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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1135 Ratings

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  1. Nov 20, 2014
    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.
  2. Nov 12, 2014
    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.
  3. Nov 6, 2014
    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 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
  4. Oct 28, 2014
    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.
  5. Oct 20, 2014
    Well first I think this is the best RTS game we have currently however there are some major problems.
    1. No Lan (It’s pathetic that hackers have made it available but blizzard has not)
    2. Selling each game separately for more $$$ is Bull****

    overall I like this game however the story is getting a little out there and not really making alot of sense but again its worth playing if you
    like Starcraft Expand
  6. Sep 23, 2014
    This game has gone down a bit in quality since Wings of Liberty.

    Game mechanics have been tweaked slightly. There isn't much of a story in the cut scenes between missions which is quite disappointing. Previous instalments of Starcraft used to have good stories.
  7. Sep 14, 2014
    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.
  8. Sep 9, 2014
    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
  9. Sep 8, 2014
    It's World of Warcraft but in space! *yawn* is a good summary of how I feel when I play this game

    Gamplay: Same as Wings of Liberty, nothing notable to point out. Great RTS, it is losing it's shine though,

    Story: This is where everything sort've downfalls. If you are tired of these "WoW writers" then get ready for the same old hubub when it comes to this game. Nothing original, not
    even close to following it's roots. Lots of retcon, lots of plot holes, lots of cliche dialog and generic actions scenes.

    After putting the original Star Craft on the back burner for so long, they lost everything that made a game unique. Now it feels like a "WoW" set in space of a story line everywhere you turn. Diablo 3 is another good example of this. WoW just bleeds into everything they do now, churning everything into a gray mush of mediocre game play and story.

    The casual game play is fun, but after 10 hours the game is now up a creek relying on the multiplayer, which has potential, but probably won't be fully engaging till the last expansion comes out. By then, SC2 will be outdated and forgotten because that what happens when you split a game up into 1/3's and make people wait 4 extra years to see the end of a story line.
  10. Aug 18, 2014
    Like many games, most reviews for this are useless. They either falsely praise the game due to the reviewer being a idiot and/or paid off, or they sweep the game under the rug as if the game is the worst thing ever. The reality is that this is a very fun, but poorly written and mediocre product.

    Firstly, if you played Wings of Liberty; you pretty much know what you're getting here. I'm
    going to compare this to Wings of Liberty; because I assume you played the last game or you probably wouldn't be playing this one.

    The biggest problem with Heart of the Swarm, which was also the biggest problem of Wings of Liberty; is the story. The story in this game is the worst thing you'll ever have seen since... well... Wings of Liberty. It's full of plot holes and meaningless made up crap for the sake of filler missions. I should mention that they ruin Kerrigan's character beyond belief, but is that surprising after they've shamelessly ruined Jim Raynor already? Someone needs to tell these that Jim and Kerrigan never even had a romance in the past. Blizzard pulled that right out of their ass for the sake of these games. They wanted to force in a needless romance with no idea how to even write it, just like Georgia Lucas with Episode 2. It also reminds me of when they revived Illidan for the Burning Crusade just so he could be a raid boss. I hate how Blizzard completely ruins everything previously established in order to just "do their own thing" in follow up games. If you were once a fan of their games; things like this are downright insulting.

    Here, for instance, Kerrigan goes right back to being Zerg, even though she was suppose to be "cured" in the last game, something that already made no sense.(Not a spoiler either; look at the box cover and read it) It's very clear they didn't write very far ahead. Also, Jim and Kerrigan's romance is almost as pathetic as Bell and Edward's. But did you really expect much, after playing Wings of Liberty? This was a follow up to that; and seeing as how that game's story was up in every possible way and full of plot holes, why shouldn't this one be too? The cutscenes are numerous and have a nice quality to them... but it's just hard to care when the game doesn't make any damn sense nor has any kind of competent story you're going to be invested in. Like Wings of Liberty; as soon as you finish the game, you'll not care about anything that happened in it. I could go on more about how awful the stories are in these games; but I think you get the point.

    Putting aside the awful storytelling; you've now got the actual gameplay... which is more or less the same as it was in the last game. The biggest differences are that the game is played 2-3x faster and Kerrigan is a main hero in most missions. Both of these are bad things. The faster pacing saps out most of the fun. By the time you get a hold of what you're doing in a mission; it's over. There's no time to actually enjoy it, think about what you're doing, or fool around. I hate how Starcraft has basically become an action genre. Why does it have to be so fast? Wings of Liberty was fast, but not "this" fast, and the originals were snails by comparison. But that's not to say that the game is hard. It's quite easy on the first 2 settings; especially since Kerrigan is a 1 woman army that can pillage and plunder forces with little to no help. That's more fun sapped right out of the game, because an RTS isn't suppose to revolve around 1 walking demi god. Warcraft 3, which I loved, had heroes, but they couldn't solo half an army this effectively. Kerrigan is better than a level 10 hero in Warcraft 3; and much so, even right away.

    I should add that the game features pointless upgrade choices and filler missions to unlock more. It's very clear that they had almost no content to work with; so they just filled it up with all this This is what happens when you break 1 game into 3 pieces. But while they managed to fill out Wings of Liberty with a nice campaign; the Zerg got the short stick. The campaign feels disappointingly short due to how fast the missions unfortunately are; and everything not in a mission, is just overly obvious padding or window dressing. You've then got the multiplayer... which didn't do much except add a few new units. They want 60$ for this BTW. So you basically paid 120$ just to play SC2 online. Good for you if you did that, but I didn't.

    In summery it's tough to recommend this. It does have a campaign that can be some fun, but once again is drowned is terrible cutscenes that do nothing but fuel a totally nonsensical story. And since you already got multiplayer with the first game... you're basically paying for that again. I leave this one up for you to decide.
    -Drain (Steam)
  11. Aug 10, 2014
    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.
  12. Jul 25, 2014
    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.
  13. Jun 23, 2014
    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...
  14. Jun 22, 2014
    Campaign and story was a huge disappointment, WoL was much better not even mentioning BW which are is different league.

    Other than that it is still good SC, so multiplayer is superior to anything in the market (RTS wise).
  15. Mar 29, 2014
    As much as I love Starcraft, they've turned it into a super cheese fest where the only viable strategy is to go one unit and go one unit hard. Gone are the days of variety and the epically big battles in place of small, 5 minute smashfests. Their attempt to e-sport Starcraft more than it already was really took the heart out of it.
  16. Mar 26, 2014
    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
  17. Mar 22, 2014
    I expected it to be worse than WoL, but not this bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It's still playable just like the last one, and still has value as a game or a story, but it's so pathetically weak an expansion, compared to its predecessor. It also, unsurprisingly, does absolutely nothing to try to help the lack of complexity and lack of strategy of Starcraft as a whole(yes, I'm counting SC1 and BW).
    Just another super-fun-super-fast game with poor strategic elements and a story that will make you yearn to play WoL for the first time again.
  18. Mar 12, 2014
    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.
  19. Jan 17, 2014
    Nothing like Starcraft: Brood War when it comes to Custom Games/Chat System/Friends... The entire feel has changed. I had issues playing this without the internet. The only singleplayer you can do is Campaign mode, unless you make a Custom Game but make sure to right click the map and select "Host Offline Game". The A.I. is pretty neat, and the art style is still the same. Same game, just more modern, but it was a turn for the worse. Hardly ANY players are on during the night, but you can find plenty of Arcade games being hosted during the day. No Custom Games, hardly ever. Matchmaking? If you like playing against computers, good luck trying to find a partner. It's either you play ranked, or you play alone. Or go to arcade and disappoint yourself with the horrible maps. I've tried just about every RPG/ORPG that is hosted, and it doesn't compare to any maps you may have played on wc3 or sc1. The mapmakers just we not digging SC2, or something. Some maps are neat, but they need so much more work done to them. A lot of maps that seemed fun were abandoned by the mapmaker, so its hard to find any versions that aren't in BETA. Just not the game for me... Nothing like WC3 or SC1 when it comes to the Custom Games.. That's what I loved. Expand
  20. Jan 12, 2014
    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.
  21. Dec 8, 2013
    The online matchmaking is dreadful. I stopped playing for a few months, started again and was put into Silver league. My first 6 matches were against:- - Gold - Gold - Platinum - Diamond - Gold - Gold and guess what...I lost them all because I'm A SILVER PLAYER WHO SHOULD BE PLAYING SILVER PLAYERS NOT PLATINUM OR DIAMOND PLAYERS. Don't waste your time on the campaign either, it's pointless. Expand
  22. Nov 24, 2013
    This Exp. is really weak in compare to older blizzard exps. or even Dawn of War Exps.. Very few units, far worse matchmaking system and more laggy than WoL. Story missions are fine, but story it self is really bad.This really pisses me off, because Wings of liberty was so good.
  23. Nov 22, 2013
    It has been proved a terrible idea to force a trilogy release structure on to Starcraft 2. HOTS forced "new" units to be made which were "cool" and "different" enough to make people want to upgrade to a sequel of Wings of Liberty. Unfortunately, while there are some nice ideas, medivac boost being one of them, units such as the swarmhost have made what was a fast-paced and exciting game to watch a very, very dull game to both play and spectate. The game has got worse over time and unfortunately the strongest tactics for each race are now also the most boring ones to watch. I wished they had stuck with WOL for a few more years, and added the best units from HOTs in one at a time... Blizzard's marketing experiment has ultimately failed. Expand
  24. Nov 18, 2013
    Single Player/Multi Player (2/2) (If the single player is better than the multiplayer, review this section as if it had no multplayer) (If the multiplayer is better than the multiplayer, review this section as if it had no single player) Gameplay (2/2) Visuals/Story (2/2) (If the visuals are better than the story, review this section as if it had no story) (If the story is better than the visuals, review this section as if the visuals didn’t matter)

    Accessibility/Longevity (2/2)

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

    Pricing (0/2)

    Wildcard (-1)

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

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

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

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

    The final section can add 1, add 0, or subtract 1 to the final score. This final section is the “wildcard” section. This section is for how the reviewer “feels” about the game, but limits this only to this section, rather than the entire 10 point review. This section can include any positive or negative point that was not covered in the previous 5 sections.
  25. Oct 4, 2013
    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.
  26. 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.
  27. Sep 22, 2013
    A pretty good expansion, the story is a bit too cheesy but not bad.
    Controlling Kerrigan is amazing though and you really feel like the queen of the zerg!
    The new multiplayer really doesnt add to much but its still pretty good.
    A worthy expansion to the best RTS ever made!
  28. Sep 10, 2013
    Playing SC since 98' the single player campaign is so so i do understand this is a RTS and there is only so much you can do in a single player setting some of the cut scenes blew me away however the over all experience left me kind of hallow I did give the game a 7 mostly due to the online competition bottom line don't buy for the single player if you enjoy playing "chess on crack" this is the game for you online that is. Expand
  29. Aug 28, 2013
    The matchmaking is literally broken beyond repair. It is completely unreal how uneven matches will get. Every Tryhard on Battlenet will defend the matchmaking with by just blindly spraying off the term "MMR." "It's perfect, you don't even know about mmr do you?"

    This is not the perfect system people convince themselves it is. It does not take into consideration if you leave a game
    within, say, 90 seconds of it beginning, or if your starting building is destroyed by your own units. It can be manipulated to work in people's favor because it only counts win/losses. That's it. If you get good with one race, and try to play off-race, then without a doubt you will lose countless games before it evens back out. There is nothing that tracks your stats per individual race to know if you should have easier matches if you are playing a race you are not familiar with. It's a very broken system and needs immediate attention before this game's multiplayer can be considered anything other than a crying shame. Expand
  30. Aug 10, 2013
    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?
  31. 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.
  32. Jul 23, 2013
    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
  33. Jul 18, 2013
    I was really looking forward to this game since I loved Wings of Liberty but unfortunately I was disappointed. Not to say that it's a bad game, it certainly isn't..but in my opinion it doesn't even come close to WoL. Good: Graphics Some fun missions (Although very few) Multiplayer Cutscenes Bad: Writing, Dialogues Story progression (Many "wtf did I miss an episode or something" moments)
    Boring and easy missions (Many of them were different versions of WoL missions)
    Pointless evolution missions (And they feld soooo out of place, Kerrigan seemed like a whole different person during those missions)
    0 strategy, just take Kerrigan with you and kick ass
  34. Jul 15, 2013
    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.
  35. Jul 9, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A definite step-down from Wings of Liberty. The campaign is really too short to be worth the cost. I like to play through things nice and slow, and even still finished this over the course of two days. The victory over Mengsk feels really empty when it's so quick to be obtained. Half the work of the swarm is done via unchallenging "evolution missions" and an occasional defection by a brood mother. Beyond that, this really simplifies (and butchers) the nonlinear fun of WoL. I enjoyed being able to play off in one direction for a while and then returning to another thread later on. And finally, the new characters are really not that interesting, the dialogue unmemorable, and the story doesn't have the interesting twists that WoL does.

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

    The real failure here is that the game's designers seem to have intentionally set it up for failure, by intentionally reducing gameplay time and the nonlinearity that helped make WoL so appealing. As this product stands, it's definitely fun but also something of a rip off.
  36. Jun 28, 2013
    To be honest, I think this game is nothing more than copy and paste of the Wings of Liberty campaign. However, this game has a horrible story along with it's cheesy lines from the queen of blades. Graphically nothing is new from starcraft 2. The new units introduced are alright but bland at best.

    Can't believe all the positive reviews.
  37. Jun 28, 2013
    I was very disappointed with Heart of the Swarm. The story was okay and the art direction was pretty good but I found the gameplay lacking. I played through it on Normal difficulty and didn't die once during the entire campaign. That's not Normal, that's Easy, or even easier. I'm no Starcraft expert and couldn't remember what any of the units did when I came back to play this expansion. It shouldn't have been this easy. I'm not paying good money to walk through it like it was an RTS for kids. Total snore fest. It certainly wasn't like that when I played the first Starcraft game or even Warcraft 2. Come on guys, add some tactics in make me work for it. Hard should be hard. Normal should be normal. Easy should be easy. Expand
  38. Jun 23, 2013
    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 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
  39. Ndi
    Jun 23, 2013
    DOWNGRADED from a 9 to a 2 after Blizzard remotely killed my game. Updater stalls, installer stalls, everything stalls forever and I'm locked out. I don't WANT the next version, my old version works fine, buzz off.

    That's it. I'm buying the next SC2 installment through Reloaded.
  40. Jun 11, 2013
    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.
  41. Jun 3, 2013
    This review is for the single player, because the if you want to play a multiplayer RTS, you already know that SCII is about as good as it gets.

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

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

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

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

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

    If you're looking to play some multiplayer RTS, buy this game without even batting an eye. But if you're only looking for a top notch single player RTS, I'd suggest you go to and find the starcraft brood war mod done in SCII graphics.
  42. May 29, 2013
    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 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
  43. May 24, 2013
    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.
  44. 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
  45. May 15, 2013
    I played the single player campaign mostly to see all the cool upgrades and evolutions for each of the zerg creatures. That alone made the game rewarding- the campaign is pretty mundane (the writing is not very good) and fairly short (about 20 missions? Right?), but overall: it was the various evolutions that made me keep playing.
  46. 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!
  47. 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
  48. 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
  49. 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
  50. 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.
  51. 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
  52. 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!!
  53. 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.
  54. 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
  55. 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
  56. Apr 30, 2013
    i dont know why people like this game, compare to other game it doesnt have that much to offer its the same old game but different pant. i think this game is just for the fans of the old one
  57. 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.
  58. 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
  59. 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
  60. 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.
  61. Apr 25, 2013
    I Loved this expansion and I still think a strategy game does not even come close to Starcraft 2. I really liked the story and controlling the swarm was awesome and upgrading them to my will and doing evolution missions. This game also has some RPG elements as you upgrade Karrigan as you go further into the story. Story took me like 20 minutes per mission usually but I am not a hardcore player so others will do it a lot faster. So like 10 hours maximum to complete this which aint bad. There are bosses in game which do look cool I remember one in particular but no spoils but dont pose any real challenge which is a shame. Also this game did feel easier that starcraft 2 which for me aint bad as I am a noob but to hardcore players would be disappointed. The thing that bothers me most about expansions for games like this is lack of new units not many have been added which is a shame but apart from that game is an easy 8.0/10 for me. Expand
  62. 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.
  63. Apr 23, 2013
    You won't find a more polished RTS experience than Starcraft II. Heart of the Swarm is a welcome addition to the franchise and although it falls into some very cliche moments during the campaign, the gameplay is what you would come to expect of a Blizzard title. Start to finish, the campaign is loads of fun and worth checking out more than once as there is a large emphasis on choice. The evolution missions feel a litte bit superfluous but ultimately I understand why Blizzard included them allowing players to test the two distinct changes the evolution will make to a unit before making a commitment. The experience system is a nice touch but it doesn't add too much the whole experience. The real draw of Heart of the Swarm is the multiplayer and it does not fail to disappoint. The new units given to each race may not seem like much at first but they are fun additions and do drastically change the metagame for anybody interested in playing the game competitively. The most welcomed additions are the ones involved with serving the eSports community. The interface has been overhauled, there are more stats, replays can be watched together, and ranked and unranked matchmaking is now available. HotS just brings the most refined and complete service surrounding the multiplayer aspect of the game, which has always been the main focus of Starcraft.

    There are some flaws in terms of the narrative and how safe Blizzard played it in terms of adding new units and gameplay, but what is included is honed and polished to the T. If you're an RTS fan, or just a fan of PC games, HotS is well worth the 40 dollars, especially if you own Wings of Liberty. You will have fun with this game.
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. Apr 19, 2013
    Im very fair in all of my reviews and the industry does seem to be in a downward spiral however I thought that sc2 hots was very well done. I wouldnt say single player was great, the story was downright absolute trash, but the gameplay and units are great. A lot of people think that starcraft is only a single player game but its not, its mainly about multiplayer and esports. Dont get me wrong I loved sc1 and its single player and neither sc2 single or multi can hold a candle to it, but it is still very well done and a good solid game. If you feel you didnt get your money for singleplayer only, you are right, because the game is a multipart package, like taking a slice of cake and saying the cake is too small, its your own damn fault for not playing multi isnt it.

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

    So overall its still a 7 because its a good game, but if I were to rate this on "what blizzard is capable of" or their old standard I would give it around a 4 or 5, because this is shody work. And the campaign story is literally about a ZERO because of how terrible it was, negative even for the lore they spit out and stomped on.
  67. Apr 16, 2013
    As a competitive SC2 player, the campaign in Heart of the Swarm was far less challenging than in the Wings of Liberty. However the multiplayer was honestly the main reason why I bought the game, essentially all non-casual starcraft players paid only for the handful of new units and some game mechanics updates which I for one cannot justify spending $50 for.
  68. 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
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. 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.
  72. 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
  73. 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!
  74. 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.
  75. 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.
  76. 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.
  77. 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.
  78. Apr 3, 2013
    A good game but still further from what original Starcraft was where I could play it for hours each time differently and still after years I do like to play it. Starcraft 2 is the same story but a different game they added many flashy things upgrades new units and so on just the missions are not what I would like personally. Too many missions are way too short with time limits very limited in what you can actually do differently next time. Old Starcraft was get a base get the enemy big map and slowly progress. Blizzard has focused too much on making it intense but everything is so quick most missions just over 20 minutes I have just started and its over someone still telling me you have 5 minutes for this and that and one evening Heart of the Swarm it is finished. You really dont have to fix what isnt broken and this is bit too far from what I like about first Starcraft and it is not a good direction Expand
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. 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
  82. 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
  83. 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.
  84. Apr 2, 2013
    Hervorragende Cinematics, Story sehr unterhaltsam und die Missionen spielt man an einem Guß durch ohne dass jemals Langeweile aufkommt. Die Kampagne ist aufjedenfall die beste, die in den letzten vielen Jahren rausgekommen ist. Das einzige was besser ist, ist die Frozen Throne Kampagne, weil HotS zum einen selbst auf Brutal einfach zu leicht ist. Karrigan ist schlicht zu stark ausgefallen und zum anderen sind die einzelnen Missionen zu kurz. Nach 20 Minuten ist der Spaß dann auch schon vorbei. Die Missionen wurden also mehr als ein Quickie für zwischendurch designed. Eine Schande, denn ich vermisse das anspruchsvolle Missionsdesign aus The Frozen Throne, deren Spieldauer pro Missionen auch gern mal mehrere Stunden dauerte.
    Im großen und ganzen ist HotS für dieses Genre grandios aber sieht man davon ab, reichts nur für ein "ganz nett". Zumindest wie bereits erwähnt sind die Cinematics geil und das Missionsdesign ist zwar nicht das was ich mir gewünscht habe, aber langweilig wurde es nicht.
  85. 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.
  86. Apr 1, 2013
    Everyone is a hater on Blizzard now. I thought WoL was cheesy, I thought Diablo 3 was commercialized, I think Heart of the Swarm is a great game.

    I'm a long time SC player and it is ridiculous that this game gets anything less than a 7. Production values are through the roof, cut-scenes are amazing, game play is fun and addictive like always. SC is one of my game staples along with the
    MGS series and even though I was slightly disappointed by WoL, this game pumped me up for the third one. The story could be considered a little over-used and trite but overall awesome time. Great job Blizzard! Expand
  87. 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.
  88. 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...
  89. 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.
  90. Mar 31, 2013
    you are paying 10$ per new unit they added
  91. 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
  92. 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.

  93. 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.
  94. Mar 30, 2013
    As usual with a Blizzard game there`s a lot of polish to HotS. The MP engine, the in game interface and unit control is all great as is the graphical quality and the sound. In fact, if you love playing MP RTS games with lag HotS is just about the perfect game.
    Unfortunately I don`t and consider e-sports about as entertaining to take part in as math exams, and more stressful than Christmas
    shopping. It`s OK to watch, but just like with downhill skiing, Tour de France or professional wrestling I`m more than happy not to ever participate in it.
    Which leaves the single player campaign, which is to be perfectly honest full of some of the most lame ass writing you`re likely to have ever seen. Cliche on cliche piles onto the never ending monologue of weirdness and bravado of Kerrigan. I don`t think I can remember the last time I had a more overwhelming desire to kill off the main character in the story of a video game. It is just too bad to even properly describe in words.
    The story itself might be OK actually, but it`s just the way it`s being told. Until otherwise proven by Blizzard my opinion is that the entire scripting crew of SC2 have bee fired because they had too much talent,, and have been replaced by 3 illegal aliens being held prisoners in a broom closet by evil Blizzard accountants and forced to write scripts for the SC2 franchise, unless they wanna be handed over to immigration.

    Honestly though, if it wasn`t for the damn lag I get every time I so much as think about multi player, I might not be so harsh on SC2. But when the campaign is so poorly written I squirm with embarrassment in every single dialogue, and I can`t play multi player because of lag, what is left to like of the things I paid for? Not much is the answer to that question.
  95. 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.
  96. Mar 29, 2013
    Great Game! Cant wait to see the third part of the trilogy! Its not better than Wings of Liberty, its just a different compaign. I think Blizzard should still work on some PvP components as there are a few balance issues appear (easpecially when you play toss vs terrans) As fot the story its amazing. I hope they will release it next year
  97. 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
  98. Mar 28, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Got this game before it's release since I got an e-mail reminding me I can download the client before it's released (to save time.) Since it's a Blizzard game, it will never be on sale or cheap, so I figured I'd get it right away. Blizzard tried to make the game appeal to less hardcore RTS gamers and more noob friendly. Indicator on the base showing how many drones/probes/scvs are gathering out of what is the 'maximum' capacity. This kind of takes away from the management of the economy in some ways so that you can use your time to micro instead. Other features like being able to select idle drones also makes it easier to manage. The campaign gameplay is pretty good. It's different from WOL enough to make it standalone but is a bit on the easy side. Even most of the achievements can be received without playing the harder difficulties. The story is also a bit weak and relatively straightforward and it's also a bit short. The new units are a pretty nice add on, but haven't gotten the time to use them all yet. Especially the new ones for protoss/terran, in which they really should have introduced via the story...went to play multiplayer and they just 'appeared', didnt have time to read or get used to them at all. Multiplayer AI has gotten better and now does not have the same weaknesses as before ie) use air superiority, or purely destroy AI with cloaked severely punishes massing one type of unit. Auto adjusting difficulty of AI is also a nice touch.

    The pace of the game seems quicker, and forces the player to expand and hold positions. It's more about choosing when to expand and when to attack, rather than hiding in your base and massing a huge army, which was much of SC1. Mineral patches and gas, seem to run out faster, which leads to quicker games, quicker gameplay. Learning hot-keys become more of requirement, rather than a want. It's just not possible to keep up to any player or AI without using any hot keys at all...

    Overall, not bad. Would buy it if you have cash to spare or if you have some friends to play multiplayer with online.
  99. Mar 28, 2013
    In addition to its wonderfully thought out multi-player balance, Heart of the Swarm offers new heights in campaign mode. The player will be tasked to adapt and improve on new strategies that will introduce the player in to the exotic and varied game play the campaign offers. This truly amazing fresh game shines not only in the traditional strategical online player vs player matches, but as well as the lengthy work blizzard put in the campaign. Expand
  100. 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.

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]