The long anticipated sequal to the legendary SC and SC:Brood Wars was unleashed upon us on July 27th, 2010. Because the game has been out for some time, we thought we might do the review a little different; aim it at the patches, the improved gameplay, the strategy around Multiplayer and the campaigns in Single Player and the longevity of all 4 items.
OK, lets get to it.
Starcraft II: Wing’s of Liberty focuses on the Terran race and is set 4 years after the event’s of the Brood War episode and picks up directly. Primarily, following Jim Raynor as he leads a band of insurgents against the “Terran Dominon” – who replace the destroyed Confederacy from SCI and BW.
Most characters from SCI are present across all races, including Arcturus Mengsk, Sarah Kerrigan (duh), Zeratul, and Tassadar and introduces many new characters who help Raynor fight the hoarde and aid the Protoss in their common goal.
If you’ve played SCII already (and you should, its been out since 2010) – this game really needs no introduction. The game play is the same as SCI, the same isometric vantage point and the similar strategies in destroying your opponent. Most of the units are carried over from SCI however, my favorite, the FireBat isn’t availble in Campaign mode (which pissed me off) but the familiar Siege Tanks, and Marines are of course included.
The campaign is story strong and takes around 15 hours to complete. The dialog and interaction with other characters mostly occurs across the varying levels on Raynors ship. The ship contains separate decks which contain different areas to upgrade unit capability, research and to engage missions. All are straight-forward, well thought out and simple to navigate. Note: I spent a LOT of time listening to news reports, interacting with NPCs and generally looking around the ship – I’m sure you will too!
The missions are straightforward, and have similar themes to SCI and BW: either build an army and destroy your enemy, defend an objective, or use stealth and cunning to move from one part of the map to another. I personally always liked the build a massive army and kill all enemies. All missions have their own story to follow – so listen carefully!
But somesay Mutltiplayer is where its at for SCII – straightforward again, jump on Battle.net, join a server with some friends or clan members and build your rank. Each encouter is recorded and stats are shown on your profile. Nice interface, clean and easy to find friends, chat and have a good time. But I found that some guys take SCII a little too far and I’m sure I’ve been fracked by some Korean 12 year old. For me, I like the AI of the Campaign as I want to enjoy myself, not get rocked withing 5 minutes. I suggest installing Mumble or Skype (or whatever is your VoIP poison) to get voice happening – its critical in todays online multiplayers.