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StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Review

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Review

It's been almost three years since StarCraft 2 surfaced with its first campaign, dubbed Wings of Liberty, and now the long awaited sequel is finally available to gamers. With an already heavily established fan base both in general and in the eSports division, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is a game that sees its audience looking for more and the good thing is that it manages to deliver in almost every aspect.

To start off, Heart of the Swarm does a fantastic job of tying up all the loose ends from Wings of Liberty, with one or two exceptions. This is mostly due to the on-going three part nature of the story, but it does help in providing anticipation for the third and final instalment, Legacy of the Void.

The campaign will leave gamers feeling satisfied because it does something a bit different this time round. Unlike most typical real time strategy games, where missions follow a similar structure, Heart of the Swarm's campaign always features something completely unique objective-wise and this is very refreshing.

The same could be said about Wings of Liberty, but this time it feels like the developers were really pushing it. They want to show what players can do with the map editor later on, by setting up different ways to play. It's hard to go into detail with this, without adding spoilers, but it really does keep the game fun throughout and makes it very hard to put down.

With Wings of Liberty the focus was on the Terran race. This time the game covers the role of the Zerg. To accommodate for this, there are a few major changes this time round, namely that most missions see the addition of a hero unit. This is rather neat, because for the most part this unit is fully customisable as the campaign progresses, allowing various options to be changed/adapted any point. You can also customise several of the Zerg unit types, so you can use different upgrades. This is especially useful on the harder difficulties.

It's also great that there's more of a focus on teaching this time around. The whole campaign has a lot of tutorial-like elements that encourage players to learn more advanced strategies or just helping to enforce good tactical play. These usually aren't overbearing in any shape or form, but it does feel like the normal difficulty is a bit more hand held than it should have been. Fortunately both the hard and brutal difficulties offer an exponentially harder challenge for even the most veteran players.

On top of the overall campaign, there are also seven additional missions. This compliments the main missions very well as they allow for permanent changes to the core Zerg units. These changes are quite significant in the grand scheme of things, so players can feel a bit more in tune with their choices and decisions.

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