Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 68 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 68
  2. Negative: 1 out of 68
  1. Jun 10, 2013
    90
    The tutorials and the A.I have been improved, giving newcomers the chance to calmly try new tactics… before playing against experienced players that will go straight to their jugular. [April 2013]
  2. May 9, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm is ScarCraft made better. Welcoming to newcomers, but never dumbed-down, the franchise at its best. [June 2013, p.66]
  3. Apr 11, 2013
    91
    Realistically, if you own Wings of Liberty and enjoyed it, you should pick up Heart of the Swarm — not because it is more of the same, but because it's not.
  4. Apr 4, 2013
    90
    Blizzard have excelled once again at combining drama, eye-opening art design and finely honed gameplay to create another unmissable experience.
  5. Apr 1, 2013
    88
    Heart of the Swarm delivers a fun single player experience and updates to the multiplayer portion of the game. It took a while to get here and the 20 or so missions available is a little shorter experience that I would've liked for waiting two and a half years. The graphics are good and the cut scenes are amazing to watch.
  6. Apr 1, 2013
    90
    With a huge singpleplayer campaign, and shrewd changes to multiplayer, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has something to offer every RTS fan.
  7. Mar 27, 2013
    90
    The tactics and strategies devised are simply amazing, and truly speak to the balance for which the series has become known. Heart of the Swarm delivers plenty to give players a swift kick in the pants, especially thanks to the nuances delivered by the new units.
  8. Mar 26, 2013
    95
    Blizzard, once again, delivers a stunning strategy game that is so much more than an expansion pack.
  9. Mar 25, 2013
    90
    For those who play Starcraft II this will always be a mandatory purchase; for others it is a huge challenge and probably the best RTS on the market.
  10. Mar 25, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm accomplishes what seemed impossible after Wings of Liberty: improves something that was already perfect.
  11. Mar 24, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm is a superb evolution of one of the best strategy games on the planet. The campaign has a great distinct Zerg feel all over it and the changes made to the multiplayer are likely to breath new life into an already huge and thriving community.
  12. Mar 22, 2013
    89
    While Blizzard's attempt to evolve StarCraft II's gameplay is more successful in the multiplayer suite than single player campaign, this is still the most polished RTS experience out there and if you're passionate about StarCraft II it's simply must have.
  13. Mar 22, 2013
    90
    The solo may not be revolutionary, but it remains solid; the production values are spotless, Battle.net was revised for added comfort, and it supports a multiplayer that could very well be described as a dangerous time-consuming wormhole you won't be able to escape. There's no denying it: StarCraft 2 remains the mother of all STR games.
  14. Mar 22, 2013
    90
    Its accessibility over previous entries may be its biggest strength as for those who’ve always been curious about StarCraft multiplayer but may have felt too intimidated to give it a try will find that learning has never been easier, and is still a hell of a lot of fun, even if you’re not in it to climb ladders and make a name for yourself.
  15. Mar 21, 2013
    92
    A much more enjoyable and satisfying game than Wings of Liberty and is superior to the base game in every way. If I may paraphrase “Hey Jude,” Blizzard took a great game and made it better.
  16. Mar 20, 2013
    87
    The new campaign satisfies the single player needs while an enhanced Battle.net provides a better framework to enjoy one of the deepest multiplayer experience yet.
  17. Mar 20, 2013
    91
    A traditional RTS essential for anyone interested in competitive strategy games, and highly recommended for anyone who isn't.
  18. Mar 20, 2013
    90
    In the age of DLC, Blizzard serves up an expansion pack that easily outmatches many great games in its content. Viewed from all angles, Heart of the Swarm is extremely well-made and honest experience of the completely new Battle.net with essential innovations, a long full-blown campaign with a great ending, expanded possibilities of a single-player game or of a precise cutting multiplayer game. Also, let's not forget about Arcade, a powerful editor and first-rate optimization. If you like the classical RTS genre a bit, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is the best thing you may get these days.
  19. Mar 20, 2013
    90
    While Heart of the Swarm definitely sets the groundwork for the next game, it doesn’t do it in a cheap way that leaves you frustrated and cursing at where the game decided to end. Kerrigan stole my heart and made me understand the Swarm. Now my eyes are focused on the Void.
  20. Mar 20, 2013
    95
    StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm embodies an evolved RTS that shows Blizzard has taken on even more superior genes from other gaming greats, even when those greats coincidentally happen to be of their own creation. If this is what happened since Wings of Liberty, then we should be in for a real treat when Legacy of the Void drops out of hyperspace.
  21. Mar 19, 2013
    90
    Blizzard's new game has two different faces and both of them show clearly, that Heart of the Swarm is a truly great game for both fans of storylines and scripted missions, as well as for avid online players, that dream of defeating the entire Korean nation during some kind of tournament. Blizzard continues to release boxed expansions and that's a good strategy. Buying a big add-on, full of new content for the price of several DLCs is an excellent offer.
  22. Mar 19, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm is a fantastic addition to the StarCraft series, and quite frankly feels on par with a $60 game. It brings almost nothing new to the table, but there's nothing wrong with sticking to a formula you know works well.
  23. Mar 19, 2013
    90
    The single player campaign alone makes this first Starcraft 2 expansion worth the two-year wait. The campaign feels like a complete game, thanks to unique gameplay that’s been tailored for the Zerg. In the multiplayer it’s recognizable for what it is, but it lengthens the life of StarCraft 2 with new units and maps. Heart of the Swarm offers countless new possibilities for new strategies, without it affecting the balance or accessibility negatively. Along with seemingly unlimited amounts of small changes, HotS makes StarCraft 2 better than it already was.
  24. Mar 19, 2013
    88
    While not quite on par with Wings of Liberty, the Heart of the Swarm campaign still comes as a fine package with varied missions and great production values. Multiplayer is as absorbing and challenging as ever, while offering newcomers a good place to get their feet wet.
  25. Mar 19, 2013
    90
    If there's a single competitive bone in your body, you really need to play Heart of the Swarm. If you're only interested in the tactical tasting menu of the campaign - you still need to play it.
  26. Mar 18, 2013
    88
    Accompanied by the incomparable multiplayer, Heart of the Swarm is a worthy middle act to tide us over until the protoss warp in for the impending conclusion.
  27. Mar 18, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm is an all-around experience. A must have for anyone: passionate about the saga or not.
  28. Mar 18, 2013
    95
    With a surprisingly long campaign, infinitely replayable multiplayer, improved spectating and community tools, and access to hundreds of user-made game modes, Heart of the Swarm is an absurd value and a complete necessity for anyone that enjoyed any aspect of StarCraft II. Unless you just hate using your mouse in video games, buy Heart of the Swarm.
  29. Mar 18, 2013
    90
    The multiplayer and campaign go to great lengths to make themselves more inclusive for new players, and yet the requirement that you already own Wings of Liberty ensures that very few of these people will play it. For a campaign this excellent that’s a huge shame, but the damage is more substantial when you look at the competitive multiplayer.
  30. Mar 18, 2013
    90
    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is an excellent continuation of the series. The campaign is great, Kerrigan's Hero-role is refreshing, the cgi-shorts are very impressive and it's good to see that Blizzard attempted to make some changes to the online spectrum. This is a must-have for anyone who enjoyed Wings of Liberty.
  31. Mar 17, 2013
    90
    Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm is the next chapter of the Starcraft universe that offers gamers a very sturdy single-player experience and neatly delivers a great chapter revolving around Sarah Kerrigan. The gameplay is flawless and if it's not broke, don't fix it which Blizzard seem to epitomize.
  32. Mar 17, 2013
    88
    Great expansion with interesting touches, a solid and entertaining campaign and very good additions to the interface and multiplayer aspects around its e-sport element. It's a bit expensive for new players, though, as it requires Wings of Liberty.
  33. Mar 17, 2013
    100
    For those of us who still deeply love this specific style of real-time strategy and want more of it, this is a must-have add-on.
  34. Mar 15, 2013
    90
    An amazingly crafted expansion that completely modifies the competitive metagame while maintaining the fine balancing of the best RTS around. The narrative could have been better, but the campaign is still a great piece of work that thrives on its amazing variety.
  35. Mar 15, 2013
    90
    It's a great expansion that takes a step forward from all we've seen previously. There are more situations in the campaign, a more competitive multiplayer and it's more accessible for new players. It's not perfect, but it'll keep us playing for a long while.
  36. Mar 15, 2013
    87
    Heart of the Swarm is a fantastic expansion for StarCraft II. The campaign is solid and very enjoyable, the new units are amazing and the multiplayer is so fun and addictive as always.
  37. Mar 14, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm transforms the StarCraft II landscape in all the right ways--enough to surprise and excite you, while still being amiably familiar at its core. As with its predecessors, it offers fast-paced real-time strategy with a great amount of accessibility and no skill ceiling in sight. Rather than feeling like an ugly middle child between Wings of Liberty and Legacy of the Void, Heart of the Swarm is a star in its own right.
  38. Mar 14, 2013
    87
    There's currently not a better real-time campaign anywhere.
  39. Mar 14, 2013
    90
    For an expansion, HOTS is a dense package, adeptly fashioned and hugely enjoyable. But while its core game might be perfection, HOTS itself isn’t.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1143 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 263
  1. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    Overall, an excellent package. Blizzard has carefully crafted this expansion portion of Starcraft 2 to feel very different from Wings ofOverall, an excellent package. Blizzard has carefully crafted this expansion portion of Starcraft 2 to feel very different from Wings of Liberty with respect to its single player campaign, and the effort pays off. By having a different interface between missions used to tell the story, as well as mission structures that tend to favor the "zerging" mentality, they create a very different dynamic in how that story unfolds. Some of the dialogue is a bit on lame side (from a writing perspective, voice acting is top notch as usual), but generally this is a story that has weight and gravity, and sets itself up well for the grand finale with Legacy of the Void. I'm terrible at the competitive multiplayer, but it is still excellent fun (balance is different with new units, but still very tight). Great job Blizzard! Full Review »
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    4
    the story of heart of swarm is very bad, but the cinematics are very good. Heart of the Swarm's gameplay has been focused way too much onthe story of heart of swarm is very bad, but the cinematics are very good. Heart of the Swarm's gameplay has been focused way too much on e-sports and multiplayer. They oblivion de people who play singlepalyer Full Review »
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    the game is everything they promised. if you loved wings of liberty, you'll love this game as well. the multiplayer is running surprisinglythe game is everything they promised. if you loved wings of liberty, you'll love this game as well. the multiplayer is running surprisingly smoothly. it's all working just like it did during beta. in fact, there was more lag during the beta than there is now. the slick new interface and leveling system should be a huge draw as well, in case multiplayer is not your particular cup of tea. this is the ultimate pc game, it requires fast hands and quick decision making. the ultimate skill based game for those who love the feeling of constant improvement. Full Review »