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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1097 Ratings

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  1. Mar 13, 2013
    Overall, an excellent package. Blizzard has carefully crafted this expansion portion of Starcraft 2 to feel very different from Wings of Liberty with respect to its single player campaign, and the effort pays off. By having a different interface between missions used to tell the story, as well as mission structures that tend to favor the "zerging" mentality, they create a very different dynamic in how that story unfolds. Some of the dialogue is a bit on lame side (from a writing perspective, voice acting is top notch as usual), but generally this is a story that has weight and gravity, and sets itself up well for the grand finale with Legacy of the Void. I'm terrible at the competitive multiplayer, but it is still excellent fun (balance is different with new units, but still very tight). Great job Blizzard! Expand
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    the story of heart of swarm is very bad, but the cinematics are very good. Heart of the Swarm's gameplay has been focused way too much on e-sports and multiplayer. They oblivion de people who play singlepalyer
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Mar 12, 2013
    we wait more than 10 years for this, f--k very much blizzard, was sc2 a bad space soup opera a bad hollywood story, what happened with the dark intelligent story of sc1.

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

    Did they spent the whole budget in the game except to have a good writer.
  6. 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
  7. Mar 12, 2013
    The overall design of the game is amazing. The sound and music are great, the graphic is dated but very beautiful and full of details with plenty of cut-scenes (much more as in WoL and they are of a much higher quality). The missions are very varied and very fun to play. The game is a little bit easy, even under the highest difficulty (at least for me), but I'm fine with it. If somebody wants a challenge there are mastery missions where you play a extra hard version of the mission with all upgrades unlocked I haven't tested it yet. So, from a design standpoint is game is very, very good. So why I'm giving only 8/10? Because the story is kinda meh and the script is very, very cheesy taking every overused line of dialog there is and every overused cliche. Blizzard (Metzen!) must work on their scripts! But in the end: If you liked WoL or Starcraft/Broodwar then you can buy this and have very much fun. If you like RTS games, you can buy this, too. If you have no idea what Starcraft is pick WoL up (costs not much), play it and take a look if this kind of game is something for you. Expand
  8. 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
  9. Mar 12, 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. Also, it seems there were some slight graphics improvements. Everything seems a lot nicer. Also, some models seemed to have changed. Expand
  10. Mar 24, 2013
    This game just made me miss brood war even more. What the happened to blizzard's writers? Why the are there boss battles? Why do the primal zergs look like naga from warcraft 3? What happened to the factions battling for survival? Now they just fight over who is a bigger jerkface and who kills more and there is some sort of wuv story. The gameplay is still a gimick fest. Who's deathball can kill the opposing deathball first. Who's unit can puke some gimicky ability to pull some nonsensical to exploit an otherwise sensical situation. Why can a flying zerg act like some sort of frog on a massive unit like a colluses. I know its a game but that is just taking it too far. At least be in the realm of believable. WoL was mediocre, but this is just terrible. Points for polished cinematics i guess... Luckily I borrowed a friends account to play so jokes on you blizzard. I enjoyed the fact that I got to enjoy your labor for a minor enjoyment out of your product Expand
  11. Mar 12, 2013
    Here's the trouble. Nevermind the paid reviews flodding metacritic (and there will be more). Nevermind the ad dollar scraps thrown out at the "gaming journalists" to buy their opinions. Nevermind the massive hype that Blizzard/Activision has pushed and will continue to push from Youtube to the Super Bowl. At the end of the day, the play of this game is a rehash of the last chapter, shot through with more plot holes than a shotgun to swiss cheese, and wrapped up with gorgeously empty cinematics. This game is certainly everything that they promised it would be. It's also a complete perversion of everything that they once promised in games. The scenarios play out just like Wings of Liberty, in that they teach you basic mechanics you picked up already in the last game, pushing you to choose certain paths that ultimately have no impact on the ending. The play does not translate over to multiplayer either, same as Wings of Liberty did not. The writing is depressingly cliche, while the voice actors inflect with a sort of "I can't believe we're saying this stuff" vibe. And as of yet, we'll have to see how multiplayer shakes out, but the previews of units and live gameplay show that there will be an awful lot to tweak on the dev's side. All of this for a price that so many other games can beat. You have to ask yourself if this truly is the best that one of the largest gaming corps can do. There will be a moment in HotS and you will see many that get close when the naive twelve-year-old inside you that once thrived on cool and interesting gameplay, dies once again, and the bittersweet aftertaste of nostalgia will never be washed away by all the dew and doritos in the world. I won't spoil it for you, but if you're so interested to see what's become of the "point" of modern gaming, you can look at gameplay videos on Youtube or just check out the other franchises drained of fun by BlizzActi: SC2, WoW, and D3. It will be the last time I buy a product from Blizzard, as I should've done long ago. Expand
  12. 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
  13. Mar 13, 2013
    THE BAD--Heart of the Swarm goes down the dreaded path of "the prophecy" storyline. Attention writers: Prophecies are OVERUSED and are LAME! They are cliche and in this case the prophecy featured in SC2 retcons the original Starcraft and BroodWar, yielding many of the plot elements in both games nonsensical and convoluted. Game is also WAY TOO EASY. In the original Starcraft some of the later levels make you sweat. In this one the AI never cloaks, NEVER, for example. Lastly, the game is designed for casual players, which means everything is watered down and dumbed down.

    THE GOOD-- Cool cinematics. Nice graphics. The beginning of HoS pretty cool, which subsequently leads you on, makes you think that maybe the writers up at Blizzard learned from their mistakes with Wings of Liberty, but then after the 4th level the game falls flat on its face. Game has good multiplayer, but the expansion only adds a few new units that nobody wanted.
  14. Mar 14, 2013
    As a long time fan of StarCraft and Broodwar, I was naively hoping for a better campaign than what WoL was. I figured it could have only been better, but I was wrong. I guess as long as DBrowder is at the helm, you're going to get the most cliched snooze fest imaginable.

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


    The actual gameplay is fine, the UI good, and the missions fun though repetitive at times. I'm reviewing mainly the campaign/single-player here. The multi-player is polished and the visuals are smooth, if you don't care about the campaign at all (and just shelled out $40 for a few new units), then I'd give it a 7/10 or 8/10. Blizzard could've continued StarCraft's legend if they gave two about the lore and could've been the best at that, but I guess they wanted to focus on eSports and follow in the shadow of LoL.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. Mar 12, 2013
    what happened to you blizzard, you can´t say simply we did this game, period. people expect in us to do a good job and they don't forgive us if we act like we dont mean it.

    In a narrative game their soul is THE story not only the programming, if don't is like a beautiful girl with no brain, you can f..r but not marry her, i'm not trying to offend women. Just blizzard must take the path
    again i wish that they had the talent and i hope they have it yet. Expand
  19. Mar 20, 2013
    An uninspiring continuation to the SC saga; the campaign is formulaic and short (any solid RTS player will probably take less than 8 hours to complete), and the plot is without great vision or scope. Probably a requirement for online play since the majority of players will migrate over to HotS, but not worth the price as a single player experience.
  20. Mar 12, 2013
    Though I haven't played through the entire campaign yet, the game sports new units, a fascinating storyline and campaign, epic cinematic sequences that match, if not surpass, the quality of Final Fantasy, and new and interesting ways to evolve your forces. If you enjoyed StarCraft 2 a lot, you won't want to pass it up. Those who, for some strange reason did not like the Wings of Liberty campaign (presumably because you are a boring person), will probably not find Heart of the Swarm all that interesting as, aside from several innovations, is still essentially the same game with different units, cinematic sequences, story, and a handful of other changes. But for the rest of us the swarm hungers. Expand
  21. Mar 12, 2013
    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!
  22. Mar 12, 2013
    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

    Overall espectacular game. Recommended for any type of gamer. It wont dissapoint you
  23. Mar 12, 2013
    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.
  24. Mar 12, 2013
    Bigots work in Blizzard. I don't know how many times thousands of gamers in Russia were had by Blizzard, but Blizzard did it again. You pay money and get nothing. I don't think, that it's the last time they do it with us, so I give this game zero that's my mark for game, that can't be activated because of greedy publishers.

    Blizzard isn't worrying about Russian gamers. Publishers
    always complain about piracy on PC, but they do everything to make honest PC gamers to go and play cracked version of the game. OMG, you are paying 100$ for CE of the game, that doesn't work, and are reading how pirates are playing in cracked version. Or how people in other countries are playing this game. The only problem for me is that I've decided to buy this awful game with zero service and support that doesn't answer. Expand
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. Mar 12, 2013
    As usual, don't mind the trolls. The story is cheesy, but the campaign is great, with many diferent kinds of missions. Visuals and sound are excelent for a RTS game, and this time Blizzard enbraced the casual gamer with great tutorials before you jump into multiplayer, wich is the very essence of Starcraft since Broodwar.
    And the game definitely delivers in this aspect, improving Wings of
    Liberty in all possible way. A must by for fans and a great game overall for the newcomers. Expand
  29. 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.
  30. 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

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]