It’s here at last, the third and final installment of Starcraft II bonus campaign Nova: Covert Ops. Which has, to date, featured six ops but none of them particularly covert. With three missions left in the bag and the second pack a good improvement on the first, will these finally hit the spot? (Also thank goodness there are only three packs, because as you can see I’ve already run out of title puns.)
What a lovely birthday present, thanks Blizzard — you released the second pack of Nova: Covert Ops missions on the 2nd of August to commemorate me getting old!
Ahem. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the first mission pack, but by the third mission things were (mechanically at least) starting to look up. Will the three missions of the second pack drop the ball again or blast off into brilliance?
Gosh, it seems like yesterday when the final part of the Starcraft II trilogy, Legacy of the Void, came out. Then, just when it all seemed to be over, they dangled a new carrot: the carrot of a bonus campaign, concerning everybody’s favourite stealth operative Nova.
Although I’ve mostly enjoyed playing SC2 as an actual RTS, the dream of WC3‘s Rexxar action-RPG campaign has never died. What with Nova: Covert Ops appearing to focus not on an army but a single character, I dared to think that promise might finally be fulfilled.
Starcraft II was supposed to be three “games”. Not a game and two expansion packs, three “games”. With the third “game” finally pretending like it’s possibly actually on the horizon, I got the hankering to go back and replay the two other bits.
I barely had SC2 installed on this new computer when I remembered all the reasons it makes me angry.
(What was the time distance between Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne? One year? And a bit? SC2‘s time-lags aren’t even funny.)
So Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty was a fabulous non-starter, a bit of a “damp squib” as they say in the business. They promised a thirty-mission epic story, and instead we got a slightly-above-standard fifteenish-mission main story with a huge pile of fairly disposable side quests. It’s pretty and plays fairly well, but seems somehow unsatisfying.
Even so, I’ve been suckered into purchasing the expansion pack Heart of the Swarm because I hate to leave a narrative unfinished (no matter how questionable its quality may be). So let’s see where this takes us…
I waited a long time for Starcraft II. It looked so promising, and considering my experiences with the editor so far during the beta, it really is. But there are murmurings surrounding the massive pile of intrusive DRM and data-mining systems that is Battle.Net 2.0 that have made me question whether I really want to support this game at all.
Could it really be back to Warcraft III, after all this?
I don’t care about Starcraft. After getting all up in Warcraft III‘s junk I thought it prudent to explore the game that came up so often in Warcraft literature. It was distinctly average to my eyes, certainly no Age of Empires II.
Considering the leap that Warcraft III made from Starcraft, though, the announcement of SC2 did pique my interest. Granted, they answered a lot of useless questions about the editor (“will there be more than 256 units?”) as if WC3 had just never existed (though I suppose to the Korean pro-gamer audience that Blizz are so obviously courting (at the expense of everyone else), it probably didn’t).
So I’ve been following SC2 with bated breathe. I fully expect it to be impossible to model/texture for (even the possibility of dodgy re-colours seems in doubt, but there are teams of reverse engineers hard at work already), but some of the general map-making possibilities look quite bitchin’.
Why am I talking about this? The delightful CHUNK and Leord at StarCraftWire conspired to give me, little old me, a beta key. Hell, it was about time.