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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1132 Ratings

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  1. Mar 18, 2013
    First off, I am not a Blizzard fanboy, I hate WoW, and SC2 is the first Blizzard title I had 'gotten into'.

    I didn't think it was possible for Blizzard to polish their starcraft sequel any more. With their refinements to the interface and overall experience, Heart of the Swarm is a breath of fresh air in a staling eSports-orientated title. I had my doubts of the new units, but am
    warming up to them, and even becoming thankful of their addition.

    The Single Player experience is cinematic, and enjoyable, and revolves heavily around Kerrigan, the central protagonist. This is not a bad thing, thanks to an excellent cast of supporting characters, gameplay elements, interesting missions and appearances from other series characters. Overall it made an impact to see Kerrigan's journey and development following the events of WoL. Blizzard have done an outstanding job of injecting a Zergy storyline with feel and a Human touch, and have given fans of the Swarm another way to identify with the race. My only complaint is that the campaign portion was short and sweet, and relatively too easy on Brutal when compared with WoL. Not that I liked playing Terran much. HotS has left me in anticipation of Legacy of the Void.

    The addition of unranked matchmaking is the best thing for me. This encourages practice and refinement, and most importantly, experimentation without any of the stress associated with competitive laddering.
  2. Mar 15, 2013
    Surprised over the story! Only tried the singleplayer yet, and it's quite good! Well written and it makes me get excited for Legacy of the Void. Loved the Zerg campaign. Good job Blizzard!
  3. Mar 26, 2013
    I like to look for 5 things in games that make or break it. Visuals, Story & Characters, Gameplay and the Challenge is presents, Length and replay value, Multiplayer. Let's get started. Visuals are dependent on your computer. With my super monster 9000 of a computer the visual and CGI are TOP NOTCH but because of the overwhelming numbers the Zerg presents I even found MY computer to be lagging which has never occurred in a game in ever! The details are truly amazing in this. Story is great but useless if you haven't been keeping up with the Starcraft story so it's knida needed to know what's going on to follow along. As for the characters everyone fits the bills I enjoyed everything and I saw a side to the Zerg I'd never thought to fathom or see. Gameplay in this is extremely well done! Never have I been so immured into a Starcraft game in... ever. The story flows so well and how they integrate it along with the missions makes you truly feel like you are part of the Swarm. Challenge though is up to you. I must say this first and foremost with replay value... if you want to beat the game do it in one run because I couldn't find the will to go through on Brutal... I was just so bored. So it really lacked in the replay department but if you choose Brutal your first run you'll defiantly be playing this game for hours angry as hell at the crazy things you face. I never once played Multiplayer in Starcraft. Not the normal kind oh no but thanks to Blizzard adding tutorials now and even an unranked mode I been enjoying it to no end! It's really fun! So overall I have to give this game a 9 out of 10 as the replay isn't all there but everything else hits home. This is a definite must buy and must own for those who have SC Wings of Liberty. Expand
  4. Mar 14, 2013
    Wonderful CGI, great story, and excellent gameplay are overflowing in Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm. The story is absolutely engrossing and the game play is the Starcraft we all have come to know, expect and love. Blizzard hits the nail on the head with this great expansion. New Multiplayer units have changed multiplayer strategy for the better, and have added some rejuvenation and diversity to multiplayer. All in all, great game, hours of fun. Expand
  5. Mar 17, 2013
    I enjoyed the campaign, I thought it was very original if not somewhat predictable. The difficulty of normal is far too easy for experienced SC2 players (particularly zerg players). However multiplayer is obviously where the game makes a lot of sense to buy. Personally spent over 100 hours playing multiplayer already and I havent even scratched the surface. A great game.
  6. Mar 13, 2013
    The game was very good I felt in the end. I haven't delved to far into with the MP aspect as the game had just come out and the already strong MP experience just had some unit additions. The store was pretty rich and engaging I look at it like Darth Vader going back to the light side in ROTJ and then having to remain Darth Vader to save the universe this of course being compared to Kerrigan. The level design was great and there were some pretty awesome missions. There were a few missions that had a very cool platform feel to that with was neat. With games like D3 being a let down you won't be disappointed with this installment some may hate the game but RTS's have never been something everyone has enjoyed and Starcraft 2 is the cream of the crop right now. Expand
  7. Mar 14, 2013
    If you're a fan of playing fun, quality games then don't let the masses of complainers get to you and buy starcraft 2. This is coming from someone who frequents the official forums and cries imbalance quite often. However, I can not deny that this game is fun, despite the multiplayer being frustrating. The campaign story is occasionally a little cheesy but the cast is interesting and fresh enough to make you click the next mission button just to hear what they have to say next. I am giving this game a score of 10/10 as a measure for how much of my purchase price I am receiving in return. Expand
  8. Mar 14, 2013
    This game is $40. It features a lengthy and fresh campaign (with multiple options, branches and subsequent replay value for achievement farmers like myself) PLUS the expansion to the true heart of SC2, the multiplayer. I've been playing SC2: Wings of Liberty since it launched in 2010. That game was $60. There is NO BETTER band for your buck when it comes to games, than purchasing a Starcraft game. I expect to play HoTS everday for the next three years, and for a one-time cost of $40, that is absurd. I need no other games. No other console. This is the definition of value. Expand
  9. Mar 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Almost three long years have passed since the groundbreaking debut of the second installment(well, I guess you could call it the third one) of the great Starcraft saga. Although, for those, who actually played Wings of Liberty(later WoL) this wait might not have been so long after all(considering the amount of gaming everyone was doing). I am of course talking about the wait for the Heart of The Swarm(later HoTS) sequel a game which brings us one step closer to the epic conclusion which will be Legacy of The Void. A game we all anticipated and deserved. Or is it? To answer this question I feel I must divide this review into two parts. And I am reluctant to say that the single player part of the game was quite disappointing.

    For those of you, who aren't familiar with the setting, the game is about a human soldier Sarah Kerrigan, who was left behind on a Zerg(an alien race) infested planet by her commander and afterwards artificially evolved into a monster. She would later become the sole leader of the Zerg and get saved by her friend Jim Raynor. Jim is deeply in love with her so he doesn't let his fellow humans kill her. The events in HoTS are what follows afterwards(WARNING: A LOT OF SPOILERS!). Firstly, the plot was not worthy of WoL, which means it couldn't even hold a candle to the first Starcraft or the Brood War expansion. It was cheesy at times, the ending was completely predictable and it wasn't at all thrilling. For example, for those, who remember the first Starcraft game, Tassadar had to make difficult choices like whether to trust Zerathul, who was an outcast of his people at that time, or to ignore him and risk a Zerg invasion of the entire galaxy. Or how Sarah Kerrigan was betrayed by Arcturus Mengsk and turned into a zerg monster afterwards, how Jim Raynor was so passionate about her and how it broke his heart and changed his life. HoTS was very lacking of such thrilling twists that actually keep you interested in what's going to happen later on.

    Furthermore, the missions weren't challenging at all. The difficulty level 'Hard' should probably be renamed to 'Very Easy' in an upcoming patch just to make it more accurate. Even the Brutal difficulty didn't prove to be much of a challenge. And the hunt for the achievements is also much easier than in WoL and probably takes twice less the time. Which is very bad, to be quite frank. Simply because a lot of players buy the game just for single player campaign alone and they want to prolong their gaming experience as much as possible.

    But then, I actually couldn't say that the campaign was a complete waste of time. It had some good moments as well. Even though the story wasn't very good, the missions were quite fun and very versatile. Also, the cinematics were very cool and they probably were the thing I was looking forward to the most after every mission. And Kerrigan was really bad-ass. She had a lot of personality, she was witty, passionate, relentless and determined to have her way. The voice over was perfect and I'm actually really sad that she won't be playing such a huge role in the upcoming expansion. But I really think that she and Jim deserved a better ending considering that throughout the whole game she was driven by the feelings she had towards him. And of course we also have the multiplayer part of the game, which delivers a very unique and practically endless gaming experience. Even though to some it may seem that the online play in HoTS isn't really that different from WoL considering that there are only a few new units. But don't be alarmed they are dead wrong. It's these few seemingly small changes are they key aspect that actually changes almost everything the builds, the compositions, the styles and strengths of every race and basically the whole mechanic of the game. Of course your knowledge of WoL mechanics is still valuable and gives you the edge over less experienced players, but to be an accomplished player you'll have to learn new builds, that require a lot more multitasking than the ones in WoL which makes the game even more challenging and further prolongs the gaming experience.

    In conclusion, Heart of The Swarm didn't disappoint. Even the single player oriented gamers should try this game(I guess you could get a lot of time out of the arcade mode plus the versus A.I. feature has been completely revamped and is a lot more challenging than it used to be), especially if you liked Wings of Liberty. Normally I would give the campaign part of of the game a 6/10 and a solid 10/10 for the multiplayer and write an average of 8/10, but considering that the game is largely based on the multiplayer feature I just can't let my self give it less than a 9/10. It is an excellent game good work Blizzard!
  10. Mar 25, 2013
    At first I wanted to be kind and remind me that's a beautiful game anyway, and probably really good except for the solo campaign. And then I remember that Blizzard created for this game a silly, inconsistent, shallow story that bored me from the beginning to the end. Nice shot. It wouldn't be THAT terrible if that wasn't the sequel of Starcraft "let's make a great story for a great game" Broodwar. Unfortunately it is.
    To put it in a nutshell: unworthy.
  11. Mar 28, 2013
    I love Starcraft II and I love playing as the zerg. So I guess I love HOTS. Overall, I've been playing this off and on for 2 years and I can say for sure that there is virtually no limit to the amount there is to learn about it. It's huge, it's a lifetime game, getting to know it feels like I'm getting a small Degree for a university course. I would say getting to know the technical (controls/interface) is bigger than some entire games, and then getting to know the technicality of each race (builder order/units/uniqueness) is like 3 full other games (3 races), and then actually getting good at the game is like 10 full other games. So you're basically getting 14 games worth in this one game. That's actually not even an overstatement because I'll be playing this for 5 years and I'll probably get 14 times the number of hours I get out of most games. Wow, I just realized that I'm not in hyperbole. Expand
  12. Mar 19, 2013
    I've played around 100 games online so far and I like the changes made both in-game and out. The campaign is extremely slow to get going and I wish it would go back to the way Brood War played out (use the online tech tree and limit only some units). As a result, much of my time as been online. BNET interface is better, like the level system, league portrait colors before the matches, new physics etc... Any issues with balance will obviously be tweaked along the way. GG! Expand
  13. Mar 16, 2013
    A short but well crafted expansion, the story missions are varied with an obvious focus on fun story driven gameplay vs artificial feeling challenge which I definitely appreciated. other then that the new units aren't so much new as re-skinned support units from the first which again is appreciated but wont wow anyone. A worthwhile expansion to a very solid rts. All the 0's here remind me that metacritic needs to be read with some pretty thick filters, especially with company's with as storied a history as blizzard, remember always nostalgia is poison to the gaming world no more is this more apparent then on metacritic. Expand
  14. Mar 21, 2013
    The game is very good in terms of both singleplayer and multiplayer. The multiplayer is still incredibly demanding and I feel exhausted after only laddering for a short while, but that is how all good rts games are. The campaign is well made, has good replayability, and is definitely by itself worth the price of 40$
  15. Mar 13, 2013
    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.
  16. Mar 19, 2013
    Blizzard is in the order of operation of recent years, never disappoint us, thank you, again and again, do not change, we continue to have fun like that, thank you
  17. Mar 19, 2013
    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
  18. Mar 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. From what i've seen through walkthroughs, the game is good, good enough to be considered a very good sequel to WoL. The new units are pretty decent too, with the Viper being my favourite add-on(can pull entrenched siege tanks and swiftly turn the tide of the battle in favour of the zerg player) Countless new strategies in multiplayer are avaliable, and if you are smart enough, you can destroy a entrenched position easily using the new units. Overall, the modifications made to the multiplayer are very good, and mass siege tanks or void rays can not be enough now, to win a multiplayer game.
    The campaign is equally good. What I liked most is the hero system of Heart of Swarm: You control Kerrigan in virtually every mission. She is revived at free cost at the Hatcheries and is almost as powerful as the old QoB unit of WoL(though i feel that the new system of evoluting Kerrigan is overpowered, and despite being similar to the WC3 system, its almost twice as powerful than the latter system.) When Kerrigan reaches level 80, you will simply bring destruction in the campaign maps with almost no cost. Through i like swift destruction, however. Also I strongly like the concept of invading planets with strains very useful to fuel the evolution of the Swarm.
    The story is good, focused on Kerrigan revenge against Mengsk, and telling us more of the hybrid enigma. I don't really care about voice making or something like that, but I think that the actors have done a great job(both representing the talks and the voices). Through the game is relatively very good, the cinematics simply excel. Film-like quality, and excellent representation. The cinematics also reveal the new personality of Kerrigan and that's what I like most.
    I haven't bought the game yet, but believe me, if you like Starcraft 2 enough to consider it as one of the best RTS strategy games of all time, this expansion is a must-buy for you. You'll not regret it. Overall I rate this game a strong 8.8/10.
  19. Mar 13, 2013
    A very decent micromanagement/small-scale rts game, the campaign is much better then anticipated and the new units fit very well into the existing unit rooster, however the multiplayer remains a spamm-button-feast where the grand strategy lacks importance because of the insane speed at which multiplayer partys run on.
  20. Mar 13, 2013
    First lets begin with the story. The story is fairly engaging with great characters, good rising and falling action, decent dialog(some of the dialog from the other Zerg creatures could have been better). However there are parts in the story that where it seemed like the writers wanted to make the player sympathize for the Zerg. How can you ever sympathize with a giant alien killing machine? Also the societies they've created on Zerg's origin planet make very little sense. The Proto-Zerg creatures are feral beasts why would they even have societies and packs when their lifestyle seems to be a highlanderesque dog eat dog. Gameplay wise there really isn't much to it. Its the same old build a base and a bunch of creatures and attack the missions are incredibly easy with a few unique gems in there. The new leveling system is interesting but falls short as it seems like a substitute for the research portion of WoL only minus the quirky scientist guy. Overall I feel like Starcraft 2 hasn't really done anything to redefine the RTS genre but because the game flows smoothly with a pretty good story and atmosphere I'll give it a 6. If you're a Starcraft fan its worth it for the story but beyond that the game doesn't really have much to add. Expand
  21. Mar 14, 2013
    Wings of Liberty was an awesome game, and this campaign was even more fun and engaging! My only sadness is that I need to wait another couple of years for the 3rd and final chapter. That's ok, multiplayer and the community maps will keep me busy until then! Thanks Blizzard, you didn't disappoint.
  22. Mar 14, 2013
    Nice balance even in campaign, who cry about an easy game should pick brutal there comes t2/t3 units that active use their spells. Well done-cinematrcs looks fantastic the story but is a bit dull
  23. Mar 15, 2013
    A really good expansion! The campaign is awesome with nearly every mission being different from previous. The side characters you meet are all likeable and in some cases absolutely bad ass.
    The story is what it is, hardly a masterpiece, but it's entertaining, and it brings you to a lot of very interesting and neat looking places.

    The multiplayer aspect of it is enhanced with the new
    addition of XP and gaining levels as you play, which is something I myself appreciate as it gives me another reason to go back and grind some ladder.

    In short, awesome expansion. If you like RTS games then this is a must buy.
  24. Mar 15, 2013
    The story is great and the characters are integrated well into it, and although I am not a lore junkie I thoroughly enjoyed delving into the Zerg history. Graphically there are only minor tweaks and even though the graphics are not cutting edge, It is the atmosphere that is achieved with them that make this game look so good and gives it a lasting visual appeal. There are some great, intuitive additions to the UI which adds to the amazing game play in both single and multiplayer. Overall, 'Heart of the Swarm' is the near perfect compliment to "Wings of Liberty'. Expand
  25. Mar 16, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Blizzard has done a great job with Kerrigan here, it was a pleasure to get to know this new iteration of the queen of blades with a good story to wrap it up. A tone of delicate details in missions and cut-scenes, interesting conversation inside the Leviathan and abather. Bitter-sweet ending capped it though it was a little depressing.

    like the multi-player (so far, dont nerf terran into the ground like you did in wings please!) and the UI changes as well. Good things lie ahead for the SC2 franchise if they keep the quality up like this for Lov.
  26. Mar 16, 2013
    I was skeptical to say the least, £25 for an expansion that requires the previous game a separate multiplayer experience... I felt like Blizzard was segregating the community and that the community would form a coup against them. However great cinematics, familiar gameplay, and a coherent Blizzard storyline: I was going to give the single player a shot and enjoy the multiplayer regardless, despite feeling like £25 was too expensive.

    The point of this expansion, like many others is to fix the shortcomings of the previous title, and continue the storyline while possibly expanding on the gameplay. Blizzard succeeded. Take the critics reviews with a pinch of salt the singleplayer game experience draws a lot on the successes of other genres. There are many mechanics within the story that you don't often see in a RTS that alter the pace of the game and turn what is ordinarily a trivial singleplayer vs bots into an engaging and dynamic-flowing-epic tale of a fallen, and yet rising hero. Continuing where WoL left off you are in control of Kerrigan, or as you may know her "Queen of Blades". Your control of her is one of the important advancements in the core gameplay. Kerrigan has abilities and levels up (persistently through the game) by completing objectives within missions. These abilities can be changed before beginning allowing you to change your tactics entirely. It also fits symbiotically with the story of the zerg, their constant need and desire for evolution. On the subject of Zerg you also control their evolutionary path through side missions, while communicating with "Abathur". the hive minds evolution expert who searches for new essences to incorporate into the swarm.

    There are missions that involve traditional RTS elements, with base building, expansion and race-against-the-clock battles with an overpowering enemy; and there are missions that involve controlling only a few units with specific abilities, and fighting against tough and epic bosses and armies with devastating effect. These are tuned well they are not too easy but are satisfyingly challenging, the game alters it's pace constantly and frankly it is the best single player experience I have encountered in a long time I rarely give single player a second thought on any game but I found this surprisingly to be a gem. Well worth the money and better than the previous single player tenfold. Alongside this the multiplayer is expanded greatly also new portraits, new achievements, new leveling up system new mechanics, league changes, interface changes lots of new multiplayer maps and a long awaited non-ranked matchmaking system. Obviously the multiplayer changes are something that is impossible to review without many hours being spent to consider the balancing and relative powers of the individual races. I believe Blizzard achieved what they advertised, and the expansion is 100% worth getting if you have the previous title.
  27. Mar 16, 2013
    it'is MOST BEST EXPANSION! I LIKE IT! I LOVE ALL Blizzard Games. We must play this games. campaign, MultIplay, Arcade..and more...cinematic is likely movies. for now..we wait to Final Part, The second expansion Legacy of Void..
  28. Mar 17, 2013
    LOL I can't believe the low scores on here. I expected to see 98% average, that's how good this game was for me playing the Singleplayer first, then I've spent a few hours on Multiplayer. It took me a whole weekend to finish the Singleplayer on hard. I started it on brutal, but about 10 missions in it gets almost impossible. There's so many achievements still to do as well (I'm only about 35%). Very challenging singleplayer game. Very fun. Great story. Has a lot of cool moments and great sense of accomplishment and a feeling of "kicking ass". I will admit that some of the intro's are annoying and I skip those. The missions where u get your unit upgrades could have been better. I liked being able to see the ability and how it works, but they should have made a few more of those levels with a micro challenge like on bnet to make it more fun.

    Also, you only get to play Zerg except for a brief Terran usage. They should have made it like SC1 and Broodwar expansions using 3 races. They could have done it by reducing the cutscenes and character discussions which are useless except in game. It reminded me of Diablo, upgrading Kerrigan with different skills and XP. It was pretty cool, but I think again, they should have just cut all that extra useless stuff out and focused on just giving you core Kerrigan abilities.

    Great to see some new ideas in this game and it definitely was fun playing the singleplayer.
  29. Mar 17, 2013
    Three more minutes then we can give you the game you been waiting for this is what i hear at about eleven fifty seven at night on the eleventh. I bought the collectors edition came with some pretty awsome stuff once i started to play Heart of the sworm i did not want to stop until it was beat and even after beating the game i found my self stating over to get the achievements i had missed any person who has fallowed the star craft series will love hearing more of the story told and if your any thing like me cant wait for the next installment of Star Craft2. Expand
  30. Mar 21, 2013
    The multiplayer is outstanding. They finally moved the game into a more fast paced, more enjoyable direction. It reminds me of Brood War and that brings a tear to my eye.

    Also, the multiplayer is much more casual friendly with the points system, interface, and arcade.

    A must buy for any RTS lover! A must by for people who enjoy social gaming!
  31. Mar 26, 2013
    I liked it alot, i got sick of the stupid ass love story garbage in the campaign, and my race, zerg, got with the new units, but thats what starcraft is about, adapting, now im a protoss player till they fix the zerg and give us SOMETHING viable, other than hydras.
    -1 "love conquers all" garbage.
  32. Mar 31, 2013
    I don't like giving out 10's, especially to Blizzard, but this one earned it. I sat here for a good 5 mins trying to think of something I did not like about the game. But honestly, as far as RTS's go this is a great one.

    Story gets a 11/10 The story is not original, but its hard to be truly original these days with the shear amount of product out there. The plot is a great continuation
    on the first 4 games, it has sacrifice, pain, hope, and tragedy. What starts out as a great re-unification of our favorite lovers, separated by a war, quickly turns into tragedy, eventually (without spoiling any story) the prospect of great hope comes at the end, though permanent, irreversible sacrifices may have been made. Truly made me feel for the characters in this world and their struggle. I am looking forward to the final act!

    Play Control and Interface, 10/10 Its hard to screw the pooch on this one, never the less some developers can fail with immeasurable grace and precision. Blizzard has enough experience with this that if they ever got a 9 or an 8, it would be a complete fail. Keyboard controls and character controls are centered around the left side of the keyboard, and Kerrigan's controls are always q,w,e, no matter what skills are mapped to the character. Mechanics and Replay-ability 10/10 Like in the previous campaign game you get upgrades to your units and buildings, this is done a little differently in HotS however. Short concise missions are used to demonstrate new abilities. Additionally, and unlike the in the original Star Craft II campaign, you earn ALL upgrades, which can not all be used at once but can be swapped and changed during the interm between missions. Achievements are plentiful, and again, the hard and brutal difficulty setting have their own.

    If I had one complaint about this game it would be that most missions are timed in some way, either to finish or to collect optional goals, so most of the game is go go go. While there are a few missions that will let you just build and play the game at your own pace, they are indeed in the minority.

  33. Mar 14, 2013
    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.
  34. Mar 14, 2013
    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 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.
  35. Mar 14, 2013
    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.
  36. Mar 14, 2013
    Better story than WoL, not as good as it could be, but still an improvement. The gameplay in the campaign is pretty interesting, yet sometimes it just gets weird (random boss battles). Havnt tried PvP yet, but I assume its still good old starcraft, so not much I can say there. Overall ive had a really good experiance with the game, and not to mention im pretty happy they didnt try and sell it at 60$ Expand
  37. Mar 29, 2013
    While nowhere near as amazing as the first StarCraft, the missions and story are still some of the best PC gaming has to offer. MUCH better the the disappointment that the first campaign, Wings of Liberty had to offer.
  38. Apr 15, 2013
    I liked the organization of the campaign even better than Wings of Liberty although I thought the lack of diverging paths in the story was a negative. The storyline was predictable but with a few twists I didn't see coming.
    I thought the visuals and audio were excellent.
    I would like for the single-player campaign to have done a better job of preparing me for multiplayer. I don't see the
    point of learning to like units and upgrades that you will never use again. Expand
  39. Mar 19, 2013
    Pretty fun experience overall and a more enjoyable storyline than Wings of Liberty. The cut-scenes are spectacular as usual (unlike some of those crappy ones embedded in WoW these days) and the units, upgrades, etc. all feel very nice. This expansion includes some Evolution missions that serve as tutorials for using your units and that then later give you the choice of selecting a "specialisation" for them as you progress through the SP campaign. Negative bits are here though so I'll list them:
    - Far too easy on Normal (especially when compared to Wings of Liberty)
    - Silly "noob" options enabled by default (i.e. not being able to select your enemy/non-playable units to see their health, constant reminders of "an optimal number of units to mine gas is 3", etc.)...just like Diablo III's elective mode being hidden away.
    - Too linear and short I can accept the linear because I don't expect an RPG and the "too short" bits could have been fixed with a more challenging experience when playing normal (really Normal feels more like Casual with sunglasses). I can't comment on mutli-player because I don't care about it (well I used to enjoy LAN with friends and family but the online lag pauses piss me off now even when playing in the same room).
    Conclusion: Enjoyable experience but just not quite worth the price if you're only into the Single Player campaign.
  40. Mar 21, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm provides the same zany story elements the series has always had (yes even the originals weren't shakespeare) but the campaign has more varied gameplay than Wings of Liberty. Having Kerrigan around for many missions feels more like old school Starcraft campaigns where hero units were regularly present. The new units in multiplayer are nice additions. The game is quite easy for veteran Starcraft players, so I would recommend playing on a higher difficulty if you've been around since the start of the series. Collapse
  41. Mar 30, 2013
    I thought the game was graphically excellent, but had less RPG qualities than the base game. The main negative with this expansion is that missions are more linear. You choose a world as Kerrigan and end up doing a 3-4 mission sequence that you can't get out of. This makes the game somewhat linear for long stretches.
  42. Mar 13, 2013
    The Heart of the Swarm campaign is enjoyable and continues the storyline from where Wings of Liberty left off. It play similarly to WoL in that there are upgrades to choose from and you can do some missions out of order. The missions themselves are a little bit more guided you don't really have the freedom to just build a base and go to town due to certain mission parameters. Multiplayer adds a few new units, and a lot of them will be familiar if you've played Brood War. Expand
  43. Mar 25, 2013
    Overall this expansion pack feels like a rip off in the worse way, then why a 6 not a 1 or a 3 because the campaign was ok not as bad or as good as other people make it to be. The multiplayer improvements are great thats the only reason why you probably got starcraft 2, if not then why did you get starcraft, get company of heroes which has a great singleplayer and a ok multiplayer
  44. euu
    Mar 31, 2013
    So, is this it? After almost three years of waiting this is the long-awaited Heart of the Swarm? Wings of Liberty may not have been an exceptional game, but at least for Blizzard was a return to it's roots after 6 years of milking Wow but this Expansion fails to improve the game the same way Broodwar did for the original Starcraft or The Frozen Throne did for Warcraft 3, instead adding more of the same. Some of the new units are neat but the Multiplayer feels pretty much the same, rewarding speed over strategy and skill. But if you are like me, more interested in the Campaign than the MP, I wouldn't get too excited for the "epic" story of HotS since it makes the cheesy plot of Wings of Liberty look like it was written by Dostoyevsky. Kerrigan is just not as interesting as she was in Broodwar. There she was a master manipulator as well as a tragic character; here she feels like an spoiled teenage girl who happens to command the Zerg Swarm. Some of the Campaign missions are cool since not all revolve around destroying all enemies on the map, but you won't spend more than 7 hours in the Single Player. Heart of the Swarm may look like a masterpiece compared to Blizzard's last pile of garbage known as Diablo 3 but it is hardly the major improvement of Starcraft II that we've been waiting for. Expand
  45. Apr 1, 2013
    Hots has more action than WoL campain, the cinematics are insane! the game has changed a lot, since starcraft2 WOL,new interface, new customizations, new features new tutorials! Nice job by Blizzard...
  46. Mar 22, 2013
    I bought the game purely for the single player campaign to get to know the continuation of the SC2 story that WoL got me hooked on. And i have to say i am a bit disappointed. The plot is too simple and to be honest feels uninspired and sucked out of a tonn of forced brainstorms of the campaign team. Most new characters are really vague and boring and the old ones aren't as charismatic as they were in WoL. The only new character i love is Abathur the Evolutions expert he is really charismatic and funny in his own way. Just for Abathur i give the campaign an average score rather than a fail. I understand that it is much harder to make a campaign for an Alien race than for humans and the team had to be really creative to make it interesting but they kinda failed to do tho. It is a solid experience but u don't get that warm feeling like u are watching a really good movie that hooks u from the first missions as the WoL campaign did. Expand
  47. Apr 1, 2013
    The campaign features are unqiue, multiplayer has great changes (Especially to mechanics and replay watching) and the graphics are awesome.
    Hands down one of the best expansions I've ever played.
  48. Apr 1, 2013
    I must say that I personally believe that Blizzard could have easily sold Heart of the Swarm for more than the going price, which is $40. Although I have yet to complete the campaign, I'm enjoying the continuation of the story, as well as everything that goes on in between missions. They have added quite a bit of content aside from the campaign and multiplayer. At this point, my only complaint would have to be that they ended up leaving out some of the units/ abilities from the multiplayer that I originally thought would be in there.

    Other than that, I highly recommend this game to any fan of Starcraft: Wings of Liberty.
  49. Apr 9, 2013
    Great! Very well changed from the original, allowing hours upon hours of online gameplay, in which you can expand your skill and go against players with equal level.
  50. Apr 27, 2013
    Dumbed down. Dumbed down and dumbed down. Tank rush? MUCH!! What is it with developers? Or does every gamer want a "lowest common denominator" experience these days? Starcraft 3 will likely be a 2 button cover based shooter as that seems to be all the brain dead dolts who buy games these days are capable of enjoying. Thank god for Indie games where gameplay, depth and longevity are still valued by most. This is garbage. Blizzard along with Bioware 2 of the best developers 10 years ago, now both churning out "assemble by numbers" thoughtless dumbed down drivvel like this. Expand
  51. Apr 2, 2013
    A two because: This is still Starcraft (original) with turd-polish. You already paid $60 for this game. (now they want $60 more... and what of chapter 3? $60 more I think) I hate time limits...I play to relax. Time limits mean lazy game-making. The meta-game blows chunks. Leads to mono-tactics. The graphics still lag modern computers. Enough of all this negativity...I thinks I'll go try Duke Nukem Forever now. After all these years, surely they have had the time to make a spectacular sequel...right? Expand
  52. Mar 31, 2013
    you are paying 10$ per new unit they added
  53. Apr 2, 2013
    The game is very polished as is usual of Blizzard games and the game mechanics and units are fun to control. The upgrade system for kerrigan and the units is kind of pointless though as you never really get to use your upgrades in a meaningful way. There are very few additions to the multiplayer side of the game so you can't really give credit there. What really drags this expansion down is the storytelling of the very short singleplayer campaign. It really makes you feel stupid to be playing the game given how cringe worthy it is. I thought the story in Wings of Liberty was borderline ok but Heart of the Swarm sinks a few levels lower to the point of being completely worthless. If you mostly just play Starcraft for the singleplayer like me then you will find that this expansion is not worth full price. Gamespot said it really well in that the original Starcraft looks like Shakespeare compared to SC2. Expand
  54. Mar 16, 2013
    This game has a lot to live up to in following a masterpiece like Wings of Liberty. Overall this game does a wonderful job of doing just that. The single player is fresh and fun, it isn't a large change from Wings of Liberty and I am okay with that. The story is a bit hard to believe and seems a bit rehashed but overall it is well executed with that said. For multiplayer, the units were not changed a lot, and there just seems to be a few changes overall. This is good in my opinion due to the large number of strategies that would have to be completely scrapped if the multi player was fully revamped.

    Overall I give this game a 8/10. It has a good single player, and a continued amazing multi player.
  55. Apr 6, 2013
    While the RPG Multiplayer strategy is still solid, I would like to point out that the campaign is abhorrently terrible. The writing is bad, extremely bad. The cinematics are excellent and high quality but the storyline has taken a turn for the worst. Starcraft II has turned into a glorified love story. While in Starcraft 1, where Raynor and Kerrigans flirtation took a sidestep beside the sector's politics, this entire game is based around their story and they throw around whole armies for that love.

    Behind that story is a revenge plot, but you need to have played Starcraft 1 to understand it. As well, this coming darkness that Zeratul predicted in Wing's of Liberty is barely addressed in this story, when it should have been the primary concern.
  56. May 7, 2013
    This game is just excellent, a good decision from Blizzard to give each faction its own campaign instead of 3 smaller ones.
    The story feels a little more linear but it has more extras: the mutations and mutation missions for example, making choices on your units depending on how you use them.
    Zerg and protoss resources are replaced by Kerrigan levels and it feels less punishing for
    missing 1 or 2 objectives that give these levels. The levels give you upgrades for Kerrigan herself but also Passive upgrades to improve the Swarm itself.
    The feel of slowly working your way trough the mission, gaining and upgrading new units and improving yourself is very satisfying overall. Totally worth my 40 bucks
  57. Apr 23, 2013
    It's the exact same as starcraft 2 part 1. I had a good laugh at all the "reviews" from the professionals to the right. The script and story are cliche and predictable which was probably the worst part of solo mode. The multiplayer is the best party by far for this game. If you want a great experience with hundreds of different games made by players jump on in. However if you want a well told story best look else where. The camp mode is incredibly easy even on the hardest modes and you may (if you are a reader) find yourself bored with this retold story. Expand
  58. Mar 16, 2013
    Playing the Campaign only, an overall good expansion but perhaps not worth the $40 price tag when you consider that significantly bigger games like FarCry 3 etc are only $20 more. The story is passable, you can see what they were aiming to achieve and for the most part they met those goals, but not as 'fun' of a story as WoL. As a result I feel it lacks the replay value of WoL, I don't really feel the desire to replay and complete the achievements. Also while a basic tutorial to base building is given, it's really lacking for the most part with pretty much no mention of new buildings as they become available, as a result I missed things like unit upgrades and building the bulk that was available until well over half way through. Still, if you want more of the story you can pretty much either buy this or watch a let's play video guide. Expand
  59. Apr 14, 2013
    It doesn't require a review, the credits at the end of the game says it all.
    10% game designers and story builders 90% marketing.

    A 5 from my part. Don`t want to waste my time on detailing the good and bad of this game.
  60. May 7, 2013
    People still talk about Brood War? Forget about it. Starcraft is and has always been about competitive and tense multiplayer. It's definitely a game that I wouldn't buy for it's campaign (even tho I have heard praise about that too). Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty started improving the gameplay in many areas (no more sending every probe to the mineral line i.e.) and Heart of the Swarm continues from that. I play multiplayer almost every day and the new units in HotS really bring more variety to the mix. The changes to the multiplayer aren't too significant (couple of units for every race) but overall the game is getting constantly more dynamic. Expand
  61. Mar 13, 2013
    For some unknown reason my account was converted to EU Region from RU just before release, so I could not play for 2 days (as well as many other players). Its the worst game launch I`ve ever seen.
  62. Mar 15, 2013
    I had to uninstall Starcraft 2 completely before I was able to install this expansion, so I had to wait hours to play it. Besides that it's a nice game. The campaign is amazing.
  63. Mar 22, 2013
    As usual, unbalanced game play. Funnily easy campaign in brutal mode, but the ai is shamelessly cheater in versus mode. Constant server side lagg in my region, annoying...
  64. Mar 26, 2013
    New creation of Blizzard rocks as usual. This game far better than most of current games. However, while it is better than most, it is worse than for example previous campain Wings of Liberty. You see, when you wait for such epic game like Starcraft you want something incredible, amazing and marvellous. Unfortunately I cant name HotS an incredible game, its just very good overall. Blizzard follows well known way money all, they make a product to be well sellable, not well playable at first, and thats sad. But back to the game itself.
    The campain is very good, follows the style of WoL. Nice plot, great gameplay, wonderful missions. But the difficulty of campain is disappointing. I spent quite a few hours on almost every mission in WoL, trying to beat a mission, while in HotS I made almost every quest from the first try. In WoL you had a big ship with dozen of people you could speak with. Here you got ugly ship with 2 rooms and couple ugly monsters. No flashbacks, no playing for other races (Zerathul missions in WoL), no real difficulties.
    Damn, this should be 1010 its STARCRAFT after all But thanks to new Blizzard politics only 810
  65. Apr 2, 2013
    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.
  66. Apr 2, 2013
    Although I’ll be waiting for the end of the trilogy, I can’t say the game has as much grab as it once did for me. I was able to beat campaign in two days, and then I moved to play on-line. I stomached about three games and moved on. Nothing there to keep the more casual player there, something I hope they'll address in the future.
  67. Apr 10, 2013
    This game is an improvement over the last, except for the lack of number of core campaign missions, lack of new challenge missions, and total lack of bonus scenario maps.

    I loved the campaign, the missions were a huge improvement over Wings of Liberty missions. I just wished there were more. Kerrigan's journey was very fun and exciting. The multiplayer is better than ever, and the
    custom game system has *finally* been fixed.

    The game does lack a bit of "meat", though. Overall, this bumps my overall score of Starcraft II, to 9.
  68. Apr 11, 2013
    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.
  69. Apr 11, 2013
    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!
  70. Apr 13, 2013
    Solid sequel to Wings of Liberty. Vastly entertaining campaign, revamped, world class cinematics and endless multiplayer content make Heart of the Swarm yet another success for Blizzard. Only remark is the run-of-the-mill-story.
  71. Apr 13, 2013
    I agree with some of the other comments about "beating the clock" This is a miserable sequel [like wings of liberty was because of the race the clock missions] to the original Starcraft.

    The original was about tactics. This one is basically Blizzard breathing down your neck, dictating to you how you must EXACTLY play the map they designed. They do this by having 90% of the
    missions force you to race against some arbitray timer, taking away all the fun of base building, defense, rushing, tactics, ya know, what actually made Starcraft, well, Starcraft.

    Don't waste your 40 bucks on a bunch of missions that grab you by the neck and scream "GO GO GO RUSH, BEAT THE CLOCK, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, WE DEMAND YOU PLAY THIS OUR WAY"

    This is a pathetic sequel to Starcraft. I hope Blizzard sacks the entire console-loving devs who made this garbage when they get around to Starcraft 3 and turn the game back into a true RTS, instead of a mad rush to beat a clock.
  72. Apr 22, 2013
    One word AWESOME! the story is very good as the continuation of Wings of liberty. AI brutal campaign is way too hard but the campains end fast Kerrigans upgrades are hell good same as the evolution of the zerg broods. The love story of Raynor and Kerrigan makes the whole story of the game. If your dissapointed as a fan sorry. but in WOL even in starcraft 1 you know there will be some lovely thingy as the story progress. The prophecies and the history of the zerg makes it understandable. Expand
  73. Apr 28, 2013
    The story is a bit sillier than in Wings of Liberty. Still not bad though. I enjoyed the campaign, though Kerrigan is a bit too powerful if you're playing on Normal. Unit evolutions were a really nice touch, and the core gameplay remains just as solid as the original Starcraft. Definitely worth buying.
  74. May 2, 2013
    While Starcraft and Starcraft: Brood War were perfect and there was no way to make a better game than those two were, Blizzard now gives us a great comeback after the only decent Wings of Liberty. The Heart of the Swarm campaign managed to keep me playing by being very interesting and even though I did not want to buy it, I had a lot of fun with it so far. The ranked mode is still a bit too unfair for RTS newcomers (in Multiplayer), but the arcade maps are so much fun. There's only one chance to make the Starcraft II trilogy another legendary game: Legacy of the Void. Expand
  75. May 3, 2013
    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.
  76. May 3, 2013
    Amazing game, great cut scenes that are stunningly beautiful. The new units help streamline the game and make it much more challenging. The single player campaign gives you more choices in how to play and immerses you into the story. Well Done Blizzard!!
  77. May 4, 2013
    Zerg Campaing story is very unattaching of interest bringing back the queen of blades seems to be a wasteful twist they could of just used a new Master Zerg which could of been more compelling and yes there is one point where they could of even killed off Queen of Blades and made a new Protaganist

    Game Play is very easy compaired to Star Craft II and its shorter it seems to be a
    complete hold your hand Experience and what is up with the Huger UI am I just crazy?

    I Do believe the Protoss Expansion will rectify this
  78. Jul 30, 2013
    Remember when you could turtle in your base, build defenses, build a powerful upgraded army, advance tactically and slowly towards the enemy base while taking all the time you need? Well Blizzard doesn't! This horses**t of a campaign is nothing but timed missions, it's all rush rush rush. No more experimenting with awesome new units and playing around with them, no more playing at your own pace and formulating attack and defense strategies, now you have FREE and UNLIMITED units and all you have to do to win a mission is select them and press "A" at the enemy base; and even if you don't want to do this, you have no choice since every mission is a race against the clock and is annoyingly scripted. I can't even remember building a single base defense in the entire campaign. "This is how you are supposed to play the zerg" Blizzard says, well in that case please don't call this piece of fecal matter an RTS game because it has absolutely no relation to classical RTS games (especially starcraft 1). It plays more like Call of Duty.

    And that's not even the worst part. The story looks like it was written by a ten year old. There are no more plot twists, everything is predictable and cliche, and the dialogue is cringe inducing (example: "My queen, your hatred is burning like a star"). The days when you would play a mission for hours and then near its end start to foam at the mouth while you await the awesome revelation in the story, they are gone. You feel more and more boredom as you click "next mission", and your only motivation to finish is a feeling that you just want to get this s**t over with. There is absolutely nothing to like about this story, it's all about the angry girlfriend on a quest for revenge. How the heck can anyone even relate to her? Who cares about some hysterical b*tch and her love driven rampages?
    And why the heck are zerg humanized? Why do they spare civilians? What happened to the mindless swarm that ravages human populations across the galaxies? Now they feel like nothing but a tool for some b*tch's personal vendettas.
    And speaking of the star of the show, do you remember when Kerrigan was a cynical badass "Queen b*tch of the Universe" who cared for nothing but power, expansion, and the glory of the swarm? Well now she's a sensitive Queen heroine who cares about saving humanity, and of course her paramour Jim Raynor. Here's a summary of the game's dialogue without giving away spoilers:
    "O Raynor, Raynor! wherefore art thou Raynor?"
    "But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
    It is the east, where Char is burning."
    And even this incredibly simple story managed to have more plotholes than Swiss cheese. I can't even call them plotholes since they're absolutely nonsensical and serve nothing but to advance the story to the predictable and hurried ending.

    If you are a fan of the original series, then do yourself a favor and stay away from this game.
  79. Oct 1, 2013
    This is quite an expensive expansion but does add a lot to SCII, both the singleplayer campaign and the multiplayer are great, after playing for some months I'm starting to hope the final expansion will be released soon. Its a solid game and my favorite multiplayer by far... probably until I try DOTA.
  80. May 8, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm is not so much a game as a guided tour. The game holds your hand and carefully walks you through every stage like your a 5 year old. It's actually pretty insulting--like one big extended tutorial for stupid people. How far have we fallen from the tense and frantic game play of Warcraft 3? Remember that? Apparently Blizzard thinks its customers have lost half their IQ points in the past 11 years. Expand
  81. Mar 15, 2013
    A solid addition to Starcraft 2. The campaign has a wide variety of fun missions, and the added units in mutliplayer add a needed shift in competitive strategy. If you don't already like Starcraft, you probably won't like this, but for any fans of the series this is a must.
  82. Apr 1, 2013
    Alittle disappointed by this game. The graphics should have been improved, But very little has been done.
    Single player mode, was a good challenge, I played it on "Hard" setting. But, most of the missions were time based. The whole single player experience seemed rushed. Multiplayer adds more units, and makes things alittle more intresting. But like with the graphics, very little improvements.
  83. oso
    Mar 24, 2013
    Story is cheesy, unlogical Compared to the WoL campaign it is way to short and filled with several no-brain-missions where you simply have to build more units than the opponent and ****ty characters with bull**** dialogues. Gameplay is (as expected) superior to most other known rts games. (The few new units didnt change much from my nooby pov)
    as a conclusion id say it is not worth a
    full priced game. Blizzard has lost a lot of my respect after D3 and this. Expand
  84. May 5, 2013
    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.
  85. Mar 24, 2013
    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm picks up where Wings of Liberty left off and continue the epic story of the StarCraft II saga. While, in my opinion, the story wasn't as good as Wings of Liberty, it helped you to understand more how the Zerg work and operate (which involve essence, essence, and more essence from other biological things). The dialogue between Kerrigan and her advanced brood minions was almost always something about essence. It got kind of boring after a while. The dialogue between Jim and his mercenaries/freedom fighters was always lively and provided some much needed comic relief. The missions are pretty standard and it's all about destroying this base, protecting this item, collecting items, destroying a base while protecting an item and collecting other items, etc. The story comes to a decent conclusion and readies up the series for its final episode in a few years. There really aren't many new units either, which was disappointing... Expand
  86. Mar 16, 2013
    Every fan of Starcraft will love this game. The classic gameplay is there and all the multiplayer emphasis is still present. The campaign this time around is a more linear experience. While the missions are varied and there is plenty to do, there are zero side missions, beyond the zerg evolution upgrade missions. That added onto the very bland story, one that makes the whole point of the Wings of Liberty story feel useless, lowers the score for me. Still, there's alot here to love, especially if you like the multiplayer. This definitely feels like an expansion, as it should. But there just didn't seem like alot of thought went into the story at all, which is sad since alot of people like the Starcraft story. Expand
  87. Apr 2, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first thing to understand about Heart of the Swarm is that it is not a single-player experience. There was a time when Blizzard had concern for their story-telling elements (consistency, originality, creativity), but not today. If you have played any other Blizzard game, you will most assuredly notice the redundancy of recycled themes in their games. For instance, in Warcraft, the Orcs were once villainous monsters who made pacts with demons and other creatures to take over the other worlds, but now, they're just a misunderstood people with forgotten tribal roots looking to make a place for themselves in the world. Well, in Heart of the Swarm, imagine that same thing word-for-word, but with the Zerg (an alien race hell-bent on assimilating the universe, now-become a misunderstood alien race hijacked by an evil god to take over the universe but now they have forgotten primal roots looking for a place for themselves in the universe). To make matters worse, two years prior to Heart of the Swarm's release, the ending was leaked, and while Blizzard would not confirm or deny its authenticity, it was revealed at the end of the expansion to be somewhat true. The problem is that the dialogue from the leaked ending matched the events in the leaked ending. In the official ending, there was much cut out, but the dialogue remained, thus making most of what the characters say in that final cinematic a head-scratching anomaly. Watch it for yourself on youtube.
    However, Starcraft is about multiplayer business, and for some reason, it has evolved into a major eSport, thus you can expect that the primary focus on the game is this, not story-telling. Blizzard does well in creating an engaging gameplay experience, when the focus is centered on RTS game play in Starcraft. But, the company really does need help in the story department they've admitted in forums that they "overlooked" obvious gaffes, while at the same time using the excuse that player didn't "read into the story" to better understand their obvious mistakes. The new units are interesting novelties to the game play; based on the race you play, you can expect that some units are much more helpful or others are outright useless. Blizzard and Starcraft, whatever the case though, is here to stay, but if you're a single-player, lore-enthusiast, my recommendation is to expect MORE.
  88. Mar 17, 2013
    I love StarCraft. WoL lacked a lot of things that HotS adds. There's still more to be wanted but overall Blizzard have stepped up a lot. The campaign was rather short, but god damn those cutscenes! I'm still getting chills thinking about them, I even teared at the end. Epic, epic, epic! Good job, Blizzard! BW>HotS in terms of multiplayer but HotS is still an incredible, INCREDIBLE game
  89. May 15, 2013
    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'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
  90. Mar 16, 2013
    Not bad for a expansion, but Wings of Liberty's campaign is still better. In my opinion the campaign in this expansion is okay..but thank god the cinematics are amazing!! When it comes to cinematics you could always count on Blizzard. I noticed some graphical upgrades, especially how the zergs looks now...scary lol. The game looks great for a Blizzard game. Can't for the final expansion maybe 2-3 years. Expand
  91. Apr 26, 2013
    A solid expansion but not worth 40€, the campaign is really well done and the new units add more depth to the base game but that's it.
    Try to get it for 30€ or less
  92. Apr 24, 2013
    Really just a money grabbing expansion. Starcraft 2 the original game is good, but i would not say that the expansion really improved the gaming experience. I have played other rts expansions that i thought were just as good if not better than the original game i do not get that opinion from the starcraft 2 expansion unfortunately.
  93. Mar 19, 2013
    Thoroughly enjoyable, however rather short, no protoss missions and sadly not as memorable as Wings of Liberty was. This game did not hit home as it should have, but was still a good game.
  94. May 2, 2013
    A great expansion, but priced a little steeply. The campaign is good (better than Wings of Liberty), the new units are fun, and the interface is hugely improved.
    That said, the price tag is still pretty high for an expansion pack, especially when you consider how much you got in WOL versus only the NEW things you get in HOTS.
    Having played hundreds of HOTS games, I think it is
    definitely a worthy addition for any RTS fan, but only for RTS fans. If you are simply a casual player your money is better spent on something else. Expand
  95. Apr 25, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I will admit, when it comes to StarCraft, I am biased towards the Terrans (human power for the win!), so I loved the new tech tree for the Terrans. The campaign for Wings of Liberty was also very well written, coming off in the same Firefly-style presentation. While Jim Raynor's group is still fighting a war unlike Malcolm Reynolds' crew, they're still in the same position: limited resources. The final bug payoff was saving his girlfriend, Sarah Kerrigan, from the clutches of the Zerg and turning her human again.

    When Heart of the Swarm was released, I got my hands on it as soon as possible to see how the story continued. Kerrigan still maintains a level of dominant control over some Zerg but her power is greatly weakened because she's human again. The tutorial was simple (yay) and the addition of hotkeys helped access the hero's abilites quicker (double yay). The Zerg may be complex at first for non-native Zerg users like me, but once you get the hang of the mechanics, they're pretty easy to play. I played the game for several hours, completely immersed in the storyline...until one fateful moment in the game changed that.

    After being deceived by the Dominion that Raynor had been killed, Kerrigan goes about the sector regaining control over the Swarm until she heads to the true Zerg homeworld, outside of Terran space. Here she learns that the original primal Zerg have no psi ability whatsoever (and thus no connection) and live in pack through domination. It is here that Kerrigan decides to re-infest herself and return as the Queen of Blades once more, pretty much giving a giant middle finger to everything that Raynor (and the player) did in Wing of Liberty. Except here's the catch: the old Queen of Blades was controlled by a fallen Xel'Naga, whose name is revealed as Amon. He wants to return to the galaxy and wipe every living being from existence, and he was using Kerrigan and the Swarm to do it. That is, up until Raynor's use of the Xel'Naga artifact severed her connection to Amon. Thus Kerrigan, after re-infesting herself, is still pretty much herself after becoming the Queen of Blades once again. I *hated* that writing, but at the same time, the player realizes that Kerrigan was right. In order to face Amon by the time he returns, she needed to re-assume her identity as the Queen of Blades. The best part of Heart of the Swarm was the conclusion. After assaulting Korhal with the combined forces of Kerrigan's Zerg and Raynor's Raiders, Kerrigan finally confronts Mengsk face-to-face. In one last plot twist, HE HAS THE FREAKING ARTIFACT!! The lying scumbag uses the artifact to torture and weaken Kerrigan. I honestly thought that Megsk would have the last laugh up until Jim reaches through the busted door to destroy the detonator operating the artifact. With no tricks up his sleeve left, Mengsk finally got was what was coming to him and dies (after four games, too). I *will* say that the final battle was a bit disappointing, however. Compared to the finale of Wings of Liberty, this one was pretty easy on Normal. I can't even beat Wings of Liberty on Normal, despite Terrans being my strongest race! (DISCLAIMER: I do not play StarCraft II on multiplayer, so my skill reflects how casually I play the game) In terms of new units, there's not a whole lot to offer. Sure each faction has a couple of new tricks, but that's just it. The addition of only two or three new units per faction really drives home the "expansion" point while the overall game feels a bit like a standalone sequel otherwise. I'm not exactly sure what to expect with Legacy of the Void, but I sure hope Blizzard can pull off a story as grand as Wings of Liberty. Given that it's just the second and final expansion, though, I hate to say that I'm not expecting a whole lot.. Overall, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is a great continuation of the story and game I personally enjoyed.
  96. Apr 12, 2013
    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 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
  97. May 10, 2013
    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!
  98. Mar 24, 2013
    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 truly board strategy missions. Expand
  99. Mar 17, 2013
    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 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
  100. Mar 21, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm provides the same zany story elements the series has always had (yes even the originals weren't shakespeare) but the campaign has more varied gameplay than Wings of Liberty. Having Kerrigan around for many missions feels more like old school Starcraft campaigns where hero units were regularly present. The new units in multiplayer are nice additions. The game is quite easy for veteran Starcraft players, so I would recommend playing on a higher difficulty if you've been around since the start of the series. Collapse

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]