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
    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
    Accomplished, if not exactly groundbreaking. [June 2013, p.80]
  3. May 9, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm is ScarCraft made better. Welcoming to newcomers, but never dumbed-down, the franchise at its best. [June 2013, p.66]
  4. May 7, 2013
    Simply put, Heart of the Swarm shows how PC games should be done, however I wish the campaign was longer and more epic (Wings of Liberty did a better job in that department). You can treat the final rating as an average of 7/10 for the single-player mode and 9/10 for the multiplayer. [CD-Action 05/2013, p.54]
  5. Apr 15, 2013
    The AI puts up a decent fight in every mission.
  6. Apr 11, 2013
    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.
  7. Apr 8, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm sits halfway between an expansion and a sequel, yes, but also halfway between casual and competitive, singleplayer and multi, offering a huge amount and not really all that much at all. It’s bombastic and reserved, overwrought and beautifully finessed.
  8. Apr 6, 2013
    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm offers a challenging campaign, plenty of story and character to consider, and much in the way of production value that few other games can match.
  9. Apr 4, 2013
    Blizzard have excelled once again at combining drama, eye-opening art design and finely honed gameplay to create another unmissable experience.
  10. Apr 1, 2013
    Days when people considered StarCraft a gold standard of the RTS genre are long gone. Nowadays, Blizzard tries to mask the old formula by grafting superfluous gameplay elements and tugging at nostalgia strings. Unless you’re a huge fan of StarCraft’s multiplayer, better save your money for Company of Heroes 2 and Wargame: AirLand Battle.
  11. Apr 1, 2013
    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.
  12. Apr 1, 2013
    With a huge singpleplayer campaign, and shrewd changes to multiplayer, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm has something to offer every RTS fan.
  13. Apr 1, 2013
    Why would they do anything more than improve the game cosmetically, create a few new units while tweaking others, and leave most of the game alone? The answer is they wouldn’t, and they didn’t, not for Wings of Liberty, and not for Heart of the Swarm.
  14. Mar 27, 2013
    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.
  15. Mar 26, 2013
    Blizzard, once again, delivers a stunning strategy game that is so much more than an expansion pack.
  16. Mar 25, 2013
    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.
  17. Mar 25, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm accomplishes what seemed impossible after Wings of Liberty: improves something that was already perfect.
  18. Mar 24, 2013
    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.
  19. Mar 22, 2013
    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.
  20. Mar 22, 2013
    Blizzard has once again proven its flair and a sure hand in expanding upon StarCraft 2's multiplayer. Don't expect big innovations, though, it's just reasonable improvements that are on display here. The campaign is entertaining enough and some of the mission designs are a real treat, even though 'zerging' through enemies by way of simple bases still promises sure success a bit too often.
  21. Mar 22, 2013
    The solo may not be revolutionary, but it remains solid; the production values are spotless, 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.
  22. Mar 22, 2013
    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.
  23. Mar 21, 2013
    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.
  24. Mar 21, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm is a solid expansion that builds on and refines the Starcraft experience. As a stand-alone game, its campaign is oddly paced, it's got unnecessary bells and whistles, and it lacks strategic complexity. But whatever grumbles gamers might have, Blizzard’s devotion to good storytelling and character development still makes the experience worthwhile.
  25. Mar 21, 2013
    More is better, and Blizzard knows what gamers want. More units, maps, features and options are the result of 2.5 years of work. Heart of the Swarm is a solid expansion to the original game and will provide you hours of fun.
  26. Mar 20, 2013
    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm presents a radical change in relation to the previous game. Kerrigan's story ends satisfactorily, although it seems a little clichéd at times, and the new gameplay mechanics are fun and they add a needed breath of fresh air to the single player campaign.
  27. Mar 20, 2013
    The lackluster story is disappointing, but taking control of the Zerg--those nutty world-devouring insectoid-dinosaur hybrids--makes Heart of the Swarm well worth the investment.
  28. Mar 20, 2013
    The new campaign satisfies the single player needs while an enhanced provides a better framework to enjoy one of the deepest multiplayer experience yet.
  29. Mar 20, 2013
    A traditional RTS essential for anyone interested in competitive strategy games, and highly recommended for anyone who isn't.
  30. Mar 20, 2013
    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 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1166 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 267
  1. Mar 13, 2013
    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
    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
    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 »