Thank you for finally releasing this game Blizzard, you only left us waiting for like twelve years? I forgive you however, because the Collector’s Edition I received was so beautiful, there was a tug at my heart strings and tears in my eyes when I opened it. Okay, enough of my infatuation with the god damn beautiful packaging of the Collector’s Edition of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. Today I will be discussing the single player campaign.
Let me just say I am a big fan of Starcraft, okay? I’m just being honest when I say the campaign is good. There are a few missions where it jumps to ‘HNNNGH MY HEART-THIS IS AWESOME’ levels of great (If you’ve played the campaign: ‘In Utter Darkness’ HNNGH), but overall it’s good. The story is okay, the way they’ve chosen to tell the story is really cool, and the gameplay is great.
So, the story in short follows James Raynor from the first Starcraft game in his rebellious quest against the Dominion and their leader, the self proclaimed Emperor Mengsk, because in the first game Mengsk left Raynor’s girl to a terrible fate when he could have saved her.
In the first game it basically went from mission to mission with occasional cut-scenes and in-game dialogue. Wings of Liberty greatly expands the window into the Starcraft universe, which I absolutely love. Most of the campaign, in-between missions, takes place on the Raynor’s stolen flagship the Hyperion. You can switch between decks and rooms to click on people and objects to get people’s perspectives on what’s happening, maybe watch some news and there’s even an arcade game, The Lost Viking, which is an awesome top-down style arcade shooter.
The different environments you see really gives you a feel for what it would be within the SC world. I absolutely cannot wait until the Zerg and Protoss campaigns – hopefully they have the same kind of feature. Although one of the best things about the stories in between is that it’s completely optional, so if you just want to go and play all the missions, you can do so.
The Campaign-only features are pretty cool too, like the optional upgrades for your units and buildings and the availability of some nostalgic units, like the Goliath, Wraith or Firebat from the original Starcraft game, which are taken out in SC2 multiplayer. There are also new campaign-only units you can unlock like the Hercules dropship or Predator, and special mercenary units you can hire for use on your missions. The upgrades involve things like extending unit attack range or extra energy or altering how some of the abilities work, for example the Ghost unit can have an upgrade where their cloaking ability doesn’t cost any energy. It’s also particularly nice that there are info screens provided that tell you what’s different about the mercenary units or what the upgrade does – there are even little videos that give you visual demonstrations of what they can do or how they can be useful. All these cost credits which you can gain from mission objectives or research points which you gain by destroying or finding particular objects.
The actual gameplay isn’t that much different from the original game, although you might find yourself altering a few strategies with the new units and also the introduction of unit types and their weaknesses; some units do extra damage against particular unit types, so it might become problematic if you just spam one kind of unit.
Onto graphics – I think they’re really cool, although it is just like Starcraft, but in 3D. The Terran explosions, Protoss sparkliness and Zerg bloodiness is awesome. Watching big battles is SO fun, although if you’re running the graphics on ultra and you have massive armies fighting against one another and stuff exploding left, right and center, you might experience some lag.
That’s actually all I can think of saying about the Wings of Liberty campaign without going into detail and spoiling stuff. Dislike spoilers! Overall I think the campaign is okay, well better than okay, but I think the reason I didn’t score it higher is because we lack the Zerg and Protoss sides of the story, which we got in one game originally. Now we have to wait for the two expansions, ‘Heart of the Swarm’ and ‘Legacy of the Void’, which will come out in a year and then another.
UGH BLIZZARD, WHY?