StarCraft 2

Reviewed by Tilce | 2 February 2011
Genre: | Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment | Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
TOG Score
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The Good
  • Immersive campaign, storyline mode that offers a lot of variety
  • Awesome cinematics and storyline that get you involved
  • Element of choice in campaign provides lots of replay value
  • Excellent online play
  • Challenges and practice league ease neophytes into competitive play
The Bad
  • While the campaign is deep and rewarding, it is also just one-third of the story. In the campaign you are only allowed to play as the Terrans. Blizzard has the Zerg and the Protoss campaigns in development, but both will require purchase.
  • Some minor inconveniences like restricted regions and no clan channels.
  • The third is a totally understandable. The exclusion of LAN play. For many this will not be an issue at all, but for some that have fond memories of LAN parties, this might come as a blow.

Review by Mortlmike

Name: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Homepage: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
Genre: Sci-fi
Style: RTS

StarCraft II is a strategy game played in real-time. You see the action from a top-down perspective and command your armies to gain control of the battlefield and ultimately defeat your opponents. The game’s single-player campaign focuses on the Terrans, but you can play multiplayer matches as any of the three StarCraft II races: the Terrans, the Protoss, or the Zerg.

Each race has access to unique units; these units fill specific roles on the battlefield. Combining different units to form versatile armies is one path to victory.

Learning Curve:
Players who aren’t familiar with the genre will still have some troubles at first, but should be able to stumble their way through until they get the hang of things. RTS games are inherently difficult to master, but StarCraft II manages to balance complex, but intuitive controls against an ever increasing level of difficulty that eases you into using the full control scheme. It is a fine balancing act, but one that works.

Gameplay Mechanics:
You have simple functions of an RTS combined with the original epic gameplay from StarCraft and a much more complicated micro-management then Warcraft 3. A lot of units have special abilities now, making them a unique tool on the battlefield, nearly all the units have a distinctive characteristic that can change your battle outcome.
The Interface of the game is very user-friendly and beautifully done.
The Interface of the game is very user-friendly and beautifully done. After your Log-in screen you have a panel with all sorts of different options to choose from. You have the Single Player Tab, where you can start your Terran Campaign, take challenges or battle the AI. The “Challenge” feature provokes the player like in a game of chess, you are placed in different situations with a limited amount of firepower and you have to complete the objective given.

- Units attacking from cliffs will be covered by Fog-of-War after the hit connects.
- Resources required for units and buildings are minerals and vespene gas, collected by workers
- Yellow minerals give more return (7 per unit) than blue minerals (5 per unit), but are generally be placed in more vulnerable locations on the map.
- Allied chat is set as the default, and resource sharing between allies is allowed.
- When a nuke is launched, the player that launched it sees a big spot. The opponent only sees a small dot.
- Multiple buildings can be selected through Shift-Clicking
- Max population count is 200 supply
- There is a 255 unit limit to how many units you may have selected
- Building placement is grid based

The campaign follows the Terrans though a series of branching story lines that allow you to choose which order you want to play through, as well as giving you the occasional choice that will force you to side with one group or another. Despite the options, the game still follows a mostly linear story, but it is engrossing enough that most will be happy to watch the scripted plot unfold.
RTS games are inherently difficult to master
The story is deep and compelling, but it is difficult to put an exact number on how many hours it will take to complete. Unlike other, more linear games, StarCraft II could be as long or as short as you want it to be. The campaign missions each feature multiple achievements that require you to go above and beyond just completing the mission requirements. Many of these achievements are only pointed out after the mission ends, which might have some people hitting the replay button right away, but usually you can guess what the achievement might be from the in-game communications.

But even if the achievements don’t appeal to you, the game is still difficult to put a time frame to because there are so many ways to play, and while they might be radically different, there is no wrong way. Some players might be offensively-minded and want to rush out and take the fight to the enemy, while others might set up defenses and let the enemy come to them. It can be the difference between a 20-minute game and an hour long game, and neither is wrong. A balanced player might be able to beat the campaign in 20 hours or so, while an achievement driven player could easily double that time.

The first time you enter the multiplayer tab; a message will appear and ask you if you want to play in the “newbie zone” online with other players at a low game speed. A cooperative game is available for players who can team up online and battle the AI without influencing their online rankings; it is very useful for learning the basic functions and strategies when playing in a team. A lot of people get frustrated when they get a random new player in their team; basically this avoids events like such to happen. A Quick match is available, you just choose what type of match you would like to play 1vs1, 2vs2, 3vs3, 4vs4 and your preferred race or random, just like in Warcraft 3.

People will notice is that despite the inherent strengths and weaknesses of each of the three playable races, they are all well balanced, and there is no one particular strategy that will dominate the others. Each race plays differently

- Utilizes Blizzards Battle.Net 2.0 for online play
- Max players is 8
- Custom Map Editor allowing custom game mechanics and custom game styles
It is hard not to be a bit disappointed that the game won’t blow you away graphically.
As for the graphics, they are what you would expect, but maybe not what you would hope for. They are solid and look great, but after waiting 12 years it is hard not to be a bit disappointed that the game won’t blow you away graphically. Maybe that is unfair to the game, but it has been 12 years. That isn’t to say that the game doesn’t look great- it does. The detail is intricate, the character models look good, and the maps and locations are engrossing.

The sound is almost top notch, and little things like the jukebox in the cantina will frequently play songs that are original to the game, including one that talks about shooting Zerg. It is details like that which will make you smile, but you’ll quickly forget about them and move on. StarCraft II’s toughest competition is likely to be the expectations it faces. If you come in without any hype, you will likely be impressed

Leveling style:

Both Solo and Multiplayer Score Value. Win and achievement based for achievement badges and special Avatars. A medal system is a available for how efficient your strategy was in your battles.

Server Pop:
Busy, but the waiting times are short.
Currently stable with the occasional drop

Immersion: 5/5
Graphic Quality: 4/5
Sound Quality: 4/5
Content Quality: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Subjective Comments:
In general RTS games can rarely illicit emotion from players. They are a thinking person’s game, and as such you focus more on the next several moves than the mission itself- unless of course you count frustration as an emotion- but seldom do you play a strategy game that has you nervous and wondering how you can possibly survive.

Seasoned and new gamers alike will appreciate the simple yet highly enjoyable gameplay. The factions are well balanced and the units perfectly valued. You gather minerals and vespene gas, you build your defenses, you upgrade, you expand, you gather your forces - and you unleash hell. Repeat as needed until satisfied.
An enjoyable sense of urgency, adding to the immersion.
The game is much faster than the originals. Resource gathering, building, researching and expanding all go faster now. This is something that will appeal to most and I for one liked it. It conveys an enjoyable sense of urgency, adding to the immersion. And because the game is richer and deeper, the tension just keeps mounting and it gets my leg bouncing a mile a minute.

The gameplay online is different from the predecessor Blizzard games, the combination between StarCraft and Warcraft 3 really emphasizes the feeling of the game; it gives the player countless tactical strategies. You can add players that you encounter on to friends and play with them in future games. A built-in talk options is available to speak to your teammates which is very well optimized, so you don’t have to waste your time anymore with ventrilo and other programs. Leagues and tournaments will be available soon; there will be different types of game modes, from 1vs1 to 4vs4.

StarCraft II is a complete real-time strategy game with great visual graphics, enhanced online gameplay, it offers an epic storyline filled with fantasy worlds and amazing character intrigues. The successor of the original Starcraft and Warcraft 3 will echo for another decade.

StarCraft II is a deep and intuitive game that will please veterans of the series, and allow new players to see what all the hype is about. Whether or not it becomes the classic that the predecessor did remains to be seen, but Blizzard has done their job and released a worthy successor, as well what is probably best RTS game made yet.

Payment options:
Game: $59.99 U.S.
$ 89.99 for the Austrailians to play On both the NA/SEA servers
No reoccurring fees

Download Size:
Downloader: 3MB. Application: 7GB

What do you think of StarCraft 2?
Post a review below!

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Member reviews

excellent game - Mortlmike |
| 3 February 2011

While I may be a bit biased because I Started playing online games with warcraft, as alot of us did. This is a great game gret community and supported very well. I enjoy almost everything about it. The seperation between Southeast Asia and North American servers is a bit annoying, and I wish there was clan support built in. I believe that starcraft is the pinnacle in competative rts gaming.

- okkervil |
| 3 February 2011

Clan support is coming Mike.

- theZee |
| 4 February 2011

This is the only game that's keeping me playing right now, love it.

- zetadeltar |
| 4 February 2011

nice write up, well done

- =ProtoType= |
| 5 February 2011

Great write up Tilcey - props to you mate:)

Hehe - WiredSolaris |
| 6 February 2011

Yeh, Great write up. :P

Wired's View - WiredSolaris |
| 6 February 2011

I have to admit. I am timid when it comes to playing RTS games online. Mainly, every so often you come across the azz that spoils the enjoyment. Luckily there are peeps like Mortlmike to make you enjoy it a bit more. The real key to any game in my mind is the clan/guild/channel etc... Gives yah someone to lean on, bitch to and ride with. Even though the Clan is not actually there (yet) we at least now have the Custom Channels that we can automagically sign into upon login. So it is getting there. Me, I am a 50 APM average player. I am more of an analysis person. I love to watch the replays and see what can be done better and such. I know how to practice what I preach. I just do not have the crazy hand skills (ok peanut gallery). Still, even though I lose more than win, something just keeps me coming back.

Good Game - Zeoinx |
| 10 February 2011

While I have tons of fond memories of the original SC, and Brood War, and still currently play them, the majority of the SC2 felt slightly like a let down. While the overall story and game-play was great, some of the Terran Tech, and I use Terran as my main argument due to the campaign surrounding them, felt a bit out of place in what was once a nice variability of land and space/air units that made the Terrans so fun to play as. Now playing as Terran, I feel like somehow I am playing a Mech Assault title instead of Starcraft. There is just too many mech styled units to be considered a "space" epic and I feel its just slightly out of place when we had variety of units in the original games. I wont give a +/- to multiplayer, as I never got big into the competitive end of this one, mainly cause my computer tends to lag the game every now and then, and I don't exactly have smooth frame rate, even at low settings, but against the AI Skirmish, its enjoyable.

starcraft-2 - Andrea C |
| 2 August 2013

It sure is a very engaging and intricate game that anyone sure will find entertaining. My brother who's supposed to be done in his paper writing services is caught playing this game by my mom and had to be grounded. But thanks to him because I now know my way around this game.

- - Blakeo2 |
| 4 September 2013

Sc2 has kept much of the accustomed games and races that were formerly presented by Starcraft. Therefore there's a continuation of a lot of the conceptions that had been firstly introduced by Starcraft. All the parties are proceeded in Starcraft 2 these include the Protoss, Zerg and Terran.

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| 21 October 2013

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| 8 January 2014

StarCraft II is a insidious besides instinctive game that resolution satisfy experienceds of the series, further admit unaccustomed competitors to remark what sum the advertise is about. Whether or hardly it befalls the ideal that the ancestor did resides to be seen, however Wind has exhausted their career also released a deserving successor, as well what is presumably vanquish RTS game made further. Innotas ppm tools

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- julien11 |
| 13 June 2014

No that it is longer out it became more and more complex. I am following the pro scene quite a bit and must say it's one of the skillest games out there. In my opinion it outperforms LoL easily, no doubt!! @ pagina

- julien11 |
| 13 June 2014

I forgot to mention: Besides all the gameplay etc I have to say that Terran is really overpowered YET, so Blizzard should really think about doing some adjustments.. @ hier klicken

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