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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1325 Ratings

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  1. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    I am on mission 20 of 27, and am having a blast. The complaints about the story here are inconceivable. I am finding it intriguing and well done, especially for an RTS at heart. The progression of the campaign feels very fluid as it adds choices and new species to play with. Choices that can be changed at any time. Seems there are quite a few bad reviews complaining about things they wishI 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
    9
    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
    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.
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  3. Oct 1, 2013
    9
    This is quite an expensive expansion but does add a lot to SCII, both the singleplayer campaign and the multiplayer are great, after playing for some months I'm starting to hope the final expansion will be released soon. Its a solid game and my favorite multiplayer by far... probably until I try DOTA.
  4. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    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.
  5. Mar 21, 2013
    8
    Heart of the Swarm provides the same zany story elements the series has always had (yes even the originals weren't shakespeare) but the campaign has more varied gameplay than Wings of Liberty. Having Kerrigan around for many missions feels more like old school Starcraft campaigns where hero units were regularly present. The new units in multiplayer are nice additions. The game is quiteHeart 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
  6. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Chess is the ultimate strategy game, unlike Video games chess will remain untouched, its perfect in its conception.

    Blizzard have done to the RTS genre what Chess did to the board game genre, they have created the ultimate game, how can they better it? they cant so all cry's of stagnation and lack of innovation are futile. You cant innovate perfection, unlike chess RTS's can tell a rich
    Chess is the ultimate strategy game, unlike Video games chess will remain untouched, its perfect in its conception.

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

    10 out of 10 for blizzard!
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  7. Mar 30, 2013
    8
    I thought the game was graphically excellent, but had less RPG qualities than the base game. The main negative with this expansion is that missions are more linear. You choose a world as Kerrigan and end up doing a 3-4 mission sequence that you can't get out of. This makes the game somewhat linear for long stretches.
  8. Mar 28, 2013
    10
    I love Starcraft II and I love playing as the zerg. So I guess I love HOTS. Overall, I've been playing this off and on for 2 years and I can say for sure that there is virtually no limit to the amount there is to learn about it. It's huge, it's a lifetime game, getting to know it feels like I'm getting a small Degree for a university course. I would say getting to know the technicalI love Starcraft II and I love playing as the zerg. So I guess I love HOTS. Overall, I've been playing this off and on for 2 years and I can say for sure that there is virtually no limit to the amount there is to learn about it. It's huge, it's a lifetime game, getting to know it feels like I'm getting a small Degree for a university course. I would say getting to know the technical (controls/interface) is bigger than some entire games, and then getting to know the technicality of each race (builder order/units/uniqueness) is like 3 full other games (3 races), and then actually getting good at the game is like 10 full other games. So you're basically getting 14 games worth in this one game. That's actually not even an overstatement because I'll be playing this for 5 years and I'll probably get 14 times the number of hours I get out of most games. Wow, I just realized that I'm not in hyperbole. Expand
  9. Mar 12, 2013
    8
    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 workedAs 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
  10. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Quality of Heart of Swarm is on par with Wings of Liberty. But I like it more since it now shows alien race with all kind of weird stuff instead of mere humans. Blizzard did fantastic job with missions, cut scenes and story. The only thing I liked more in WoL is dialogues. The game is now more challenging on highest difficulty. Trust me, you'll reload alot. Cant wait to see the last partQuality 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
  11. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    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, newI'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
  12. Mar 15, 2013
    8
    A solid addition to Starcraft 2. The campaign has a wide variety of fun missions, and the added units in mutliplayer add a needed shift in competitive strategy. If you don't already like Starcraft, you probably won't like this, but for any fans of the series this is a must.
  13. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    A short but well crafted expansion, the story missions are varied with an obvious focus on fun story driven gameplay vs artificial feeling challenge which I definitely appreciated. other then that the new units aren't so much new as re-skinned support units from the first which again is appreciated but wont wow anyone. A worthwhile expansion to a very solid rts. All the 0's here remind meA 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
  14. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    This game has a lot to live up to in following a masterpiece like Wings of Liberty. Overall this game does a wonderful job of doing just that. The single player is fresh and fun, it isn't a large change from Wings of Liberty and I am okay with that. The story is a bit hard to believe and seems a bit rehashed but overall it is well executed with that said. For multiplayer, the units wereThis game has a lot to live up to in following a masterpiece like Wings of Liberty. Overall this game does a wonderful job of doing just that. The single player is fresh and fun, it isn't a large change from Wings of Liberty and I am okay with that. The story is a bit hard to believe and seems a bit rehashed but overall it is well executed with that said. For multiplayer, the units were not changed a lot, and there just seems to be a few changes overall. This is good in my opinion due to the large number of strategies that would have to be completely scrapped if the multi player was fully revamped.

    Overall I give this game a 8/10. It has a good single player, and a continued amazing multi player.
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  15. Mar 21, 2013
    10
    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$
  16. Mar 15, 2013
    9
    I quite thoroughly enjoyed Heart of the Swarm. I find that the campaign is fairly well written and stands its own even compared to some of the RPG typed games that I've played. Like Wings of Liberty, the narrative brings a certain depth to some of the characters we know, such as Jim Raynor and Sarah Kerrigan. The campaign is about 27 missions long, which is fairly lengthy consideringI 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
  17. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    a great expansion. Let's first talk about servers and stuff. I played on Launch day, no queue at all, smooth as skill they really learned from their D3 fiasco. Second if you buy the game for its campaign you'll be in for a treat. The Campaign features a wide variety of diverse missions with very fun mission objectives, Kerrigan has her own set of unique upgrades and abilities that you cana 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
  18. Mar 17, 2013
    10
    Excellent strategy. Timely return of best RTS of 2010. Heart of the Swarm makes you forget about other games. And no more words. Everybody must play!!!
  19. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    The expansion to Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty delivers enough high quality content to be thought of as a completely separate and deserving game. Story-wise, the campaign is only an extension of WoL, but it's a great one, with surprisingly good writing. On game play, it is no surprise that every level brings fresh and polished approaches to the real-time strategy genre; this is definitelyThe 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
  20. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    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.
  21. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    Its bloody awesome, builds on WoL and makes the whole shebang better.. well done Bliz! If you like RTS your gonna love this ride. Bliz rarely disappoints and this is no exception.
  22. Mar 13, 2013
    8
    The Heart of the Swarm campaign is enjoyable and continues the storyline from where Wings of Liberty left off. It play similarly to WoL in that there are upgrades to choose from and you can do some missions out of order. The missions themselves are a little bit more guided you don't really have the freedom to just build a base and go to town due to certain mission parameters.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
  23. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    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..
  24. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    After finishing this masterpiece I have to say it offers you much better campaign than SCII: WoL and the new units for multiplayer are nice as well. Balancing is a subject to change anyway so I won't even bother to say that race x is too strong for race y. If you only get this game for singleplayer it will still be worth your coins because the it offers more variety than multi and the newAfter 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
  25. Mar 29, 2013
    10
    Great Game! Cant wait to see the third part of the trilogy! Its not better than Wings of Liberty, its just a different compaign. I think Blizzard should still work on some PvP components as there are a few balance issues appear (easpecially when you play toss vs terrans) As fot the story its amazing. I hope they will release it next year
  26. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    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.
  27. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    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..
  28. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    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.
  29. May 5, 2013
    10
    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
    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.
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  30. May 7, 2013
    9
    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
    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
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  31. Mar 28, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Got this game before it's release since I got an e-mail reminding me I can download the client before it's released (to save time.) Since it's a Blizzard game, it will never be on sale or cheap, so I figured I'd get it right away. Blizzard tried to make the game appeal to less hardcore RTS gamers and more noob friendly. Indicator on the base showing how many drones/probes/scvs are gathering out of what is the 'maximum' capacity. This kind of takes away from the management of the economy in some ways so that you can use your time to micro instead. Other features like being able to select idle drones also makes it easier to manage. The campaign gameplay is pretty good. It's different from WOL enough to make it standalone but is a bit on the easy side. Even most of the achievements can be received without playing the harder difficulties. The story is also a bit weak and relatively straightforward and it's also a bit short. The new units are a pretty nice add on, but haven't gotten the time to use them all yet. Especially the new ones for protoss/terran, in which they really should have introduced via the story...went to play multiplayer and they just 'appeared', didnt have time to read or get used to them at all. Multiplayer AI has gotten better and now does not have the same weaknesses as before ie) use air superiority, or purely destroy AI with cloaked units...it severely punishes massing one type of unit. Auto adjusting difficulty of AI is also a nice touch.

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

    Overall, not bad. Would buy it if you have cash to spare or if you have some friends to play multiplayer with online.
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  32. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    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
    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!
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  33. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    A beautiful game with a beautiful story. The cinematics are of the highest quality, the plot is developed perfectly. There may not be huge leaps and bounds of improvements over WoL... But then again, it's hard to improve on something that's already of the highest quality.
  34. Mar 24, 2013
    8
    StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm picks up where Wings of Liberty left off and continue the epic story of the StarCraft II saga. While, in my opinion, the story wasn't as good as Wings of Liberty, it helped you to understand more how the Zerg work and operate (which involve essence, essence, and more essence from other biological things). The dialogue between Kerrigan and her advancedStarCraft 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
  35. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    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.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
  36. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    Every fan of Starcraft will love this game. The classic gameplay is there and all the multiplayer emphasis is still present. The campaign this time around is a more linear experience. While the missions are varied and there is plenty to do, there are zero side missions, beyond the zerg evolution upgrade missions. That added onto the very bland story, one that makes the whole point of theEvery 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
  37. Mar 12, 2013
    9
    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.
  38. Mar 18, 2013
    9
    Heart of the Swarm cannot be compared to the impact Brood War had on StarCraft I. Times have changes, games have changed and the gamers have changed. However, it is a fully-fledged expansion set that improves all the aspects of the original StarCraft II. The single-player storyline may be a little dull (still being very well crafted), but it's in the Battle.net and multiplayer aspects thatHeart of the Swarm cannot be compared to the impact Brood War had on StarCraft I. Times have changes, games have changed and the gamers have changed. However, it is a fully-fledged expansion set that improves all the aspects of the original StarCraft II. The single-player storyline may be a little dull (still being very well crafted), but it's in the Battle.net and multiplayer aspects that HotS shines. It guarantees a very smooth transition from WoL, opens up lots of possibilities for newcomers and gives many incentives to play the multiplayer battles for hundreds of hours. In the times of hidden DLCs that are embedded in the original game, Blizzard proves once again that it's one of the best developers in the world that treats the gamers with the respect they deserve. Expand
  39. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    A fascinating expansion: Heart of the Swarm takes everything that was good in WoL and makes it even better, while at the same time polishing the downsides of the original.

    First things first, after the cheesy single player campaign in WoL (and after a horrible Diablo 3 storyline), Blizzard redeems itself in this expansion. The HotS campaign might not feature Bioware-perfect dialogue and
    A fascinating expansion: Heart of the Swarm takes everything that was good in WoL and makes it even better, while at the same time polishing the downsides of the original.

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

    The UI of the game got a huge facelift. The multiplayer got a slight overhaul with addition of new units and abilities to each race, but it's mostly in the surrounding areas, where the changes really make the greatest impact. The leveling system, while imperfect, makes sure that losing a game is not time wasted, and the unlockable dances/portraits and unit skins are now only tied to this system, making the simple process of playing more rewarding. Overall, it's a perfect expansion. If you didn't like the original, then there's nothing for you in this installment, but that's the point. SC2 is an RTS where change in underlying mechanics is impossible (how would you change chess?) but the polish and error-correction that Blizzard undertook really makes the game feel more cohesive and enjoyable in all aspects.
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  40. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    I will admit i am a fan of cheesy dialogue. I grew up on 90's action movies so the campaign doesn't bother me, i enjoyed the story. I would give it a nine overall but i refuse to let people who give zero's get away with that. No game deserves a zero. Now for the review. The story is going in the same direction that wings of liberty was, so if you didn't mind the dialogue or story in WingsI 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
  41. Mar 12, 2013
    9
    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
  42. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    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 areI 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
  43. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    I have played Starcraft for 13 years, Im a total fan. In HOTS The Campaign is awesome, it has a lot of cinematics, they have a lot of quality in graphics and plot, the AI in BRUTAL is not very strong but if you make a big mistake you will lost and i believe that the AI is not very strong because Blizzard want that new players and the lazy ones get fun and finish the game (Brood war wasI 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
  44. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    CAMPAIGN IS AMAZING. Way better than Wings of Liberty. Ignore those negative bigots. The game is a blast. They added some more user friendly features, but the campaign, story, and game play is way more dynamic.
  45. Mar 17, 2013
    8
    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
  46. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    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.
  47. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    Awesome expansion to an awesome game. The campaign story while still not great has definetly improved a lot from WoL. And the campaign is self was simply amazing! None of the missions were alike and they were all great. I especially like having Kerrigan as a kind of hero, which really added more depth to the already great gameplay. The changes to the multiplayer though not many have made aAwesome 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
  48. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    The best game ever made just got better the campaign is awsome luvin the new missions and overal look of the game then we have multiplayer this game is just simply the best franchise ever made cant reccommend it enough go out and get it right now.
  49. Mar 16, 2013
    8
    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'tPlaying 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
  50. Apr 1, 2013
    9
    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...
    Again!
  51. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    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 haveFirst 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
  52. Mar 13, 2013
    8
    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 onA 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
  53. Jun 11, 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.
  54. Nov 24, 2013
    8
    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.
  55. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    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
  56. Mar 19, 2013
    10
    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
  57. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    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.
  58. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    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.
  59. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    Heart of the swarm has a story that i loved and gameplay that i loved even more. I did not think i would like the game that much because zerg is my least favourite faction in the game, but the evolution missions, upgrades and abilities were a lot more fun than the upgrade system in wings of liberty. If you loved wings of liberty, you will love heart of the swarm even more!
  60. 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
    First off, I am not a Blizzard fanboy, I hate WoW, and SC2 is the first Blizzard title I had 'gotten into'.

    I didn't think it was possible for Blizzard to polish their starcraft sequel any more. With their refinements to the interface and overall experience, Heart of the Swarm is a breath of fresh air in a staling eSports-orientated title. I had my doubts of the new units, but am warming up to them, and even becoming thankful of their addition.

    The Single Player experience is cinematic, and enjoyable, and revolves heavily around Kerrigan, the central protagonist. This is not a bad thing, thanks to an excellent cast of supporting characters, gameplay elements, interesting missions and appearances from other series characters. Overall it made an impact to see Kerrigan's journey and development following the events of WoL. Blizzard have done an outstanding job of injecting a Zergy storyline with feel and a Human touch, and have given fans of the Swarm another way to identify with the race. My only complaint is that the campaign portion was short and sweet, and relatively too easy on Brutal when compared with WoL. Not that I liked playing Terran much. HotS has left me in anticipation of Legacy of the Void.

    The addition of unranked matchmaking is the best thing for me. This encourages practice and refinement, and most importantly, experimentation without any of the stress associated with competitive laddering.
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  61. 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 asIn 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
  62. 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'sIt'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
  63. 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.
  64. 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 expansionNot 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
  65. 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
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. Jan 8, 2015
    9
    Great game for sure, but more in terms of gameplay than story. I found the SP campaign to be way too easy but I can only blame myself for playing on Normal instead of Hard... MP is obviously quite competitive, but one may still have fun without being a pro. In any case it offers a lot of different strategies so that each match is really unique, and the balance between the 3 races is reallyGreat game for sure, but more in terms of gameplay than story. I found the SP campaign to be way too easy but I can only blame myself for playing on Normal instead of Hard... MP is obviously quite competitive, but one may still have fun without being a pro. In any case it offers a lot of different strategies so that each match is really unique, and the balance between the 3 races is really good, in spite of their fundamental differences. Expand
  69. 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?
  70. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    As usual, don't mind the trolls. The story is cheesy, but the campaign is great, with many diferent kinds of missions. Visuals and sound are excelent for a RTS game, and this time Blizzard enbraced the casual gamer with great tutorials before you jump into multiplayer, wich is the very essence of Starcraft since Broodwar.
    And the game definitely delivers in this aspect, improving Wings of
    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.
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  71. 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!
  72. 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.
  73. 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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  74. 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 StarcraftEstou 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
  75. 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 LibertyThough 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
  76. 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
  77. 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
    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.
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  78. 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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  79. 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 beI 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
  80. 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.
  81. 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 SwarmPeople 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
  82. 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 differentOverall, 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
  83. 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.
  84. 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 andWonderful 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
  85. 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 trulyThe 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
  86. 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 "theStarcraft 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
  87. 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.
  88. 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 aI'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
  89. 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!
  90. 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.
  91. 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
    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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  92. 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.
  93. 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 somebodyThe 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
  94. 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.
  95. 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
    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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  96. 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
    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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  97. 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
  98. 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.
  99. 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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  100. 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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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. PC Master (Greece)
    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. Games Master UK
    May 9, 2013
    85
    Accomplished, if not exactly groundbreaking. [June 2013, p.80]
  3. Hyper Magazine
    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]