User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1104 Ratings

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  1. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    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
  2. Mar 28, 2013
    10
    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
  3. Apr 1, 2013
    6
    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.
  4. May 3, 2013
    9
    Excellent game, great story, great gameplay: I don't really have anything to complain about. If all 3 campaigns came together like the first Starcraft game I would of given it a 10.
  5. Mar 13, 2013
    8
    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
  6. Nov 24, 2013
    7
    This Exp. is really weak in compare to older blizzard exps. or even Dawn of War Exps.. Very few units, far worse matchmaking system and more laggy than WoL. Story missions are fine, but story it self is really bad.This really pisses me off, because Wings of liberty was so good.
  7. Mar 15, 2013
    8
    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.
  8. Apr 27, 2013
    1
    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
  9. May 15, 2013
    7
    I played the single player campaign mostly to see all the cool upgrades and evolutions for each of the zerg creatures. That alone made the game rewarding- the campaign is pretty mundane (the writing is not very good) and fairly short (about 20 missions? Right?), but overall: it was the various evolutions that made me keep playing.
  10. Mar 26, 2013
    8
    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
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  11. Nov 18, 2013
    7
    Single Player/Multi Player (2/2) (If the single player is better than the multiplayer, review this section as if it had no multplayer) (If the multiplayer is better than the multiplayer, review this section as if it had no single player) Gameplay (2/2) Visuals/Story (2/2) (If the visuals are better than the story, review this section as if it had no story) (If the story is better than the visuals, review this section as if the visuals didn’t matter)

    Accessibility/Longevity (2/2)

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

    Pricing (0/2)

    Wildcard (-1)

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

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

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

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

    The final section can add 1, add 0, or subtract 1 to the final score. This final section is the “wildcard” section. This section is for how the reviewer “feels” about the game, but limits this only to this section, rather than the entire 10 point review. This section can include any positive or negative point that was not covered in the previous 5 sections.
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  12. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    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
  13. Mar 18, 2013
    9
    Heart of the Swarm cannot be compared to the impact Brood War had on StarCraft I. Times have changes, games have changed and the gamers have changed. However, it is a fully-fledged expansion set that improves all the aspects of the original StarCraft II. The single-player storyline may be a little dull (still being very well crafted), but it's in the Battle.net and multiplayer aspects that HotS shines. It guarantees a very smooth transition from WoL, opens up lots of possibilities for newcomers and gives many incentives to play the multiplayer battles for hundreds of hours. In the times of hidden DLCs that are embedded in the original game, Blizzard proves once again that it's one of the best developers in the world that treats the gamers with the respect they deserve. Expand
  14. Mar 13, 2013
    3
    As if Diablo 3 was bad enough. Blizzard don't care about the past games and insult greatness once again. They threw Lurkers YES LURKERS into their campaign. Widow Mines, Warhounds, now Lurkers. Another lame attempt to incorporate something from Brood War to try and make their game seem cooler. Why aren't they in the multi-player? They would be totally anti-fun right? Probably too hard to balance like Warhounds. They continually fail to produce an exciting RTS when they cannot even produce a good single-player game. Brutal is a joke and feels like WoL on normal. They even have a Diablo-esque battle which sucks and doesn't relate to what this kind of game is. The storyline is once again mediocre but the units are a lot more interesting this time around. All I can say is, don't stray away from your objective and listen to the you already know because you aren't blind. Expand
  15. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    After finishing this masterpiece I have to say it offers you much better campaign than SCII: WoL and the new units for multiplayer are nice as well. Balancing is a subject to change anyway so I won't even bother to say that race x is too strong for race y. If you only get this game for singleplayer it will still be worth your coins because the it offers more variety than multi and the new characters are fantastic. Strongly recommend getting this game. Expand
  16. Mar 29, 2014
    5
    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.
  17. Oct 1, 2013
    9
    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.
  18. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    Awesome expansion to an awesome game. The campaign story while still not great has definetly improved a lot from WoL. And the campaign is self was simply amazing! None of the missions were alike and they were all great. I especially like having Kerrigan as a kind of hero, which really added more depth to the already great gameplay. The changes to the multiplayer though not many have made a major impact on the gameplay. It's fun and interesting and with the new units hundreds of new tactics will appear and make sure that each game is different than the last one, which really keeps the game interesting. One of the best games in a while and i'm sure i will play even more SC 2 in the future, now that HotS has arrived. Expand
  19. Mar 17, 2013
    10
    Excellent strategy. Timely return of best RTS of 2010. Heart of the Swarm makes you forget about other games. And no more words. Everybody must play!!!
  20. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    The best game ever made just got better the campaign is awsome luvin the new missions and overal look of the game then we have multiplayer this game is just simply the best franchise ever made cant reccommend it enough go out and get it right now.
  21. Ndi
    Jun 23, 2013
    2
    DOWNGRADED from a 9 to a 2 after Blizzard remotely killed my game. Updater stalls, installer stalls, everything stalls forever and I'm locked out. I don't WANT the next version, my old version works fine, buzz off.

    That's it. I'm buying the next SC2 installment through Reloaded.
  22. Mar 22, 2014
    6
    I expected it to be worse than WoL, but not this bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    It's still playable just like the last one, and still has value as a game or a story, but it's so pathetically weak an expansion, compared to its predecessor. It also, unsurprisingly, does absolutely nothing to try to help the lack of complexity and lack of strategy of Starcraft as a whole(yes, I'm counting SC1 and BW).
    Just another super-fun-super-fast game with poor strategic elements and a story that will make you yearn to play WoL for the first time again.
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  23. Mar 16, 2013
    0
    I don't see how anyone who that has truly played brood and WOL can say that this is a 10, the campaign is very bland and only tries to act like is multilayer, WOL has much more interesting and dynamic campaign compared to this with lots of different mission types and side stories which can't be compared to the kereagan quest things. Multi player attempts to fix some of the problems of battle.net 2.0, at least we have our F**** win loss ratio back, HOLY COW THAT ONLY TOOK 40$. And still it seems like a foreign idea for blizzard to let users play community made maps on ladder, or at least on the unranked ladder. As far as balance goes, it seems like they are trying some interesting things but this isn't really all the different from WOL, I can easily see Blizzard slip back into their old pattern of balancing for play only on 6 blizzard made maps. Which is why I stopped playing WOL in the first place.
    Overall I don't think I can honestly recommend this game, the only positive is that it fixed some of the GUI/Ladder problems but still not addressing the major problems of balance. Its like north korea, you like it only because its the only RTS around not because its actually good, and blizzard maintains absolute dominance of the game which is only hurting the community.
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  24. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    Starcraft 2 is simply the greatest RTS ever created. It's so incredibly well balanced between the three unique playable races that matches are televised as a e-sport event in South Korea, with top players successfully playing as all three races. With Heart of the Swarm we get more of the same quality with a campaign that gives a human face to the zerg race, pulling you into playing as "the bad guy". I didn't think I'd enjoy a whole campaign based around zerg gameplay, since I had always found their playstyle a little confusing, but the pacing of the game is perfect, and I was able to easily master the race for the first time. Most of the negative reviews on metacritic seem to revolve around the story. I think most of the plot and presentation are incredible, and generally don't understand how a game could get docked 10 full points for a nitpick with a plot point. Even if the game had the worst story in history, the online play is unrivaled in its quality and balance. Expand
  25. Apr 12, 2013
    6
    It's fun to go back to playing more SC2 after it's been close to 3 years since Wings of Liberty came out. Although, I feel like the story hurt the game a lot. Most of this game consists of you destroying what you worked so hard to accomplish in Wings of Liberty. Because of that, I felt as a player that I did not want to do the mission objectives that I was given. When I as a 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
  26. Mar 14, 2013
    6
    I'm kinda splitted when it comes to HotS. Gameplay is fine as always. Cinematics are good. But the story carried by those two is rather weak. Even if it has at least two nice little touches, it feels more like a Anime aimed for 16 year old boys and girls instead of a mature story for the fanbase who grew up with Starcraft and Brood War. The scenes itself feel a little disconnected as when someone thought "Oh, it would be cool if Kerrigan would do this. And later that" without really caring about why she would do it. The game was no edges. It's all round and comfy. Also it kinda does the Warcraft 3 limbo. Now since Humans and Zerg are more-or-less at peace, we will have some Protoss fun in the next title and i REALLY strongly guess that we have to team up against the evil space-god-zerg-protoss-hybrid-xel'naga whatsoever antagonists and we will leave the universe in the state of fragile peace like we did in wc3. So Blizzard can craft whatever they want out of it. Expand
  27. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    Its bloody awesome, builds on WoL and makes the whole shebang better.. well done Bliz! If you like RTS your gonna love this ride. Bliz rarely disappoints and this is no exception.
  28. Mar 15, 2013
    4
    Blizzard have made Brood War and Frozen Throne, two of the best RTS expansions of all time, both with jaw-dropping campaigns that were memorable for years to come, and also with changes to multiplayer that COMPLETELY changed the way the game was played. Compared to those, HotS is painfully average. Campaign: The story is okayish, mainly because most of the dialogue is between Zerg characters and has an appropriately odd ring to it, but when it switches back to human dialogue it's once again infuriatingly cliche and facepalm-worthy. The missions vary in quality, there are a couple refreshingly good ones but most of them suffer from the same problem as the WoL missions, i.e. they are extremely gimmicky and serve mainly as a means to introduce a new unit that is super useful for that specific mission and not so much later. There are also extremely frequent time constraints in missions, which don't allow you to enjoy them at your own pace. That's a really lazy way to do challenge. Very rarely will you find a mission that just gives you a giant enemy base and lets you just use your units in your own way and check for weaknesses to kill it, it's all scripted and on a strict timer and feels gimmicky. Very disappointing overall. Multiplayer: Nice additions with clans and replays. The new units however are not that great. Only the Viper can be considered a decent addition, and the hydra speed opens up a couple of more viable army comps, but for the other races it's pretty lackluster. Watch any stream where players are interested in actually winning and not just messing around with the new units, and you 'll see most matchups play similarly to WoL, especially TvT is exactly the same except you start with a couple of mines here and there. Overall, for Blizzard RTS standards, HotS is just meh. It barely shakes things up online, and the campaign is mediocre. Not good enough. Expand
  29. May 8, 2013
    3
    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
  30. Mar 30, 2013
    5
    As usual with a Blizzard game there`s a lot of polish to HotS. The MP engine, the in game interface and unit control is all great as is the graphical quality and the sound. In fact, if you love playing MP RTS games with lag HotS is just about the perfect game.
    Unfortunately I don`t and consider e-sports about as entertaining to take part in as math exams, and more stressful than Christmas
    shopping. It`s OK to watch, but just like with downhill skiing, Tour de France or professional wrestling I`m more than happy not to ever participate in it.
    Which leaves the single player campaign, which is to be perfectly honest full of some of the most lame ass writing you`re likely to have ever seen. Cliche on cliche piles onto the never ending monologue of weirdness and bravado of Kerrigan. I don`t think I can remember the last time I had a more overwhelming desire to kill off the main character in the story of a video game. It is just too bad to even properly describe in words.
    The story itself might be OK actually, but it`s just the way it`s being told. Until otherwise proven by Blizzard my opinion is that the entire scripting crew of SC2 have bee fired because they had too much talent,, and have been replaced by 3 illegal aliens being held prisoners in a broom closet by evil Blizzard accountants and forced to write scripts for the SC2 franchise, unless they wanna be handed over to immigration.

    Honestly though, if it wasn`t for the damn lag I get every time I so much as think about multi player, I might not be so harsh on SC2. But when the campaign is so poorly written I squirm with embarrassment in every single dialogue, and I can`t play multi player because of lag, what is left to like of the things I paid for? Not much is the answer to that question.
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  31. Mar 15, 2013
    4
    Very average. I think most of these 9 & 10 reviews are based off people still on the hype train. The writing, average, the story average, the game mechanics average and nothing excelling or pushing the boundaries. That said nothing is bad about this game, its just it never seems to go anywhere. Everything is predictable. The cinematic videos are superb but this is a game and not a movie. They do redeem this from scoring lower. A lot of potential wasted, a buy for the true fans or people, an easy skip for everyone else. Expand
  32. Mar 25, 2013
    6
    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
  33. Apr 24, 2013
    5
    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.
  34. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    Give it zero because my CE key isnt working.. Simple.. Amazing..
    Pay 100$ and get nothing good policy.. ''Burn, pity russians, burn in hell", Blizzard said.
  35. May 7, 2013
    9
    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
  36. Apr 6, 2013
    6
    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.
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  37. May 10, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What I used to love about Blizzard was they knew how to tell a story...well I wonder where that talent went because there isn't one here. WoW and SC have seemingly melded into the same story but just different worlds. There's something super evil coming so Horde and Alliance must join together to defeat it. There's something super evil coming so Terran, Zerg, and Protoss must joing together to defeat it. Awesome? I also hate Jim Raynor by the way, he's the reason a lot of people are dying by saving Kerrigan. I wish Tycus had finished the job in Wings of Liberty. OR I wish Arcturus Mensk had just finished the job at the ending of this game. But no he had to give Kerrigan a stupid damn speech about how awesome and cool he is instead of just shooting her point blank while she was writhing on the floor. Everyone seems to be hailing Blizzard's cinematics, which of course, are very nice but so useless. For example in the launch trailer I believe it was, a Viking drops in front of a Brutalisk and gets owned, I doubt he would have done that or maybe he's just that stupid.
    But alas, the review also needs to tell of the gameplay. Which is your typical RTS and certainly fun however, for a singleplayer enthusiast such as myself, it falls short (the story is the main part of that). The leveling up system is back from Wings of Liberty which I think is pretty cool but otherwise didn't add a lot in the way of new ideas. Additionally, just something that has to be said, Kerrigan's walking animations are just hilarious. It looks like she always has to poo or maybe something is just stuck up her bum but it's very funny. Anywho, multiplayer of course seems to be the focus here for Blizzard and it's pretty obvious. Tournaments and what not have become a big thing so it seems Blizzard would like to appeal to that crowd. This unfortunately makes the story driven, single player driven folks at a loss. Where StarCraft and WarCraft once had great stories they've taken a backseat to what seems like $moneygrabz$ for Blizzard. 'Tis a shame, I say!
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  38. Mar 21, 2013
    8
    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. Expand
  39. Mar 28, 2013
    8
    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 units...it 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.
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  40. Apr 23, 2013
    6
    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
  41. Apr 26, 2013
    8
    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
  42. Mar 18, 2013
    2
    The same things I didn't like about StarCraft 2 wings of liberty are back again for Heart of the swarm (which Ill just refer to as HOS) only in greater quantity this time. Don't get me wrong HOS still has that great polish that Blizzard puts into all of their games, a good balance for the races, a fleshed out storyline and the usual quality they put into their products but it is still lacking in several areas with their old trappings from SC2 back again, only much more this time around.

    I really don't like how HOS is constantly holding your hand the entire time. I never felt like I got to really chose my own strategies and I constantly felt like Blizzard was right there holding my hand and telling me what to do. Every mission you are guided along being told which place you need to build on, which unit to use, how to use it, what you need to accomplish and such. Some missions do give you a bit of freedom but for the most part you are directed on what to do. I just wish I had more freedom in more stages of the game because to me that's what a strategy game is, getting to use strategy and come up with ways to win and it just isn't that much fun when the game is always telling me what strategy to use. I never felt like I got to stretch the old brain out and flex it somewhat with the game doing your thinking for you. You can definitely tell this is from Blizzard because hand holding has become their thing even like World of Warcraft is based around quests and dialogue that guide you, tell you exactly where to go and what to do when you get there with even raid encounters telling you what to do and warning you before a boss does some special attack. The entire time I'm playing HOS I just feel like it's one great big training level that never fully removes the training wheels. Age of empires or civilization would hold your hand but it wasn't long before those games would let go and let you go off on your own. HOS feels like an overprotective mother that won't stop looking over your shoulder.

    The storyline which at its core was good and an interesting continuation it feels overly padded that gets a little long in the tooth after awhile. It had some great ideas in it that I enjoyed but there was too much of it constantly being shoved in my face. I don't always need every single detail of everything that's happening no matter how insignificant explained to me. The problem is a lot of the dialogue in the game just feels so needless and doesn't make me feel like I'm learning anything because it just feels pointless a lot of the time. I'm all for extra story and dialogue if it helps you feel more "in the games universe" because characterization is important but when it just seems like filler to pad out the game it means nothing to me.

    I felt too rushed in most missions. It always seemed like there was a timer, or there was always something forcing me to constantly be moving ahead. Either I'm going to be destroyed, some beam is going to kill me unless I slow it down, a giant ship is heading my way, the enemy is going to escape, I have to gather something before the enemy does or something else. Which being rushed goes back to lack of freedom and lack of the ability to use strategy since those missions usually just mean you bulk up on troops and run out as fast as you can. I mean a good timed mission can invoke a sense of urgency and make you sweat a little but when you get 4 or 5 of them in a row, or every other mission is timed it gets old real fast.

    This is a game worth playing but I can't recommend it for more than 20 bucks.
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  43. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    I am on mission 20 of 27, and am having a blast. The complaints about the story here are inconceivable. I am finding it intriguing and well done, especially for an RTS at heart. The progression of the campaign feels very fluid as it adds choices and new species to play with. Choices that can be changed at any time. Seems there are quite a few bad reviews complaining about things they wish it was, instead of actually reviewing the game as it is. A shame. This is a very, very well done expansion. If you are a gamer reading these reviews for a push, you have already passed the threshold of needing to buy it. You will not be disappointed. Expand
  44. Mar 19, 2013
    7
    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.
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  45. Mar 14, 2013
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm rating this as an expansion, not as a game. Starcraft 2 is a great and fun game. Heart of the Swarm added nothing positive. To the contrary, the path that Blizzard opted to follow with the campaign's story is really quite bad. The Zerg were a lot more interesting as mindless killing machines. Choosing to make them muppets was a bad call. Reinfesting Kerrigan pretty much undid the entire plot of Wings of Liberty. And this whole prophesy storyline is so played out. It's obvious to the point of nausea that the end of the trilogy will feature a Protoss+Zerg+Terran vs. Amon battle royale. You did that already, Blizzard. It was called Warcraft 3. And it was lame then too. Blizzard has some truly untalented and uncreative people doing their writing these days. First Diablo and now Starcraft have been ruined with this trite drivel. What a shame. Expand
  46. Mar 17, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was counting days to this game. Sure why not? Cinematic trailer gave me hopes, all sneak peaks into story and so forth. Bought the game and played trough story. While playing the campaign i nonstop feeling "When this thing will evolve into a story". No zerg feeling, kerrigan hunting for revenge and most missions were fillers. Story did not go in depth about what is happening. Usually in Blizzard games the story itself runs deep and gives feeling you are actually watching a movie. This time? Mission after mission, nothing new and very little progress.

    Now that the rant about story is done. Let´s look into other parts. Graphics, no improvement there. Still eye candy to play for my taste and i like the way they changed good part of the layout´s etc.

    I´m not big into all this 1v1 action. Game is horrible in my opinion when it comes down to 1v1, game might be over if you looked over shoulder and missed 2 seconds before making first SCV, Probe or Drone. Reacting into something wrong or not scouting something out in time. Just not my idea of an strategy game, but still watching streams, tournaments and so forth it´s highly entertaining. New units are mainly boring and lame. Hellbat & Widow mine are very awesome, but rest just total letdown. Was expecting more, even if it meant deleting few old ones. New maps are nice in visual. In my opinion best part about this expansion is leveling system (pointless, but still), worker count and "competive AI" play..

    Only reason i hit 7 for this expansion is arcade games. Game been out for 5 days and only thing keeps me logging from time to time is play some arcade action. Hat´s off to the hard working map makers out there. Sum up of everything: Overall ok expansion, i was hoping more from Blizzard since they used to have high standards from themselves. I would buy this expansion again only for the story, even if it´s lame. I stop this review by saying good old blizzard phrase "Expansion will fix it!". Protoss campaign im booking rest of my hope on you!
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  47. Mar 13, 2013
    6
    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.
  48. Aug 18, 2014
    5
    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)
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  49. Jul 15, 2013
    9
    An expansion done the way it should be done. A new layer of polish over and already extremely polished game, a fair number of new units and a plethora of interesting strategic options make HotS more than worth buying.

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

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

    The story-oriented players of Starcraft 2 will probably rate the expansion considerably lower because of a campaign that is only mildly interesting and most of the other changes and additions show their true strength in competitive play, online.
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  50. Mar 30, 2013
    8
    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.
  51. Mar 15, 2013
    0
    In the HOTS campaign, my very own intelligence was insulted. I managed to finish the whole game with barely a base defence. I hardly even touched an upgrade in the evolution chamber. most missions a few handful of zerglings was enough to get the job done. I didn't even have to think. I didn't even have to plan. I was even on the phone to my friend with one hand and with the other clicking away aimlessly and before I knew it....MISSION SUCCESSFUL. I don't think there was even a mission that wasn't complete in less than 30 minutes. But it just doesn't stop at the poorly thought out difficulty curve (which treats us like babies who've just developed an opposing thumb). The HOTS story carried the same childish, cliché, predictable, and cringe worthy moments that were dished out to us from WOL. No momentum was lost in the declining storyline. No brain cell was spared either for all of mine were lost just witnessing it. Expand
  52. oso
    Mar 24, 2013
    5
    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
  53. Mar 14, 2013
    7
    I'm a SC2 Fan, and personally liked WoL a lot. Now, I play SC2 for the REASON it's supposed to be played, which is a competitive RTS and E-sport. That's the strength of this game and the sole reason the first one lasted 2 decades. If you judge Starcraft by its campaign then you are not very smart, it's like going to eat steak at red lobster....they serve it, but you'd be a fool to go there specifically to eat one. That aside, the improvements to Battlenet, and Blizzard's desperate attempt to keep up with the current Moba E-sports has made this expansion a good improvement over WoL in so many areas that the list is too long to mention. The Balance of the game is off, of course it would be of, it's a new expansion, but frankly I didn't expected to be this bad considering the extensive Beta and good feedback they got. So, all in all, is a good expansion, good improvements, a poorly written campaign (considering the wonders you can do with the Starcraft universe), with several of the units being potentially overpowered for the first few months and some other minor technical improvements. Not a 10 in my books, even though I'm a fan, but definitely not bad at all. Expand
  54. May 15, 2013
    10
    It's "cool" today to complain about everything: new games are bad, previous ones were better, they added nothing new, everything is uncool and so on...Same happens with Heart of the Swarm, expansion to a truly great sequel to StarCraft StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, critically acclaimed RTS. Multiplayer adds a new perspective to players and a lot of new strategies to choose from and it'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
  55. Mar 24, 2013
    3
    This game just made me miss brood war even more. What the happened to blizzard's writers? Why the are there boss battles? Why do the primal zergs look like naga from warcraft 3? What happened to the factions battling for survival? Now they just fight over who is a bigger jerkface and who kills more and there is some sort of wuv story. The gameplay is still a gimick fest. Who's deathball can kill the opposing deathball first. Who's unit can puke some gimicky ability to pull some nonsensical to exploit an otherwise sensical situation. Why can a flying zerg act like some sort of frog on a massive unit like a colluses. I know its a game but that is just taking it too far. At least be in the realm of believable. WoL was mediocre, but this is just terrible. Points for polished cinematics i guess... Luckily I borrowed a friends account to play so jokes on you blizzard. I enjoyed the fact that I got to enjoy your labor for a minor enjoyment out of your product Expand
  56. Sep 12, 2014
    5
    Pros: Basically fun gameplay; pleasant graphics on the eyes; good sound and music; fun to figure out how to get higher in the multiplayer leagues; the grid-keys hotkeys were a great idea.

    Cons: The Battle.net 2.0 service left much to be desired; it's ridiculous that a multiplayer strategy game should mainly rely on how fast you can click a mouse and press keys on a keyboard;
    questionable game balance (admittedly I was only a diamond league Terran player at best, but come on, could the Protoss have been anymore overpowered at the time?); game does its best to try to force you to log in online to play, even for singleplayer; questionable so-called "digital rights management" software; absolutely terrible stories for the Wings of Liberty campaign, and especially the Heart of the Swarm campaign.

    Score Breakdown: Graphics 9/10, Sound Effects and Music 9/10, Loading Screens and Frame Rate 8/10, Game Stability 7/10, Gameplay 6/10, Background Story 5/10, Realism 4/10, Replay Value 3/10, Voice Acting 3/10, Battle.net 2.0 Service 2/10, Plot Development 0/10, "Digital Rights Management" 0/10 Total Score 4.7/10

    Conclusion: You can get a lot of enjoyment out of the multiplayer of this if you're into competitive real time strategy games and not averse to having to build up your "APM " skills. Just expect a terrible story, I recommend skipping the singleplayer campaigns.
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  57. Mar 18, 2013
    10
    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.
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  58. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    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
  59. May 2, 2013
    8
    A great expansion, but priced a little steeply. The campaign is good (better than Wings of Liberty), the new units are fun, and the Battle.net 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
  60. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    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
  61. Mar 12, 2014
    10
    Story wise the game is awesome. I don't even like the Zerg but playing as them is fun. The upgraded graphics is nice and refreshing. And the upgrades to units is great as well. Online multilayer is fun as well. This is a great game to continue the starcraft 2 trilogy and I expect the protoss story to be as good as this one.
  62. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    The expansion to Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty delivers enough high quality content to be thought of as a completely separate and deserving game. Story-wise, the campaign is only an extension of WoL, but it's a great one, with surprisingly good writing. On game play, it is no surprise that every level brings fresh and polished approaches to the real-time strategy genre; this is definitely not a repackaging of WoL. With 20 new levels and a plethora of bonus objectives and challenges, the game justifies itself even before you experience its wonderful replay-ability. Expand
  63. Apr 14, 2013
    5
    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.
  64. Apr 25, 2013
    8
    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.
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  65. Mar 16, 2013
    6
    While the gameplay overall is solid, this expansion never does anything to make itself stand out. The plot I actually found less offensively boring than WoL, but you don't get much variety (terran or protoss levels to break things up with), and so far there's no known secret levels, and not much in the way of interesting easter eggs. The campaign also comes in fairly short on the clock, with most people being able to knock it out over the course of a weekend. Also, if battle.net goes offline while you're playing, you lose any single player achievements you may have gotten for that map during that play session. Blizzard has the talent and money to produce better quality than this. Expand
  66. Mar 18, 2013
    4
    Average expansion. Over hyped. Just what you would expect from BLizzard lately. What you get out of this for the money is just bad value. Few stupid MP units and average campaign. With stupid story.
  67. Mar 15, 2013
    9
    I quite thoroughly enjoyed Heart of the Swarm. I find that the campaign is fairly well written and stands its own even compared to some of the RPG typed games that I've played. Like Wings of Liberty, the narrative brings a certain depth to some of the characters we know, such as Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan. The campaign is about 27 missions long, which is fairly lengthy considering the original Starcraft had about 30. The cutscenes are of course beautifully done, and the way the missions are panned out really gives the game an extra flavor, since it's not always about building and conquering. The new additions to multiplayer also seems to be a welcoming sight, with a few unique units that offers up to strategies to your game. If you are a Starcraft fan, don't pass this game up. Expand
  68. Jun 28, 2013
    4
    To be honest, I think this game is nothing more than copy and paste of the Wings of Liberty campaign. However, this game has a horrible story along with it's cheesy lines from the queen of blades. Graphically nothing is new from starcraft 2. The new units introduced are alright but bland at best.

    Can't believe all the positive reviews.
  69. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    I will admit i am a fan of cheesy dialogue. I grew up on 90's action movies so the campaign doesn't bother me, i enjoyed the story. I would give it a nine overall but i refuse to let people who give zero's get away with that. No game deserves a zero. Now for the review. The story is going in the same direction that wings of liberty was, so if you didn't mind the dialogue or story in Wings of liberty you will like the campaign. The interface for Kerrigan is cool and being able to choose powers for Kerrigan was fun. The cinematics were great and the online is amazing. I felt the missions were more varied and overall a success. For the online you can complain that not enough units were added in the expansion but i feel starcraft has always been about balance and i think blizzard pulled it off well. If you didn't like wings of liberty there really won't be anything here that will catch your eye or satisfy you. Is it game changing or pushes the boundaries no, but i feel its a good game nonetheless. If you like playing rts games or/and are a fan of starcraft i say buy it. The game is worth the $40 but if your on the fence i say wait a bit and then get it when the price drops. Overall a good game which may stumble a little but i give it a 9/10. Expand
  70. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    As usual, don't mind the trolls. The story is cheesy, but the campaign is great, with many diferent kinds of missions. Visuals and sound are excelent for a RTS game, and this time Blizzard enbraced the casual gamer with great tutorials before you jump into multiplayer, wich is the very essence of Starcraft since Broodwar.
    And the game definitely delivers in this aspect, improving Wings of
    Liberty in all possible way. A must by for fans and a great game overall for the newcomers. Expand
  71. Jun 3, 2013
    6
    This review is for the single player, because the if you want to play a multiplayer RTS, you already know that SCII is about as good as it gets.

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

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

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

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

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

    If you're looking to play some multiplayer RTS, buy this game without even batting an eye. But if you're only looking for a top notch single player RTS, I'd suggest you go to teamliquid.net and find the starcraft brood war mod done in SCII graphics.
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  72. Mar 14, 2013
    5
    As a long time fan of StarCraft and Broodwar, I was naively hoping for a better campaign than what WoL was. I figured it could have only been better, but I was wrong. I guess as long as DBrowder is at the helm, you're going to get the most cliched snooze fest imaginable.

    Where it fails most is what made StarCraft such a memorable and great game. The story. I cannot begin to explain how
    weak and underwhelming the story and dialogue are. Gone are any sort of characterization or suttle narrative undertones. There is no heart, no personality, no life, and no atmosphere. Gone is the once articulate, conniving, Mengsk who has been reduced to a babbling old fool, the fiery Jim Raynor who is now simply there to be a damsel in distress. Kerrigan's actions and motivations are consistently questionable; there are a lot of failed attempts at evoking emotion, but frankly, you just don't care about her or Jim anymore. The flavorful and immerse world that was StarCraft has once again been destroyed by $$BlizzActivison$$. What the hell happened to the storytelling? The heart? The universe? All I see now is a empty shell.

    /rant

    The actual gameplay is fine, the UI good, and the missions fun though repetitive at times. I'm reviewing mainly the campaign/single-player here. The multi-player is polished and the visuals are smooth, if you don't care about the campaign at all (and just shelled out $40 for a few new units), then I'd give it a 7/10 or 8/10. Blizzard could've continued StarCraft's legend if they gave two about the lore and could've been the best at that, but I guess they wanted to focus on eSports and follow in the shadow of LoL.
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  73. Jun 23, 2013
    10
    loved that blizzard cleaned up region locks and many things Activision did. As an expansion this game just adds so much more to it (and gives me a reason to play more starcraft) with new units, more options and a new campaign. However, blizzard screwed up with one element of the campaign. It was to easy. The final mission was a JOKE. Blizzard is known for having incredibly hard 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
  74. Apr 2, 2013
    2
    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
  75. Mar 23, 2013
    1
    Rather than actually base Starcraft II upon Starcraft I, which is, a game about Strategry and Military Tactics, they decided to base Heart of the Swarm upon timed console gaming garbage like Legend of Zelda. Most of the missions are more "Race against the clock" to win trash.

    Avoid this garbage like the plage, it's about console style beat the clock and is nothing like the original Starcraft
  76. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    A beautiful game with a beautiful story. The cinematics are of the highest quality, the plot is developed perfectly. There may not be huge leaps and bounds of improvements over WoL... But then again, it's hard to improve on something that's already of the highest quality.
  77. Jun 28, 2013
    5
    I was very disappointed with Heart of the Swarm. The story was okay and the art direction was pretty good but I found the gameplay lacking. I played through it on Normal difficulty and didn't die once during the entire campaign. That's not Normal, that's Easy, or even easier. I'm no Starcraft expert and couldn't remember what any of the units did when I came back to play 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
  78. Mar 18, 2013
    0
    This expansion does nothing to improve on the fundamental flaws of Starcraft, it only adds a few gimmicky units. I would not recommend this expansion to anyone it's as much a waste of money as the original game.
  79. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    a great expansion. Let's first talk about servers and stuff. I played on Launch day, no queue at all, smooth as skill they really learned from their D3 fiasco. Second if you buy the game for its campaign you'll be in for a treat. The Campaign features a wide variety of diverse missions with very fun mission objectives, Kerrigan has her own set of unique upgrades and abilities that you can fully customize like summon a Leviathan or spawn 6 banelings at location (even more fun if you have the splatterling upgrade, world of pain) and it wrapped up the storyline of WoL quite nicely, in all it's one of the best titles i've played Q1 of 2013, definitely worth a buy for its price tag Expand
  80. Mar 12, 2013
    4
    For my taste, Heart of the Swarm's gameplay has been focused way too much on e-sports. It's not "playing" a game anymore but learning modes of behavior to win. Even within the singleplayer campaign, 99% of the missions seem to be about getting used to the way the race of the zerg is supposed to be played in multiplayer-mode: Gameplay is frantic, almost every mission has some kind of timelimit and you're supposed to be clicking everywhere on the map at once. Building a base with nice defences? None here, that's "not the way the zerg are played". In Starcraft 2, the campaign was the only fun part of the game for me, because it wasn't always frantic and hectic... Since there are no good RTS-alternatives right now, it's a shame that SC2:HotS is so monotonously action-oriented. The GUI and menus of the game strengthen these aspects: You access the campaign/story of HotS via a generic button within an e-sports-oriented interface. Expand
  81. Jun 22, 2014
    7
    Campaign and story was a huge disappointment, WoL was much better not even mentioning BW which are is different league.

    Other than that it is still good SC, so multiplayer is superior to anything in the market (RTS wise).
  82. euu
    Mar 31, 2013
    6
    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
  83. Mar 15, 2013
    3
    A truly disapointing expension pack at a huge price. The new campaing is way too short and quickly over and generally feels uninspired. If you wan't to play custom games there is not much new stuff being added.

    I wouldn't have complained if it was priced somewhere around half of what it is not and even that is fairly high for what you get. With the price they actually charge this is a
    rip-off. Definitely not worth it. Expand
  84. Mar 19, 2013
    8
    This is a great game. I did not like it as much as the first one (wings of liberty) or Starcraft one but it contains tons of nostalgia and brings me back to the good old days. I did miss the money from WOL and the arcade game. Also, it is harder to immerse myself with characters that are not human (obviously). But the game is great and I recommend it to anyone who has played the last two games. Even on my laptop that is about three years old I could play it on max and it ran very smoothly. You can play it offline which is great. Expand
  85. Mar 20, 2013
    6
    I've been trying to enjoy the campaign, but Kerrigan is simply an illogical, pretentious, #$%hole.  Revenge obsession can certainly make one do evil things, but when she turns around and pretentiously dresses down her zerg followers on morality, I can only facepalm so many times.

    The single player is simply E-sport training, once you've learned a new unit at a frantic pace, it's time to
    move on to the next instead of letting you have a mission to toy around and learn their nuances.

    I honesty like the new zerg play-style, but I’d recommended against getting this until a real sale is on.
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  86. Mar 24, 2013
    8
    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
  87. Mar 19, 2013
    8
    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.
  88. Apr 25, 2013
    8
    I Loved this expansion and I still think a strategy game does not even come close to Starcraft 2. I really liked the story and controlling the swarm was awesome and upgrading them to my will and doing evolution missions. This game also has some RPG elements as you upgrade Karrigan as you go further into the story. Story took me like 20 minutes per mission usually but I am not a 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
  89. Jul 23, 2013
    9
    Amazing content to the best game ever, I didn't find it as fun as Wings of Liberty though, buts thats probably because i play zerg and in heart of the swarm, you dont wanna play zerg
  90. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    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.
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  91. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    I have played Starcraft for 13 years, Im a total fan. In HOTS The Campaign is awesome, it has a lot of cinematics, they have a lot of quality in graphics and plot, the AI in BRUTAL is not very strong but if you make a big mistake you will lost and i believe that the AI is not very strong because Blizzard want that new players and the lazy ones get fun and finish the game (Brood war was harder). The plot is 2/3 you get fun on the campaign. The only bad thing about the campaign is that is short, you finish it in at least 10 hours. The next part of the game is the MULTIPLAYER, it has new units, and with 7 new units is a different game now, you can win games that for sure you will have lost in WOL. Playing as Terran you can use widow mines to finish draws, same goes to oracle with protoss and Swarm host for zerg. the ladder is not fully balanced but as always more patches will come all over again to improve the game. This time the multiplayer is HARD because people that play HOTS already bought WOL they have skill and experience and you can choose the server you want (You can be Master in NA and Platinum in Korea). At last, the game has A LOT of extra minigames in custom, unranked games, coop vs AI. My recommendation is the next: If you only want to play the campaign and not multiplayer wait for the price to drop. If you want Campaign but most important the MULTIPLAYER (The real game) buy it because you really feel the difference between WOL and HOTS and HOTS is harder. Expand
  92. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    CAMPAIGN IS AMAZING. Way better than Wings of Liberty. Ignore those negative bigots. The game is a blast. They added some more user friendly features, but the campaign, story, and game play is way more dynamic.
  93. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    Heart of the swarm has a story that i loved and gameplay that i loved even more. I did not think i would like the game that much because zerg is my least favourite faction in the game, but the evolution missions, upgrades and abilities were a lot more fun than the upgrade system in wings of liberty. If you loved wings of liberty, you will love heart of the swarm even more!
  94. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    VERY very fun, so awesome. Great storyline, great campaign unique gameplay. I have played SC since the beggining and it just keeps getting better. Any popular game like this will get bad reviews, however this one is worth the money.
  95. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Chess is the ultimate strategy game, unlike Video games chess will remain untouched, its perfect in its conception.

    Blizzard have done to the RTS genre what Chess did to the board game genre, they have created the ultimate game, how can they better it? they cant so all cry's of stagnation and lack of innovation are futile. You cant innovate perfection, unlike chess RTS's can tell a rich
    and intriguing story and allow you to play scenarios out, this is what makes HotS worth any strategy fans money. The amazingly balanced, simplistic, complex, multiplay is a huge bonus.

    10 out of 10 for blizzard!
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  96. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Quality of Heart of Swarm is on par with Wings of Liberty. But I like it more since it now shows alien race with all kind of weird stuff instead of mere humans. Blizzard did fantastic job with missions, cut scenes and story. The only thing I liked more in WoL is dialogues. The game is now more challenging on highest difficulty. Trust me, you'll reload alot. Cant wait to see the last part of this epic trilogy Expand
  97. Mar 29, 2013
    10
    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
  98. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    A fascinating expansion: Heart of the Swarm takes everything that was good in WoL and makes it even better, while at the same time polishing the downsides of the original.

    First things first, after the cheesy single player campaign in WoL (and after a horrible Diablo 3 storyline), Blizzard redeems itself in this expansion. The HotS campaign might not feature Bioware-perfect dialogue and
    character development, but it gets the job done, it's engaging, emotional, much less cheesy than before and actually has characters with motivations and feelings. They are quite memorable (unlike the one-dimensional testosterone packed, bravado-infused Hyperion shipmates of the original) It's a very straightforward story, but it's well executed and the in-game and CGI cutscenes work well and don't seem as choppy as in WoLl. Moreover, most of the scenes are recorded so you don't need a powerful computer to see the cinematics in all their splendor.

    The UI of the game got a huge facelift. The multiplayer got a slight overhaul with addition of new units and abilities to each race, but it's mostly in the surrounding areas, where the changes really make the greatest impact. The leveling system, while imperfect, makes sure that losing a game is not time wasted, and the unlockable dances/portraits and unit skins are now only tied to this system, making the simple process of playing more rewarding. Overall, it's a perfect expansion. If you didn't like the original, then there's nothing for you in this installment, but that's the point. SC2 is an RTS where change in underlying mechanics is impossible (how would you change chess?) but the polish and error-correction that Blizzard undertook really makes the game feel more cohesive and enjoyable in all aspects.
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  99. Apr 2, 2013
    5
    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.
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  100. Apr 1, 2013
    10
    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.
Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 68 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 68
  2. Negative: 1 out of 68
  1. Jun 10, 2013
    90
    The tutorials and the A.I have been improved, giving newcomers the chance to calmly try new tactics… before playing against experienced players that will go straight to their jugular. [April 2013]
  2. May 9, 2013
    85
    Accomplished, if not exactly groundbreaking. [June 2013, p.80]
  3. May 9, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm is ScarCraft made better. Welcoming to newcomers, but never dumbed-down, the franchise at its best. [June 2013, p.66]