It is arguable that the original StarCraft is the reason eSports even exists today. But as fans would always argue, the campaigns have often been the highlight of the StarCraft experience. The original set the stage, and while it didn’t redefine RTS campaigns from a narrative standpoint at the time by any stretch of the imagination, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void most certainly did. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was a breath of fresh air when it released in 2010, with a campaign that took us from the Wild West of Blizzard’s wonderful science fiction universe to its predictable conclusion in space. And during this time, it also made the real-time strategy genre feel personal again, with the interludes between missions adding as much to the experience as the skirmishes themselves. Heart of Swarm picked up where Wings of Liberty left off, with a similarly protagonist-driven approach to storytelling and chaos of managing a Zerg army during its missions.
The epic conclusion, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void tells the story of Protoss high Templar Artanis, whose mission is one more noble than his predecessors: to rally the Protoss in a fight against Amon, a fallen Xel’Naga who’s looking to take over the universe, obviously. Heart of Swarm picked up where Wings of Liberty left off, with a similarly protagonist-driven approach to storytelling and chaos of managing a Zerg army during its missions. The epic conclusion, Legacy of the Void tells the story of Protoss high Templar Artanis, whose mission is one more noble than his predecessors: to rally the Protoss in a fight against Amon, a fallen Xel’Naga who’s looking to take over the universe, obviously.
STARCRAFT II – Into the Void
The approach to the campaign has not changed. Expect to participate in a variety of defend and attack missions with the odd “stealth” mission thrown into the mix. If you’ve played as Protoss at any point, you are probably aware that the faction’s units are more micromanagement intensive than Terran or Zerg units. Expect to control smaller groups of units a lot of the time—and with more intricacy. Almost every unit is like a “hero” unit, with a variety of abilities. As you progress through the campaign you will unlock various other units and their associated powers. You can now choose to bring a mix of units with one of three powers of your choice—these are generally either defensive or offensive (Immortals, for instance, can equip a Damage Barrier or transform into an Annihilator with the Shadow Cannon). Not only does this help play to your specific style, but also adds to the replayability of levels, thanks to the freedom of attempting missions on various difficulties with a different mix of units.
Like StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void has a staging hub, and this time it is the bridge of Protoss ship, the Spear of Adun. Between missions, you will be able to interact with various characters, choose your next mission as well as upgrade the Spear of Adun itself, granting special abilities and buffs during battle, such as faster resource gathering or calling down devastating orbital strikes down on the battlefield. Character interactions add significant value to the story, making your seemingly arbitrary action of clicking on things until they’re dead feel meaningful in some twisted way, and this is an achievement. Given the nature of the Protoss and their place in StarCraft fiction, Legacy of the Void can occasionally distance you from the proceedings, but then pull you right back. Overall, it does tremendous justice as the final act and epic conclusion to the everything that has been building up over the course of the last four games/expansions.
I admit, I’m not very good at StarCraft multiplayer, but I do enjoy watching professional players make tough decisions while performing several hundred actions per minute. It is my lay opinion that multiplayer doesn’t feel significantly different from the previous games (in the sense that the mechanics and emphasis on micromanagement remains the same), but the dynamics have certainly changed. With the addition of a few new units and dramatic alteration of the game’s economy by increasing the number of resource gathering units at the onset of a multiplayer game and halving the availability of resources, the intention was to encourage offensive play, aggressive expansion and map control.
‘Archon’ mode is a neat little addition in which the game gives complete control over a team to two players—this can be used for two pros to team up as a lethal tag team or professional players to mentor and guide newer players. This mode has its own dedicated leaderboards. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void also features co-operative missions centring around Hero control—pick a hero to play in missions while gaining XP and abilities for completion. Various difficulty levels are available, and playing missions at higher difficulties yield more XP.
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is easy to recommend to fans of the series, or of RTS games in general. There’s a certain degree of polish here which only Blizzard can deliver. From a gameplay and story standpoint, it is simply perfect. There’s some replayability for sure, but it’s not something that’s going to keep you coming back for more after you’ve completed the game’s missions a couple of times. The real endgame is in its multiplayer, but the level of competitiveness at all skill levels is high, and can be intimidating for casual players, who will find more joy in the co-op missions and custom games with their friends.
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