Starcraft II Changed my Life
Introduction After jumping on the hype train a few days before the release of the highly anticipated Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, i was wondering if Blizzard could once again deliver. As a fan of many Blizzard games including Diablo, Starcraft, and even a little bit of World of Warcraft, i had high hopes. Did the game exceed my expectations? (Well.. obviously because you can see how many stars i gave it!)
Here's a few basics about Starcraft. Well it is an RTS... actually it is THE BEST RTS ever made. I'm sure you know, but you control terran (in the campaign) and Terran, Zerg, and Protoss with multiplayer. Each race has different strategies that you must conquer. So now that we have the basics down... let's get on with the review.
Multiplayer The most important and fun part of the game: Multiplayer. You can do many different things such as custom built games made by people using the map creator. There is huge variety in different custom games, one of my personal favorite being Evolves. You can also do matchmaking that ranges from 1v1 to 4v4. For co op, you can only do up to 3vAI with your friends. I'll be honest: i suck hard at this game. This game is not your child's RTS. If you have never played starcraft before, be prepared to lose. Until you learn hotkeys, perfect strategies for your race, and a balance between offense and defense, you probably won't win. That is unless you look up some cheap rush method, then you might actually win, but you will have to perfect it. The game being so hard is probably the best thing about it though. I've been playing with me and 3 friends, and we've been doing terrible, but we have definitely improved since the first day. I'm starting to learn hotkeys and everything. That is what is great about the multiplayer, you keep wanting to do better and learn how to beat everyone, and that is what will keep you coming back. The computer AI is very tough as well, me and my friends just got to the point where we can easily beat the "EASY", and we've advanced to medium.
There is a ranking system to try and get opponent with similar sklil, although it hasn't worked that great so far for us. It basically give's you a different medal based on how you've played with your team after 5 placement matches. Hopefully down the road as we continue to play we will be matched with opponents of similar skill, and as we get better it will continue to match us with good opponents.
GameplayWell, i don't exactly remember all the units from the original game, so i don't know which one's are new and what not. I will talk about a few of my favorite's here though. I love playing as protoss. Therefore my favorite units are Carriers (huge ships that eject flying things that own everything pretty much), and Colossus (destroys anything that doesn't fly). I've also messed around with dark templars and stuff and there's tons of different things you can do. I have not use zergling, i refuse to use them. I probably could learn to like them , but i have no clue how they work. Terran is pretty fun as well, battlecruisers are amazing and one of my favorites. I know one of the new units was Thor's for terran, and they don't seem to be that good. They just die way to easily. They are suppose to be some of the best unit's in the game, but maybe they are and i just didn't use them right.
Single Player I'm surprised how well built the campaign is. I remember from the first game you just went to a menu where everyone was talking to each other and i could care less about the story. Starcraft II is much different. There is cut scenes, and areas you can interact with, and upgrade things, in between missions. You actually care about the characters and wonder what is going to happen. Mission variety is great, with some missions being escort, to some being make up your base and attack, there's even one where you must gather resources for someone, and lava will rise so you will have to lift up your command center every time it rises. It's pretty cool. On normal, the campaign is pretty easy, which is strange because the easy difficulty on skirmish was more difficult.
Graphics For those wondering what i'm running this on for the review, i'm running it on a 21.5" iMac, the $1500 version. I can run the game SMOOTHLY with high texture settings and medium graphic settings, at 1080P. It can handle Ultra but it starts to get a little choppy. The graphics are great, a huge improvement over the original (obviously.. it's been 12 years?). There is a variety of maps from lava to more tech, forest, etc. It's a nice variety that shows off lots of different variety of colors and textures and stuff. The game looks gorgeous on ultra, despite the somewhat choppy frame rate on my computer.
ConclusionWell, i started my review off with a title saying "This game has changed my life". That is a pretty bold statement. Why did i say this though? Because this game has done what only 2 other games have done to me in my life (which both happened to be made by blizzard... diablo 2 and world of warcraft).. It may be a good thing, or a bad thing. But that thing is.. addiction. When you get addicted to the game it's good that the game is so good you can't wait to play more, but also bad if you continue to play to much. Why does it cause this? Like i said: you want to get better. As you get better you will start to win, and when you start to win you just want to keep winning and play more. It's a great strategy that blizzard does with most of their games and Starcraft II is no exception. It almost make's me not want Diablo III to come out. I'd recommend this to anyone who has a PC or Mac who can run it that has the slightest (or highest) interest in RTS games. This game is near flawless and a great achievement for some of the best developers in the world.