Video Game Review: Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

Details: Released in 2010. Only available for the PC. Is free to play if you download it from battle.net, Blizzards online platform. Beat the campaign in about sixteen hours. Official site is https://starcraft2.com

Score: 7.5/10

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is evidence that Blizzard knows or knew how to make a good single player campaign. The Wings of Liberty campaign does exactly what you’d want from a single player campaign in a real time strategy game. It tells a compelling story full of cinematic cut scenes and varied mission structures. It also does a great job familiarizing players to the gameplay in order to get them ready for the complex multiplayer.

This review is just for the single player. Starcraft’s multiplayer is complex and has a high skill level considering that many of the players have been playing a form of this game for over a decade. I could spend a couple hundred hours trying to master the multiplayer, but I’m an adult with real life crap to deal with and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Wings of Liberty is the first of three games that continue the story left off in Starcraft: Brood Wars. Jim Raynor is planning his own revolution against Arcturus Mengsk and the Dominion. Along the way, Raynor discovers a great threat to the universe and learns that Kerrigan, the Queens of Blades, lies at the center of this great threat. Now, Raynor must gather allies and resources as he readies himself to face his greatest failure and greatest regret.

There are approximately twenty something missions. You will miss a mission or two depending on the decisions you make during the campaign. Yes, there are narrative decisions that impact the game.

While this game does have a somewhat satisfying ending, this is only the first of a three part series. Almost all plot lines sort of resolve, with the overarching plot line obviously not resolving in this first of three games.

I mostly enjoyed the story. It’s a nice science fiction tale that introduces a bunch of new characters while explaining what happened to Raynor after the events of Brood Wars. I played the original Starcraft games a really long time ago and it’s nice to see those characters return.

Gameplay is almost the same as the original Starcraft, with many small changes and updates that improve the quality of life. Gameplay generally involves a balance between harvesting resources, building and army, and then using that army to attack the enemy. Neglecting any one part will detract from your success.

Units have countless different functions and generally have a very complex rock-paper-scissor type relationship. Every unit is seemingly countered by another unit. Combining these units into an army and finding counters is key. For the single player, this isn’t really as important as in the multiplayer. It’s still a helpful idea to keep in mind though.

The single player plays around with this basic gameplay formula and changes it depending on what mission you’re on. In some missions, you won’t have to worry about harvesting resources and you can just focus on controlling units. Some missions require killing specific units or protecting certain units. Some missions have a time limit. Altogether, the varied mission structures were welcome and added variety to the game.

In addition to the missions, Blizzard has added a hub world between missions where you can chat with characters and upgrade units. It’s a nice addition that adds to the immersion of the story.

Overall, Wings of Liberty is a really fun game that tells a story interesting enough to make me consider buying its sequels. I did not dip my toes into the multiplayer. I played a lot of the multiplayer in the first Starcraft game and I had no desire investing the time necessary to be competitive at this game. It is very complex though and if you invest the time, it may be very rewarding to you.

Score: 7.5/10

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