Reviews and Problems with StarCraft II:Heart of the Swarm
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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
2 September 2013
Summary: It appears Blizzard's learned quite a bit from Diablo III 's launch , as Heart of the Swarm was instantly playable on release with virtually no server problems -- a bit of a rarity, it seems, with recent PC releases. It's a good thing, too, since as soon as I logged in at midnight, I got hooked on StarCraft again.
Conclusion: We aren’t overjoyed at the sight of a new Blizzard game as much as we were in the past. As for the narrative, well Blizzard is leaving us in the middle of a story, which, realistically, could’ve been told properly years ago in a single release; preferably one that includes campaigns for all 3 three major StarCraft races – Terran, Zerg and Protoss. At this point though, this is wishful thinking.
Pros: Exciting and diverse single-player mission structure, a beautiful and overall engaging real-time strategy with that traditional Blizzard glimmer that gives it a terrific epic feel, the brilliant art, cool-looking graphics and awesome sound create a fine atmosphere;
Cons: Some character and story inconsistencies, relatively short story campaign, friendly AI not as alert as it should be
Excerpt: Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That, or tentacles – because it’s certainly not Sarah Kerrigan ’s disposition that keeps cowboy-turned-space-marine Jim Raynor chasing after his queen in Blizzard ’s Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm . We’re not spoiling anything you haven’t already seen on any of the game’s trailers – or box art.
Pros: Excellent graphics; creative in-game mechanics; great re-playability
Cons: Lame plot; multiplayer additions feel a wee sparse
Excerpt: A lot of people were upset when they heard that StarCraft II would be broken into three separate campaigns. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is the first of two planned expansion packs to 2010's StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, which focused on the Terran. The next expansion pack, Legacy of the Void, is not yet dated (although it is safe to expect a two to three year wait) and will focus on the Protoss dark templar Zeratul.
Summary: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm has a less varied but a more personable campaign than Wings of Liberty , and its unit additions—a mix of tweaked upgrades of older units and entirely new ones—do a good job mixing up multiplayer. The hero-centric campaign doesn’t entirely suit multiplayer, but the lessons learned do give players a leg up as they segue into online and skirmish play. Minor issues aside, Heart of the Swarm is a great game.
Conclusion: StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm embodies an evolved RTS that shows Blizzard has taken on even more superior genes from other gaming greats, even when those greats coincidentally happen to be of their own creation. If this is what happened since Wings of Liberty, then we should be in for a real treat when Legacy of the Void drops out of hyperspace.
Conclusion: Concept: Explore the twisted but fascinating zerg, and update the already top-shelf multiplayer
Graphics: Everything is beautiful, from action-packed cinematics to in-game unit animation
Sound: An unusual score mixes traditional orchestral work with guitars and growling sound effects – a perfect fit for the subject matter
Playability: The campaign guides players every step of the way, but making the leap to multiplayer is still daunting
Entertainment: A darker,...