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Star Craft II: Wings of Liberty Review

Star Craft II Review

 

  The first Star Craft game was released in 1998 and you can still find it on store shelves at full retail price in 2010, that is some serious staying power and a credit to the hard work that Blizzard put into the original game. By comparison I saw Star Trek Online's retail boxes reduced in price by half within a single month.

 

My command ship comes with its own seedy bar? Sign me up!

Hyperion Bar

  

  12 years is a long time for a devoted player base to wait for a new game, and with development time like that expectations are going to be extremely high.

 

They do have a point...

Blizzard ready when its ready.

 

  Star Craft II for those who have never heard of the original Star Craft, is a real time strategy game (RTS) were you control an army in the distant future. The original game revolved around three factions, the Terrans, Zerg, and Protoss.

 

  The game still revolves around those factions however you only control the Terran faction in this game, this is due to the fact that they are splitting Star Craft 2 into three separate games, one for the Terrans (Wings of Liberty), one for the Zerg (Heart of the Swarm) and one for the Protoss (Legacy of the Void). Each game will have its own elements and story arc.

 

  The idea in Star Craft 2 is to gather resources so that you can train new units to expand your army while at the same time achieving your regular mission goals, and optional mission goals to gain research material to improve the units you already have. Don't worry you're going to have a wide range of choices to select from.

 

A wide variety of death and destruction is yours to command.

Starcraft 2 Units

 

  Like all of the old school RTS games Star Craft II uses a large area map that is hidden by a fog of war, which is only uncovered when you move a unit across the shaded area of the map. This can lead to some nasty surprises so take care to keep an eye on units moving into a fog covered area for the first time, or else by the time you get back to them you may not have a unit to get back to.

 

  One of the great little features that I instantly fell in love with was that each unit has its own little set of audio pieces, say you chose a Marauder to move you would hear the unit say "Say the word baby"! or when you selected a SVC unit it might say "In the rear with the gear". So many games today gloss over the little elements that these added little bits really did shine. Because of the audio work each unit seemed to have its own little personality, and it made me want to protect them to the best of my ability.

 

Oh my god they killed Kenny!!!

Oh my god they killed Kenny!

 

  When not on the battle field a good portion of the game takes place upon your flagship the Hyperion. The ship is divided into multiple areas each with people and objects that you can interact with. These areas also change over time so make sure to visit them all again between each of your missions. My personal favorite place on the Hyperion was the bar, not only were their people to interact with but it was also equipped with a juke box and an arcade game that you could actually play! It's the little attention to details that really make a game shine like I have said before.

 

Hyperion Flag Ship Interior

 

  So is there a story or is it all run and gun? You bet there is a story! First off the game has a really old west feel to it and often times it reminded me of the TV show Firefly, this is a good thing.   

 

  Second because so many years have passed some people might be a bit rusty when it comes to the details of what exactly happened in the first game. Blizzard ingeniously solved this problem by unfolding the story of the first game during the installation process. Most games would have just left you with a boring now loading bar that filled up ever so slowly, but not here. Even installation is a joy.

 

  The main story of Star Craft II follows Jim Raynor and Raynor's Raiders as they fight against the dominion, and the threats that now plague the outer systems. You start off on Mar Sara but will soon be hopping from world to world collecting artifacts as your recruited by your old friend Tychus Findlay who has mysterious contacts with a group known as the Moebius Foundation. But hey running a rebel army takes money you know.

 

  Overall this was a fantastic and engaging game, that is just as good for beginners in the RTS world as it is for experts. The main replay value of this game will be playing against opponents on Battlenet. If PVP is not your cup of tea then you will find the value of this game is drastically reduced, as it will only take you anywhere from 20-60 hours to complete the single player game, with only a couple of branching paths that are exclusive of each other.

 

  The only downsides to the game comes from the battlefield graphics, which I think are scaled back to allow the game to reach a broader audience with a wide range of system abilities. It would have been nice to see some more eye-poping candy on the fields of war.

 

Flame On

 

Final Verdict Star Craft II: Wings of Liberty 9/10

  -Professor

 

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