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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1135 Ratings

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  1. Mar 16, 2013
    I am on mission 20 of 27, and am having a blast. The complaints about the story here are inconceivable. I am finding it intriguing and well done, especially for an RTS at heart. The progression of the campaign feels very fluid as it adds choices and new species to play with. Choices that can be changed at any time. Seems there are quite a few bad reviews complaining about things they wish it was, instead of actually reviewing the game as it is. A shame. This is a very, very well done expansion. If you are a gamer reading these reviews for a push, you have already passed the threshold of needing to buy it. You will not be disappointed. Expand
  2. Apr 15, 2013
    I liked the organization of the campaign even better than Wings of Liberty although I thought the lack of diverging paths in the story was a negative. The storyline was predictable but with a few twists I didn't see coming.
    I thought the visuals and audio were excellent.
    I would like for the single-player campaign to have done a better job of preparing me for multiplayer. I don't see the
    point of learning to like units and upgrades that you will never use again. Expand
  3. Oct 1, 2013
    This is quite an expensive expansion but does add a lot to SCII, both the singleplayer campaign and the multiplayer are great, after playing for some months I'm starting to hope the final expansion will be released soon. Its a solid game and my favorite multiplayer by far... probably until I try DOTA.
  4. May 8, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm is not so much a game as a guided tour. The game holds your hand and carefully walks you through every stage like your a 5 year old. It's actually pretty insulting--like one big extended tutorial for stupid people. How far have we fallen from the tense and frantic game play of Warcraft 3? Remember that? Apparently Blizzard thinks its customers have lost half their IQ points in the past 11 years. Expand
  5. Apr 27, 2013
    Dumbed down. Dumbed down and dumbed down. Tank rush? MUCH!! What is it with developers? Or does every gamer want a "lowest common denominator" experience these days? Starcraft 3 will likely be a 2 button cover based shooter as that seems to be all the brain dead dolts who buy games these days are capable of enjoying. Thank god for Indie games where gameplay, depth and longevity are still valued by most. This is garbage. Blizzard along with Bioware 2 of the best developers 10 years ago, now both churning out "assemble by numbers" thoughtless dumbed down drivvel like this. Expand
  6. Mar 18, 2013
    This expansion does nothing to improve on the fundamental flaws of Starcraft, it only adds a few gimmicky units. I would not recommend this expansion to anyone it's as much a waste of money as the original game.
  7. Mar 13, 2013
    I wish the campaign was a little less focused on individual hero units and more focused on the overall RTs aspect.

    Aside from that, the game was fun and multiplayer and more interesting.
  8. Mar 19, 2013
    Pretty fun experience overall and a more enjoyable storyline than Wings of Liberty. The cut-scenes are spectacular as usual (unlike some of those crappy ones embedded in WoW these days) and the units, upgrades, etc. all feel very nice. This expansion includes some Evolution missions that serve as tutorials for using your units and that then later give you the choice of selecting a "specialisation" for them as you progress through the SP campaign. Negative bits are here though so I'll list them:
    - Far too easy on Normal (especially when compared to Wings of Liberty)
    - Silly "noob" options enabled by default (i.e. not being able to select your enemy/non-playable units to see their health, constant reminders of "an optimal number of units to mine gas is 3", etc.)...just like Diablo III's elective mode being hidden away.
    - Too linear and short I can accept the linear because I don't expect an RPG and the "too short" bits could have been fixed with a more challenging experience when playing normal (really Normal feels more like Casual with sunglasses). I can't comment on mutli-player because I don't care about it (well I used to enjoy LAN with friends and family but the online lag pauses piss me off now even when playing in the same room).
    Conclusion: Enjoyable experience but just not quite worth the price if you're only into the Single Player campaign.
  9. Mar 21, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm provides the same zany story elements the series has always had (yes even the originals weren't shakespeare) but the campaign has more varied gameplay than Wings of Liberty. Having Kerrigan around for many missions feels more like old school Starcraft campaigns where hero units were regularly present. The new units in multiplayer are nice additions. The game is quite easy for veteran Starcraft players, so I would recommend playing on a higher difficulty if you've been around since the start of the series. Expand
  10. Mar 12, 2013
    Chess is the ultimate strategy game, unlike Video games chess will remain untouched, its perfect in its conception.

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

    10 out of 10 for blizzard!
  11. Mar 30, 2013
    I thought the game was graphically excellent, but had less RPG qualities than the base game. The main negative with this expansion is that missions are more linear. You choose a world as Kerrigan and end up doing a 3-4 mission sequence that you can't get out of. This makes the game somewhat linear for long stretches.
  12. Mar 28, 2013
    I love Starcraft II and I love playing as the zerg. So I guess I love HOTS. Overall, I've been playing this off and on for 2 years and I can say for sure that there is virtually no limit to the amount there is to learn about it. It's huge, it's a lifetime game, getting to know it feels like I'm getting a small Degree for a university course. I would say getting to know the technical (controls/interface) is bigger than some entire games, and then getting to know the technicality of each race (builder order/units/uniqueness) is like 3 full other games (3 races), and then actually getting good at the game is like 10 full other games. So you're basically getting 14 games worth in this one game. That's actually not even an overstatement because I'll be playing this for 5 years and I'll probably get 14 times the number of hours I get out of most games. Wow, I just realized that I'm not in hyperbole. Collapse
  13. Mar 12, 2013
    As the first review to not give it either a 10 or a 4 or less, let me say that this game is far from perfect. The gameplay is still the same Starcraft 2 you love, but with more units and a new story. The new units add a an interesting feel to competitive matches. unfortunately, the story is lackluster and the big glaring retcon is annoying, especially because the story would have worked fine without it. The gameplay in the campaign starts you out at a disgustingly slow pace. Over an hour of a tutorial in an expansion wasn't necessary whatsoever. The difficulty is way too easy. I played the game on hard an I didn't even need to pay attention to win for the most part. You have the illusion of choice for missions like deciding to use different weapons to do the same thing, but in reality this tacked on feature does not challenge the intelligence of the player and, I have to say that while playing I felt like my intelligence was actually being insulted. Luckily the game picks up in later levels, getting far more enjoyable. Forget the main characters because the zerg are interesting creatures to have conversations with. Overall, it's a fine expansion pack with some flaws, but If you enjoyed Starcraft 2, you will definitely enjoy Heart of the Swarm Expand
  14. Mar 12, 2013
    Quality of Heart of Swarm is on par with Wings of Liberty. But I like it more since it now shows alien race with all kind of weird stuff instead of mere humans. Blizzard did fantastic job with missions, cut scenes and story. The only thing I liked more in WoL is dialogues. The game is now more challenging on highest difficulty. Trust me, you'll reload alot. Cant wait to see the last part of this epic trilogy Expand
  15. Apr 2, 2013
    A two because: This is still Starcraft (original) with turd-polish. You already paid $60 for this game. (now they want $60 more... and what of chapter 3? $60 more I think) I hate time limits...I play to relax. Time limits mean lazy game-making. The meta-game blows chunks. Leads to mono-tactics. The graphics still lag modern computers. Enough of all this negativity...I thinks I'll go try Duke Nukem Forever now. After all these years, surely they have had the time to make a spectacular sequel...right? Expand
  16. Mar 18, 2013
    Average expansion. Over hyped. Just what you would expect from BLizzard lately. What you get out of this for the money is just bad value. Few stupid MP units and average campaign. With stupid story.
  17. Mar 19, 2013
    I've played around 100 games online so far and I like the changes made both in-game and out. The campaign is extremely slow to get going and I wish it would go back to the way Brood War played out (use the online tech tree and limit only some units). As a result, much of my time as been online. BNET interface is better, like the level system, league portrait colors before the matches, new physics etc... Any issues with balance will obviously be tweaked along the way. GG! Expand
  18. Mar 31, 2013
    you are paying 10$ per new unit they added
  19. Apr 2, 2013
    The game is very polished as is usual of Blizzard games and the game mechanics and units are fun to control. The upgrade system for kerrigan and the units is kind of pointless though as you never really get to use your upgrades in a meaningful way. There are very few additions to the multiplayer side of the game so you can't really give credit there. What really drags this expansion down is the storytelling of the very short singleplayer campaign. It really makes you feel stupid to be playing the game given how cringe worthy it is. I thought the story in Wings of Liberty was borderline ok but Heart of the Swarm sinks a few levels lower to the point of being completely worthless. If you mostly just play Starcraft for the singleplayer like me then you will find that this expansion is not worth full price. Gamespot said it really well in that the original Starcraft looks like Shakespeare compared to SC2. Expand
  20. Mar 15, 2013
    A solid addition to Starcraft 2. The campaign has a wide variety of fun missions, and the added units in mutliplayer add a needed shift in competitive strategy. If you don't already like Starcraft, you probably won't like this, but for any fans of the series this is a must.
  21. Mar 16, 2013
    A short but well crafted expansion, the story missions are varied with an obvious focus on fun story driven gameplay vs artificial feeling challenge which I definitely appreciated. other then that the new units aren't so much new as re-skinned support units from the first which again is appreciated but wont wow anyone. A worthwhile expansion to a very solid rts. All the 0's here remind me that metacritic needs to be read with some pretty thick filters, especially with company's with as storied a history as blizzard, remember always nostalgia is poison to the gaming world no more is this more apparent then on metacritic. Expand
  22. Mar 14, 2013
    I'm kinda splitted when it comes to HotS. Gameplay is fine as always. Cinematics are good. But the story carried by those two is rather weak. Even if it has at least two nice little touches, it feels more like a Anime aimed for 16 year old boys and girls instead of a mature story for the fanbase who grew up with Starcraft and Brood War. The scenes itself feel a little disconnected as when someone thought "Oh, it would be cool if Kerrigan would do this. And later that" without really caring about why she would do it. The game was no edges. It's all round and comfy. Also it kinda does the Warcraft 3 limbo. Now since Humans and Zerg are more-or-less at peace, we will have some Protoss fun in the next title and i REALLY strongly guess that we have to team up against the evil space-god-zerg-protoss-hybrid-xel'naga whatsoever antagonists and we will leave the universe in the state of fragile peace like we did in wc3. So Blizzard can craft whatever they want out of it. Expand
  23. Mar 23, 2013
    Rather than actually base Starcraft II upon Starcraft I, which is, a game about Strategry and Military Tactics, they decided to base Heart of the Swarm upon timed console gaming garbage like Legend of Zelda. Most of the missions are more "Race against the clock" to win trash.

    Avoid this garbage like the plage, it's about console style beat the clock and is nothing like the original Starcraft
  24. Mar 16, 2013
    This game has a lot to live up to in following a masterpiece like Wings of Liberty. Overall this game does a wonderful job of doing just that. The single player is fresh and fun, it isn't a large change from Wings of Liberty and I am okay with that. The story is a bit hard to believe and seems a bit rehashed but overall it is well executed with that said. For multiplayer, the units were not changed a lot, and there just seems to be a few changes overall. This is good in my opinion due to the large number of strategies that would have to be completely scrapped if the multi player was fully revamped.

    Overall I give this game a 8/10. It has a good single player, and a continued amazing multi player.
  25. Mar 21, 2013
    The game is very good in terms of both singleplayer and multiplayer. The multiplayer is still incredibly demanding and I feel exhausted after only laddering for a short while, but that is how all good rts games are. The campaign is well made, has good replayability, and is definitely by itself worth the price of 40$
  26. Mar 30, 2013
    As usual with a Blizzard game there`s a lot of polish to HotS. The MP engine, the in game interface and unit control is all great as is the graphical quality and the sound. In fact, if you love playing MP RTS games with lag HotS is just about the perfect game.
    Unfortunately I don`t and consider e-sports about as entertaining to take part in as math exams, and more stressful than Christmas
    shopping. It`s OK to watch, but just like with downhill skiing, Tour de France or professional wrestling I`m more than happy not to ever participate in it.
    Which leaves the single player campaign, which is to be perfectly honest full of some of the most lame ass writing you`re likely to have ever seen. Cliche on cliche piles onto the never ending monologue of weirdness and bravado of Kerrigan. I don`t think I can remember the last time I had a more overwhelming desire to kill off the main character in the story of a video game. It is just too bad to even properly describe in words.
    The story itself might be OK actually, but it`s just the way it`s being told. Until otherwise proven by Blizzard my opinion is that the entire scripting crew of SC2 have bee fired because they had too much talent,, and have been replaced by 3 illegal aliens being held prisoners in a broom closet by evil Blizzard accountants and forced to write scripts for the SC2 franchise, unless they wanna be handed over to immigration.

    Honestly though, if it wasn`t for the damn lag I get every time I so much as think about multi player, I might not be so harsh on SC2. But when the campaign is so poorly written I squirm with embarrassment in every single dialogue, and I can`t play multi player because of lag, what is left to like of the things I paid for? Not much is the answer to that question.
  27. Mar 15, 2013
    Very average. I think most of these 9 & 10 reviews are based off people still on the hype train. The writing, average, the story average, the game mechanics average and nothing excelling or pushing the boundaries. That said nothing is bad about this game, its just it never seems to go anywhere. Everything is predictable. The cinematic videos are superb but this is a game and not a movie. They do redeem this from scoring lower. A lot of potential wasted, a buy for the true fans or people, an easy skip for everyone else. Expand
  28. Mar 15, 2013
    In the HOTS campaign, my very own intelligence was insulted. I managed to finish the whole game with barely a base defence. I hardly even touched an upgrade in the evolution chamber. most missions a few handful of zerglings was enough to get the job done. I didn't even have to think. I didn't even have to plan. I was even on the phone to my friend with one hand and with the other clicking away aimlessly and before I knew it....MISSION SUCCESSFUL. I don't think there was even a mission that wasn't complete in less than 30 minutes. But it just doesn't stop at the poorly thought out difficulty curve (which treats us like babies who've just developed an opposing thumb). The HOTS story carried the same childish, cliché, predictable, and cringe worthy moments that were dished out to us from WOL. No momentum was lost in the declining storyline. No brain cell was spared either for all of mine were lost just witnessing it. Expand
  29. Mar 15, 2013
    I quite thoroughly enjoyed Heart of the Swarm. I find that the campaign is fairly well written and stands its own even compared to some of the RPG typed games that I've played. Like Wings of Liberty, the narrative brings a certain depth to some of the characters we know, such as Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan. The campaign is about 27 missions long, which is fairly lengthy considering the original Starcraft had about 30. The cutscenes are of course beautifully done, and the way the missions are panned out really gives the game an extra flavor, since it's not always about building and conquering. The new additions to multiplayer also seems to be a welcoming sight, with a few unique units that offers up to strategies to your game. If you are a Starcraft fan, don't pass this game up. Expand
  30. Jun 3, 2013
    This review is for the single player, because the if you want to play a multiplayer RTS, you already know that SCII is about as good as it gets.

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

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

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

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

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

    If you're looking to play some multiplayer RTS, buy this game without even batting an eye. But if you're only looking for a top notch single player RTS, I'd suggest you go to and find the starcraft brood war mod done in SCII graphics.
  31. Mar 13, 2013
    a great expansion. Let's first talk about servers and stuff. I played on Launch day, no queue at all, smooth as skill they really learned from their D3 fiasco. Second if you buy the game for its campaign you'll be in for a treat. The Campaign features a wide variety of diverse missions with very fun mission objectives, Kerrigan has her own set of unique upgrades and abilities that you can fully customize like summon a Leviathan or spawn 6 banelings at location (even more fun if you have the splatterling upgrade, world of pain) and it wrapped up the storyline of WoL quite nicely, in all it's one of the best titles i've played Q1 of 2013, definitely worth a buy for its price tag Expand
  32. Mar 20, 2013
    I've been trying to enjoy the campaign, but Kerrigan is simply an illogical, pretentious, #$%hole.  Revenge obsession can certainly make one do evil things, but when she turns around and pretentiously dresses down her zerg followers on morality, I can only facepalm so many times.

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

    I honesty like the new zerg play-style, but I’d recommended against getting this until a real sale is on.
  33. Mar 17, 2013
    Excellent strategy. Timely return of best RTS of 2010. Heart of the Swarm makes you forget about other games. And no more words. Everybody must play!!!
  34. Mar 13, 2013
    The expansion to Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty delivers enough high quality content to be thought of as a completely separate and deserving game. Story-wise, the campaign is only an extension of WoL, but it's a great one, with surprisingly good writing. On game play, it is no surprise that every level brings fresh and polished approaches to the real-time strategy genre; this is definitely not a repackaging of WoL. With 20 new levels and a plethora of bonus objectives and challenges, the game justifies itself even before you experience its wonderful replay-ability. Expand
  35. Mar 12, 2013
    Beautiful, polished campaign, a better story than the previous part of the trilogy, with more complex characters and action. Good improvements in terms of UI and graphics. The HotS multiplayer looks harder than WoL, because of the new units and strategies.
  36. Mar 12, 2013
    For my taste, Heart of the Swarm's gameplay has been focused way too much on e-sports. It's not "playing" a game anymore but learning modes of behavior to win. Even within the singleplayer campaign, 99% of the missions seem to be about getting used to the way the race of the zerg is supposed to be played in multiplayer-mode: Gameplay is frantic, almost every mission has some kind of timelimit and you're supposed to be clicking everywhere on the map at once. Building a base with nice defences? None here, that's "not the way the zerg are played". In Starcraft 2, the campaign was the only fun part of the game for me, because it wasn't always frantic and hectic... Since there are no good RTS-alternatives right now, it's a shame that SC2:HotS is so monotonously action-oriented. The GUI and menus of the game strengthen these aspects: You access the campaign/story of HotS via a generic button within an e-sports-oriented interface. Expand
  37. Mar 13, 2013
    Its bloody awesome, builds on WoL and makes the whole shebang better.. well done Bliz! If you like RTS your gonna love this ride. Bliz rarely disappoints and this is no exception.
  38. Mar 13, 2013
    The Heart of the Swarm campaign is enjoyable and continues the storyline from where Wings of Liberty left off. It play similarly to WoL in that there are upgrades to choose from and you can do some missions out of order. The missions themselves are a little bit more guided you don't really have the freedom to just build a base and go to town due to certain mission parameters. Multiplayer adds a few new units, and a lot of them will be familiar if you've played Brood War. Expand
  39. Apr 6, 2013
    While the RPG Multiplayer strategy is still solid, I would like to point out that the campaign is abhorrently terrible. The writing is bad, extremely bad. The cinematics are excellent and high quality but the storyline has taken a turn for the worst. Starcraft II has turned into a glorified love story. While in Starcraft 1, where Raynor and Kerrigans flirtation took a sidestep beside the sector's politics, this entire game is based around their story and they throw around whole armies for that love.

    Behind that story is a revenge plot, but you need to have played Starcraft 1 to understand it. As well, this coming darkness that Zeratul predicted in Wing's of Liberty is barely addressed in this story, when it should have been the primary concern.
  40. Mar 29, 2014
    As much as I love Starcraft, they've turned it into a super cheese fest where the only viable strategy is to go one unit and go one unit hard. Gone are the days of variety and the epically big battles in place of small, 5 minute smashfests. Their attempt to e-sport Starcraft more than it already was really took the heart out of it.
  41. Mar 13, 2013
    Excellent story and loved new Sarah.It remainds me Arthas from WoW because I think Blizzard loves to create a good man turning to a bad one and that's why their games have very good quality.They know how to create a good story and continue that.Nice job Blizzard you made it again..
  42. Mar 15, 2013
    After finishing this masterpiece I have to say it offers you much better campaign than SCII: WoL and the new units for multiplayer are nice as well. Balancing is a subject to change anyway so I won't even bother to say that race x is too strong for race y. If you only get this game for singleplayer it will still be worth your coins because the it offers more variety than multi and the new characters are fantastic. Strongly recommend getting this game. Expand
  43. Mar 14, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm rating this as an expansion, not as a game. Starcraft 2 is a great and fun game. Heart of the Swarm added nothing positive. To the contrary, the path that Blizzard opted to follow with the campaign's story is really quite bad. The Zerg were a lot more interesting as mindless killing machines. Choosing to make them muppets was a bad call. Reinfesting Kerrigan pretty much undid the entire plot of Wings of Liberty. And this whole prophesy storyline is so played out. It's obvious to the point of nausea that the end of the trilogy will feature a Protoss+Zerg+Terran vs. Amon battle royale. You did that already, Blizzard. It was called Warcraft 3. And it was lame then too. Blizzard has some truly untalented and uncreative people doing their writing these days. First Diablo and now Starcraft have been ruined with this trite drivel. What a shame. Expand
  44. Mar 29, 2013
    Great Game! Cant wait to see the third part of the trilogy! Its not better than Wings of Liberty, its just a different compaign. I think Blizzard should still work on some PvP components as there are a few balance issues appear (easpecially when you play toss vs terrans) As fot the story its amazing. I hope they will release it next year
  45. Mar 14, 2013
    Great new campaign, more of the same fantastic multiplayer with a few UI tweaks and several additional units. Weakest part is probably the new unit additions, as they don't seem to "mix up" the formula as much as they could. However I understand why they went this way, rather than breaking the delicate balance of the game.
  46. Apr 1, 2013
    Alittle disappointed by this game. The graphics should have been improved, But very little has been done.
    Single player mode, was a good challenge, I played it on "Hard" setting. But, most of the missions were time based. The whole single player experience seemed rushed. Multiplayer adds more units, and makes things alittle more intresting. But like with the graphics, very little improvements.
  47. oso
    Mar 24, 2013
    Story is cheesy, unlogical Compared to the WoL campaign it is way to short and filled with several no-brain-missions where you simply have to build more units than the opponent and ****ty characters with bull**** dialogues. Gameplay is (as expected) superior to most other known rts games. (The few new units didnt change much from my nooby pov)
    as a conclusion id say it is not worth a
    full priced game. Blizzard has lost a lot of my respect after D3 and this. Expand
  48. Mar 13, 2013
    love it realy good campaign no other company can do this epicness. gj blizz. tell me what rts has better story? ofc mass effect 3 or dragon age got better maybe. but this is rts u wont get any better rts. great job bliz and fu to all haters..
  49. Mar 14, 2013
    Great game. Everything is simply perfect. Campaign, multiplayer, sound. 10/10 Brilliant game!
    A little bit better than Wings of Liberty. I hope Legacy of the Void will be soon.
  50. Mar 15, 2013
    Blizzard have made Brood War and Frozen Throne, two of the best RTS expansions of all time, both with jaw-dropping campaigns that were memorable for years to come, and also with changes to multiplayer that COMPLETELY changed the way the game was played. Compared to those, HotS is painfully average. Campaign: The story is okayish, mainly because most of the dialogue is between Zerg characters and has an appropriately odd ring to it, but when it switches back to human dialogue it's once again infuriatingly cliche and facepalm-worthy. The missions vary in quality, there are a couple refreshingly good ones but most of them suffer from the same problem as the WoL missions, i.e. they are extremely gimmicky and serve mainly as a means to introduce a new unit that is super useful for that specific mission and not so much later. There are also extremely frequent time constraints in missions, which don't allow you to enjoy them at your own pace. That's a really lazy way to do challenge. Very rarely will you find a mission that just gives you a giant enemy base and lets you just use your units in your own way and check for weaknesses to kill it, it's all scripted and on a strict timer and feels gimmicky. Very disappointing overall. Multiplayer: Nice additions with clans and replays. The new units however are not that great. Only the Viper can be considered a decent addition, and the hydra speed opens up a couple of more viable army comps, but for the other races it's pretty lackluster. Watch any stream where players are interested in actually winning and not just messing around with the new units, and you 'll see most matchups play similarly to WoL, especially TvT is exactly the same except you start with a couple of mines here and there. Overall, for Blizzard RTS standards, HotS is just meh. It barely shakes things up online, and the campaign is mediocre. Not good enough. Expand
  51. May 5, 2013
    My personal score for this game is 8 but because there is too much hatred from anti blizzard boys around now days i will vote for 10. Graphics 8/10 Cinematic 10/10 Music 9/10 Story 8/10 Dialogues 7/10 As far as the campaign goes Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm is a very nice game with an interesting story and change of events. However missions felt a bit rushed due to the "beat the time" mechanism but still it was soo fun to play that you will catch yourself finishing the game and you will not understand how the time passed.
    Most of the voice acting is nice and good but there are some parts especially close to the end of the game that seemed cheesy and flat.
    Storyline is interesting and nice however it could be much better, but still is a very nice story with strong elements of hatred, love, revenge, and pain.
  52. May 7, 2013
    This game is just excellent, a good decision from Blizzard to give each faction its own campaign instead of 3 smaller ones.
    The story feels a little more linear but it has more extras: the mutations and mutation missions for example, making choices on your units depending on how you use them.
    Zerg and protoss resources are replaced by Kerrigan levels and it feels less punishing for
    missing 1 or 2 objectives that give these levels. The levels give you upgrades for Kerrigan herself but also Passive upgrades to improve the Swarm itself.
    The feel of slowly working your way trough the mission, gaining and upgrading new units and improving yourself is very satisfying overall. Totally worth my 40 bucks
  53. Mar 28, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Got this game before it's release since I got an e-mail reminding me I can download the client before it's released (to save time.) Since it's a Blizzard game, it will never be on sale or cheap, so I figured I'd get it right away. Blizzard tried to make the game appeal to less hardcore RTS gamers and more noob friendly. Indicator on the base showing how many drones/probes/scvs are gathering out of what is the 'maximum' capacity. This kind of takes away from the management of the economy in some ways so that you can use your time to micro instead. Other features like being able to select idle drones also makes it easier to manage. The campaign gameplay is pretty good. It's different from WOL enough to make it standalone but is a bit on the easy side. Even most of the achievements can be received without playing the harder difficulties. The story is also a bit weak and relatively straightforward and it's also a bit short. The new units are a pretty nice add on, but haven't gotten the time to use them all yet. Especially the new ones for protoss/terran, in which they really should have introduced via the story...went to play multiplayer and they just 'appeared', didnt have time to read or get used to them at all. Multiplayer AI has gotten better and now does not have the same weaknesses as before ie) use air superiority, or purely destroy AI with cloaked severely punishes massing one type of unit. Auto adjusting difficulty of AI is also a nice touch.

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

    Overall, not bad. Would buy it if you have cash to spare or if you have some friends to play multiplayer with online.
  54. Mar 15, 2013
    Don't believe the hater crowd, guys. This game is a gem and it is worth every penny.

    I a big fan of the Starcraft universe and I've played Starcraft and Brood War. When Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty was launched, I had very high hopes about the game. It proved to be great. This time, Blizzard took a great game and made it even better. Heart of the Swarm is wonderfully crafted. A lot of
    attention has been given to the story, the cinematics, the multiplayer and even the graphics ("Extreme"). Sarah Kerrigan is more impressive than she has ever been and it truly shows that Blizzard tried to make her a more complex character. Those of you who've been disappointed a bit by the light tone of Wings of Liberty will be pleasantly surprised by the darker story of HOTS.

    Thank you, Blizzard, for a wonderful game! I can't wait for The Legacy of the Void. En taro Tassadar!
  55. Mar 16, 2013
    I don't see how anyone who that has truly played brood and WOL can say that this is a 10, the campaign is very bland and only tries to act like is multilayer, WOL has much more interesting and dynamic campaign compared to this with lots of different mission types and side stories which can't be compared to the kereagan quest things. Multi player attempts to fix some of the problems of 2.0, at least we have our F**** win loss ratio back, HOLY COW THAT ONLY TOOK 40$. And still it seems like a foreign idea for blizzard to let users play community made maps on ladder, or at least on the unranked ladder. As far as balance goes, it seems like they are trying some interesting things but this isn't really all the different from WOL, I can easily see Blizzard slip back into their old pattern of balancing for play only on 6 blizzard made maps. Which is why I stopped playing WOL in the first place.
    Overall I don't think I can honestly recommend this game, the only positive is that it fixed some of the GUI/Ladder problems but still not addressing the major problems of balance. Its like north korea, you like it only because its the only RTS around not because its actually good, and blizzard maintains absolute dominance of the game which is only hurting the community.
  56. Mar 17, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was counting days to this game. Sure why not? Cinematic trailer gave me hopes, all sneak peaks into story and so forth. Bought the game and played trough story. While playing the campaign i nonstop feeling "When this thing will evolve into a story". No zerg feeling, kerrigan hunting for revenge and most missions were fillers. Story did not go in depth about what is happening. Usually in Blizzard games the story itself runs deep and gives feeling you are actually watching a movie. This time? Mission after mission, nothing new and very little progress.

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

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

    Only reason i hit 7 for this expansion is arcade games. Game been out for 5 days and only thing keeps me logging from time to time is play some arcade action. Hat´s off to the hard working map makers out there. Sum up of everything: Overall ok expansion, i was hoping more from Blizzard since they used to have high standards from themselves. I would buy this expansion again only for the story, even if it´s lame. I stop this review by saying good old blizzard phrase "Expansion will fix it!". Protoss campaign im booking rest of my hope on you!
  57. Mar 12, 2013
    A beautiful game with a beautiful story. The cinematics are of the highest quality, the plot is developed perfectly. There may not be huge leaps and bounds of improvements over WoL... But then again, it's hard to improve on something that's already of the highest quality.
  58. Mar 24, 2013
    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm picks up where Wings of Liberty left off and continue the epic story of the StarCraft II saga. While, in my opinion, the story wasn't as good as Wings of Liberty, it helped you to understand more how the Zerg work and operate (which involve essence, essence, and more essence from other biological things). The dialogue between Kerrigan and her advanced brood minions was almost always something about essence. It got kind of boring after a while. The dialogue between Jim and his mercenaries/freedom fighters was always lively and provided some much needed comic relief. The missions are pretty standard and it's all about destroying this base, protecting this item, collecting items, destroying a base while protecting an item and collecting other items, etc. The story comes to a decent conclusion and readies up the series for its final episode in a few years. There really aren't many new units either, which was disappointing... Expand
  59. Mar 13, 2013
    As if Diablo 3 was bad enough. Blizzard don't care about the past games and insult greatness once again. They threw Lurkers YES LURKERS into their campaign. Widow Mines, Warhounds, now Lurkers. Another lame attempt to incorporate something from Brood War to try and make their game seem cooler. Why aren't they in the multi-player? They would be totally anti-fun right? Probably too hard to balance like Warhounds. They continually fail to produce an exciting RTS when they cannot even produce a good single-player game. Brutal is a joke and feels like WoL on normal. They even have a Diablo-esque battle which sucks and doesn't relate to what this kind of game is. The storyline is once again mediocre but the units are a lot more interesting this time around. All I can say is, don't stray away from your objective and listen to the you already know because you aren't blind. Expand
  60. Mar 12, 2013
    the game is everything they promised. if you loved wings of liberty, you'll love this game as well. the multiplayer is running surprisingly smoothly. it's all working just like it did during beta. in fact, there was more lag during the beta than there is now. the slick new interface and leveling system should be a huge draw as well, in case multiplayer is not your particular cup of tea. this is the ultimate pc game, it requires fast hands and quick decision making. the ultimate skill based game for those who love the feeling of constant improvement. Expand
  61. Mar 16, 2013
    Every fan of Starcraft will love this game. The classic gameplay is there and all the multiplayer emphasis is still present. The campaign this time around is a more linear experience. While the missions are varied and there is plenty to do, there are zero side missions, beyond the zerg evolution upgrade missions. That added onto the very bland story, one that makes the whole point of the Wings of Liberty story feel useless, lowers the score for me. Still, there's alot here to love, especially if you like the multiplayer. This definitely feels like an expansion, as it should. But there just didn't seem like alot of thought went into the story at all, which is sad since alot of people like the Starcraft story. Expand
  62. Mar 12, 2013
    If you're buying the game for it's story then you're in for a royal disappointment, but if you get it for the gameplay then you're going to have one hell of a time with it.
  63. Mar 18, 2013
    Heart of the Swarm cannot be compared to the impact Brood War had on StarCraft I. Times have changes, games have changed and the gamers have changed. However, it is a fully-fledged expansion set that improves all the aspects of the original StarCraft II. The single-player storyline may be a little dull (still being very well crafted), but it's in the and multiplayer aspects that HotS shines. It guarantees a very smooth transition from WoL, opens up lots of possibilities for newcomers and gives many incentives to play the multiplayer battles for hundreds of hours. In the times of hidden DLCs that are embedded in the original game, Blizzard proves once again that it's one of the best developers in the world that treats the gamers with the respect they deserve. Expand
  64. Mar 16, 2013
    A fascinating expansion: Heart of the Swarm takes everything that was good in WoL and makes it even better, while at the same time polishing the downsides of the original.

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

    The UI of the game got a huge facelift. The multiplayer got a slight overhaul with addition of new units and abilities to each race, but it's mostly in the surrounding areas, where the changes really make the greatest impact. The leveling system, while imperfect, makes sure that losing a game is not time wasted, and the unlockable dances/portraits and unit skins are now only tied to this system, making the simple process of playing more rewarding. Overall, it's a perfect expansion. If you didn't like the original, then there's nothing for you in this installment, but that's the point. SC2 is an RTS where change in underlying mechanics is impossible (how would you change chess?) but the polish and error-correction that Blizzard undertook really makes the game feel more cohesive and enjoyable in all aspects.
  65. Jun 28, 2013
    To be honest, I think this game is nothing more than copy and paste of the Wings of Liberty campaign. However, this game has a horrible story along with it's cheesy lines from the queen of blades. Graphically nothing is new from starcraft 2. The new units introduced are alright but bland at best.

    Can't believe all the positive reviews.
  66. Jun 22, 2014
    Campaign and story was a huge disappointment, WoL was much better not even mentioning BW which are is different league.

    Other than that it is still good SC, so multiplayer is superior to anything in the market (RTS wise).
  67. Mar 25, 2013
    Overall this expansion pack feels like a rip off in the worse way, then why a 6 not a 1 or a 3 because the campaign was ok not as bad or as good as other people make it to be. The multiplayer improvements are great thats the only reason why you probably got starcraft 2, if not then why did you get starcraft, get company of heroes which has a great singleplayer and a ok multiplayer
  68. Mar 12, 2013
    Give it zero because my CE key isnt working.. Simple.. Amazing..
    Pay 100$ and get nothing good policy.. ''Burn, pity russians, burn in hell", Blizzard said.
  69. euu
    Mar 31, 2013
    So, is this it? After almost three years of waiting this is the long-awaited Heart of the Swarm? Wings of Liberty may not have been an exceptional game, but at least for Blizzard was a return to it's roots after 6 years of milking Wow but this Expansion fails to improve the game the same way Broodwar did for the original Starcraft or The Frozen Throne did for Warcraft 3, instead adding more of the same. Some of the new units are neat but the Multiplayer feels pretty much the same, rewarding speed over strategy and skill. But if you are like me, more interested in the Campaign than the MP, I wouldn't get too excited for the "epic" story of HotS since it makes the cheesy plot of Wings of Liberty look like it was written by Dostoyevsky. Kerrigan is just not as interesting as she was in Broodwar. There she was a master manipulator as well as a tragic character; here she feels like an spoiled teenage girl who happens to command the Zerg Swarm. Some of the Campaign missions are cool since not all revolve around destroying all enemies on the map, but you won't spend more than 7 hours in the Single Player. Heart of the Swarm may look like a masterpiece compared to Blizzard's last pile of garbage known as Diablo 3 but it is hardly the major improvement of Starcraft II that we've been waiting for. Expand
  70. Mar 16, 2013
    I will admit i am a fan of cheesy dialogue. I grew up on 90's action movies so the campaign doesn't bother me, i enjoyed the story. I would give it a nine overall but i refuse to let people who give zero's get away with that. No game deserves a zero. Now for the review. The story is going in the same direction that wings of liberty was, so if you didn't mind the dialogue or story in Wings of liberty you will like the campaign. The interface for Kerrigan is cool and being able to choose powers for Kerrigan was fun. The cinematics were great and the online is amazing. I felt the missions were more varied and overall a success. For the online you can complain that not enough units were added in the expansion but i feel starcraft has always been about balance and i think blizzard pulled it off well. If you didn't like wings of liberty there really won't be anything here that will catch your eye or satisfy you. Is it game changing or pushes the boundaries no, but i feel its a good game nonetheless. If you like playing rts games or/and are a fan of starcraft i say buy it. The game is worth the $40 but if your on the fence i say wait a bit and then get it when the price drops. Overall a good game which may stumble a little but i give it a 9/10. Expand
  71. Mar 12, 2013
    A solid expansion. Improved gameplay both in the singleplayer and multiplayer department. Better UI and thats it. Nothing too radical. Which also means anything you didn't like about the first one game (WoL) will be present in HoTS. I however liked the first one and I loved the general improvements in the expansion. 9/10
  72. Aug 28, 2013
    The matchmaking is literally broken beyond repair. It is completely unreal how uneven matches will get. Every Tryhard on Battlenet will defend the matchmaking with by just blindly spraying off the term "MMR." "It's perfect, you don't even know about mmr do you?"

    This is not the perfect system people convince themselves it is. It does not take into consideration if you leave a game
    within, say, 90 seconds of it beginning, or if your starting building is destroyed by your own units. It can be manipulated to work in people's favor because it only counts win/losses. That's it. If you get good with one race, and try to play off-race, then without a doubt you will lose countless games before it evens back out. There is nothing that tracks your stats per individual race to know if you should have easier matches if you are playing a race you are not familiar with. It's a very broken system and needs immediate attention before this game's multiplayer can be considered anything other than a crying shame. Expand
  73. Apr 23, 2013
    It's the exact same as starcraft 2 part 1. I had a good laugh at all the "reviews" from the professionals to the right. The script and story are cliche and predictable which was probably the worst part of solo mode. The multiplayer is the best party by far for this game. If you want a great experience with hundreds of different games made by players jump on in. However if you want a well told story best look else where. The camp mode is incredibly easy even on the hardest modes and you may (if you are a reader) find yourself bored with this retold story. Expand
  74. Mar 14, 2013
    I really loved the single player campaign. The story is just as good as ever and its really great to see Sarah and Jim working together in (a few missions) but just having them on screen together is amazing. I've been waiting to see this for a decade and it hasn't disappointed. My only complaint is more time with them together would have been good. Also, lots of the upgrade decisions are meaningless since the Zerg tend to just swarm over everything. The upgrades don't matter much or aren't noticeable. But I'm here for the story not upgrades and I loved it! Expand
  75. Mar 12, 2013
    I have played Starcraft for 13 years, Im a total fan. In HOTS The Campaign is awesome, it has a lot of cinematics, they have a lot of quality in graphics and plot, the AI in BRUTAL is not very strong but if you make a big mistake you will lost and i believe that the AI is not very strong because Blizzard want that new players and the lazy ones get fun and finish the game (Brood war was harder). The plot is 2/3 you get fun on the campaign. The only bad thing about the campaign is that is short, you finish it in at least 10 hours. The next part of the game is the MULTIPLAYER, it has new units, and with 7 new units is a different game now, you can win games that for sure you will have lost in WOL. Playing as Terran you can use widow mines to finish draws, same goes to oracle with protoss and Swarm host for zerg. the ladder is not fully balanced but as always more patches will come all over again to improve the game. This time the multiplayer is HARD because people that play HOTS already bought WOL they have skill and experience and you can choose the server you want (You can be Master in NA and Platinum in Korea). At last, the game has A LOT of extra minigames in custom, unranked games, coop vs AI. My recommendation is the next: If you only want to play the campaign and not multiplayer wait for the price to drop. If you want Campaign but most important the MULTIPLAYER (The real game) buy it because you really feel the difference between WOL and HOTS and HOTS is harder. Expand
  76. Apr 2, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first thing to understand about Heart of the Swarm is that it is not a single-player experience. There was a time when Blizzard had concern for their story-telling elements (consistency, originality, creativity), but not today. If you have played any other Blizzard game, you will most assuredly notice the redundancy of recycled themes in their games. For instance, in Warcraft, the Orcs were once villainous monsters who made pacts with demons and other creatures to take over the other worlds, but now, they're just a misunderstood people with forgotten tribal roots looking to make a place for themselves in the world. Well, in Heart of the Swarm, imagine that same thing word-for-word, but with the Zerg (an alien race hell-bent on assimilating the universe, now-become a misunderstood alien race hijacked by an evil god to take over the universe but now they have forgotten primal roots looking for a place for themselves in the universe). To make matters worse, two years prior to Heart of the Swarm's release, the ending was leaked, and while Blizzard would not confirm or deny its authenticity, it was revealed at the end of the expansion to be somewhat true. The problem is that the dialogue from the leaked ending matched the events in the leaked ending. In the official ending, there was much cut out, but the dialogue remained, thus making most of what the characters say in that final cinematic a head-scratching anomaly. Watch it for yourself on youtube.
    However, Starcraft is about multiplayer business, and for some reason, it has evolved into a major eSport, thus you can expect that the primary focus on the game is this, not story-telling. Blizzard does well in creating an engaging gameplay experience, when the focus is centered on RTS game play in Starcraft. But, the company really does need help in the story department they've admitted in forums that they "overlooked" obvious gaffes, while at the same time using the excuse that player didn't "read into the story" to better understand their obvious mistakes. The new units are interesting novelties to the game play; based on the race you play, you can expect that some units are much more helpful or others are outright useless. Blizzard and Starcraft, whatever the case though, is here to stay, but if you're a single-player, lore-enthusiast, my recommendation is to expect MORE.
  77. Mar 12, 2013
    CAMPAIGN IS AMAZING. Way better than Wings of Liberty. Ignore those negative bigots. The game is a blast. They added some more user friendly features, but the campaign, story, and game play is way more dynamic.
  78. Mar 15, 2013
    I have played more and I have changed my mind about the last review. This is really a good addon. It doesn't have a lot of new additions but they can really change the game on multiplayer. I also like the leveling system. The story is not great, the movies are very nice and many. The gameplay is still starcraft 2, nothing special about that, is just cute, I liked WoL better. There are new tilesets, winter, desert, etc, I like that. What is missing is DotA, they where talking about a DotA mode. I am happy I bought it, I recommended to everyone, pro or regular players.

    I wish I could disable the newbish interface (those orange help cards) and the message when you select a enemy unit that you cant move it.
  79. Mar 17, 2013
    I love StarCraft. WoL lacked a lot of things that HotS adds. There's still more to be wanted but overall Blizzard have stepped up a lot. The campaign was rather short, but god damn those cutscenes! I'm still getting chills thinking about them, I even teared at the end. Epic, epic, epic! Good job, Blizzard! BW>HotS in terms of multiplayer but HotS is still an incredible, INCREDIBLE game
  80. Mar 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'll try to be as unbiased as possible, while explaining my opinions, and emotions, of the newest expansion for Blizzard. Warning minor spoilers not that it matters. I want to say I've been a fan since Warcraft of Orcs and Humans, but I've seen a laziness in the developer for the past several years that has degraded the quality of the games. I began to be worried with the announcement of the Starcraft 2 Trilogy. My initial thought was that it was an attempt to grab some extra cash, though I denied such a thought of my beloved blizzard for years. Now after the catastrophe that is Diablo 3,the bulky, and borderline fluff. that was Wings of Liberty, I have come to the conclusion that my original assumption is true Blizzard has become the next bioware they in it for your money. The entire campaign is a vain attempt to kill a man who should have died in the first campaign for the sequel, I.E, the title being wings of liberty sounds like the dominion would fall right? Yet despite the forshadowing the first campaign lends to the player, there is no development from the big xel naga threat other than the fact that kerrigan must fight it. NOTHING contributes to the overarching story of the series, they even try to make it seem worth 40 dollars by adding seven missions where the whole purpose is to test out two different strands of a zerg mutation. These fluff missions show how little blizzard cares for their products anymore as they have lost all pretense of even trying to create something worthwhile an unique. Playing these missions was like revisiting the same dungeon for the tenth time in Dragon age 2, boring easy and repetitive. Finally in the campaign though I did not even notice till the very last mission, which was extremely anticlimatic and could have been any other level in the game, I noticed that the zerg campaign has no troop transport. Overlords are now nothing better than a moving supply depot, especially without the evolution to overseers. I'm sure the multiplayer is fun and highly competitive, it was the redeeming quality to the bulky WOL, but guess what, getting a couple new units and maps for a game i already own is not a expansion. I paid 40 dollars just to be jerked around and I've had it with blizzard trying to make money of their poor deluded fans. If I wanted that particular experience I would have bought a call of duty map pack, FOR TEN DOLLARS! They were my ivory tower, and now they don't give a damn, Expand
  81. Apr 19, 2013
    Im very fair in all of my reviews and the industry does seem to be in a downward spiral however I thought that sc2 hots was very well done. I wouldnt say single player was great, the story was downright absolute trash, but the gameplay and units are great. A lot of people think that starcraft is only a single player game but its not, its mainly about multiplayer and esports. Dont get me wrong I loved sc1 and its single player and neither sc2 single or multi can hold a candle to it, but it is still very well done and a good solid game. If you feel you didnt get your money for singleplayer only, you are right, because the game is a multipart package, like taking a slice of cake and saying the cake is too small, its your own damn fault for not playing multi isnt it.

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

    So overall its still a 7 because its a good game, but if I were to rate this on "what blizzard is capable of" or their old standard I would give it around a 4 or 5, because this is shody work. And the campaign story is literally about a ZERO because of how terrible it was, negative even for the lore they spit out and stomped on.
  82. Mar 13, 2013
    Starcraft is supposed to be an E-sport. Your installer/connection issues don't have anything to do with the game. Campaign flashier than WoL, more individual unit focused, almost DOTA-like sometimes. Probably done on purpose. No objections here. Multiplayer units interesting, though I feel they could've added a few more elements to it. New interface welcome, but still kind of slow in response.
  83. Mar 13, 2013
    This game is suicide-bomber inspired. Its all about banelings and widow mines. I dont know what happened to blizzard development team. This is a dumb-downed version of wings of liberty.
  84. Jun 28, 2013
    I was very disappointed with Heart of the Swarm. The story was okay and the art direction was pretty good but I found the gameplay lacking. I played through it on Normal difficulty and didn't die once during the entire campaign. That's not Normal, that's Easy, or even easier. I'm no Starcraft expert and couldn't remember what any of the units did when I came back to play this expansion. It shouldn't have been this easy. I'm not paying good money to walk through it like it was an RTS for kids. Total snore fest. It certainly wasn't like that when I played the first Starcraft game or even Warcraft 2. Come on guys, add some tactics in make me work for it. Hard should be hard. Normal should be normal. Easy should be easy. Expand
  85. Mar 15, 2013
    Awesome expansion to an awesome game. The campaign story while still not great has definetly improved a lot from WoL. And the campaign is self was simply amazing! None of the missions were alike and they were all great. I especially like having Kerrigan as a kind of hero, which really added more depth to the already great gameplay. The changes to the multiplayer though not many have made a major impact on the gameplay. It's fun and interesting and with the new units hundreds of new tactics will appear and make sure that each game is different than the last one, which really keeps the game interesting. One of the best games in a while and i'm sure i will play even more SC 2 in the future, now that HotS has arrived. Expand
  86. Mar 12, 2013
    The best game ever made just got better the campaign is awsome luvin the new missions and overal look of the game then we have multiplayer this game is just simply the best franchise ever made cant reccommend it enough go out and get it right now.
  87. Mar 16, 2013
    Playing the Campaign only, an overall good expansion but perhaps not worth the $40 price tag when you consider that significantly bigger games like FarCry 3 etc are only $20 more. The story is passable, you can see what they were aiming to achieve and for the most part they met those goals, but not as 'fun' of a story as WoL. As a result I feel it lacks the replay value of WoL, I don't really feel the desire to replay and complete the achievements. Also while a basic tutorial to base building is given, it's really lacking for the most part with pretty much no mention of new buildings as they become available, as a result I missed things like unit upgrades and building the bulk that was available until well over half way through. Still, if you want more of the story you can pretty much either buy this or watch a let's play video guide. Expand
  88. Apr 1, 2013
    Hots has more action than WoL campain, the cinematics are insane! the game has changed a lot, since starcraft2 WOL,new interface, new customizations, new features new tutorials! Nice job by Blizzard...
  89. Mar 19, 2013
    I am a huge Starcraft fan and have played the multiplayer part ever since the first Starcraft came out back in 1998. The expectations on the new part in the saga was however not huge from my part. I have played the beta and knew about most of the new units. I had hoped for an adventure equal to WoL and perhaps a bit more advanced when it came to gameplay. However, I was disapointed. The game is even more simplified than in WoL and feels like a 4-5 hour long matinee movie a soap opera in space. Could have been alright as an expansion that cost around 15 bucks but not marketed as a full game.

    The score would have been lower if it wasnt for the great multiplayer but that wasn't really new.
  90. Mar 12, 2013
    First game I bother to write a review for, because it's just that good. Focusing more on the campaign as I've just finished it, the story is darker and better told than WOL or any other game, there are more cinematics at the same or even better quality than were used to from blizz and the gameplay in the missions is more varied and entertaining as ever. A true masterpiece and a must have for any starcraft, rts, or SciFi fan. Expand
  91. Mar 13, 2013
    A good, solid and LATE expansion. The quality of the campaign is good but not as good as WoL. Reason being the characters that drive the plot forward are simply not as interesting. This is an unfortunate side effect of playing the Zerg race: They generally have no minds of their own. This fact means the only interesting character in the swarm is Kerrigan and her focus is entirely on revenge. So this limits where the story can go a great amount. That aside, the Missions are the same general fare that can be expected with a few new twists. The highlight being the Evolution Missions where you test and then choose from 1 of 2 genetic mutations for a specific unit. This really gives you the feel of driving the Swarm's evolution forward to deadly effect. Other than that, it's all about Kerrigan and her very, very powerful unlockable as you level abilities. I will leave the details out as it is much funner to find out for yourself. Multiplayer, though I have played only 4-5 matches, is as strong as it has ever been and will be the focus of many a player for years to come. There are a few interface improvements and the new units are interesting without being overpowered. Old strategies still work most of the time so you won't feel betrayed or thrown in over your head. So to wrap I just want to say I don't understand how it took 4 years to make this expansion. Other expansions on other games with similar content took far less time. I wonder if they have a small development team or they intentionally delayed the launch. That aside, as it stands HotS is a very solid expansion to a great game. While the campaign could have been better it is still very entertaining and the multiplayer will keep you happy for a very long time. Worth the money. Expand
  92. Jun 11, 2013
    I'm just a few missions into campaign, and I can already say I'm excited for the story. I've been playing Starcraft since it's original release years and years ago, and this is just completely epic. I cannot wait to finish the story, and hop online. A good price for what will seem to be a completely new game.
  93. Apr 14, 2013
    It doesn't require a review, the credits at the end of the game says it all.
    10% game designers and story builders 90% marketing.

    A 5 from my part. Don`t want to waste my time on detailing the good and bad of this game.
  94. Nov 24, 2013
    This Exp. is really weak in compare to older blizzard exps. or even Dawn of War Exps.. Very few units, far worse matchmaking system and more laggy than WoL. Story missions are fine, but story it self is really bad.This really pisses me off, because Wings of liberty was so good.
  95. Mar 19, 2013
    Blizzard is in the order of operation of recent years, never disappoint us, thank you, again and again, do not change, we continue to have fun like that, thank you
  96. Mar 14, 2013
    I'm a SC2 Fan, and personally liked WoL a lot. Now, I play SC2 for the REASON it's supposed to be played, which is a competitive RTS and E-sport. That's the strength of this game and the sole reason the first one lasted 2 decades. If you judge Starcraft by its campaign then you are not very smart, it's like going to eat steak at red lobster....they serve it, but you'd be a fool to go there specifically to eat one. That aside, the improvements to Battlenet, and Blizzard's desperate attempt to keep up with the current Moba E-sports has made this expansion a good improvement over WoL in so many areas that the list is too long to mention. The Balance of the game is off, of course it would be of, it's a new expansion, but frankly I didn't expected to be this bad considering the extensive Beta and good feedback they got. So, all in all, is a good expansion, good improvements, a poorly written campaign (considering the wonders you can do with the Starcraft universe), with several of the units being potentially overpowered for the first few months and some other minor technical improvements. Not a 10 in my books, even though I'm a fan, but definitely not bad at all. Expand
  97. Mar 19, 2013
    it is a perfecto game, a perfect expansion, the online es great, is my best money inverted in my life, i recommended to all buy this fantastic game. Greetings from Spain
  98. Mar 12, 2013
    Campaing is amazing, so is the soundtrack, the cinematics and so on.

    Multiplayer has come a long way and as a zerg I don't have to rely on infestors on every match up. I like it a lot, definetly GOTY candinant. At least on startegy games category.
  99. Mar 12, 2013
    this game is absolutely fantastic and gorgeous. every negative user review you read on here is obviously written by someone with the brain capacity of a chick pea, especially considering they can barely spell or construct a sentence. A+ Blizzard.
  100. Mar 13, 2013
    Heart of the swarm has a story that i loved and gameplay that i loved even more. I did not think i would like the game that much because zerg is my least favourite faction in the game, but the evolution missions, upgrades and abilities were a lot more fun than the upgrade system in wings of liberty. If you loved wings of liberty, you will love heart of the swarm even more!
  101. Mar 28, 2013
    I love Starcraft II and I love playing as the zerg. So I guess I love HOTS. Overall, I've been playing this off and on for 2 years and I can say for sure that there is virtually no limit to the amount there is to learn about it. It's huge, it's a lifetime game, getting to know it feels like I'm getting a small Degree for a university course. I would say getting to know the technical (controls/interface) is bigger than some entire games, and then getting to know the technicality of each race (builder order/units/uniqueness) is like 3 full other games (3 races), and then actually getting good at the game is like 10 full other games. So you're basically getting 14 games worth in this one game. That's actually not even an overstatement because I'll be playing this for 5 years and I'll probably get 14 times the number of hours I get out of most games. Wow, I just realized that I'm not in hyperbole. Collapse

Generally favorable reviews - based on 68 Critics

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