Home > Gaming, PC > Starcraft II Single-Player Review

Starcraft II Single-Player Review

I have been waiting for Starcraft II since finishing Brood War.  I wasn’t waiting to get back online and get my rear handed to my by a bunch of Korean kids however.  My eagerness was in continuing the fantastic story set up in the original games.

Blizzard always has a way at weaving tales and character development.  It’s actually impressive that in a game where the characters are just a few troops in an army, they can stand out so well.  They all have depth and they progress and develop as the story goes on.  Added onto that is the fact that Blizzard has one of the best CG teams in the business which helps flesh everything out that much more.

Let’s look at how they did this time around in regards to the story.  This is going to be the first in a trilogy of games which follows the RTS story pattern they have done before.  First you play one army, that leads to the next which picks up the story, and so on.  Unfortunately they couldn’t manage to complete it all fast enough so they just decided to split it into three games.  I can see a problem arise with the fact that the majority of people bought the game for the multiplayer so they will have to work hard on additions in order to entice the multiplayer fans to pick up the successive installments.

Wings of Liberty revolves around the Terran portion of the plot.  We pick up with Jim Raynor where he is attempting to re-ignite his rebellion against the Dominion and the traitorous leader Mensk.  Eventually Jim meets up with some old friends to go after the empire and tango with some Zerg along the way.  You’ll pick up some friends and they will each give you their own little storyline of missions.  Each mission rewards a new unit, and some research data on the Protoss or Zerg that can be used to purchase benefits or extra units for the Terran forces.  This is a very interesting way to let the player feel more progress and specialization as the game goes on.  Each level of research gives you two options and picking one foregoes the other so you can truly customize your army to you playstyle.  The side stories are interesting, but really don’t bring much to the main story which doesn’t develop till much later in the game.  Once you pick up a series of missions where you control the Protoss, the plot of the game really gets revealed.  The sad part is there are only a few missions left after this, so this installment in the trilogy only real serves to set up the rest of the series.

Possibly one of the best additions to fleshing out the story and characters is the in-between segments when you’re selecting your next mission.  You can cycle through a series of rooms including the laboratory, armory, bridge, and cantina.  Here you can talk to people you have picked up along the way.  This gives freedom for even more character development for those who desire.  There’s also a lot of just “fun” elements.  Examples being the 2D shooter arcade game you can play, trophies on the wall, the Terran Marine iGun iPod parody commercial, and covers of classic songs.

As for the gameplay, it’s more of Starcraft with some slight variations.  They didn’t really mess with the formula too much which others have stated is due to the fact that the fanbase is too set in their ways to accept a lot of change.  So if you like RTS games and harken to the classic ones before heroes, rpg elements, and other ideas, you will be in for a fun ride.  Visually the game is stunning and all the minute details of the maps and world are so elaborate that people will be noticing things for a long time coming.

There’s a lot more to say about the game, but I really wanted to focus on the single player experience.  More to come as I venture into the map mod and multiplayer waters.

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