to create Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft, so we thought the Blizzard Arcade Collection would be a fun and fitting way to look back at our roots as a company,” said Blizzard Entertainment president J. Allen Brack about the collection. “Many Blizzard gamers around the world fondly remember their time with these games and have often asked us to bring them back for modern platforms, so we’re thrilled to not only do so with this release, but to amp up the experience with new features and functionality available for the first time in each game.”
Below, you can read more about all three games, courtesy of an official pitch, straight from Blizzard, for each:
The Lost Vikings
- In The Lost Vikings, players assume the roles of Erik the Swift, Olaf the Stout, and Baelog the Fierce, three intrepid Vikings who must use their abilities cooperatively to solve hundreds of puzzles, defeat their enemies, and navigate a treacherous voyage back home. The Definitive Edition of The Lost Vikings brings together the best aspects of the different original console versions of the game, combining the superior audio and visual experience of the first release with the extra stages and cutscenes, and support for up to three players in local co-op, that were added in a subsequent version.
Rock N Roll Racing
- Featuring a series of booby-trapped racetracks and an epic rock-and-metal soundtrack, Rock N Roll Racing puts players behind the wheel in an over-the-top demolition-racing experience. Players choose from a selection of drivers with different talents and take their pick from a set of customizable cars—each equipped with an upgradeable arsenal designed to help them outmaneuver, and literally destroy, the competition. The Definitive Edition adds environmental effects, such as snow and rain, and lets up to four players, compared to two in the Original Edition, compete in local multiplayer. It also ups the racetrack count to 384 variations, supports 16:9 resolution, and adds actual recordings of songs from the game’s classic soundtrack—as well as new songs and new “Loudmouth Larry” voiceover clips for players to tear up the tracks to.
- Blackthorne centers on the story of Kyle “Blackthorne” Vlaros, a lethal commando equipped with brute strength, animal cunning, a mysterious past—and an increasingly powerful shotgun. As the eponymous lead character, players must fight to claim their destiny, dodging and blasting their way through a futuristic 2D alien world overrun by mutant monsters and goblin hordes, in a fierce effort to liberate its people. The Definitive Edition of the game includes an additional area to explore—previously only available in the 32-bit version of Blackthorne—as well as a “fog of war” map that uncovers as players explore each level.
As noted, this collection is available today, but right now, it's not available on PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S, though it is playable on these platforms via backward compatibility.