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Written by  :  MAT (207209)
Written on  :  Mar 06, 2015
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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What all the games in the genre should strive to become

The Good

It's a love story. Yup, it's a love story with memorable dramatic scenes and brilliant execution in both storytelling and gameplay. The game continues where the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty ended and Kerrigan was finally back to being a human... well, more or less. Her cool zerg hair and certain powers were still present, but she was no longer the Queen of Blades. Things turn for the worse, and believing that Jim Raynor died, any though of her settling down with her current status was flushed down the toilet and she was back on the course of vengeance and regaining her powers. And boy, how well was all that executed. The story. The story is simply sublime and this add-on makes a perfect balance of not bugging you with key story dialogues during gameplay which would be unnoticed during your concentration on the gameplay.

Now the gameplay, that one is second only to the story. Kerrigan stars as a slightly-stronger-than-regular-unit hero character, and over time becomes so powerful you can level bases with her alone. Don't worry, it was all done right and nicely balanced. You obviously cannot just go in the middle of enemy base or attack alone and hope to survive, but you can prod and strike from the distance and occasionally dash right into the heart of the enemy as long as you keep track on your health bar and have a few regular units to distract the enemy and aid you in your combat as your special powers too need time to recharge, although they do recharge much faster than your health.

Level are very versatile and you'll be surprised with ares and creatures you'll meet. And if you think you've seen it all by playing the Terrans in the first part of the trilogy, you've got it all wrong. There's plenty of new units and upgrade system is great to work with. Your swarm evolution can be ticked in a wanted direction, but once you select the strain you want there's no going back and changing it as you like. That is really great, imho, as having too many options can only be distracting. Dialogues with your comrades and lieutenants during mission briefings are also very interesting and overall level of details on Kerrigan, in any form she currently is is simply stunning.

She is drop dead gorgeous, even more than on the Brood War splash screen. Exotic to the max and Tricia Helfer's voice works just like a charm. While in-game soundtrack is on the level, I cannot think of a tune that would stand out, but the score in the cutscenes is really great and emphasizes every situation and dialogue perfectly, far surpassing those in Wings of Liberty, but that might be more to the fact the story itself has much better premise as it combines love, compassion, combat, brutality and vengeance.

The Bad

Well, the game was done by Blizzard and I am no fan of theirs, but what they achieved with this game is make me admit that they did the best RTS game ever made. I cannot even imagine what some other RTS game should look and be like to surpass this one. And it's amazing that they did such a masterpiece on an add-on and not on a base game.

Well, the fact you have to be online is certainly not a good thing, especially if you have ever-so-slow Internet as I always do.

The Bottom Line

Coming with an inbred love for the pioneers of the genre, the one and only Westwood Studios, I was always a fan of their original title, Dune II and the main Command & Conquer games from the series. Back then, Blizzard entered the genre with WarCraft and StarCraft, but they never worked for me as the WS titles have. Nor fun to play, nor imaginative, nor creative enough. Well, this game changed it all for me. It looks so damn real, the level of details is amazing, the missions are so well written and executed, and all the characters fit right into their place. Whether I like Blizzard or not matters not, with StarCraft II games they came right on top of the genre and stayed there... it's their domain now.

I always try to avoid new PC games for two things... they often require Internet connection, and they require strong computers to look good. Well, this game worked smooth at 1080p with high level of details on my rather old GeForce and not that fast CPU. And yes, it still look very detail rich without anything to complain about, in either speed or quality.

I would've stayed off of StarCraft II if this game didn't come out. The story premise looks so interesting I got both games in one swoop, and after a painful night of having to download some 10+ GB of data, I could start it the next day and it all worked fine. And despite the setup waiting, it all paid off, bigtime! I never really got the feel about Sarah's and Jim's love or that it was anything this strong until I played this game. It is really done right in every aspect making for an extremely memorable gaming experience. Zergling coming to cheer Kerrigan and such scenes are simply priceless. Direction, gameplay, sound... everything done right, simple sublime.