User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1185 Ratings

User score distribution:

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  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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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  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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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  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. Jul 15, 2013
    9
    An expansion done the way it should be done. A new layer of polish over and already extremely polished game, a fair number of new units and a plethora of interesting strategic options make HotS more than worth buying.

    Within the Starcraft community it is very helpful to distinguish two types of players to make some sense of the wildly differing ratings that are given out. For one, there
    An expansion done the way it should be done. A new layer of polish over and already extremely polished game, a fair number of new units and a plethora of interesting strategic options make HotS more than worth buying.

    Within the Starcraft community it is very helpful to distinguish two types of players to make some sense of the wildly differing ratings that are given out. For one, there is the 'skill-oriented' player, who plays Starcraft online a lot, and completes the campaign in one go. Then there is the story-oriented player, who loves the Starcraft universe and its developing storyline and hardly plays competitively online.

    The skill-oriented players of Starcraft 2 will rate this expansion like I did simply because a new layer of depth and options is added to arguably the most balanced and challenging RTS. These players have the knowledge also, to appreciate the efforts Blizzard has put into created a renewed, rebalanced game and how well they generally succeeded at this.

    The story-oriented players of Starcraft 2 will probably rate the expansion considerably lower because of a campaign that is only mildly interesting and most of the other changes and additions show their true strength in competitive play, online.
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  13. Sep 22, 2013
    9
    A pretty good expansion, the story is a bit too cheesy but not bad.
    Controlling Kerrigan is amazing though and you really feel like the queen of the zerg!
    The new multiplayer really doesnt add to much but its still pretty good.
    A worthy expansion to the best RTS ever made!
  14. 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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  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Apr 1, 2013
    10
    The campaign features are unqiue, multiplayer has great changes (Especially to mechanics and replay watching) and the graphics are awesome.
    Hands down one of the best expansions I've ever played.
  18. Apr 1, 2013
    10
    Everyone is a hater on Blizzard now. I thought WoL was cheesy, I thought Diablo 3 was commercialized, I think Heart of the Swarm is a great game.

    I'm a long time SC player and it is ridiculous that this game gets anything less than a 7. Production values are through the roof, cut-scenes are amazing, game play is fun and addictive like always. SC is one of my game staples along with the
    Everyone is a hater on Blizzard now. I thought WoL was cheesy, I thought Diablo 3 was commercialized, I think Heart of the Swarm is a great game.

    I'm a long time SC player and it is ridiculous that this game gets anything less than a 7. Production values are through the roof, cut-scenes are amazing, game play is fun and addictive like always. SC is one of my game staples along with the MGS series and even though I was slightly disappointed by WoL, this game pumped me up for the third one. The story could be considered a little over-used and trite but overall awesome time. Great job Blizzard!
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  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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$
  22. Mar 16, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Blizzard has done a great job with Kerrigan here, it was a pleasure to get to know this new iteration of the queen of blades with a good story to wrap it up. A tone of delicate details in missions and cut-scenes, interesting conversation inside the Leviathan and abather. Bitter-sweet ending capped it though it was a little depressing.

    like the multi-player (so far, dont nerf terran into the ground like you did in wings please!) and the UI changes as well. Good things lie ahead for the SC2 franchise if they keep the quality up like this for Lov.
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  23. Mar 21, 2013
    10
    The multiplayer is outstanding. They finally moved the game into a more fast paced, more enjoyable direction. It reminds me of Brood War and that brings a tear to my eye.

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

    A must buy for any RTS lover! A must by for people who enjoy social gaming!
  24. Mar 26, 2013
    9
    I liked it alot, i got sick of the stupid ass love story garbage in the campaign, and my race, zerg, got with the new units, but thats what starcraft is about, adapting, now im a protoss player till they fix the zerg and give us SOMETHING viable, other than hydras.
    -1 "love conquers all" garbage.
  25. 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
  26. 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.
  27. Mar 13, 2013
    9
    The game was very good I felt in the end. I haven't delved to far into with the MP aspect as the game had just come out and the already strong MP experience just had some unit additions. The store was pretty rich and engaging I look at it like Darth Vader going back to the light side in ROTJ and then having to remain Darth Vader to save the universe this of course being compared toThe game was very good I felt in the end. I haven't delved to far into with the MP aspect as the game had just come out and the already strong MP experience just had some unit additions. The store was pretty rich and engaging I look at it like Darth Vader going back to the light side in ROTJ and then having to remain Darth Vader to save the universe this of course being compared to Kerrigan. The level design was great and there were some pretty awesome missions. There were a few missions that had a very cool platform feel to that with was neat. With games like D3 being a let down you won't be disappointed with this installment some may hate the game but RTS's have never been something everyone has enjoyed and Starcraft 2 is the cream of the crop right now. Expand
  28. 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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  29. 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!
  30. Apr 1, 2013
    9
    I must say that I personally believe that Blizzard could have easily sold Heart of the Swarm for more than the going price, which is $40. Although I have yet to complete the campaign, I'm enjoying the continuation of the story, as well as everything that goes on in between missions. They have added quite a bit of content aside from the campaign and multiplayer. At this point, my onlyI must say that I personally believe that Blizzard could have easily sold Heart of the Swarm for more than the going price, which is $40. Although I have yet to complete the campaign, I'm enjoying the continuation of the story, as well as everything that goes on in between missions. They have added quite a bit of content aside from the campaign and multiplayer. At this point, my only complaint would have to be that they ended up leaving out some of the units/ abilities from the multiplayer that I originally thought would be in there.

    Other than that, I highly recommend this game to any fan of Starcraft: Wings of Liberty.
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  31. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    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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Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 68 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 68
  2. Negative: 1 out of 68
  1. Jun 10, 2013
    90
    The tutorials and the A.I have been improved, giving newcomers the chance to calmly try new tactics… before playing against experienced players that will go straight to their jugular. [April 2013]
  2. May 9, 2013
    85
    Accomplished, if not exactly groundbreaking. [June 2013, p.80]
  3. May 9, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm is ScarCraft made better. Welcoming to newcomers, but never dumbed-down, the franchise at its best. [June 2013, p.66]