User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1184 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    Starcraft is supposed to be an E-sport. Your installer/connection issues don't have anything to do with the game. Campaign flashier than WoL, more individual unit focused, almost DOTA-like sometimes. Probably done on purpose. No objections here. Multiplayer units interesting, though I feel they could've added a few more elements to it. New interface welcome, but still kind of slow in response.
  2. Mar 19, 2013
    10
    it is a perfecto game, a perfect expansion, the online es great, is my best money inverted in my life, i recommended to all buy this fantastic game. Greetings from Spain
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Quality of Heart of Swarm is on par with Wings of Liberty. But I like it more since it now shows alien race with all kind of weird stuff instead of mere humans. Blizzard did fantastic job with missions, cut scenes and story. The only thing I liked more in WoL is dialogues. The game is now more challenging on highest difficulty. Trust me, you'll reload alot. Cant wait to see the last partQuality of Heart of Swarm is on par with Wings of Liberty. But I like it more since it now shows alien race with all kind of weird stuff instead of mere humans. Blizzard did fantastic job with missions, cut scenes and story. The only thing I liked more in WoL is dialogues. The game is now more challenging on highest difficulty. Trust me, you'll reload alot. Cant wait to see the last part of this epic trilogy Expand
  4. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    When checking over the user reviews, please take grammar into account. It's pretty obvious that most of the 0-5 reviews are from people who are unable to communicate a coherent thought.

    I've played about 5 hours of Heart of the Swarm, and so far it is at least as good as Wings of Liberty....likely better. Is it an amazing story? No...but I never found any Starcraft campaigns to have
    When checking over the user reviews, please take grammar into account. It's pretty obvious that most of the 0-5 reviews are from people who are unable to communicate a coherent thought.

    I've played about 5 hours of Heart of the Swarm, and so far it is at least as good as Wings of Liberty....likely better. Is it an amazing story? No...but I never found any Starcraft campaigns to have an amazing story
    Is it more of the same? Somewhat, but I don't think that's a bad thing. Is more of a great beer a bad thing?
    is it fun? YES! New Zerg units, a zerg storyline, backstory of Sarah K, good continuation of the WoL story arcs, new multiplayer options, new upgrades...what more do people want?!?

    Basically if you liked WoL, you'll probably like this.
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  5. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a magnificent game. I think when reviewing this game it makes sense to break it into two parts: THE CAMPAIGN

    I thought this was well executed and a blast to play. The overarching plot is a bit thin and your ability to interact with NPCs, as compared with a game like ME2 or ME3, is sharply limited, which limits the depth of the ancillary characters. Nevertheless I thought Abathur was hilarious and extremely well-animated. The campaign only units and upgrades were well conceived and fun to use. I found the missions to a tad easier to complete than they were in WOL but also more entertaining than the ones in WOL. I've heard some complaints about the voice acting but I actually thought that at least the actress who played Kerrigan did a really good job and the writers did a good job giving her character some depth and an edge without making her tedious or annoying. The animators also did an amazing job with her facial expressions (and making her extremely attractive). The cinematics are universally acknowledged (even by those who otherwise hate the game) best in class. MULTIPLAYER

    They've managed to improve on the best RTS (and in my opinion) best game in history. Changing the multiplayer is tremendously difficult in light of the delicate balance necessary to make the game viable at a professional level and the need to make the game fun for casual players. The hardcore SCII gaming community is extraordinarily hard to please, yet after 15 or so balance adjustments in beta they were able to create a game that, at a professional level, in the view of that community, was superior in most ways to WOL there is more action and gameplay is generally more dynamic, more varied and all around better than it was in WOL. The game is not perfectly balanced (terran is now the strongest race whereas in WOL it was clearly zerg) at a professional level, and the balance among the races will continue to shift as players develop new strategies and Blizzard reacts to prevent any one race from gaining to much of an upper hand on the other two and to keep the game from falling into undesirable playing patterns (where, e.g., one race always loses in the end game). This is inevitable and everyone will just have to be patient. The new units have added significant depth to multiplayer play and each race has gotten significant new additions to its army. I think the most interesting unit is the Swarm Host. Although it's somewhat in the doghouse among the SCII community at present, it has the greatest potential, in my view, to increase the skill cap and to impact all the zerg versus protoss and zerg versus terran matchups in interesting ways. Time and many, many pro games of course will ultimately determine the fate of the Swarm Host, but I really love the way the unit is drawn, its mechanics and its potential to create chaos (in a good way) all over the map. Blizzard has taken many steps to make the multiplayer more accessible to newer players or players who suffer from "ladder anxiety". There is now unranked play and the AI is a bit more helpful of an opponent if you're trying to figure out what the multiplayer is all about. They've also improved the social aspects of the game and added a leveling system that will likely appear to players familiar with LoL and other similar games. I think that everyone should give the multiplayer a try; it is the deepest, most strategic and wonderful video game I've ever played and preposterously addictive. It can be played in a frenetic manner, but you don't have to play that way if you're smart about your strategy and precise with your actions, and you can still be very successful. Also although this is generally perceived as a kid's game, I'm 30+ and have had a blast playing in my spare time. I didn't have any background in RTS games and I was able to achieve a "masters" rank in zerg and terran in WOL, so don't believe the "you can't be good at this type of game if you're not a kid" line of thought about this game. Do yourself a favor and buy this game.
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  6. Mar 14, 2013
    9
    STORY: If you're expecting a storyline to rival Wheel of Time or A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones), then you're going to be disappointed. Really I think they could have done better with the story, which is why I knocked off a point. They have the resources to do better and it is a step down from Broodwar in my opinion. But compared to any other RTS I've played, the story isSTORY: If you're expecting a storyline to rival Wheel of Time or A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones), then you're going to be disappointed. Really I think they could have done better with the story, which is why I knocked off a point. They have the resources to do better and it is a step down from Broodwar in my opinion. But compared to any other RTS I've played, the story is excellent.

    CAMPAIGN GAMEPLAY: This campaign has more "mini game" mechanics than WoL. Personally I love it. When I want to play the strategy portion of the game, there's good AI and people to play against. So to me the campaign should have something different and I was not disappointed at all. Actually I would love for them to have a hero mode in multiplayer as well.

    MULTIPLAYER GAMEPLAY: Not much has changed since WoL. Yes there are new units and there will be new strategies. And yes it is an evolutionary step, but nothing revolutionary here. Which isn't bad. SC2 has earnings nearly double what any other game has. The Starcraft franchise has earnings that are triple the next game, LoL. If you don't like the multiplayer, that's you, not the game.

    SUMMARY: This is a Starcraft game, you should know what to expect by now. If you are new to the series, then you don't start here, you should be playing WoL first.
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  7. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    Best game I've ever played, seriously it was an absolute blast and my only complaint was I wish it was longer, anyone who doesn't like this game eats ice cream with a foot ball helmet on because they might hurt themselves.
  8. Apr 2, 2013
    10
    Just finished the game and all I can say is its kinda gives the feeling of inferiority to the Wings of Liberty story and feature wise. Kinda short campaign and in need of more powerful units for balance between races.
  9. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    One of the funnest games I have played in years. Blizzard did an excellent job with the story, game play and graphics. The game is just smooth to play.
  10. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    this is a amolst perfect game!
    first the story is amazing
    u have the multiplayer and the ranks to be challanged
    yhe can be hard to leran how to play, but when u learn guy. u dont wanna stop playing th graphics are ver very nice and the phisic inside the game arefantastic!
  11. May 3, 2013
    9
    Excellent game, great story, great gameplay: I don't really have anything to complain about. If all 3 campaigns came together like the first Starcraft game I would of given it a 10.
  12. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Currently at School I cannot wait to get home and play this GAME! I spent the majority of the night watching the launch event which I thought was epic. gg Grubby
  13. May 5, 2013
    10
    My personal score for this game is 8 but because there is too much hatred from anti blizzard boys around now days i will vote for 10.

    Graphics 8/10 Cinematic 10/10 Music 9/10 Story 8/10 Dialogues 7/10 As far as the campaign goes Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm is a very nice game with an interesting story and change of events. However missions felt a bit rushed due to the "beat
    My personal score for this game is 8 but because there is too much hatred from anti blizzard boys around now days i will vote for 10.

    Graphics 8/10
    Cinematic 10/10
    Music 9/10
    Story 8/10
    Dialogues 7/10

    As far as the campaign goes Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm is a very nice game with an interesting story and change of events.
    However missions felt a bit rushed due to the "beat the time" mechanism but still it was soo fun to play that you will catch yourself finishing the game and you will not understand how the time passed.
    Most of the voice acting is nice and good but there are some parts especially close to the end of the game that seemed cheesy and flat.
    Storyline is interesting and nice however it could be much better, but still is a very nice story with strong elements of hatred, love, revenge, and pain.
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  14. May 15, 2013
    10
    It's "cool" today to complain about everything: new games are bad, previous ones were better, they added nothing new, everything is uncool and so on...Same happens with Heart of the Swarm, expansion to a truly great sequel to StarCraft StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, critically acclaimed RTS. Multiplayer adds a new perspective to players and a lot of new strategies to choose from and it'sIt's "cool" today to complain about everything: new games are bad, previous ones were better, they added nothing new, everything is uncool and so on...Same happens with Heart of the Swarm, expansion to a truly great sequel to StarCraft StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, critically acclaimed RTS. Multiplayer adds a new perspective to players and a lot of new strategies to choose from and it's really nice. The singleplayer is focused on Sarah Kerrigan and the Zerg Swarm. And to be honest, it's one of those rare feelings in the game, especially RTS, where you really feel like "the Swarm". Controlling massive armies of alien creatures and ripping through their enemies like a knife slices butter, that's what I'm talking about. It's shorter than Wings of Liberty, but it also receives some interesting variety of missions. Overall, it's an excellent game, excellent expansion pack, the true StarCraft. But it, you won't regret it! Expand
  15. 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.
  16. Jan 8, 2015
    9
    Great game for sure, but more in terms of gameplay than story. I found the SP campaign to be way too easy but I can only blame myself for playing on Normal instead of Hard... MP is obviously quite competitive, but one may still have fun without being a pro. In any case it offers a lot of different strategies so that each match is really unique, and the balance between the 3 races is reallyGreat game for sure, but more in terms of gameplay than story. I found the SP campaign to be way too easy but I can only blame myself for playing on Normal instead of Hard... MP is obviously quite competitive, but one may still have fun without being a pro. In any case it offers a lot of different strategies so that each match is really unique, and the balance between the 3 races is really good, in spite of their fundamental differences. Expand
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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...
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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?
  30. 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.
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Jul 15, 2013
    0
    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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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]