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A month after StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

SkyRaker on 2013-04-13

A month after StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm


2010's StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty took the landmark strategy classic into a more up-to-date style with 3D graphics and revamped mechanics, yet it didn't stray from the core tenets of the original StarCraft. It was deemed "The One" to replace the original StarCraft however much of the series' deeply devoted fanbase initially resisted the move to the sequel, but over time it's found traction in regular tournament play.



There was still a very large active fanbase for StarCraft II, when the second chapter, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, arrived last month, the active fanbase was there to greet it almost immediately.


The game was more of an expansion than a complete sequel as Heart of the Swarm brings modest changes to the game's sandbox (unavoidably forcing the competitive community to adapt and learn new strategies). Perhaps more importantly, it also features a story focused heavily on the series' pivotal character, Sarah Kerrigan. 



A Mixed Reception

Heart of the Swarm achieved nearly a universal praise from game critics, with only a tiny bit of suggestions to improve at the lower end of the scale. Equally universal are the particulars of the professional reviews, with strong praise for the lean, diverse single-player campaign, relative uncertainty toward its mechanical additions, and collective contempt for its story.

"A great reminder of why a big, 20-mission expansion can be more rewarding than a drip-feed of small DLC add-ons. Mission design shows quite a bit of influence from the MOBA genre (which is built on Defense of the Ancients, a mod for Warcraft III... so fair play). To allow us to spend time controlling Kerrigan, much of the zerg's signature micromanagement has been toned down for the single-player campaign.... I can't say I missed [it]... but it does take away something that makes the zerg unique."  Dan Stapleton on the breadth of Heart of the Swarm's content



Kotaku's Jason Schreier similarly criticised some of the changes to the campaign amidst his praise, finding it too straightforward at times for more dedicated fans. 

"Every single mission gives you very specific instructions about what to do and where to do it," he wrote. When you're not building and recruiting, you're following arrows and doing what the game tells you to do." – Jason Schreier


Digital Spy's Mark Langshaw stated that Heart lacked innovation but offered

"Enough tweaks and refinements... to improve the overall experience.... The single-player campaign is linear and predictable at times, yet hits most of the right notes where the fanbase is concerned" – Mark Langshaw



As appeared to the eyes of most fans, Wings of Liberty had a great vibe after beating the game and rescuing Kerrigan from the Planet, Char and also reversing the process making her human was a great way to start the franchise however it appears that Heart of the Swarm did not live up to the hype created by Wings of Liberty hence led to a downfall to all the fans but the uniquness and storyline is still somewhat impressive but lacked innovation.



The Community Reaction

The most striking thing about the community's response to Heart of the Swarm is the fact that it has been so remarkably quiet. After Diablo III took the spotlight a year ago for practically every facet of its design, the general lack of discussion surrounding Blizzard's newest release suggests that not everything the company alienates fans after all. (The fact that SimCity's launch happened around the same time would have likely to have soaked up much of the potential hype and tension.)

However the silence is not suggesting that there is no one buying the game; while its 1.1 million combined digital and retail sales in the 48 hours following its debut falls short of the 1.5 million its predecessor Wings of Liberty achieved it in the same time frame, 1.1 million is nevertheless a solid number for what amounts to an add-on expansion for a platform-exclusive title is a disappointing figure for those at Blizzard but understandable by the players who had finished Heart of the Swarm. Fans equally find it perfectly fine to leave the StarCraft II franchise after the Wings of Liberty where Kerrigan turns back into a human life-form and together again with the almighty Jim Raynor, a perfect love story in the end to entertain all its fans.



Future of StarCraft II?

As the second part of a trilogy was announced back in 2008 when the Wings of Liberty was released, Heart of the Swarm marks only the midpoint of StarCraft II trilogy. The final chapter of the game, Legacy of the Void, will focus primarily on the third alien race, the advanced Protoss. Blizzard has said very little about this concluding chapter to date beyond Metzen's claim that its campaign design  pitting the sophisticated but scarce Protoss against the vast swarms of the Zerg – will draw considerable inspiration from Frank Miller's 300.


Source: IGN

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1 Comment,  Leave a Comment And Get RGN Social Points

  1. gravatar

    SC2 good new minions :)

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