User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1120 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Do not let these low reviews fool you, this game is amazing! It lives up to the expectation and from what I have played the campaign is fresh and new. This is a must buy!
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Let me be brief..
    Story: excellent dialogues ans cinematics, you get into the character on every mission of the campaing
    Gameplay: exceeds the expectations of the game. Wont get you bored in any moment of the game, the missions are wonderfully designed.
    Multiplayer: i am not very fan of mp gaming, but as far as i played, the new units makes it funnier and makes available more strategic
    moves.

    Overall espectacular game. Recommended for any type of gamer. It wont dissapoint you
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  3. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Best E sport game ever This game is so addictive, the art style is amazing and the campaign is a huge bonus of goodness. Not to mention the cinematics.
  4. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Loved this game. Just played through the story, and it was totally unexpected. They sure do a great job hiding the story in the trailers. Gameplay was fantastic as usual, and the replay value im sure will be never ending with arcade modes and regular ladder play. Good job blizzard on this one.
  5. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    When checking over the user reviews, please take grammar into account. It's pretty obvious that most of the 0-5 reviews are from people who are unable to communicate a coherent thought.

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

    Basically if you liked WoL, you'll probably like this.
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  6. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Starcraft2 自由の翼に続いて今度のHeart of the swarmも本当に名作だった。Storyもよかった。特に主人公の立場や考えをPlayerがもっと体感できるようにゲームが作られていていることがよかった。あのせいかStoryにも夢中できた。Just remember awesome fantastic impressive
  7. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The game as a whole was very good, intuitive changes made to the unit composition in MP, and a wealth of varied missions in the campaign. However the Campaign was uninspired when compared to WoL. It was great, but it pales in comparison to that masterpiece. Kerrigan is back and quickly reverts to her old ways even after all that Jim has done for her. It's interesting to see her as a more human, more sympathetic and caring version of the queen of blades. Another problem, one you can't really blame the developers for is the difficulty getting attached to the supporting characters. They try their best, but trying to develop a relationship with a beast like the zerg and actually care is difficult, my most exciting and emotional times were seeing the crew of the Hyperion, and helping them through their adventures. I cared little of the zerg companions I had gathered.

    And as a final note, I was saddened to see the disconnect between the excellent book;flashpoint, and the game. Not only did they mention nothing of it, the character changes that developed throughout the book especially with Valarian seemed to matter little in the game which was severely disappointing. All in all the game was great and most definitely worth 40$ pick it up, it's one of the few big name franchises that hasn't turned into a giant money grab.
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  8. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    The game was very good I felt in the end. I haven't delved to far into with the MP aspect as the game had just come out and the already strong MP experience just had some unit additions. The store was pretty rich and engaging I look at it like Darth Vader going back to the light side in ROTJ and then having to remain Darth Vader to save the universe this of course being compared to Kerrigan. The level design was great and there were some pretty awesome missions. There were a few missions that had a very cool platform feel to that with was neat. With games like D3 being a let down you won't be disappointed with this installment some may hate the game but RTS's have never been something everyone has enjoyed and Starcraft 2 is the cream of the crop right now. Expand
  9. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    First game I've reviewed on Metacritic. I created a Metacritic account to review this game. That's how serious I am. I'm a fairly critical person in general. I'll admit that I'm the first one to pounce on the negative aspects of a book or movie or game. But StarCraft II is taboo. You can't do that. You can't be negative about this game and still consider yourself a good person.

    Everything in this game is perfect.
    If you're trying to decide whether or not to buy this game because you're worried the story will be a let down, well, listen. If you've ever watched Firefly or Doctor Who, the same cheesy cliche-esque stuff is in the StarCraft II campaign. The story may be corny, but in that lies the charm.

    I bought this for the multiplayer, having won more than five thousand matches in Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm's predecessor. The campaign (~7 hours in) is fantastic. It's beautiful (graphically), it's got deep characters with questionable motivations and backgrounds, and it's got an interesting story with really fun gameplay. I expected a lot from the campaign, considering Wings of Liberty had a campaign touted as the best in the history of RTS gaming, and you know what? The campaign in Heart of the Swarm TOPPED that. Yeah, it EXCEEDED my expectations, and again: I'm not the most positive of people.

    So when I see 0's and anything less than an 8 on Metacritic, I know that the person who rated the game as such is either a troll, or has no taste in games.

    To sum it up,
    If you're looking for an RTS that's got a casual vibe to the single player with multiple difficulty settings and a fun and interesting, immersive experience, buy this game.
    If you're looking for something competitive to sink hours into fighting battles against others online, buy this game.
    If you're looking for a game to play with your friends online cooperatively in a very wide range of custom games (I'm talking about tower defense maps, tug-of-war maps, hero maps like DotA, etc), buy this game.

    If you want to rail on Blizzard for greedy DRM or whatever other adjectives and nouns you can crunch together haphazardly, go ahead. But nobody cares because as long as Blizzard keeps on shaping these gems, we real gamers will keep on buying them.
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  10. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    2013 Game of the Year! Excellent story-lines and ways of approaching an RTS from a new perspective. I love the Starcraft 2 storyline more than WoW. They tie in everything in a smooth, easy to understand way. A+++
  11. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    A great expansion set that makes the original Starcraft 2 much polished. The campaign is fun and detailed. The cutscenes are movie like, exceeding WOL and most games in this regard. Playing the HOTS multiplayer for the first time surprised me a lot: the whole gameplay got much smoother, the graphics got sharper. The tweaks and new units shows that Blizzard listened to the community (of course some minor balance changes will still be required). The new physics engine makes battles more spectacular both in multi- and in singleplayer mode. All in all, this game is the Blizzard quality I hoped I could once again experience (Diablo 3 was a disappointment for me). Expand
  12. Mar 14, 2013
    9
    STORY: If you're expecting a storyline to rival Wheel of Time or A Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones), then you're going to be disappointed. Really I think they could have done better with the story, which is why I knocked off a point. They have the resources to do better and it is a step down from Broodwar in my opinion. But compared to any other RTS I've played, the story is excellent.

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

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

    SUMMARY: This is a Starcraft game, you should know what to expect by now. If you are new to the series, then you don't start here, you should be playing WoL first.
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  13. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    If you're a fan of playing fun, quality games then don't let the masses of complainers get to you and buy starcraft 2. This is coming from someone who frequents the official forums and cries imbalance quite often. However, I can not deny that this game is fun, despite the multiplayer being frustrating. The campaign story is occasionally a little cheesy but the cast is interesting and fresh enough to make you click the next mission button just to hear what they have to say next. I am giving this game a score of 10/10 as a measure for how much of my purchase price I am receiving in return. Expand
  14. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    Wings of Liberty was an awesome game, and this campaign was even more fun and engaging! My only sadness is that I need to wait another couple of years for the 3rd and final chapter. That's ok, multiplayer and the community maps will keep me busy until then! Thanks Blizzard, you didn't disappoint.
  15. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    This game is $40. It features a lengthy and fresh campaign (with multiple options, branches and subsequent replay value for achievement farmers like myself) PLUS the expansion to the true heart of SC2, the multiplayer. I've been playing SC2: Wings of Liberty since it launched in 2010. That game was $60. There is NO BETTER band for your buck when it comes to games, than purchasing a Starcraft game. I expect to play HoTS everday for the next three years, and for a one-time cost of $40, that is absurd. I need no other games. No other console. This is the definition of value. Expand
  16. Mar 14, 2013
    9
    Better story than WoL, not as good as it could be, but still an improvement. The gameplay in the campaign is pretty interesting, yet sometimes it just gets weird (random boss battles). Havnt tried PvP yet, but I assume its still good old starcraft, so not much I can say there. Overall ive had a really good experiance with the game, and not to mention im pretty happy they didnt try and sell it at 60$ Expand
  17. Mar 14, 2013
    9
    Nice balance even in campaign, who cry about an easy game should pick brutal there comes t2/t3 units that active use their spells. Well done-cinematrcs looks fantastic the story but is a bit dull
  18. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Blizzard has done a great job with Kerrigan here, it was a pleasure to get to know this new iteration of the queen of blades with a good story to wrap it up. A tone of delicate details in missions and cut-scenes, interesting conversation inside the Leviathan and abather. Bitter-sweet ending capped it though it was a little depressing.

    like the multi-player (so far, dont nerf terran into the ground like you did in wings please!) and the UI changes as well. Good things lie ahead for the SC2 franchise if they keep the quality up like this for Lov.
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  19. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    I was skeptical to say the least, £25 for an expansion that requires the previous game a separate multiplayer experience... I felt like Blizzard was segregating the community and that the community would form a coup against them. However great cinematics, familiar gameplay, and a coherent Blizzard storyline: I was going to give the single player a shot and enjoy the multiplayer regardless, despite feeling like £25 was too expensive.

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

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

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

    Great to see some new ideas in this game and it definitely was fun playing the singleplayer.
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  22. Mar 17, 2013
    9
    Three more minutes then we can give you the game you been waiting for this is what i hear at about eleven fifty seven at night on the eleventh. I bought the collectors edition came with some pretty awsome stuff once i started to play Heart of the sworm i did not want to stop until it was beat and even after beating the game i found my self stating over to get the achievements i had missed any person who has fallowed the star craft series will love hearing more of the story told and if your any thing like me cant wait for the next installment of Star Craft2. Expand
  23. Mar 18, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Almost three long years have passed since the groundbreaking debut of the second installment(well, I guess you could call it the third one) of the great Starcraft saga. Although, for those, who actually played Wings of Liberty(later WoL) this wait might not have been so long after all(considering the amount of gaming everyone was doing). I am of course talking about the wait for the Heart of The Swarm(later HoTS) sequel a game which brings us one step closer to the epic conclusion which will be Legacy of The Void. A game we all anticipated and deserved. Or is it? To answer this question I feel I must divide this review into two parts. And I am reluctant to say that the single player part of the game was quite disappointing.

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

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

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

    In conclusion, Heart of The Swarm didn't disappoint. Even the single player oriented gamers should try this game(I guess you could get a lot of time out of the arcade mode plus the versus A.I. feature has been completely revamped and is a lot more challenging than it used to be), especially if you liked Wings of Liberty. Normally I would give the campaign part of of the game a 6/10 and a solid 10/10 for the multiplayer and write an average of 8/10, but considering that the game is largely based on the multiplayer feature I just can't let my self give it less than a 9/10. It is an excellent game good work Blizzard!
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  24. Apr 1, 2013
    10
    Everyone is a hater on Blizzard now. I thought WoL was cheesy, I thought Diablo 3 was commercialized, I think Heart of the Swarm is a great game.

    I'm a long time SC player and it is ridiculous that this game gets anything less than a 7. Production values are through the roof, cut-scenes are amazing, game play is fun and addictive like always. SC is one of my game staples along with the
    MGS series and even though I was slightly disappointed by WoL, this game pumped me up for the third one. The story could be considered a little over-used and trite but overall awesome time. Great job Blizzard! Expand
  25. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    One of the funnest games I have played in years. Blizzard did an excellent job with the story, game play and graphics. The game is just smooth to play.
  26. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    this is a amolst perfect game!
    first the story is amazing
    u have the multiplayer and the ranks to be challanged
    yhe can be hard to leran how to play, but when u learn guy. u dont wanna stop playing th graphics are ver very nice and the phisic inside the game arefantastic!
  27. Apr 13, 2013
    9
    Solid sequel to Wings of Liberty. Vastly entertaining campaign, revamped Battle.net, world class cinematics and endless multiplayer content make Heart of the Swarm yet another success for Blizzard. Only remark is the run-of-the-mill-story.
  28. Apr 22, 2013
    10
    One word AWESOME! the story is very good as the continuation of Wings of liberty. AI brutal campaign is way too hard but the campains end fast Kerrigans upgrades are hell good same as the evolution of the zerg broods. The love story of Raynor and Kerrigan makes the whole story of the game. If your dissapointed as a fan sorry. but in WOL even in starcraft 1 you know there will be some lovely thingy as the story progress. The prophecies and the history of the zerg makes it understandable. Expand
  29. May 3, 2013
    9
    Amazing game, great cut scenes that are stunningly beautiful. The new units help streamline the game and make it much more challenging. The single player campaign gives you more choices in how to play and immerses you into the story. Well Done Blizzard!!
  30. Mar 26, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This game is a really good one, it makes sense in every way. A lot of people criticise it just because Kerrigan becomes the queen again, but that's not that bad. All in all, this game is a great one. Expand
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]