Usually sequels are poorly made – companies tend to hurry to release a sequel which lacks in design, but there is a few which do not fall into the cliché, and StarCraft II is probably the perfect exception to the rule.
All three species come back from the original game, but being the first part of the StarCraft II trilogy, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty focus on the Terran race. Other expansions will come later, such as Heart of the Swarm - focused on the Zerg – and, finally, Legacy of the Void, devoted to the Protoss. Therefore, in this case the biggest part is played by the Terran, taking place four years after the events of "Brood War" - James Raynor leads a rebellion against the corrupt emperor Arcturus Mengsk to give liberty for the Terran people. The original StarCraft had a so highly captivating story - created by the genius writer Chris Metzen – that it seemed impossible to overcome. Surprisingly, Metzen did even better this time, and you will find new and old well-known characters, some of them unexpected.
It is basically like the original StarCraft, but with many improvements - for example, it is not longer only a matter of creating an army and crushing the enemy, but you have to develop your strategy trough the whole campaign, deciding what units should be unlocked before. In each mission you get access to a new unit that will also appear in future missions. In addition to each unlocked unit, you will get two improvements, which can be bought with credits you earn in each mission. Credits, by the way, are also useful to enable mercenaries - unlocking them does not cost much, but they are expensive in the battlefield. However, you can take advantage of their elite skills and their quick arrival. In addition, there are two kinds of research points throughout the campaign - they're Protoss research and Zerg research, employed to adapt some Protoss technology or Zerg evolution to your Terran faction. As you can see, strategy goes beyond the battlefield.
The most important improvement lies in the quick deployment and relocation of your units. Among your Terran units, some are capable to jump over cliffs; hence they do not have problems with different ground levels. In the case of Protoss, it is now possible to warp and teleport units anywhere that is pylon-powered. But the best at moving across the map are the Zerg, with their new evolution - the Nydus Network. With it, you create Nydus Worms anywhere, unleashing the fury of the swarm. All of this makes StarCraft II more dynamic and tactical than ever.
The technology seen here is interesting in some of its ideas, and sometimes incorrect. On the Earth we have birds, kites, airplanes, which fly thanks to the existence of air - without it, they just would not be able to fly. Now we see crafts with turbines, fans, that require a fluid medium to move - they could perform well in one environment, but in the game we see them on all kinds of planets, with different atmospheres and densities, and a fan is just not suitable for everywhere. In the case of the "Crucio Siege Tank", it is a great concept, deploying two legs for fixing the machine to the ground and for having increased firepower, but, why to lift up a heavy tank, thus putting the legs under too much stress? Machines under stress break easily. In some cases you will find really cool ideas for the future, such as a metal that repairs itself employing nanobots. Some breakthroughs, such as plasma shields, invisibility devices, teleportation, are simply amazing, but it is even more amazing the fact that we already have these here on Earth now or at least they are in development. Thus, I do consider StarCraft's technology to be so far away from us (the game is set in the 26th century), since we already have a part of it.
Nobody is perfect, so no software game is perfect, and yet some are so well done in general that it makes us forget the bad points. Blizzard always puts its best efforts in each product, and once more they have given us a piece of art. Indeed, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will keep you busy, at least until we get the first expansion.
- Great story
- Great graphics
- A lot of fun for hours
- Probably will be game of the year
- Well optimized
- Varied missions
- It does not support LAN
- It requires Internet to play
- Some fictitious techology is just not suitable for everywhere
- Terran techlogy seems to be too primitive for the 26th century