User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1132 Ratings

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  1. 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
  2. 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.
    Expand
  3. Mar 28, 2013
    10
    In addition to its wonderfully thought out multi-player balance, Heart of the Swarm offers new heights in campaign mode. The player will be tasked to adapt and improve on new strategies that will introduce the player in to the exotic and varied game play the campaign offers. This truly amazing fresh game shines not only in the traditional strategical online player vs player matches, but as well as the lengthy work blizzard put in the campaign. Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. Apr 16, 2013
    8
    As a competitive SC2 player, the campaign in Heart of the Swarm was far less challenging than in the Wings of Liberty. However the multiplayer was honestly the main reason why I bought the game, essentially all non-casual starcraft players paid only for the handful of new units and some game mechanics updates which I for one cannot justify spending $50 for.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. Aug 10, 2013
    10
    This is the best RTS game I have played this year. The single player campaign is very fun and fast paced. Gone are missions, where you would mindlessly build base, create army and clean the map over and over again. Every mission has unique objectives and game mechanics. The multiplayer part is also well balanced and very competitive. What more could you want?
  14. 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
  15. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    Surprised over the story! Only tried the singleplayer yet, and it's quite good! Well written and it makes me get excited for Legacy of the Void. Loved the Zerg campaign. Good job Blizzard!
  16. Jan 12, 2014
    10
    I personally really liked the campaign. The story was sorta predictable. I was totally expecting something different in the end but meh whatever. The story fits and it wasn't garbage.

    The single player was really fun. I almost wished it had 1 or 2 more levels but again whatever. it was still really good. and thats what i really wanted. a juicy video game i could sink my teeth into.
  17. Mar 22, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. From what i've seen through walkthroughs, the game is good, good enough to be considered a very good sequel to WoL. The new units are pretty decent too, with the Viper being my favourite add-on(can pull entrenched siege tanks and swiftly turn the tide of the battle in favour of the zerg player) Countless new strategies in multiplayer are avaliable, and if you are smart enough, you can destroy a entrenched position easily using the new units. Overall, the modifications made to the multiplayer are very good, and mass siege tanks or void rays can not be enough now, to win a multiplayer game.
    The campaign is equally good. What I liked most is the hero system of Heart of Swarm: You control Kerrigan in virtually every mission. She is revived at free cost at the Hatcheries and is almost as powerful as the old QoB unit of WoL(though i feel that the new system of evoluting Kerrigan is overpowered, and despite being similar to the WC3 system, its almost twice as powerful than the latter system.) When Kerrigan reaches level 80, you will simply bring destruction in the campaign maps with almost no cost. Through i like swift destruction, however. Also I strongly like the concept of invading planets with strains very useful to fuel the evolution of the Swarm.
    The story is good, focused on Kerrigan revenge against Mengsk, and telling us more of the hybrid enigma. I don't really care about voice making or something like that, but I think that the actors have done a great job(both representing the talks and the voices). Through the game is relatively very good, the cinematics simply excel. Film-like quality, and excellent representation. The cinematics also reveal the new personality of Kerrigan and that's what I like most.
    I haven't bought the game yet, but believe me, if you like Starcraft 2 enough to consider it as one of the best RTS strategy games of all time, this expansion is a must-buy for you. You'll not regret it. Overall I rate this game a strong 8.8/10.
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  18. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Estou a mais ou menos a 50% da campanha, e posso dizer que Heart of the Swarm um excelente jogo. Melhor que Wingos of Liberty na minha opinião. A trama está melhor elaborada. as fases estão bem divertidas de se jogar. A interface também melhorou bem. O único problema que tive foi que o deu erro no jogo duas vezes, mas graças aos autosaves, não houve frustração. Para quem curtiu Starcraft e Starcraft II: WL, então certamente vai gostar desse aqui também. Expand
  19. Mar 12, 2013
    9
    Though I haven't played through the entire campaign yet, the game sports new units, a fascinating storyline and campaign, epic cinematic sequences that match, if not surpass, the quality of Final Fantasy, and new and interesting ways to evolve your forces. If you enjoyed StarCraft 2 a lot, you won't want to pass it up. Those who, for some strange reason did not like the Wings of Liberty campaign (presumably because you are a boring person), will probably not find Heart of the Swarm all that interesting as, aside from several innovations, is still essentially the same game with different units, cinematic sequences, story, and a handful of other changes. But for the rest of us the swarm hungers. Expand
  20. 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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  21. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Currently at School I cannot wait to get home and play this GAME! I spent the majority of the night watching the launch event which I thought was epic. gg Grubby
  22. 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
  23. 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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  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. Mar 13, 2013
    3
    THE BAD--Heart of the Swarm goes down the dreaded path of "the prophecy" storyline. Attention writers: Prophecies are OVERUSED and are LAME! They are cliche and in this case the prophecy featured in SC2 retcons the original Starcraft and BroodWar, yielding many of the plot elements in both games nonsensical and convoluted. Game is also WAY TOO EASY. In the original Starcraft some of the later levels make you sweat. In this one the AI never cloaks, NEVER, for example. Lastly, the game is designed for casual players, which means everything is watered down and dumbed down.

    THE GOOD-- Cool cinematics. Nice graphics. The beginning of HoS pretty cool, which subsequently leads you on, makes you think that maybe the writers up at Blizzard learned from their mistakes with Wings of Liberty, but then after the 4th level the game falls flat on its face. Game has good multiplayer, but the expansion only adds a few new units that nobody wanted.
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  27. Mar 21, 2013
    4
    Honestly I was bored, the addition of new units and story really didn't keep me interested. I fear this is the new trend for blizzard resting their lack of New gameplay and compelling story on its laurels.
  28. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Great campaign. Fun missions. I'm not much of a competitive SC2 player myself, so I can't comment too much to that aspect of this expansion. I can say that the one aspect I care about most (the single player campaign) is polished, fun, innovative, and addicting.

    I'll definitely be replaying it multiple times to get all the achievements.
  29. 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.
  30. 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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  31. 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
  32. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    Overall, an excellent package. Blizzard has carefully crafted this expansion portion of Starcraft 2 to feel very different from Wings of Liberty with respect to its single player campaign, and the effort pays off. By having a different interface between missions used to tell the story, as well as mission structures that tend to favor the "zerging" mentality, they create a very different dynamic in how that story unfolds. Some of the dialogue is a bit on lame side (from a writing perspective, voice acting is top notch as usual), but generally this is a story that has weight and gravity, and sets itself up well for the grand finale with Legacy of the Void. I'm terrible at the competitive multiplayer, but it is still excellent fun (balance is different with new units, but still very tight). Great job Blizzard! Expand
  33. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    If you liked Wings of Liberty you'll very much enjoy this. Excellent campaign and worthwhile improvements to multi-player space. Wonderful cinematics is just the cherry on top.
  34. Mar 14, 2013
    9
    Wonderful CGI, great story, and excellent gameplay are overflowing in Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm. The story is absolutely engrossing and the game play is the Starcraft we all have come to know, expect and love. Blizzard hits the nail on the head with this great expansion. New Multiplayer units have changed multiplayer strategy for the better, and have added some rejuvenation and diversity to multiplayer. All in all, great game, hours of fun. Expand
  35. Mar 24, 2013
    8
    The storyline is excellent. The gameplay is good, but the campaign missions are not conducive to truly leveraging many of the interesting units. The Heart of the Swarm campaign feels a lot more like playing Diablo III than playing a board strategy campaign. My biggest complaint is that I didn't feel like I had enough opportunity to use all of the cool units and upgrades in enough truly board strategy missions. Expand
  36. 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
  37. Mar 17, 2013
    9
    I enjoyed the campaign, I thought it was very original if not somewhat predictable. The difficulty of normal is far too easy for experienced SC2 players (particularly zerg players). However multiplayer is obviously where the game makes a lot of sense to buy. Personally spent over 100 hours playing multiplayer already and I havent even scratched the surface. A great game.
  38. Mar 18, 2013
    5
    Great on the quality, i loved the artistic content and it was really polished. But at the end the game was over in 3 days, less then 20 hours of game play for me, even on hard difficulty. The game felt short for the time it took to develop it, and considering they did not have to rewrite the engine.

    So great game, too short of a story, overly easy even on Hard difficulty. I even got the
    CE that had nothing special in it it was 100 Euro. All in all disappointed by the content quantity in the game as well as in the physical CE box. Feels like they are just milking it. Expand
  39. Mar 17, 2013
    7
    I like the subtle improvements and the cinematics are amazing. As others have stated the plot is wholy not engaging though its not as full of holes as people say, its just not good, nor do I empathize with the characters. In fact I empathize more with the empire's troops needlessly being killed in the plot-line more than ANY of the main characters. Its still in the macho rouge guy style vein of the previous Star Craft storyline, the problem is the now the main character is a woman who has lost her humanity yet somehow she still loves Raynor? kind of a weird mix. If her struggle was more gradual than I could buy into it. Some complain its too easy, well then I say pursue the achievements, not just beating the missions once on normal. The game is the same Star Craft 2 we love and for motivating me to play SC2 some more, this gets a 7. If the plot was better, than I would have given it a better score. Star Craft 2 first storyline was strong for all its flaws, this plot-line is not strong. Expand
  40. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    I'm just a few missions into campaign, and I can already say I'm excited for the story. I've been playing Starcraft since it's original release years and years ago, and this is just completely epic. I cannot wait to finish the story, and hop online. A good price for what will seem to be a completely new game. Also, it seems there were some slight graphics improvements. Everything seems a lot nicer. Also, some models seemed to have changed. Expand
  41. 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!
  42. Mar 12, 2013
    9
    It's good, very good in fact. If you are on the fence about buying it take some time and look through YouTube, there are hundreds of videos over the past 6 months about HoTS. It is exactly what I expected that I would get, because I have been following it for some time. I have yet to play the single player, but if it is half as good as the Wings of Liberty campaign I wont be disappointed.
  43. Mar 12, 2013
    4
    the story of heart of swarm is very bad, but the cinematics are very good. Heart of the Swarm's gameplay has been focused way too much on e-sports and multiplayer. They oblivion de people who play singlepalyer
  44. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    what happened to you blizzard, you can´t say simply we did this game, period. people expect in us to do a good job and they don't forgive us if we act like we dont mean it.

    In a narrative game their soul is THE story not only the programming, if don't is like a beautiful girl with no brain, you can f..r but not marry her, i'm not trying to offend women. Just blizzard must take the path
    again i wish that they had the talent and i hope they have it yet. Expand
  45. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    we wait more than 10 years for this, f--k very much blizzard, was sc2 a bad space soup opera a bad hollywood story, what happened with the dark intelligent story of sc1.

    All the technology and good visual art, can´t hide the junk story is sc2, respect the old fans and new fans with a good story that will last not something who will rise and dissapear fast like coca cola Froth. Greedy
    pays more than art i supossed.

    Did they spent the whole budget in the game except to have a good writer.
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  46. 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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  47. 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.
  48. Mar 12, 2013
    8
    The overall design of the game is amazing. The sound and music are great, the graphic is dated but very beautiful and full of details with plenty of cut-scenes (much more as in WoL and they are of a much higher quality). The missions are very varied and very fun to play. The game is a little bit easy, even under the highest difficulty (at least for me), but I'm fine with it. If somebody wants a challenge there are mastery missions where you play a extra hard version of the mission with all upgrades unlocked I haven't tested it yet. So, from a design standpoint is game is very, very good. So why I'm giving only 8/10? Because the story is kinda meh and the script is very, very cheesy taking every overused line of dialog there is and every overused cliche. Blizzard (Metzen!) must work on their scripts! But in the end: If you liked WoL or Starcraft/Broodwar then you can buy this and have very much fun. If you like RTS games, you can buy this, too. If you have no idea what Starcraft is pick WoL up (costs not much), play it and take a look if this kind of game is something for you. Expand
  49. Mar 12, 2013
    1
    Here's the trouble. Nevermind the paid reviews flodding metacritic (and there will be more). Nevermind the ad dollar scraps thrown out at the "gaming journalists" to buy their opinions. Nevermind the massive hype that Blizzard/Activision has pushed and will continue to push from Youtube to the Super Bowl. At the end of the day, the play of this game is a rehash of the last chapter, shot through with more plot holes than a shotgun to swiss cheese, and wrapped up with gorgeously empty cinematics. This game is certainly everything that they promised it would be. It's also a complete perversion of everything that they once promised in games. The scenarios play out just like Wings of Liberty, in that they teach you basic mechanics you picked up already in the last game, pushing you to choose certain paths that ultimately have no impact on the ending. The play does not translate over to multiplayer either, same as Wings of Liberty did not. The writing is depressingly cliche, while the voice actors inflect with a sort of "I can't believe we're saying this stuff" vibe. And as of yet, we'll have to see how multiplayer shakes out, but the previews of units and live gameplay show that there will be an awful lot to tweak on the dev's side. All of this for a price that so many other games can beat. You have to ask yourself if this truly is the best that one of the largest gaming corps can do. There will be a moment in HotS and you will see many that get close when the naive twelve-year-old inside you that once thrived on cool and interesting gameplay, dies once again, and the bittersweet aftertaste of nostalgia will never be washed away by all the dew and doritos in the world. I won't spoil it for you, but if you're so interested to see what's become of the "point" of modern gaming, you can look at gameplay videos on Youtube or just check out the other franchises drained of fun by BlizzActi: SC2, WoW, and D3. It will be the last time I buy a product from Blizzard, as I should've done long ago. Expand
  50. 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.
  51. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    Bigots work in Blizzard. I don't know how many times thousands of gamers in Russia were had by Blizzard, but Blizzard did it again. You pay money and get nothing. I don't think, that it's the last time they do it with us, so I give this game zero that's my mark for game, that can't be activated because of greedy publishers.

    Blizzard isn't worrying about Russian gamers. Publishers
    always complain about piracy on PC, but they do everything to make honest PC gamers to go and play cracked version of the game. OMG, you are paying 100$ for CE of the game, that doesn't work, and are reading how pirates are playing in cracked version. Or how people in other countries are playing this game. The only problem for me is that I've decided to buy this awful game with zero service and support that doesn't answer. Expand
  52. Mar 12, 2013
    9
    A great continuation of the trilogy with pretty solid single player campaign with a nice variety of missions, some new ones like the space combat and others, well known and refined. The story is a bit cliché but with the space cowboy theme I guess thats what you have to expect!

    The big thrill is of course the multiplayer aspect, a tleast for me, which has been upgraded with some really
    nice replay sharing and also new and interesting units to play with.

    Very satisfied!
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  53. Mar 13, 2013
    7
    For some unknown reason my account was converted to EU Region from RU just before release, so I could not play for 2 days (as well as many other players). Its the worst game launch I`ve ever seen.
  54. 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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  55. 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
  56. Mar 13, 2013
    2
    so stale, but the cinematic are very fantastic. lol that's all. heart of swarm are not better than wings of liberty blizzard so many habitual behavior
  57. Mar 15, 2013
    8
    I had to uninstall Starcraft 2 completely before I was able to install this expansion, so I had to wait hours to play it. Besides that it's a nice game. The campaign is amazing.
  58. 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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  59. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a magnificent game. I think when reviewing this game it makes sense to break it into two parts: THE CAMPAIGN

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

    They've managed to improve on the best RTS (and in my opinion) best game in history. Changing the multiplayer is tremendously difficult in light of the delicate balance necessary to make the game viable at a professional level and the need to make the game fun for casual players. The hardcore SCII gaming community is extraordinarily hard to please, yet after 15 or so balance adjustments in beta they were able to create a game that, at a professional level, in the view of that community, was superior in most ways to WOL there is more action and gameplay is generally more dynamic, more varied and all around better than it was in WOL. The game is not perfectly balanced (terran is now the strongest race whereas in WOL it was clearly zerg) at a professional level, and the balance among the races will continue to shift as players develop new strategies and Blizzard reacts to prevent any one race from gaining to much of an upper hand on the other two and to keep the game from falling into undesirable playing patterns (where, e.g., one race always loses in the end game). This is inevitable and everyone will just have to be patient. The new units have added significant depth to multiplayer play and each race has gotten significant new additions to its army. I think the most interesting unit is the Swarm Host. Although it's somewhat in the doghouse among the SCII community at present, it has the greatest potential, in my view, to increase the skill cap and to impact all the zerg versus protoss and zerg versus terran matchups in interesting ways. Time and many, many pro games of course will ultimately determine the fate of the Swarm Host, but I really love the way the unit is drawn, its mechanics and its potential to create chaos (in a good way) all over the map. Blizzard has taken many steps to make the multiplayer more accessible to newer players or players who suffer from "ladder anxiety". There is now unranked play and the AI is a bit more helpful of an opponent if you're trying to figure out what the multiplayer is all about. They've also improved the social aspects of the game and added a leveling system that will likely appear to players familiar with LoL and other similar games. I think that everyone should give the multiplayer a try; it is the deepest, most strategic and wonderful video game I've ever played and preposterously addictive. It can be played in a frenetic manner, but you don't have to play that way if you're smart about your strategy and precise with your actions, and you can still be very successful. Also although this is generally perceived as a kid's game, I'm 30+ and have had a blast playing in my spare time. I didn't have any background in RTS games and I was able to achieve a "masters" rank in zerg and terran in WOL, so don't believe the "you can't be good at this type of game if you're not a kid" line of thought about this game. Do yourself a favor and buy this game.
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  60. 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
  61. 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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  62. Mar 13, 2013
    6
    First lets begin with the story. The story is fairly engaging with great characters, good rising and falling action, decent dialog(some of the dialog from the other Zerg creatures could have been better). However there are parts in the story that where it seemed like the writers wanted to make the player sympathize for the Zerg. How can you ever sympathize with a giant alien killing machine? Also the societies they've created on Zerg's origin planet make very little sense. The Proto-Zerg creatures are feral beasts why would they even have societies and packs when their lifestyle seems to be a highlanderesque dog eat dog. Gameplay wise there really isn't much to it. Its the same old build a base and a bunch of creatures and attack the missions are incredibly easy with a few unique gems in there. The new leveling system is interesting but falls short as it seems like a substitute for the research portion of WoL only minus the quirky scientist guy. Overall I feel like Starcraft 2 hasn't really done anything to redefine the RTS genre but because the game flows smoothly with a pretty good story and atmosphere I'll give it a 6. If you're a Starcraft fan its worth it for the story but beyond that the game doesn't really have much to add. Expand
  63. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    Overall, the game is superb. It's meant to be experienced online as a balanced and competitive multiplayer RTS, and this is the one thing that SCII: HotS does better than any other game in the genre. Period. The UI is great, and with the new additions of unranked play and the new leveling system, the game is more friendly to newcomers than ever before. Plus, it comes in a nice, polished package that is easy on your hardware even if you are playing on an outdated rig. And perhaps best of all, you won't have to worry about any crippling connection issues with Blizzard's Battle.net service (a la Diablo III and SimCity), and you can play to your heart's content as soon as you install the game. This is best RTS experience on the market and deserves a 10. However, if you're playing this game only for the single player component, knock the score down to a 8.5. The campaign is extremely entertaining, although it is a bit short, and is also the easiest campaign in a blizzard RTS to date. Some of the mutations available to Kerrigan's swarm as well as some of her own abilities are so powerful that you can basically sleepwalk through many of the missions even on the harder difficulty settings. Despite that, it's still a blast to play. There are several boss-type fights, which are extremely fun, and evolving your swarm in between missions is an enjoyable experience and allows you to customize the swarm to fit your play style. The story is a C+ effort at best typical of Blizzard's efforts as of late. Don't expect the same type of gripping narrative as Brood War, or you will be disappointed. Still, this is a more than worthy expansion to a great game, and deserves all the praise it gets. It's not perfect, and I'd give it a 9.5 if I could, but this is the game that sets the standard for the genre, and HotS definitely raises the bar. Expand
  64. 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+++
  65. 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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  66. 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
  67. 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
  68. 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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  69. 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
  70. 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.
  71. 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 $40, that is absurd. I need no other games. No other console. This is the definition of value. Expand
  72. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    Best game I've ever played, seriously it was an absolute blast and my only complaint was I wish it was longer, anyone who doesn't like this game eats ice cream with a foot ball helmet on because they might hurt themselves.
  73. Mar 14, 2013
    9
    Better story than WoL, not as good as it could be, but still an improvement. The gameplay in the campaign is pretty interesting, yet sometimes it just gets weird (random boss battles). Havnt tried PvP yet, but I assume its still good old starcraft, so not much I can say there. Overall ive had a really good experiance with the game, and not to mention im pretty happy they didnt try and sell it at 60$ Expand
  74. 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
  75. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    A really good expansion! The campaign is awesome with nearly every mission being different from previous. The side characters you meet are all likeable and in some cases absolutely bad ass.
    The story is what it is, hardly a masterpiece, but it's entertaining, and it brings you to a lot of very interesting and neat looking places.

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

    In short, awesome expansion. If you like RTS games then this is a must buy.
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  76. Mar 15, 2013
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm disappointed on multiple counts. First, understand that I'm a relatively casual gamer. I'm 27. I used to be quite good at warcraft 3, some years ago; but I'm not a no-life teenager anymore. When I buy a game now, it's not in the hope of making it a full-time occupation. So, from this point of view, the problem is that the game is not enjoyable if you do not train yourself intensively: dozens of keyboard shortcuts, ridiculously high APM, boring but time-intensive resource management (why can't the optimal production of workers be automated??) are necessary before you can start thinking about strategy beyond "make an army and rush". I don't want to train for days for a game, I want to start playing and enjoying it almost immediately; in Starcraft II that's not possible, and the campaign doesn't help. That is what I dislike about the multiplayer. But you already know that if you own WoL.

    So I have to rate this extension based on the campaign, gameplay, and story, from the point of view of an older and more casual gamer. Well, if you fit my profile: WoL is okay, but HotS is not worth your time and money. The atmosphere is a bit of a mix between the original Starcraft, Jersey shore (steroid-pumped Raynor, high-heels/smooth-buttocks Kerrigan, nonsensical/trashy love stories, everybody acts irrationally) and dragon ball Z (power levels, Kamehameha fights, martial arts abilities, anthropomorphic Zergs that speak English, but make grammar mistakes). It's clearly written for teens. And the ending is strongly anti-climactic. In addition to this, many of the missions are worthless filler (evolution missions) and a lot of them are not very enjoyable...

    If I can indulge: the Zerg have lost their soul when they lost the Overmind at the end of the original Starcraft. Kerrigan does not compare. Ideally, in HotS, Mengsk would have been thrown away by the people following the events in WoL, Kerrigan would have definitely re-joined the Terrans, a new (different and possibly non-enslaved) Overmind would have spawned, the swarm would have killed and eaten Raynor instead of searching for him in the name of love, and Kerrigan would have emerged as the new human leader... Altogether providing an ideal set-up for the upcoming Protoss campaign. That was my fantasy. It's much too late for any of that now.
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  77. Mar 15, 2013
    8
    Starcraft 2 is the best real time sci fi strategy game out there. Period. Pure gameplay, math, strategy, and last but not least APM. The campaign was fun, didn't really have high expectations for that though, I played all sc campaigns, they all seem the same to me, ending in some big battle where you have many bases and tons of units. The downsides: The races aren't that balanced, and they CANNOT be exactly balanced because they're so different.

    And last, as in any game you ll play against guys who have a TON of games played and know the game much much better, which is kinda ridiculous.

    Mirror match-ups aren't that fun.
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  78. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    The story is great and the characters are integrated well into it, and although I am not a lore junkie I thoroughly enjoyed delving into the Zerg history. Graphically there are only minor tweaks and even though the graphics are not cutting edge, It is the atmosphere that is achieved with them that make this game look so good and gives it a lasting visual appeal. There are some great, intuitive additions to the UI which adds to the amazing game play in both single and multiplayer. Overall, 'Heart of the Swarm' is the near perfect compliment to "Wings of Liberty'. Expand
  79. Mar 15, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Blizzard has managed to bring back a sliver of the old magic with HOTS. It doesn't exactly live up to Brood War or Frozen Thrown in terms of expansions but they made quite the solid effort. There are quite a few interesting units and missions throughout the campaign. While the game is plagued by horrible mission types forcing the player to escort and protect heroes and destroy structures a few missions managed to shine above the rest. With a little more work and restructuring the story and game play could have been absolutely brilliant (the ending cinematic shows that). On the whole the campaign keeps the Starcraft universe interesting without bogging it down to heavily with bad mission design Campaign: 7/10. The multiplayer is an entirely different story, while there are the expected balance issues from the start the matchmaking and interface drastically improve the quality of the multiplayer experience. This quality of community content and level of enthusiasm is very difficult to find these days in games and is absolutely above par Multiplayer: 9/10. On the whole I would give Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm a great 8/10 Expand
  80. 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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  81. Mar 16, 2013
    0
    Look at all the paid shills giving 10/10 reviews. None of them even have spelling errors, like they've all been cut and pasted or computer generated based on Blizzard press releases, HOW FAR HAVE U FALLEN BLIZZARD!!!

    The game: Dumbed DOWN, gimmick RIDDEN, braincell KILLING, mind numbing, boring.

    None of the game units make sense, they're all based on the two retards, Dustin Browder
    and David Kim's, mistaken preconception of WHAT's COOOOOOOOOL, that only ends up being an ill conceived exercise in poor design and contrived mechanisms. But it doesn't matter to them as long as it makes the 13yo kids scream into their mics. Expand
  82. Mar 16, 2013
    7
    This is review from single-player's only point of view!

    Where WoL had this Firefly-like feel of ridiculously tough space cowboys, HotS has only Kerrigan to offer and she has half of Raynor's charisma. Sure, bazillion times his power, but still half charisma. Same goes for the rest of her little helpers when compared to Hyperion's crew. As far as story goes, I enjoyed WoL much better,
    mainly thanks to better characters.

    Of advertised 27 missions, there are 7 evolution missions that are basically tutorials. That leaves 20 missions, which is still fair, I guess. Especially since HotS is expansion and not a full game. Just please, don't lie to us next time, Blizzard.

    The main issue for me is the gameplay the game is easy. I'm not an RTS expert and I'm too lame to play multiplayer matches so I expect an RTS game to be moderately challenging for me when I choose Normal difficulty. This game is not. You basically don't have to build your base. No, not even all the available buildings to unlock all your recruitment options. You don't have to bother with defense most of the time (unless you're playing defense mission). You don't even have to hotkey different groups of your units All you have to do is recruit few units, hit F2, set attack move to the center of the enemy base and repeat until enemy cracks.
    This in fact does terrific job of creating this Zerg "we are numberless" feeling. However, it's not that terrific when it comes gameplay, so I consider it more of a bug than a feature. In WoL I somehow cared for my units, I would use Siege tanks and Banshees to carefully remove enemy base's defenses and retreat for repair to prevent losses (concept of tougher and more unique mercenary units that were gone once killed was encouraging this careful gameplay that actually felt like I was deploying some strategy). Not in HotS. All because Kerrigan is immortal and her powers granted by leveling are so ridiculously overpowered. Especially one of them deprives any unit that has no anti-air capability of any value.

    However, despite these flaws, I still stormed through the campaign, giving it almost every single moment of my free time and I felt compelled to finish it all the time. So, there must be something to it. For example missions are quite diverse...

    Overall, even though the game has its flaws, at least from single player only point of view, it still gets green score from me for this... "something-to-it factor" that made me play all the way through it.
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  83. 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
  84. 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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  85. 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..
  86. 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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  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. 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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  90. Mar 19, 2013
    4
    As the story is a major aspect for me, I unfortunately have to give the game a bad rating: the story is boring, illogical and without unexpected turns. A total disappointment! Why did it take so long to produce this? Also there are fewer missions than in Wings of Liberty I don't count the evolution mission... They are 5 min each and I don't get their point. Just small videos like in WoL would have been better to show the results of an upgrade. At least you can hear Abathor talk... Multiplayer is OK I haven't played it a lot and so far ti seems it is as good as in WoL. Another reason not to buy this game. Expand
  91. Mar 19, 2013
    0
    It is a poorly paced game, seems like most games are failing this time around like sim city. It is a total waste of money, this game is not even worth getting second hand
  92. Mar 20, 2013
    4
    An uninspiring continuation to the SC saga; the campaign is formulaic and short (any solid RTS player will probably take less than 8 hours to complete), and the plot is without great vision or scope. Probably a requirement for online play since the majority of players will migrate over to HotS, but not worth the price as a single player experience.
  93. Mar 21, 2013
    10
    The multiplayer is outstanding. They finally moved the game into a more fast paced, more enjoyable direction. It reminds me of Brood War and that brings a tear to my eye.

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

    A must buy for any RTS lover! A must by for people who enjoy social gaming!
  94. Mar 22, 2013
    0
    As usual, unbalanced game play. Funnily easy campaign in brutal mode, but the ai is shamelessly cheater in versus mode. Constant server side lagg in my region, f.ing annoying...
  95. Mar 22, 2013
    6
    I bought the game purely for the single player campaign to get to know the continuation of the SC2 story that WoL got me hooked on. And i have to say i am a bit disappointed. The plot is too simple and to be honest feels uninspired and sucked out of a tonn of forced brainstorms of the campaign team. Most new characters are really vague and boring and the old ones aren't as charismatic as they were in WoL. The only new character i love is Abathur the Evolutions expert he is really charismatic and funny in his own way. Just for Abathur i give the campaign an average score rather than a fail. I understand that it is much harder to make a campaign for an Alien race than for humans and the team had to be really creative to make it interesting but they kinda failed to do tho. It is a solid experience but u don't get that warm feeling like u are watching a really good movie that hooks u from the first missions as the WoL campaign did. Expand
  96. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    I liked it alot, i got sick of the stupid ass love story garbage in the campaign, and my race, zerg, got with the new units, but thats what starcraft is about, adapting, now im a protoss player till they fix the zerg and give us SOMETHING viable, other than hydras.
    -1 "love conquers all" garbage.
  97. Mar 25, 2013
    2
    At first I wanted to be kind and remind me that's a beautiful game anyway, and probably really good except for the solo campaign. And then I remember that Blizzard created for this game a silly, inconsistent, shallow story that bored me from the beginning to the end. Nice shot. It wouldn't be THAT terrible if that wasn't the sequel of Starcraft "let's make a great story for a great game" Broodwar. Unfortunately it is.
    To put it in a nutshell: unworthy.
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  98. Mar 25, 2013
    7
    The long awaited expansion to Starcraft II is out, and in it the continuation in the troubles of Kerrigan. A few new units might've reinforced each of the three warring factions, but the essence is still the same. Multiplayer tactics have changed and new maps arrived, but other than that it's still the same good ol' Starcraft II. The story continues however. Picking up right where we ended in Wings of Liberty with a de-zergified Sarah Kerrigan and her white knight James Raynor must finally be able to embrace each other in an everlasting love, or will they? Right from the starting cinematic we're introduced to the Kerrigan's troubling dreams and thoughts and we follow her throughout the campaign. As beautyful as the cinematics are, as full of old clichés and story arcs that doesn't really surprise you it is. The story is told with humor, and visiting your lieutenants around the ship can bring a giggle and a snort, but when all comes to all it's a mediocre(at best) story which stunning cinematics and humor carries you through. The missions are diverse enough to feel compelled to move on despite story being weak, though a few times you experience missions that feels copy-pasted and reskinned from Wings of Liberty. A few story paths and factions are introduced which we will most likely see in the protoss expansion and a few old 'friends' are revisited. My score is based mainly on the singleplayer compared to the price of the game, as multiplayer could've been done with a much smaller expansion/dlc. Due to weak story my final score is a 7. Cinematics were as always a pleasure to watch, if just the story had been of the same quality. Expand
  99. 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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  100. Mar 27, 2013
    5
    It's only an expansion, so you need Wings of Liberty. It adds some upgraded units, and some cool genetic upgrading of units. It really just continues the story, where you play as the Zerg and Kerrigan, so expect the 3rd expansion to revolve around Protoss. It's a decent expansion, I'm not as into the RTS multiplayer, but being old enough to remember when the first was released back in the 90's, this is where the game really does shine. There's nothing groundbreaking here, just a nifty continuation to the story. Typical expansion type of stuff. 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]