User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1144 Ratings

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  1. Apr 12, 2013
    6
    It's fun to go back to playing more SC2 after it's been close to 3 years since Wings of Liberty came out. Although, I feel like the story hurt the game a lot. Most of this game consists of you destroying what you worked so hard to accomplish in Wings of Liberty. Because of that, I felt as a player that I did not want to do the mission objectives that I was given. When I as a playerIt's fun to go back to playing more SC2 after it's been close to 3 years since Wings of Liberty came out. Although, I feel like the story hurt the game a lot. Most of this game consists of you destroying what you worked so hard to accomplish in Wings of Liberty. Because of that, I felt as a player that I did not want to do the mission objectives that I was given. When I as a player don't want to do the mission objectives, then how am I really supposed to have that much fun? With that aside, it's still SC2, they didn't do anything to the gameplay to make it worse, it's just the story really hurt the game for me. Expand
  2. May 10, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What I used to love about Blizzard was they knew how to tell a story...well I wonder where that talent went because there isn't one here. WoW and SC have seemingly melded into the same story but just different worlds. There's something super evil coming so Horde and Alliance must join together to defeat it. There's something super evil coming so Terran, Zerg, and Protoss must joing together to defeat it. Awesome? I also hate Jim Raynor by the way, he's the reason a lot of people are dying by saving Kerrigan. I wish Tycus had finished the job in Wings of Liberty. OR I wish Arcturus Mensk had just finished the job at the ending of this game. But no he had to give Kerrigan a stupid damn speech about how awesome and cool he is instead of just shooting her point blank while she was writhing on the floor. Everyone seems to be hailing Blizzard's cinematics, which of course, are very nice but so useless. For example in the launch trailer I believe it was, a Viking drops in front of a Brutalisk and gets owned, I doubt he would have done that or maybe he's just that stupid.
    But alas, the review also needs to tell of the gameplay. Which is your typical RTS and certainly fun however, for a singleplayer enthusiast such as myself, it falls short (the story is the main part of that). The leveling up system is back from Wings of Liberty which I think is pretty cool but otherwise didn't add a lot in the way of new ideas. Additionally, just something that has to be said, Kerrigan's walking animations are just hilarious. It looks like she always has to poo or maybe something is just stuck up her bum but it's very funny. Anywho, multiplayer of course seems to be the focus here for Blizzard and it's pretty obvious. Tournaments and what not have become a big thing so it seems Blizzard would like to appeal to that crowd. This unfortunately makes the story driven, single player driven folks at a loss. Where StarCraft and WarCraft once had great stories they've taken a backseat to what seems like $moneygrabz$ for Blizzard. 'Tis a shame, I say!
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  3. Mar 24, 2013
    8
    The storyline is excellent. The gameplay is good, but the campaign missions are not conducive to truly leveraging many of the interesting units. The Heart of the Swarm campaign feels a lot more like playing Diablo III than playing a board strategy campaign. My biggest complaint is that I didn't feel like I had enough opportunity to use all of the cool units and upgrades in enough trulyThe storyline is excellent. The gameplay is good, but the campaign missions are not conducive to truly leveraging many of the interesting units. The Heart of the Swarm campaign feels a lot more like playing Diablo III than playing a board strategy campaign. My biggest complaint is that I didn't feel like I had enough opportunity to use all of the cool units and upgrades in enough truly board strategy missions. Expand
  4. Mar 17, 2013
    7
    I like the subtle improvements and the cinematics are amazing. As others have stated the plot is wholy not engaging though its not as full of holes as people say, its just not good, nor do I empathize with the characters. In fact I empathize more with the empire's troops needlessly being killed in the plot-line more than ANY of the main characters. Its still in the macho rouge guy styleI like the subtle improvements and the cinematics are amazing. As others have stated the plot is wholy not engaging though its not as full of holes as people say, its just not good, nor do I empathize with the characters. In fact I empathize more with the empire's troops needlessly being killed in the plot-line more than ANY of the main characters. Its still in the macho rouge guy style vein of the previous Star Craft storyline, the problem is the now the main character is a woman who has lost her humanity yet somehow she still loves Raynor? kind of a weird mix. If her struggle was more gradual than I could buy into it. Some complain its too easy, well then I say pursue the achievements, not just beating the missions once on normal. The game is the same Star Craft 2 we love and for motivating me to play SC2 some more, this gets a 7. If the plot was better, than I would have given it a better score. Star Craft 2 first storyline was strong for all its flaws, this plot-line is not strong. Expand
  5. Apr 25, 2013
    8
    I Loved this expansion and I still think a strategy game does not even come close to Starcraft 2. I really liked the story and controlling the swarm was awesome and upgrading them to my will and doing evolution missions. This game also has some RPG elements as you upgrade Karrigan as you go further into the story. Story took me like 20 minutes per mission usually but I am not a hardcoreI Loved this expansion and I still think a strategy game does not even come close to Starcraft 2. I really liked the story and controlling the swarm was awesome and upgrading them to my will and doing evolution missions. This game also has some RPG elements as you upgrade Karrigan as you go further into the story. Story took me like 20 minutes per mission usually but I am not a hardcore player so others will do it a lot faster. So like 10 hours maximum to complete this which aint bad. There are bosses in game which do look cool I remember one in particular but no spoils but dont pose any real challenge which is a shame. Also this game did feel easier that starcraft 2 which for me aint bad as I am a noob but to hardcore players would be disappointed. The thing that bothers me most about expansions for games like this is lack of new units not many have been added which is a shame but apart from that game is an easy 8.0/10 for me. Expand
  6. Mar 15, 2013
    8
    Starcraft 2 is the best real time sci fi strategy game out there. Period.

    Pure gameplay, math, strategy, and last but not least APM. The campaign was fun, didn't really have high expectations for that though, I played all sc campaigns, they all seem the same to me, ending in some big battle where you have many bases and tons of units. The downsides: The races aren't that
    Starcraft 2 is the best real time sci fi strategy game out there. Period.

    Pure gameplay, math, strategy, and last but not least APM.

    The campaign was fun, didn't really have high expectations for that though, I played all sc campaigns, they all seem the same to me, ending in some big battle where you have many bases and tons of units.

    The downsides:

    The races aren't that balanced, and they CANNOT be exactly balanced because they're so different.

    And last, as in any game you ll play against guys who have a TON of games played and know the game much much better, which is kinda ridiculous.

    Mirror match-ups aren't that fun.
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  7. Mar 15, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Blizzard has managed to bring back a sliver of the old magic with HOTS. It doesn't exactly live up to Brood War or Frozen Thrown in terms of expansions but they made quite the solid effort. There are quite a few interesting units and missions throughout the campaign. While the game is plagued by horrible mission types forcing the player to escort and protect heroes and destroy structures a few missions managed to shine above the rest. With a little more work and restructuring the story and game play could have been absolutely brilliant (the ending cinematic shows that). On the whole the campaign keeps the Starcraft universe interesting without bogging it down to heavily with bad mission design Campaign: 7/10. The multiplayer is an entirely different story, while there are the expected balance issues from the start the matchmaking and interface drastically improve the quality of the multiplayer experience. This quality of community content and level of enthusiasm is very difficult to find these days in games and is absolutely above par Multiplayer: 9/10. On the whole I would give Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm a great 8/10 Expand
  8. Mar 16, 2013
    7
    This is review from single-player's only point of view!

    Where WoL had this Firefly-like feel of ridiculously tough space cowboys, HotS has only Kerrigan to offer and she has half of Raynor's charisma. Sure, bazillion times his power, but still half charisma. Same goes for the rest of her little helpers when compared to Hyperion's crew. As far as story goes, I enjoyed WoL much better,
    This is review from single-player's only point of view!

    Where WoL had this Firefly-like feel of ridiculously tough space cowboys, HotS has only Kerrigan to offer and she has half of Raynor's charisma. Sure, bazillion times his power, but still half charisma. Same goes for the rest of her little helpers when compared to Hyperion's crew. As far as story goes, I enjoyed WoL much better, mainly thanks to better characters.

    Of advertised 27 missions, there are 7 evolution missions that are basically tutorials. That leaves 20 missions, which is still fair, I guess. Especially since HotS is expansion and not a full game. Just please, don't lie to us next time, Blizzard.

    The main issue for me is the gameplay the game is easy. I'm not an RTS expert and I'm too lame to play multiplayer matches so I expect an RTS game to be moderately challenging for me when I choose Normal difficulty. This game is not. You basically don't have to build your base. No, not even all the available buildings to unlock all your recruitment options. You don't have to bother with defense most of the time (unless you're playing defense mission). You don't even have to hotkey different groups of your units All you have to do is recruit few units, hit F2, set attack move to the center of the enemy base and repeat until enemy cracks.
    This in fact does terrific job of creating this Zerg "we are numberless" feeling. However, it's not that terrific when it comes gameplay, so I consider it more of a bug than a feature. In WoL I somehow cared for my units, I would use Siege tanks and Banshees to carefully remove enemy base's defenses and retreat for repair to prevent losses (concept of tougher and more unique mercenary units that were gone once killed was encouraging this careful gameplay that actually felt like I was deploying some strategy). Not in HotS. All because Kerrigan is immortal and her powers granted by leveling are so ridiculously overpowered. Especially one of them deprives any unit that has no anti-air capability of any value.

    However, despite these flaws, I still stormed through the campaign, giving it almost every single moment of my free time and I felt compelled to finish it all the time. So, there must be something to it. For example missions are quite diverse...

    Overall, even though the game has its flaws, at least from single player only point of view, it still gets green score from me for this... "something-to-it factor" that made me play all the way through it.
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  9. Mar 19, 2013
    8
    This is a great game. I did not like it as much as the first one (wings of liberty) or Starcraft one but it contains tons of nostalgia and brings me back to the good old days. I did miss the money from WOL and the arcade game. Also, it is harder to immerse myself with characters that are not human (obviously). But the game is great and I recommend it to anyone who has played the lastThis is a great game. I did not like it as much as the first one (wings of liberty) or Starcraft one but it contains tons of nostalgia and brings me back to the good old days. I did miss the money from WOL and the arcade game. Also, it is harder to immerse myself with characters that are not human (obviously). But the game is great and I recommend it to anyone who has played the last two games. Even on my laptop that is about three years old I could play it on max and it ran very smoothly. You can play it offline which is great. Expand
  10. Mar 25, 2013
    7
    The long awaited expansion to Starcraft II is out, and in it the continuation in the troubles of Kerrigan. A few new units might've reinforced each of the three warring factions, but the essence is still the same. Multiplayer tactics have changed and new maps arrived, but other than that it's still the same good ol' Starcraft II. The story continues however. Picking up right where we endedThe long awaited expansion to Starcraft II is out, and in it the continuation in the troubles of Kerrigan. A few new units might've reinforced each of the three warring factions, but the essence is still the same. Multiplayer tactics have changed and new maps arrived, but other than that it's still the same good ol' Starcraft II. The story continues however. Picking up right where we ended in Wings of Liberty with a de-zergified Sarah Kerrigan and her white knight James Raynor must finally be able to embrace each other in an everlasting love, or will they? Right from the starting cinematic we're introduced to the Kerrigan's troubling dreams and thoughts and we follow her throughout the campaign. As beautyful as the cinematics are, as full of old clichés and story arcs that doesn't really surprise you it is. The story is told with humor, and visiting your lieutenants around the ship can bring a giggle and a snort, but when all comes to all it's a mediocre(at best) story which stunning cinematics and humor carries you through. The missions are diverse enough to feel compelled to move on despite story being weak, though a few times you experience missions that feels copy-pasted and reskinned from Wings of Liberty. A few story paths and factions are introduced which we will most likely see in the protoss expansion and a few old 'friends' are revisited. My score is based mainly on the singleplayer compared to the price of the game, as multiplayer could've been done with a much smaller expansion/dlc. Due to weak story my final score is a 7. Cinematics were as always a pleasure to watch, if just the story had been of the same quality. Expand
  11. Apr 3, 2013
    5
    A good game but still further from what original Starcraft was where I could play it for hours each time differently and still after years I do like to play it. Starcraft 2 is the same story but a different game they added many flashy things upgrades new units and so on just the missions are not what I would like personally. Too many missions are way too short with time limits very limitedA good game but still further from what original Starcraft was where I could play it for hours each time differently and still after years I do like to play it. Starcraft 2 is the same story but a different game they added many flashy things upgrades new units and so on just the missions are not what I would like personally. Too many missions are way too short with time limits very limited in what you can actually do differently next time. Old Starcraft was get a base get the enemy big map and slowly progress. Blizzard has focused too much on making it intense but everything is so quick most missions just over 20 minutes I have just started and its over someone still telling me you have 5 minutes for this and that and one evening Heart of the Swarm it is finished. You really dont have to fix what isnt broken and this is bit too far from what I like about first Starcraft and it is not a good direction Expand
  12. Apr 23, 2013
    8
    You won't find a more polished RTS experience than Starcraft II. Heart of the Swarm is a welcome addition to the franchise and although it falls into some very cliche moments during the campaign, the gameplay is what you would come to expect of a Blizzard title. Start to finish, the campaign is loads of fun and worth checking out more than once as there is a large emphasis on choice.You won't find a more polished RTS experience than Starcraft II. Heart of the Swarm is a welcome addition to the franchise and although it falls into some very cliche moments during the campaign, the gameplay is what you would come to expect of a Blizzard title. Start to finish, the campaign is loads of fun and worth checking out more than once as there is a large emphasis on choice. The evolution missions feel a litte bit superfluous but ultimately I understand why Blizzard included them allowing players to test the two distinct changes the evolution will make to a unit before making a commitment. The experience system is a nice touch but it doesn't add too much the whole experience. The real draw of Heart of the Swarm is the multiplayer and it does not fail to disappoint. The new units given to each race may not seem like much at first but they are fun additions and do drastically change the metagame for anybody interested in playing the game competitively. The most welcomed additions are the ones involved with serving the eSports community. The interface has been overhauled, there are more stats, replays can be watched together, and ranked and unranked matchmaking is now available. HotS just brings the most refined and complete service surrounding the multiplayer aspect of the game, which has always been the main focus of Starcraft.

    There are some flaws in terms of the narrative and how safe Blizzard played it in terms of adding new units and gameplay, but what is included is honed and polished to the T. If you're an RTS fan, or just a fan of PC games, HotS is well worth the 40 dollars, especially if you own Wings of Liberty. You will have fun with this game.
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  13. Apr 30, 2013
    4
    i dont know why people like this game, compare to other game it doesnt have that much to offer its the same old game but different pant. i think this game is just for the fans of the old one
  14. Ndi
    Jun 23, 2013
    2
    DOWNGRADED from a 9 to a 2 after Blizzard remotely killed my game. Updater stalls, installer stalls, everything stalls forever and I'm locked out. I don't WANT the next version, my old version works fine, buzz off.

    That's it. I'm buying the next SC2 installment through Reloaded.
  15. Nov 29, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What an underwhelming piece of **** I got this only becuz its $10 Black Friday sale. The CGI is great but other than that its basically worthless. Blizz could have just easily added the new units as a patch along with the balance changes. You're basically paying for the cut-scenes and the stupid missions which feel like an extended tutorial. The narrative is extremely weak as it basically undoes everything the past games have done with Kerrigan. She basically gets a free pass on genocide just bec Raynor's got a bleeding hard on for her and her memory was wiped. The balance updates serve nothing more than to speed up the game turning it into a contest who can crank out more units faster. no new play mechanics are actually introduced. The firebat, darkswarm etc. are basically reintroduced in this game. Players could just as easily modded these units but since Blizz controls everything **** that. The Title of this game should have been my super galactic Tyrant ex-girlfriend the Revenge. Expand
  16. May 24, 2013
    10
    A very omnipotent creation from Blizzard,challenging as well true game-play for a strategy game.It's exactly what someone could want to be in a game type like this.
  17. Jul 15, 2013
    9
    An expansion done the way it should be done. A new layer of polish over and already extremely polished game, a fair number of new units and a plethora of interesting strategic options make HotS more than worth buying.

    Within the Starcraft community it is very helpful to distinguish two types of players to make some sense of the wildly differing ratings that are given out. For one, there
    An expansion done the way it should be done. A new layer of polish over and already extremely polished game, a fair number of new units and a plethora of interesting strategic options make HotS more than worth buying.

    Within the Starcraft community it is very helpful to distinguish two types of players to make some sense of the wildly differing ratings that are given out. For one, there is the 'skill-oriented' player, who plays Starcraft online a lot, and completes the campaign in one go. Then there is the story-oriented player, who loves the Starcraft universe and its developing storyline and hardly plays competitively online.

    The skill-oriented players of Starcraft 2 will rate this expansion like I did simply because a new layer of depth and options is added to arguably the most balanced and challenging RTS. These players have the knowledge also, to appreciate the efforts Blizzard has put into created a renewed, rebalanced game and how well they generally succeeded at this.

    The story-oriented players of Starcraft 2 will probably rate the expansion considerably lower because of a campaign that is only mildly interesting and most of the other changes and additions show their true strength in competitive play, online.
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  18. Sep 22, 2013
    9
    A pretty good expansion, the story is a bit too cheesy but not bad.
    Controlling Kerrigan is amazing though and you really feel like the queen of the zerg!
    The new multiplayer really doesnt add to much but its still pretty good.
    A worthy expansion to the best RTS ever made!
  19. Dec 8, 2013
    0
    The online matchmaking is dreadful. I stopped playing for a few months, started again and was put into Silver league. My first 6 matches were against:-
    - Gold
    - Gold - Platinum - Diamond - Gold - Gold and guess what...I lost them all because I'm A SILVER PLAYER WHO SHOULD BE PLAYING SILVER PLAYERS NOT PLATINUM OR DIAMOND PLAYERS. Don't waste your time on the campaign either,
    The online matchmaking is dreadful. I stopped playing for a few months, started again and was put into Silver league. My first 6 matches were against:-
    - Gold
    - Gold
    - Platinum
    - Diamond
    - Gold
    - Gold

    and guess what...I lost them all because I'm A SILVER PLAYER WHO SHOULD BE PLAYING SILVER PLAYERS NOT PLATINUM OR DIAMOND PLAYERS.

    Don't waste your time on the campaign either, it's pointless.
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  20. Jan 17, 2014
    1
    Nothing like Starcraft: Brood War when it comes to Custom Games/Chat System/Friends... The entire Battle.net feel has changed. I had issues playing this without the internet. The only singleplayer you can do is Campaign mode, unless you make a Custom Game but make sure to right click the map and select "Host Offline Game". The A.I. is pretty neat, and the art style is still the same. SameNothing like Starcraft: Brood War when it comes to Custom Games/Chat System/Friends... The entire Battle.net feel has changed. I had issues playing this without the internet. The only singleplayer you can do is Campaign mode, unless you make a Custom Game but make sure to right click the map and select "Host Offline Game". The A.I. is pretty neat, and the art style is still the same. Same game, just more modern, but it was a turn for the worse. Hardly ANY players are on during the night, but you can find plenty of Arcade games being hosted during the day. No Custom Games, hardly ever. Matchmaking? If you like playing against computers, good luck trying to find a partner. It's either you play ranked, or you play alone. Or go to arcade and disappoint yourself with the horrible maps. I've tried just about every RPG/ORPG that is hosted, and it doesn't compare to any maps you may have played on wc3 or sc1. The mapmakers just we not digging SC2, or something. Some maps are neat, but they need so much more work done to them. A lot of maps that seemed fun were abandoned by the mapmaker, so its hard to find any versions that aren't in BETA. Just not the game for me... Nothing like WC3 or SC1 when it comes to the Custom Games.. That's what I loved. Expand
  21. Mar 22, 2014
    6
    I expected it to be worse than WoL, but not this bad.

    Characters have this horrible division where you feel like half of them are Zerg(Dehaka, Zurvan, Abathur) and the other half behave like humans in a Zerg disguise(Izsha, Zagara). Izsha is particularly painful to listen to as every single line she has just reeks of a human being and not a Zerg. Put together with Abathur, it's really
    I expected it to be worse than WoL, but not this bad.

    Characters have this horrible division where you feel like half of them are Zerg(Dehaka, Zurvan, Abathur) and the other half behave like humans in a Zerg disguise(Izsha, Zagara). Izsha is particularly painful to listen to as every single line she has just reeks of a human being and not a Zerg. Put together with Abathur, it's really glaring and kills the atmosphere entirely. Also why doesn't the Leviathan talk?! It's a Zerg creature, thinking and understanding, not a machine!

    The story is extremely lackluster. If WoL had lots of side missions with their own small reward and one 10-mission main quest(which was ultimately a fetch quest of 6 missions and then just fighting Kerrigan and a few missions devoted to harming Mengsk's reputation), HotS is literally nothing but one main mission: assemble the Horde-I mean the Swarm. It gets very old very fast. Too simple a plot, it's also not really helped by the side missions since very few of them bring any sort of plot advancement. Ultimately, you spend 20 missions assembling the Swarm, then you (spoiler alert, watch out this'll blow your mind you'll never see it coming!) kill Mengsk. Which means that you literally had all this buildup about Hybrids and the world's end in WoL and no follow up at all in HotS where it's just Kerrigan being mad at Mengsk and getting stronger so she can kill him...
    It's not even lackluster, it's just lame in comparison.

    Music is still meh. Still can't recall a single tune, apart from WoL's cutscenes. And even those were not that memorable, despite being well-conceived along with their cutscene. When the cutscenes music appears in HotS, it's nice but unfitting.

    Cutscenes are really great, all of them, but since none of them are ever in a good story, they just aren't that likeable.

    Then you've got the gameplay. Well, just like WoL, very little strategy, tons of spamming keys to get resources and units ASAP. Lots of exciting fun, almost no thinking, and a game that ultimately fails to be interesting, despite being entertaining until a certain point.
    The new units are fine, Zergs get a base defense/base siege unit akin to the Terran Siege Tank. Nothing really different, if you liked WoL you will like this.

    But really ultimately, if you liked the story in WoL and the gameplay was just ok and not particularly satisfying to you, or not at all satisfying if you like real strategy, HotS will feel like a step down in every aspect to you.
    The missions, the way they're chosen, the units and ways to upgrade them, the characters, the plot, the storytelling, the diversity of missions, which was one of the strongest points of WoL and added a lot of value to a game with virtually no strategy, all of that is either the same, or worse. 90% of the diverse missions of WoL are just copypasted here. Characters, mission choices, upgrade missions which appear here instead of credits to get unit upgrades, plot value, they're all clearly one hard step below Wings of Liberty.

    It's still playable just like the last one, and still has value as a game or a story, but it's so pathetically weak an expansion, compared to its predecessor. It also, unsurprisingly, does absolutely nothing to try to help the lack of complexity and lack of strategy of Starcraft as a whole(yes, I'm counting SC1 and BW).
    Just another super-fun-super-fast game with poor strategic elements and a story that will make you yearn to play WoL for the first time again.
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  22. Sep 23, 2014
    6
    This game has gone down a bit in quality since Wings of Liberty.

    Game mechanics have been tweaked slightly. There isn't much of a story in the cut scenes between missions which is quite disappointing. Previous instalments of Starcraft used to have good stories.
  23. Mar 30, 2013
    5
    As usual with a Blizzard game there`s a lot of polish to HotS. The MP engine, the in game interface and unit control is all great as is the graphical quality and the sound. In fact, if you love playing MP RTS games with lag HotS is just about the perfect game.
    Unfortunately I don`t and consider e-sports about as entertaining to take part in as math exams, and more stressful than Christmas
    As usual with a Blizzard game there`s a lot of polish to HotS. The MP engine, the in game interface and unit control is all great as is the graphical quality and the sound. In fact, if you love playing MP RTS games with lag HotS is just about the perfect game.
    Unfortunately I don`t and consider e-sports about as entertaining to take part in as math exams, and more stressful than Christmas shopping. It`s OK to watch, but just like with downhill skiing, Tour de France or professional wrestling I`m more than happy not to ever participate in it.
    Which leaves the single player campaign, which is to be perfectly honest full of some of the most lame ass writing you`re likely to have ever seen. Cliche on cliche piles onto the never ending monologue of weirdness and bravado of Kerrigan. I don`t think I can remember the last time I had a more overwhelming desire to kill off the main character in the story of a video game. It is just too bad to even properly describe in words.
    The story itself might be OK actually, but it`s just the way it`s being told. Until otherwise proven by Blizzard my opinion is that the entire scripting crew of SC2 have bee fired because they had too much talent,, and have been replaced by 3 illegal aliens being held prisoners in a broom closet by evil Blizzard accountants and forced to write scripts for the SC2 franchise, unless they wanna be handed over to immigration.

    Honestly though, if it wasn`t for the damn lag I get every time I so much as think about multi player, I might not be so harsh on SC2. But when the campaign is so poorly written I squirm with embarrassment in every single dialogue, and I can`t play multi player because of lag, what is left to like of the things I paid for? Not much is the answer to that question.
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  24. Jun 3, 2013
    6
    This review is for the single player, because the if you want to play a multiplayer RTS, you already know that SCII is about as good as it gets.

    The campaign is just atrocious. It's polished, as blizzard games always are, but it's about as relevant to multiplayer or RTS elements as I am related to a tuna. It's essentially a nonstop flow of new, gimmicky map ideas, and while I'm okay
    This review is for the single player, because the if you want to play a multiplayer RTS, you already know that SCII is about as good as it gets.

    The campaign is just atrocious. It's polished, as blizzard games always are, but it's about as relevant to multiplayer or RTS elements as I am related to a tuna. It's essentially a nonstop flow of new, gimmicky map ideas, and while I'm okay with mechanics that supplement the RTS elements, I don't like how many levels were DOTA-esque and central around the hero. Starcraft and warcraft 3 just don't blend well together, and it might make new players think that the hero concept has anything to do with the game, where it doesn't. I can count on one hand the number of missions where I felt like I could play proper zerg (I'm a terran player and still felt like zerg got cheated) and the number of departures from multiplayer zerg is almost frightening (queens are completely changed, all the mutations and different attributes of each unit make them feel completely different to how they do in multiplayer)

    The character arc for kerrigan is bipolar at best. She starts out just right, but almost immediately, goes completely bananas. They really could have paced her arc better, instead of wildly bouncing around. And pacing the story around what happens in the very first mission just doesn't set a good tone for the rest of the game.

    Interacting with your crew is pretty awful, as well. WoL's crew was equally as varied, but they were human, and thus, relatable. The zerg characters were just goofy and camp. Tychus and Matt in WoL were central, driving characters that you felt invested in. I went through every piece of dialogue in HOTS, and I absolutely hated almost every word spoken. I wanted nothing more than to not listen to those irrelevant sidekicks. Starcraft is dark and a very human story, and the zerg campaign made it feel goofy and completely inconsistent in tone, bouncing between drama, cliche, and humor with all the smoothness of falling down a flight of stairs.

    The game is also just brokenly easy. I breezed through it on brutal, and I'm by no means a great starcraft player.

    Cinematics are as good as video game cinematics can get. But unfortunately, and this feels unique in a blizzard game, they feel completely detached from the game that I was playing.

    If you're looking to play some multiplayer RTS, buy this game without even batting an eye. But if you're only looking for a top notch single player RTS, I'd suggest you go to teamliquid.net and find the starcraft brood war mod done in SCII graphics.
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  25. Dec 5, 2014
    0
    Starcraft went from a somber military-science fiction RTS about cybernetically enhanced exiles struggling for survival in a hostile sector of the universe, to a painfully generic space western with extendi-penis dragonflies grabbing a highly advanced two-story tall colossus. Bask in the glory of real time strategy as two testicular masses of comically isometric units duke it out withStarcraft went from a somber military-science fiction RTS about cybernetically enhanced exiles struggling for survival in a hostile sector of the universe, to a painfully generic space western with extendi-penis dragonflies grabbing a highly advanced two-story tall colossus. Bask in the glory of real time strategy as two testicular masses of comically isometric units duke it out with lighter fluid filled RC cars, decoy **** inflatable eyeballs, and figure skaters with akimbo popsicles to smack you with!

    By the time Legacy rolls around, RTS will die. Good riddance and RIP in pieces to the RTS genre.
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  26. Jun 28, 2013
    4
    To be honest, I think this game is nothing more than copy and paste of the Wings of Liberty campaign. However, this game has a horrible story along with it's cheesy lines from the queen of blades. Graphically nothing is new from starcraft 2. The new units introduced are alright but bland at best.

    Can't believe all the positive reviews.
  27. Jun 22, 2014
    7
    Campaign and story was a huge disappointment, WoL was much better not even mentioning BW which are is different league.

    Other than that it is still good SC, so multiplayer is superior to anything in the market (RTS wise).
  28. Aug 28, 2013
    1
    The matchmaking is literally broken beyond repair. It is completely unreal how uneven matches will get. Every Tryhard on Battlenet will defend the matchmaking with by just blindly spraying off the term "MMR." "It's perfect, you don't even know about mmr do you?"

    This is not the perfect system people convince themselves it is. It does not take into consideration if you leave a game
    The matchmaking is literally broken beyond repair. It is completely unreal how uneven matches will get. Every Tryhard on Battlenet will defend the matchmaking with by just blindly spraying off the term "MMR." "It's perfect, you don't even know about mmr do you?"

    This is not the perfect system people convince themselves it is. It does not take into consideration if you leave a game within, say, 90 seconds of it beginning, or if your starting building is destroyed by your own units. It can be manipulated to work in people's favor because it only counts win/losses. That's it. If you get good with one race, and try to play off-race, then without a doubt you will lose countless games before it evens back out. There is nothing that tracks your stats per individual race to know if you should have easier matches if you are playing a race you are not familiar with. It's a very broken system and needs immediate attention before this game's multiplayer can be considered anything other than a crying shame.
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  29. Apr 19, 2013
    7
    Im very fair in all of my reviews and the industry does seem to be in a downward spiral however I thought that sc2 hots was very well done. I wouldnt say single player was great, the story was downright absolute trash, but the gameplay and units are great. A lot of people think that starcraft is only a single player game but its not, its mainly about multiplayer and esports. Dont get meIm very fair in all of my reviews and the industry does seem to be in a downward spiral however I thought that sc2 hots was very well done. I wouldnt say single player was great, the story was downright absolute trash, but the gameplay and units are great. A lot of people think that starcraft is only a single player game but its not, its mainly about multiplayer and esports. Dont get me wrong I loved sc1 and its single player and neither sc2 single or multi can hold a candle to it, but it is still very well done and a good solid game. If you feel you didnt get your money for singleplayer only, you are right, because the game is a multipart package, like taking a slice of cake and saying the cake is too small, its your own damn fault for not playing multi isnt it.

    Blizzard failed in the areas of wow and d3, they are trying to fix starcraft for multi imo, but the campaign story was frankly absolute trash. They made it into a cheesy soap opera and took "queen of the universe" and make her good and shallow, damsel in distress. They turned kerrigan from a cunning cutthroat evil respectable and feared dictator to a weak emotional woman. Now dont get me wrong I hate feminism and all that trash, but this is a joke, they basically destroyed what she was, like sarah conner going back to being a waitress... well I really could go on and on about how everything in sc1 was essentially tossed out for primal zerg wow clone nonsense you can find long posts about it if you look around. Its just so disappointing... the potential sc2 story could have had... WoL had the same problem but at least Jim Raynor and Zeratul seemed in character, at least partially.

    So overall its still a 7 because its a good game, but if I were to rate this on "what blizzard is capable of" or their old standard I would give it around a 4 or 5, because this is shody work. And the campaign story is literally about a ZERO because of how terrible it was, negative even for the lore they spit out and stomped on.
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  30. Jun 28, 2013
    5
    I was very disappointed with Heart of the Swarm. The story was okay and the art direction was pretty good but I found the gameplay lacking. I played through it on Normal difficulty and didn't die once during the entire campaign. That's not Normal, that's Easy, or even easier. I'm no Starcraft expert and couldn't remember what any of the units did when I came back to play thisI was very disappointed with Heart of the Swarm. The story was okay and the art direction was pretty good but I found the gameplay lacking. I played through it on Normal difficulty and didn't die once during the entire campaign. That's not Normal, that's Easy, or even easier. I'm no Starcraft expert and couldn't remember what any of the units did when I came back to play this expansion. It shouldn't have been this easy. I'm not paying good money to walk through it like it was an RTS for kids. Total snore fest. It certainly wasn't like that when I played the first Starcraft game or even Warcraft 2. Come on guys, add some tactics in make me work for it. Hard should be hard. Normal should be normal. Easy should be easy. Expand
  31. Jun 11, 2013
    10
    I'm just a few missions into campaign, and I can already say I'm excited for the story. I've been playing Starcraft since it's original release years and years ago, and this is just completely epic. I cannot wait to finish the story, and hop online. A good price for what will seem to be a completely new game.
  32. Nov 24, 2013
    7
    This Exp. is really weak in compare to older blizzard exps. or even Dawn of War Exps.. Very few units, far worse matchmaking system and more laggy than WoL. Story missions are fine, but story it self is really bad.This really pisses me off, because Wings of liberty was so good.
  33. May 15, 2013
    7
    I played the single player campaign mostly to see all the cool upgrades and evolutions for each of the zerg creatures. That alone made the game rewarding- the campaign is pretty mundane (the writing is not very good) and fairly short (about 20 missions? Right?), but overall: it was the various evolutions that made me keep playing.
  34. Apr 16, 2013
    8
    As a competitive SC2 player, the campaign in Heart of the Swarm was far less challenging than in the Wings of Liberty. However the multiplayer was honestly the main reason why I bought the game, essentially all non-casual starcraft players paid only for the handful of new units and some game mechanics updates which I for one cannot justify spending $50 for.
  35. Aug 10, 2013
    10
    This is the best RTS game I have played this year. The single player campaign is very fun and fast paced. Gone are missions, where you would mindlessly build base, create army and clean the map over and over again. Every mission has unique objectives and game mechanics. The multiplayer part is also well balanced and very competitive. What more could you want?
  36. Jan 12, 2014
    10
    I personally really liked the campaign. The story was sorta predictable. I was totally expecting something different in the end but meh whatever. The story fits and it wasn't garbage.

    The single player was really fun. I almost wished it had 1 or 2 more levels but again whatever. it was still really good. and thats what i really wanted. a juicy video game i could sink my teeth into.
  37. Mar 27, 2013
    5
    It's only an expansion, so you need Wings of Liberty. It adds some upgraded units, and some cool genetic upgrading of units. It really just continues the story, where you play as the Zerg and Kerrigan, so expect the 3rd expansion to revolve around Protoss. It's a decent expansion, I'm not as into the RTS multiplayer, but being old enough to remember when the first was released back in theIt's only an expansion, so you need Wings of Liberty. It adds some upgraded units, and some cool genetic upgrading of units. It really just continues the story, where you play as the Zerg and Kerrigan, so expect the 3rd expansion to revolve around Protoss. It's a decent expansion, I'm not as into the RTS multiplayer, but being old enough to remember when the first was released back in the 90's, this is where the game really does shine. There's nothing groundbreaking here, just a nifty continuation to the story. Typical expansion type of stuff. Expand
  38. Apr 2, 2013
    7
    Hervorragende Cinematics, Story sehr unterhaltsam und die Missionen spielt man an einem Guß durch ohne dass jemals Langeweile aufkommt. Die Kampagne ist aufjedenfall die beste, die in den letzten vielen Jahren rausgekommen ist. Das einzige was besser ist, ist die Frozen Throne Kampagne, weil HotS zum einen selbst auf Brutal einfach zu leicht ist. Karrigan ist schlicht zu stark ausgefallenHervorragende Cinematics, Story sehr unterhaltsam und die Missionen spielt man an einem Guß durch ohne dass jemals Langeweile aufkommt. Die Kampagne ist aufjedenfall die beste, die in den letzten vielen Jahren rausgekommen ist. Das einzige was besser ist, ist die Frozen Throne Kampagne, weil HotS zum einen selbst auf Brutal einfach zu leicht ist. Karrigan ist schlicht zu stark ausgefallen und zum anderen sind die einzelnen Missionen zu kurz. Nach 20 Minuten ist der Spaß dann auch schon vorbei. Die Missionen wurden also mehr als ein Quickie für zwischendurch designed. Eine Schande, denn ich vermisse das anspruchsvolle Missionsdesign aus The Frozen Throne, deren Spieldauer pro Missionen auch gern mal mehrere Stunden dauerte.
    Im großen und ganzen ist HotS für dieses Genre grandios aber sieht man davon ab, reichts nur für ein "ganz nett". Zumindest wie bereits erwähnt sind die Cinematics geil und das Missionsdesign ist zwar nicht das was ich mir gewünscht habe, aber langweilig wurde es nicht.
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  39. Jun 23, 2013
    10
    loved that blizzard cleaned up region locks and many things Activision did. As an expansion this game just adds so much more to it (and gives me a reason to play more starcraft) with new units, more options and a new campaign. However, blizzard screwed up with one element of the campaign. It was to easy. The final mission was a JOKE. Blizzard is known for having incredibly hard finalloved that blizzard cleaned up region locks and many things Activision did. As an expansion this game just adds so much more to it (and gives me a reason to play more starcraft) with new units, more options and a new campaign. However, blizzard screwed up with one element of the campaign. It was to easy. The final mission was a JOKE. Blizzard is known for having incredibly hard final missions in their games, WOL was so difficult that even pros where having difficulty with it. But doesnt do enough to take away from score, of course i knew there would be less missions but i felt there weren't enough yet still story was excellent with amazing cinematics and mostly interesting missions if a bit to easy Expand
  40. Jul 9, 2013
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A definite step-down from Wings of Liberty. The campaign is really too short to be worth the cost. I like to play through things nice and slow, and even still finished this over the course of two days. The victory over Mengsk feels really empty when it's so quick to be obtained. Half the work of the swarm is done via unchallenging "evolution missions" and an occasional defection by a brood mother. Beyond that, this really simplifies (and butchers) the nonlinear fun of WoL. I enjoyed being able to play off in one direction for a while and then returning to another thread later on. And finally, the new characters are really not that interesting, the dialogue unmemorable, and the story doesn't have the interesting twists that WoL does.

    All of that said, this game is not a total flop. If there was ever a perfect sequel to a game, Starcraft II was it. It takes nothing away from the original game and only adds to it. And as in WoL, the gameplay here is terrific. The story, although not on par with WoL, is still fairly decent.

    The real failure here is that the game's designers seem to have intentionally set it up for failure, by intentionally reducing gameplay time and the nonlinearity that helped make WoL so appealing. As this product stands, it's definitely fun but also something of a rip off.
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  41. May 29, 2013
    9
    Overall, Heart of the Swarm is a very great game, Blizzard has gone all out with the quality of the cinematics and almost perfectly set gameplay experiences. The story is a good continuance of Wings of Liberty, yet offers it's own specialty too. I do think that Blizzard could have added a longer story to get those major SC fans an even better experience. They could also extend theirOverall, Heart of the Swarm is a very great game, Blizzard has gone all out with the quality of the cinematics and almost perfectly set gameplay experiences. The story is a good continuance of Wings of Liberty, yet offers it's own specialty too. I do think that Blizzard could have added a longer story to get those major SC fans an even better experience. They could also extend their ladders and leveling system to a whole new level. Still, I would say HotS is one of the best games that came out recently. Definitely worth the 35 bucks. Expand
  42. Jul 23, 2013
    9
    Amazing content to the best game ever, I didn't find it as fun as Wings of Liberty though, buts thats probably because i play zerg and in heart of the swarm, you dont wanna play zerg
  43. Jul 18, 2013
    6
    I was really looking forward to this game since I loved Wings of Liberty but unfortunately I was disappointed. Not to say that it's a bad game, it certainly isn't..but in my opinion it doesn't even come close to WoL.

    Good: Graphics Some fun missions (Although very few) Multiplayer Cutscenes Bad: Writing, Dialogues Story progression (Many "wtf did I miss an episode or something"
    I was really looking forward to this game since I loved Wings of Liberty but unfortunately I was disappointed. Not to say that it's a bad game, it certainly isn't..but in my opinion it doesn't even come close to WoL.

    Good:
    Graphics
    Some fun missions (Although very few)
    Multiplayer
    Cutscenes

    Bad:
    Writing, Dialogues
    Story progression (Many "wtf did I miss an episode or something" moments)
    Boring and easy missions (Many of them were different versions of WoL missions)
    Pointless evolution missions (And they feld soooo out of place, Kerrigan seemed like a whole different person during those missions)
    0 strategy, just take Kerrigan with you and kick ass
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  44. Aug 10, 2014
    10
    Just 10/10. Awesome story, awesome gameplay, awesome multiplayer(if you can overcome ladder anxiety, of course). One of the best strategy game of all times.
  45. Sep 10, 2013
    7
    Playing SC since 98' the single player campaign is so so i do understand this is a RTS and there is only so much you can do in a single player setting some of the cut scenes blew me away however the over all experience left me kind of hallow I did give the game a 7 mostly due to the online competition bottom line don't buy for the single player if you enjoy playing "chess on crack"Playing SC since 98' the single player campaign is so so i do understand this is a RTS and there is only so much you can do in a single player setting some of the cut scenes blew me away however the over all experience left me kind of hallow I did give the game a 7 mostly due to the online competition bottom line don't buy for the single player if you enjoy playing "chess on crack" this is the game for you online that is. Expand
  46. Oct 4, 2013
    9
    Excellent game, picks up on wings of liberty fluently and brings much improvements in gameplay. Story is criticized for some reason but it's not any worse than any other Blizzard game, it's perfectly acceptable.
  47. Nov 18, 2013
    7
    Single Player/Multi Player (2/2)

    (If the single player is better than the multiplayer, review this section as if it had no multplayer) (If the multiplayer is better than the multiplayer, review this section as if it had no single player) Gameplay (2/2) Visuals/Story (2/2) (If the visuals are better than the story, review this section as if it had no story) (If the story is
    Single Player/Multi Player (2/2)

    (If the single player is better than the multiplayer, review this section as if it had no multplayer) (If the multiplayer is better than the multiplayer, review this section as if it had no single player)

    Gameplay (2/2)

    Visuals/Story (2/2)

    (If the visuals are better than the story, review this section as if it had no story) (If the story is better than the visuals, review this section as if the visuals didn’t matter)

    Accessibility/Longevity (2/2)

    (Review this section only on Accessibility if the game has no longevity) (Review this section only on longevity if the game isn’t accessible)

    Pricing (0/2)

    Wildcard (-1)

    This is a guideline for how to properly review games. Many reviewers like to get a “feel” for a game, and arbitrarily give a game a score that they believe it deserves. This results in wildly different scores between different reviewers, and vastly different scores between similar games. This guideline addresses these problems and scores games fairly and consistently. This guideline also gives scores that are usually similar to the metacritic score.

    The review score is based out of 10 points. There are no “half” or 0.5 increments. It is impossible to have a score above 10 or below 0. The review score will change as the game gets new dlc, drops in price, or if more secrets are found through the game increasing its appeal.

    The scoring is split into 6 sections. The first five sections can add a possible 2 points to the final score. The first 5 sections are Single Player/Multi Player, Gameplay, Visuals/Story, Accessibility/Longevity, and Pricing.

    Notice that 3 of these sections have two parts. These particular sections will be scored based on the stronger part of the game of the two. For example, if a game has a lousy single player campaign, but an excellent multiplayer component, that section will be based solely on the multiplayer as if the single player did not exist. This allows games to be based on their own merits, as many unnecessary features are shoehorned into video games by publishers to reach a “feature quota”. Games that excel in both areas of a section don’t receive should be noted in the written review, but cannot increase the score past 2 in that section. However, it can be taken into account in the final section

    The final section can add 1, add 0, or subtract 1 to the final score. This final section is the “wildcard” section. This section is for how the reviewer “feels” about the game, but limits this only to this section, rather than the entire 10 point review. This section can include any positive or negative point that was not covered in the previous 5 sections.
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  48. Nov 22, 2013
    6
    It has been proved a terrible idea to force a trilogy release structure on to Starcraft 2. HOTS forced "new" units to be made which were "cool" and "different" enough to make people want to upgrade to a sequel of Wings of Liberty. Unfortunately, while there are some nice ideas, medivac boost being one of them, units such as the swarmhost have made what was a fast-paced and exciting game toIt has been proved a terrible idea to force a trilogy release structure on to Starcraft 2. HOTS forced "new" units to be made which were "cool" and "different" enough to make people want to upgrade to a sequel of Wings of Liberty. Unfortunately, while there are some nice ideas, medivac boost being one of them, units such as the swarmhost have made what was a fast-paced and exciting game to watch a very, very dull game to both play and spectate. The game has got worse over time and unfortunately the strongest tactics for each race are now also the most boring ones to watch. I wished they had stuck with WOL for a few more years, and added the best units from HOTs in one at a time... Blizzard's marketing experiment has ultimately failed. Expand
  49. Mar 12, 2014
    10
    Story wise the game is awesome. I don't even like the Zerg but playing as them is fun. The upgraded graphics is nice and refreshing. And the upgrades to units is great as well. Online multilayer is fun as well. This is a great game to continue the starcraft 2 trilogy and I expect the protoss story to be as good as this one.
  50. Mar 26, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game is a really good one, it makes sense in every way. A lot of people criticise it just because Kerrigan becomes the queen again, but that's not that bad. All in all, this game is a great one. Expand
  51. Nov 12, 2014
    10
    I just adore this expansion: For Music, for Kerrigan being a badass, for Abatour being... Abatour, for cinematics being amazing, for the thrill of swarming poor enemies with my huge army of zerglings. Last time I had so much fun with a RTS campaign was Warcraft 3 Undead one. SC2 is great on its own, but HotS is just an outstanding gem for me.
  52. Jun 23, 2014
    10
    This game is pretty great. Relatively well balanced, still a few balance problems. But hey, it took Blizzard about 8-10 years to make Starcraft: Brood War the game that everyone wanted it to be. And it only succeeded because Blizz made the effort. I feel it's the same with this game. I recommend a buy. Campaign wasn't that good, though. But I only play for the 1v1 Multiplayer anyways, so...
  53. Jul 25, 2014
    10
    Love the campaign and cut scenes, Like the leveling system they added and overall a great expansion for Starcraft II. Looking forward to the next expansion.
  54. Oct 28, 2014
    10
    ignore all the hate that people are throwing at this game.

    this is a great game for 20USD. Very polish with good singleplayer and multiplayer aspect. I like how to revamped the missions just to fit the "zerg" mutation and parasite abilities. Very clever.

    highly recommended.
  55. Sep 9, 2014
    9
    Cross-Realms introduced
    Campaign lacking, no where near as good as WOL
    strong Pro-Scene
    Added units are interesting and adds depth to game well
    Decent sound-track additions
  56. Sep 14, 2014
    10
    Near perfect balance if not for protoss and the storyline is moving along, though not as fast as most of us would like. There really isnt any better RTS out there.
  57. Oct 20, 2014
    7
    Well first I think this is the best RTS game we have currently however there are some major problems.
    1. No Lan (It’s pathetic that hackers have made it available but blizzard has not)
    2. Selling each game separately for more $$$ is Bull**** overall I like this game however the story is getting a little out there and not really making alot of sense but again its worth playing if you
    Well first I think this is the best RTS game we have currently however there are some major problems.
    1. No Lan (It’s pathetic that hackers have made it available but blizzard has not)
    2. Selling each game separately for more $$$ is Bull****

    overall I like this game however the story is getting a little out there and not really making alot of sense but again its worth playing if you like Starcraft
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  58. Nov 6, 2014
    9
    This game is beyond words amazing. Campaign is interesting (something you don't often see in modern releases), and I felt invested in playing. When I won a multiplayer game I felt accomplished and up there with professionals, despite being leagues behind. I've invested almost twice as much hours into this game alone compared to any other game I've ever played. There are a few balanceThis game is beyond words amazing. Campaign is interesting (something you don't often see in modern releases), and I felt invested in playing. When I won a multiplayer game I felt accomplished and up there with professionals, despite being leagues behind. I've invested almost twice as much hours into this game alone compared to any other game I've ever played. There are a few balance issues (2/2 roach/hydra can be really difficult to beat if not dealt with quickly), but luckily it suffers from perfect imbalance, where a certain cheap strategy will eventually be useless due to a large community working together to beat that strategy. The modding community is huge as well. Overall, buy this game if you liked the first one, if you like RTS games, eSports: heck, just buy the game anyway! Expand
  59. Nov 20, 2014
    10
    Although challenging, this game proves to be one of the best Real Time Strategy games out in the market. It probably is the best at this moment both in product as well as in its competition.
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
    85
    Accomplished, if not exactly groundbreaking. [June 2013, p.80]
  3. 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]