Ahhh, Starcraft II is an interesting beast. I’ve never had any concern over eSports or online multiplayer, but I have huge respect for what SC2 did with its singleplayer campaigns — tossing the hyper-balanced melee factions out the window and expanding them with bonus units, configuration options and special abilities.
The things is… the meta-plot, of the Dark Voice returning to obliterate all life in the Koprulu Sector (The galaxy? The universe? It’s actually never really made clear that his ambitions are more than localised) is a bit of a mess. Like, Blizzard, you got away with that in Warcraft III because Archimonde was a literal demon — you can’t pull the same trick twice, and definitely not in such a different setting (at least not without groundwork that simply isn’t present).
Having said that, I think there are some good stories in the mix here, so maybe it’s time to do some reworking…
Despite its questionable surroundings, and indeed its questionable plot, Starcraft II‘s campaign as a whole is a very strong thing. While the rest of the game is mired in eSports the campaign is almost entirely divorced from the outside world — which means it has the freedom to paint the town red.
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.