Starcraft 2 – Wings of Liberty


I play relatively few RTS games – few enough to view them as distinctly different – so I am mainly going to compare Starcraft 2 to Blizzard’s previous games. Which is not very hard it seems, since this is a true sequel where very little is changed. The main mechanic and most of the units are the same as in the first Starcraft, although there are a lot of subtle differences that make Starcraft 2 a completely different and more refined experience.

First of all, the troop selection is a lot more strategic and it is no longer possible to rush someone with the same army configuration every time. Some people complain about the acronym RTS as there is no strategy in incessant clicking, and the winner is always the quickest – true to some degree, but mostly in professional matches or matches where one player is severly outclassed. When playing a good RTS on a reasonable level, selecting the right units and using them in the correct manner is no longer something taken for granted and requires a lot of thought – this is especially true in Starcraft 2 where a small force can easily take out a sizeable army of units it is strong against.

Secondly, the campaign is very well thought-out. It doubles as a varied experience where no mission is simply “take out the base” and a clever tutorial presenting situations where different units are suitable. Most unit-specific upgrades are not available during missions but purchased in between and then gained permanently, a welcome change to repeating the same tech tree mission after mission but it does take the single-player experience away from the multiplayer somewhat. Making a more refined single-player experience is no bad idea, though, and Blizzard thought to include a series of more advanced tutorials describing different styles of play in order to broaden appeal.

What is sort of a disappointment is the narrative. I personally think this is kind of sad as Blizzard has always been about masterful CGI interludes and – for RTS games, at least – involving characters and stories. Starcraft 2 does not have a completely linear story but rather a set of paths you can complete missions from in any order, making it very disjoint in the mood it sets. It also tells the story rather poorly, sacrificing the believability of the world and characters to overstate everything in order to bring the point across… I get that it is supposed to be appealing to a large audience, but there are better ways of doing that.

All in all though, Starcraft 2 is to no-ones surprise an insanely polished and brilliant game.

No Comment

No comments yet

Leave a reply

Posted on Aug 03/10 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »