August 5, 2010

Starcraft II Review

The time is final­ly upon us, after ten long years Star­craft II is now in stores and in our hands.  Star­craft II may well be one of the most antic­i­pat­ed games ever in the fact that it had almost 1 mil­lion pre­orders and it’s the fastest sell­ing RTS in his­to­ry.   There has been a lot of crit­i­cism about Star­craft II and the removal of sev­er­al key fea­tures that were in the orig­i­nal such LAN sup­port, and the sep­a­rat­ing of the title into three sep­a­rate games and to ice the cake charg­ing $60 which is $10 more than your aver­age PC admis­sion price.  Do these things real­ly hold back the game? 
Hav­ing played through the sin­gle play­er cam­paign I can hon­est­ly say Star­craft II is one of the best sin­gle play­er RTS to date.  In addi­tion to every­thing you’d expect from a clas­sic RTS like Star­craft it adds sev­er­al pleas­ing addi­tions to the sin­gle play­er game such as being able to roam aboard the Hype­r­i­on (your com­mand ship), the abil­i­ty to inter­act with char­ac­ters with­in the ship and to pur­chase upgrades for your units.  These addi­tions help to cre­ate a much more in depth and per­son­al uni­verse and also allow you to add anoth­er lay­er of cus­tomiza­tion into how you approach the bat­tle­field.  The orig­i­nal Star­craft was about 30 mis­sions in length and this spread across 3 races so approx­i­mate­ly 10 mis­sions a piece.  In Star­craft II you play across about 30 mis­sions almost all Ter­ran and a cou­ple of Pro­to­ss mis­sions for good mea­sure.  The cam­paign is good for about 12 – 15 hours and there are achieve­ments even after you’ve beat­en it.  Those wor­ried about get­ting skimped on the sin­gle play­er cam­paign can put their fears at rest.
Star­craft II is a beau­ty to behold and while the game doesn’t take advan­tage of DX10/11 it still looks gor­geous and a lot of atten­tion has gone into details.  The bat­tles are pret­ty and if you have ADD you will be star­ing at them while your base falls apart around you.  There are sim­ple details from the armor suits to the effects of lasers bounc­ing off the shields of Pro­to­ss car­ri­ers that real­ly help enhance the uni­verse of Star­craft.  Unlike its pre­de­ces­sor Star­craft II does a much bet­ter job in immers­ing you.  While the Star­craft did have cutscenes it didn’t real­ly do much in pro­gress­ing the sto­ry.  Star­craft II’s cutscenes real­ly do help make a sto­ry for you to fol­low and enjoy.
Mul­ti­play­er is just what you’d expect from Star­craft and in all hon­esty it’s very sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal in many respects.  There are some units miss­ing from mul­ti­play­er that are in the sin­gle play­er cam­paign and while this is dis­ap­point­ing in some respects it def­i­nite­ly isn’t a deal break­er.  The addi­tion of dif­fi­cul­ty set­tings in Star­craft II is a wel­come sur­prise as in the orig­i­nal you had a once size fits all approach which was ok but didn’t real­ly help once you got down the com­put­er tac­tics.  Star­craft II will have you play­ing with and scream­ing at your friends until late hours of the morn­ing. 
To sum­ma­rize I’ve had a blast play­ing the newest edi­tion of the Star­craft fran­chise.  There are some would tell you to hold out on the game until LAN play is returned, Real ID is removed and Star­craft II is made into one title.  I’m here to say if you’re hold­ing on because of those small prob­lems then you an idiot.  Star­craft II is a excel­lent game that improves on almost every aspect of the orig­i­nal and then throws in a crisp, excit­ing and well done cam­paign to boot.   Hav­ing said all this, my only grip will come with the expan­sions.  If the expan­sions bear a $60 admis­sion price I will be quite dis­ap­point­ed.  I sus­pect that they will only be about $30, add anoth­er 15 hour cam­paign and some new mul­ti­play­er units.


  1. ScrotusKilmystr - August 10, 2010 5:00 pm

    I have to agree this game is great and ful­ly maxed out set­tings show the detail that has ben put into every aspect of the game.
    the mut­li is very sim­lu­lar to the orginal but the units have been tweaked and look a hell of allot bet­ter also the ter­ran marines no longer look like they have giant bon­ers when stand­ing idle.
    My only com­plaint is I have to reboot my pc before i fire up the game or I have no cur­sor I guess this is com­mon and not only hap­pens with star­craft so it’s a minor issue
    now if i could only play the mul­ti bet­ter then I’d be set!

  2. Tigershark - August 29, 2010 2:41 am

    I had to come back to this arti­cle and com­ment after play­ing it a bit. These graph­ics are GOOD. Yes it took a while but damn is it good. I’m not huge into fan­ta­sy sto­ry lines but I find myself watch­ing every cut scene, fol­low­ing the sto­ry, and com­plet­ing side mis­sions to find out more (and get­ting research points). I might even play SC1 and the Brood War expan­sion again just for fun. There def­i­nite­ly more going on in this one and you have to be on top of your game…not lit­er­al­ly.


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