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7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1326 Ratings

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  1. Mar 14, 2013
    5
    As a long time fan of StarCraft and Broodwar, I was naively hoping for a better campaign than what WoL was. I figured it could have only been better, but I was wrong. I guess as long as DBrowder is at the helm, you're going to get the most cliched snooze fest imaginable.

    Where it fails most is what made StarCraft such a memorable and great game. The story. I cannot begin to explain how
    As a long time fan of StarCraft and Broodwar, I was naively hoping for a better campaign than what WoL was. I figured it could have only been better, but I was wrong. I guess as long as DBrowder is at the helm, you're going to get the most cliched snooze fest imaginable.

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

    /rant

    The actual gameplay is fine, the UI good, and the missions fun though repetitive at times. I'm reviewing mainly the campaign/single-player here. The multi-player is polished and the visuals are smooth, if you don't care about the campaign at all (and just shelled out $40 for a few new units), then I'd give it a 7/10 or 8/10. Blizzard could've continued StarCraft's legend if they gave two about the lore and could've been the best at that, but I guess they wanted to focus on eSports and follow in the shadow of LoL.
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  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Mar 14, 2013
    7
    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 thereI'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
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. Mar 20, 2013
    4
    An uninspiring continuation to the SC saga; the campaign is formulaic and short (any solid RTS player will probably take less than 8 hours to complete), and the plot is without great vision or scope. Probably a requirement for online play since the majority of players will migrate over to HotS, but not worth the price as a single player experience.
  8. 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
  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
    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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  11. Mar 15, 2013
    4
    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 aVery 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. Mar 15, 2013
    4
    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 ZergBlizzard 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
  16. 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
  17. 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!
  18. 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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  19. Mar 12, 2013
    5
    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
  20. Mar 13, 2013
    3
    THE BAD--Heart of the Swarm goes down the dreaded path of "the prophecy" storyline. Attention writers: Prophecies are OVERUSED and are LAME! They are cliche and in this case the prophecy featured in SC2 retcons the original Starcraft and BroodWar, yielding many of the plot elements in both games nonsensical and convoluted. Game is also WAY TOO EASY. In the original Starcraft some of theTHE BAD--Heart of the Swarm goes down the dreaded path of "the prophecy" storyline. Attention writers: Prophecies are OVERUSED and are LAME! They are cliche and in this case the prophecy featured in SC2 retcons the original Starcraft and BroodWar, yielding many of the plot elements in both games nonsensical and convoluted. Game is also WAY TOO EASY. In the original Starcraft some of the later levels make you sweat. In this one the AI never cloaks, NEVER, for example. Lastly, the game is designed for casual players, which means everything is watered down and dumbed down.

    THE GOOD-- Cool cinematics. Nice graphics. The beginning of HoS pretty cool, which subsequently leads you on, makes you think that maybe the writers up at Blizzard learned from their mistakes with Wings of Liberty, but then after the 4th level the game falls flat on its face. Game has good multiplayer, but the expansion only adds a few new units that nobody wanted.
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  21. Mar 12, 2013
    1
    Here's the trouble. Nevermind the paid reviews flodding metacritic (and there will be more). Nevermind the ad dollar scraps thrown out at the "gaming journalists" to buy their opinions. Nevermind the massive hype that Blizzard/Activision has pushed and will continue to push from Youtube to the Super Bowl. At the end of the day, the play of this game is a rehash of the last chapter,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
  22. Mar 24, 2013
    3
    This game just made me miss brood war even more. What the happened to blizzard's writers? Why the are there boss battles? Why do the primal zergs look like naga from warcraft 3? What happened to the factions battling for survival? Now they just fight over who is a bigger jerkface and who kills more and there is some sort of wuv story. The gameplay is still a gimick fest. Who's deathballThis 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
  23. Mar 12, 2013
    4
    the story of heart of swarm is very bad, but the cinematics are very good. Heart of the Swarm's gameplay has been focused way too much on e-sports and multiplayer. They oblivion de people who play singlepalyer
  24. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    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.
  25. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    we wait more than 10 years for this, f--k very much blizzard, was sc2 a bad space soup opera a bad hollywood story, what happened with the dark intelligent story of sc1.

    All the technology and good visual art, can´t hide the junk story is sc2, respect the old fans and new fans with a good story that will last not something who will rise and dissapear fast like coca cola Froth. Greedy
    we wait more than 10 years for this, f--k very much blizzard, was sc2 a bad space soup opera a bad hollywood story, what happened with the dark intelligent story of sc1.

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

    Did they spent the whole budget in the game except to have a good writer.
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  26. Mar 12, 2013
    4
    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 ofFor 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
  27. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    what happened to you blizzard, you can´t say simply we did this game, period. people expect in us to do a good job and they don't forgive us if we act like we dont mean it.

    In a narrative game their soul is THE story not only the programming, if don't is like a beautiful girl with no brain, you can f..r but not marry her, i'm not trying to offend women. Just blizzard must take the path
    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.
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  28. Mar 12, 2013
    0
    Bigots work in Blizzard. I don't know how many times thousands of gamers in Russia were had by Blizzard, but Blizzard did it again. You pay money and get nothing. I don't think, that it's the last time they do it with us, so I give this game zero that's my mark for game, that can't be activated because of greedy publishers.

    Blizzard isn't worrying about Russian gamers. Publishers
    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.
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  29. Sep 8, 2014
    5
    It's World of Warcraft but in space! *yawn* is a good summary of how I feel when I play this game

    Gamplay: Same as Wings of Liberty, nothing notable to point out. Great RTS, it is losing it's shine though, Story: This is where everything sort've downfalls. If you are tired of these "WoW writers" then get ready for the same old hubub when it comes to this game. Nothing original, not
    It's World of Warcraft but in space! *yawn* is a good summary of how I feel when I play this game

    Gamplay: Same as Wings of Liberty, nothing notable to point out. Great RTS, it is losing it's shine though,

    Story: This is where everything sort've downfalls. If you are tired of these "WoW writers" then get ready for the same old hubub when it comes to this game. Nothing original, not even close to following it's roots. Lots of retcon, lots of plot holes, lots of cliche dialog and generic actions scenes.

    After putting the original Star Craft on the back burner for so long, they lost everything that made a game unique. Now it feels like a "WoW" set in space of a story line everywhere you turn. Diablo 3 is another good example of this. WoW just bleeds into everything they do now, churning everything into a gray mush of mediocre game play and story.

    The casual game play is fun, but after 10 hours the game is now up a creek relying on the multiplayer, which has potential, but probably won't be fully engaging till the last expansion comes out. By then, SC2 will be outdated and forgotten because that what happens when you split a game up into 1/3's and make people wait 4 extra years to see the end of a story line.
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  30. Mar 29, 2014
    5
    As much as I love Starcraft, they've turned it into a super cheese fest where the only viable strategy is to go one unit and go one unit hard. Gone are the days of variety and the epically big battles in place of small, 5 minute smashfests. Their attempt to e-sport Starcraft more than it already was really took the heart out of it.
  31. Dec 3, 2014
    6
    Heart of the Swarm is a decent expansion. More story. New units.

    1. Graphics: 7/10 - detailed unit models, good relative to other games on the market
    2. Gameplay: 7/10 - great interface and satisfying micro/macro control
    3. Multiplayer: 8/10 - competitive and fun
    4. Story: 2/10 - more shallow story, not interesting

    Overall, average expansion.
  32. Nov 29, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What an underwhelming piece of **** I got this only becuz its $10 Black Friday sale. The CGI is great but other than that its basically worthless. Blizz could have just easily added the new units as a patch along with the balance changes. You're basically paying for the cut-scenes and the stupid missions which feel like an extended tutorial. The narrative is extremely weak as it basically undoes everything the past games have done with Kerrigan. She basically gets a free pass on genocide just bec Raynor's got a bleeding hard on for her and her memory was wiped. The balance updates serve nothing more than to speed up the game turning it into a contest who can crank out more units faster. no new play mechanics are actually introduced. The firebat, darkswarm etc. are basically reintroduced in this game. Players could just as easily modded these units but since Blizz controls everything **** that. The Title of this game should have been my super galactic Tyrant ex-girlfriend the Revenge. Expand
  33. Mar 22, 2014
    6
    I expected it to be worse than WoL, but not this bad.

    Characters have this horrible division where you feel like half of them are Zerg(Dehaka, Zurvan, Abathur) and the other half behave like humans in a Zerg disguise(Izsha, Zagara). Izsha is particularly painful to listen to as every single line she has just reeks of a human being and not a Zerg. Put together with Abathur, it's really
    I expected it to be worse than WoL, but not this bad.

    Characters have this horrible division where you feel like half of them are Zerg(Dehaka, Zurvan, Abathur) and the other half behave like humans in a Zerg disguise(Izsha, Zagara). Izsha is particularly painful to listen to as every single line she has just reeks of a human being and not a Zerg. Put together with Abathur, it's really glaring and kills the atmosphere entirely. Also why doesn't the Leviathan talk?! It's a Zerg creature, thinking and understanding, not a machine!

    The story is extremely lackluster. If WoL had lots of side missions with their own small reward and one 10-mission main quest(which was ultimately a fetch quest of 6 missions and then just fighting Kerrigan and a few missions devoted to harming Mengsk's reputation), HotS is literally nothing but one main mission: assemble the Horde-I mean the Swarm. It gets very old very fast. Too simple a plot, it's also not really helped by the side missions since very few of them bring any sort of plot advancement. Ultimately, you spend 20 missions assembling the Swarm, then you (spoiler alert, watch out this'll blow your mind you'll never see it coming!) kill Mengsk. Which means that you literally had all this buildup about Hybrids and the world's end in WoL and no follow up at all in HotS where it's just Kerrigan being mad at Mengsk and getting stronger so she can kill him...
    It's not even lackluster, it's just lame in comparison.

    Music is still meh. Still can't recall a single tune, apart from WoL's cutscenes. And even those were not that memorable, despite being well-conceived along with their cutscene. When the cutscenes music appears in HotS, it's nice but unfitting.

    Cutscenes are really great, all of them, but since none of them are ever in a good story, they just aren't that likeable.

    Then you've got the gameplay. Well, just like WoL, very little strategy, tons of spamming keys to get resources and units ASAP. Lots of exciting fun, almost no thinking, and a game that ultimately fails to be interesting, despite being entertaining until a certain point.
    The new units are fine, Zergs get a base defense/base siege unit akin to the Terran Siege Tank. Nothing really different, if you liked WoL you will like this.

    But really ultimately, if you liked the story in WoL and the gameplay was just ok and not particularly satisfying to you, or not at all satisfying if you like real strategy, HotS will feel like a step down in every aspect to you.
    The missions, the way they're chosen, the units and ways to upgrade them, the characters, the plot, the storytelling, the diversity of missions, which was one of the strongest points of WoL and added a lot of value to a game with virtually no strategy, all of that is either the same, or worse. 90% of the diverse missions of WoL are just copypasted here. Characters, mission choices, upgrade missions which appear here instead of credits to get unit upgrades, plot value, they're all clearly one hard step below Wings of Liberty.

    It's still playable just like the last one, and still has value as a game or a story, but it's so pathetically weak an expansion, compared to its predecessor. It also, unsurprisingly, does absolutely nothing to try to help the lack of complexity and lack of strategy of Starcraft as a whole(yes, I'm counting SC1 and BW).
    Just another super-fun-super-fast game with poor strategic elements and a story that will make you yearn to play WoL for the first time again.
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  34. Sep 23, 2014
    6
    This game has gone down a bit in quality since Wings of Liberty.

    Game mechanics have been tweaked slightly. There isn't much of a story in the cut scenes between missions which is quite disappointing. Previous instalments of Starcraft used to have good stories.
  35. Jun 22, 2014
    7
    Campaign and story was a huge disappointment, WoL was much better not even mentioning BW which are is different league.

    Other than that it is still good SC, so multiplayer is superior to anything in the market (RTS wise).
  36. Sep 30, 2015
    6
    --Campaign rating only

    I must say: The story writing is awful. Don't want to spoil anything here, just state that it's really, really awful. And the gameplay isn't much better. The whole game plays like Warcraft 3 with dumbed down tactics. While in Warcraft 3 you actually had to make decisions and also had more options, like a wider variety of upgrades, tactics, importance of
    --Campaign rating only

    I must say: The story writing is awful.

    Don't want to spoil anything here, just state that it's really, really awful. And the gameplay isn't much better. The whole game plays like Warcraft 3 with dumbed down tactics. While in Warcraft 3 you actually had to make decisions and also had more options, like a wider variety of upgrades, tactics, importance of terrain, more decisions around your hero etc. you just have a dumbed down husk of that left for Heart of the Swarm.

    You run around with your group of units, including hero, and kill stuff. That's it. All the time. Everywhere.

    The mission design is annoying: It's so HEAVILY scripted that everything plays all the same every goddamn time. There's no real AI here. Just to a minor degree. Everything else is just scripted like hell. Even if you're not supposed to destory an enemy base they'll tell you to not do so and after you're done destroying the base you're not allowed to win because *hurr durr* you must still play all remaining events as we intended you to !

    Complete all tasks and the game ends the mission for you. You don't get to decide whether you want to continue until all enemies are dead. The game doesn't care what you'd like to do and is fun to you. Ressource management is as catastrophic as ever: Turbo mining with 3 workers per ressource node is still a thing instead of either a wider variety of ressources or a slower, but more enjoyable game, like Starcraft 1 was, with less troop massing and less damage spikes. Base managemant is also quite boring: Protect your base as necessary, else there's no managemant. You construct all tech buildings once for unit access and there's nothing useful you can do with them or any relevance as why you'd want a specific building in a specific spot, unless it's for defense. You can't research anything, except for +damage and +armor in one single building and that's it. Instead you choose some evolution stuff right before the mission starts. This is actually good, but taking away strategy and variety in each and every mission for that is far too annoying and only necessary because everything is scripted like hell - no time for actual gameplay / decisions here ! MUST GO FAST ! FAST IS FUN !

    This game is just out of control. Ressource gathering is either low or explodes, no healthy middle area, units are built in masses and also die in masses, thanks to the ressource flow and damage spikes. In the end you get a hero unit that can just blow up a whole base...
    Just... what were they thinking...
    Strategy game... ffs.

    At that point I'm just gonna pirate the last part of the trilogy, assuming that it just continues on it's path downhill from here. If it's any good or even better or like, real good, THEN I'll buy it.

    If I had anything to say it'd be this:
    1) Fire the idiot writing the story. Any school kid of any school at any age can do equal or better.
    2) Stop the heavy scripting. It's beyond annoying that the game tell's me how I should play in a strategy game or forces me to play a certain way. You're allowed to do that some time, if it adds to the game, is fun or any other good reason. But not all the time non-stop !
    3) The economy needs a redesign ! Mass harvesting as only tactical dimension for an economy is poor design. Past games already delivered good, fun, engaging ideas. Just because Starcraft 1 didn't have them doesn't mean Starcraft 2 would be less fun with them. Instead try those. C&C had ressource depots, base capture, ressource stealing, intel sabotage, tech stealing, power levels and actual harvesters out in the field. Starcraft 2 is shallow compared to just this one game, even if it's just economical options. And there are other examples. Just pick what works and is fun but stop this mass everything concept because it has no depth !
    4) Give tech structures a purpose besides existing. Because that's all the tech buildings are good for in the campaign.
    5) Tell story like you did in Starcraft 1: Let the other characters talk to the player instead of having them act as if the player doesn't exist. That just disconnects.
    6) Actually play your game and see if it's fun. And stop ruining it.

    --Campaign rating only
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  37. Oct 20, 2014
    7
    Well first I think this is the best RTS game we have currently however there are some major problems.
    1. No Lan (It’s pathetic that hackers have made it available but blizzard has not)
    2. Selling each game separately for more $$$ is Bull**** overall I like this game however the story is getting a little out there and not really making alot of sense but again its worth playing if you
    Well first I think this is the best RTS game we have currently however there are some major problems.
    1. No Lan (It’s pathetic that hackers have made it available but blizzard has not)
    2. Selling each game separately for more $$$ is Bull****

    overall I like this game however the story is getting a little out there and not really making alot of sense but again its worth playing if you like Starcraft
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  38. Aug 18, 2014
    5
    Like many games, most reviews for this are useless. They either falsely praise the game due to the reviewer being a idiot and/or paid off, or they sweep the game under the rug as if the game is the worst thing ever. The reality is that this is a very fun, but poorly written and mediocre product.

    Firstly, if you played Wings of Liberty; you pretty much know what you're getting here. I'm
    Like many games, most reviews for this are useless. They either falsely praise the game due to the reviewer being a idiot and/or paid off, or they sweep the game under the rug as if the game is the worst thing ever. The reality is that this is a very fun, but poorly written and mediocre product.

    Firstly, if you played Wings of Liberty; you pretty much know what you're getting here. I'm going to compare this to Wings of Liberty; because I assume you played the last game or you probably wouldn't be playing this one.

    The biggest problem with Heart of the Swarm, which was also the biggest problem of Wings of Liberty; is the story. The story in this game is the worst thing you'll ever have seen since... well... Wings of Liberty. It's full of plot holes and meaningless made up crap for the sake of filler missions. I should mention that they ruin Kerrigan's character beyond belief, but is that surprising after they've shamelessly ruined Jim Raynor already? Someone needs to tell these that Jim and Kerrigan never even had a romance in the past. Blizzard pulled that right out of their ass for the sake of these games. They wanted to force in a needless romance with no idea how to even write it, just like Georgia Lucas with Episode 2. It also reminds me of when they revived Illidan for the Burning Crusade just so he could be a raid boss. I hate how Blizzard completely ruins everything previously established in order to just "do their own thing" in follow up games. If you were once a fan of their games; things like this are downright insulting.

    Here, for instance, Kerrigan goes right back to being Zerg, even though she was suppose to be "cured" in the last game, something that already made no sense.(Not a spoiler either; look at the box cover and read it) It's very clear they didn't write very far ahead. Also, Jim and Kerrigan's romance is almost as pathetic as Bell and Edward's. But did you really expect much, after playing Wings of Liberty? This was a follow up to that; and seeing as how that game's story was up in every possible way and full of plot holes, why shouldn't this one be too? The cutscenes are numerous and have a nice quality to them... but it's just hard to care when the game doesn't make any damn sense nor has any kind of competent story you're going to be invested in. Like Wings of Liberty; as soon as you finish the game, you'll not care about anything that happened in it. I could go on more about how awful the stories are in these games; but I think you get the point.

    Putting aside the awful storytelling; you've now got the actual gameplay... which is more or less the same as it was in the last game. The biggest differences are that the game is played 2-3x faster and Kerrigan is a main hero in most missions. Both of these are bad things. The faster pacing saps out most of the fun. By the time you get a hold of what you're doing in a mission; it's over. There's no time to actually enjoy it, think about what you're doing, or fool around. I hate how Starcraft has basically become an action genre. Why does it have to be so fast? Wings of Liberty was fast, but not "this" fast, and the originals were snails by comparison. But that's not to say that the game is hard. It's quite easy on the first 2 settings; especially since Kerrigan is a 1 woman army that can pillage and plunder forces with little to no help. That's more fun sapped right out of the game, because an RTS isn't suppose to revolve around 1 walking demi god. Warcraft 3, which I loved, had heroes, but they couldn't solo half an army this effectively. Kerrigan is better than a level 10 hero in Warcraft 3; and much so, even right away.

    I should add that the game features pointless upgrade choices and filler missions to unlock more. It's very clear that they had almost no content to work with; so they just filled it up with all this This is what happens when you break 1 game into 3 pieces. But while they managed to fill out Wings of Liberty with a nice campaign; the Zerg got the short stick. The campaign feels disappointingly short due to how fast the missions unfortunately are; and everything not in a mission, is just overly obvious padding or window dressing. You've then got the multiplayer... which didn't do much except add a few new units. They want 60$ for this BTW. So you basically paid 120$ just to play SC2 online. Good for you if you did that, but I didn't.

    In summery it's tough to recommend this. It does have a campaign that can be some fun, but once again is drowned is terrible cutscenes that do nothing but fuel a totally nonsensical story. And since you already got multiplayer with the first game... you're basically paying for that again. I leave this one up for you to decide.
    -Drain (Steam)
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  39. Mar 19, 2013
    6
    I am a huge Starcraft fan and have played the multiplayer part ever since the first Starcraft came out back in 1998. The expectations on the new part in the saga was however not huge from my part. I have played the beta and knew about most of the new units. I had hoped for an adventure equal to WoL and perhaps a bit more advanced when it came to gameplay. However, I was disapointed. TheI am a huge Starcraft fan and have played the multiplayer part ever since the first Starcraft came out back in 1998. The expectations on the new part in the saga was however not huge from my part. I have played the beta and knew about most of the new units. I had hoped for an adventure equal to WoL and perhaps a bit more advanced when it came to gameplay. However, I was disapointed. The game is even more simplified than in WoL and feels like a 4-5 hour long matinee movie a soap opera in space. Could have been alright as an expansion that cost around 15 bucks but not marketed as a full game.

    The score would have been lower if it wasnt for the great multiplayer but that wasn't really new.
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  40. Mar 20, 2013
    6
    I've been trying to enjoy the campaign, but Kerrigan is simply an illogical, pretentious, #$%hole.  Revenge obsession can certainly make one do evil things, but when she turns around and pretentiously dresses down her zerg followers on morality, I can only facepalm so many times.

    The single player is simply E-sport training, once you've learned a new unit at a frantic pace, it's time to
    I've been trying to enjoy the campaign, but Kerrigan is simply an illogical, pretentious, #$%hole.  Revenge obsession can certainly make one do evil things, but when she turns around and pretentiously dresses down her zerg followers on morality, I can only facepalm so many times.

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

    I honesty like the new zerg play-style, but I’d recommended against getting this until a real sale is on.
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  41. Mar 16, 2013
    6
    While the gameplay overall is solid, this expansion never does anything to make itself stand out. The plot I actually found less offensively boring than WoL, but you don't get much variety (terran or protoss levels to break things up with), and so far there's no known secret levels, and not much in the way of interesting easter eggs. The campaign also comes in fairly short on the clock,While the gameplay overall is solid, this expansion never does anything to make itself stand out. The plot I actually found less offensively boring than WoL, but you don't get much variety (terran or protoss levels to break things up with), and so far there's no known secret levels, and not much in the way of interesting easter eggs. The campaign also comes in fairly short on the clock, with most people being able to knock it out over the course of a weekend. Also, if battle.net goes offline while you're playing, you lose any single player achievements you may have gotten for that map during that play session. Blizzard has the talent and money to produce better quality than this. Expand
  42. Mar 18, 2013
    5
    Great on the quality, i loved the artistic content and it was really polished. But at the end the game was over in 3 days, less then 20 hours of game play for me, even on hard difficulty. The game felt short for the time it took to develop it, and considering they did not have to rewrite the engine.

    So great game, too short of a story, overly easy even on Hard difficulty. I even got the
    Great on the quality, i loved the artistic content and it was really polished. But at the end the game was over in 3 days, less then 20 hours of game play for me, even on hard difficulty. The game felt short for the time it took to develop it, and considering they did not have to rewrite the engine.

    So great game, too short of a story, overly easy even on Hard difficulty. I even got the CE that had nothing special in it it was 100 Euro. All in all disappointed by the content quantity in the game as well as in the physical CE box. Feels like they are just milking it.
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  43. Mar 14, 2013
    6
    I'm kinda splitted when it comes to HotS. Gameplay is fine as always. Cinematics are good. But the story carried by those two is rather weak. Even if it has at least two nice little touches, it feels more like a Anime aimed for 16 year old boys and girls instead of a mature story for the fanbase who grew up with Starcraft and Brood War. The scenes itself feel a little disconnected as whenI'm kinda splitted when it comes to HotS. Gameplay is fine as always. Cinematics are good. But the story carried by those two is rather weak. Even if it has at least two nice little touches, it feels more like a Anime aimed for 16 year old boys and girls instead of a mature story for the fanbase who grew up with Starcraft and Brood War. The scenes itself feel a little disconnected as when someone thought "Oh, it would be cool if Kerrigan would do this. And later that" without really caring about why she would do it. The game was no edges. It's all round and comfy. Also it kinda does the Warcraft 3 limbo. Now since Humans and Zerg are more-or-less at peace, we will have some Protoss fun in the next title and i REALLY strongly guess that we have to team up against the evil space-god-zerg-protoss-hybrid-xel'naga whatsoever antagonists and we will leave the universe in the state of fragile peace like we did in wc3. So Blizzard can craft whatever they want out of it. Expand
  44. Mar 17, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I was counting days to this game. Sure why not? Cinematic trailer gave me hopes, all sneak peaks into story and so forth. Bought the game and played trough story. While playing the campaign i nonstop feeling "When this thing will evolve into a story". No zerg feeling, kerrigan hunting for revenge and most missions were fillers. Story did not go in depth about what is happening. Usually in Blizzard games the story itself runs deep and gives feeling you are actually watching a movie. This time? Mission after mission, nothing new and very little progress.

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

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

    Only reason i hit 7 for this expansion is arcade games. Game been out for 5 days and only thing keeps me logging from time to time is play some arcade action. Hat´s off to the hard working map makers out there. Sum up of everything: Overall ok expansion, i was hoping more from Blizzard since they used to have high standards from themselves. I would buy this expansion again only for the story, even if it´s lame. I stop this review by saying good old blizzard phrase "Expansion will fix it!". Protoss campaign im booking rest of my hope on you!
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  45. euu
    Mar 31, 2013
    6
    So, is this it? After almost three years of waiting this is the long-awaited Heart of the Swarm? Wings of Liberty may not have been an exceptional game, but at least for Blizzard was a return to it's roots after 6 years of milking Wow but this Expansion fails to improve the game the same way Broodwar did for the original Starcraft or The Frozen Throne did for Warcraft 3, instead addingSo, is this it? After almost three years of waiting this is the long-awaited Heart of the Swarm? Wings of Liberty may not have been an exceptional game, but at least for Blizzard was a return to it's roots after 6 years of milking Wow but this Expansion fails to improve the game the same way Broodwar did for the original Starcraft or The Frozen Throne did for Warcraft 3, instead adding more of the same. Some of the new units are neat but the Multiplayer feels pretty much the same, rewarding speed over strategy and skill. But if you are like me, more interested in the Campaign than the MP, I wouldn't get too excited for the "epic" story of HotS since it makes the cheesy plot of Wings of Liberty look like it was written by Dostoyevsky. Kerrigan is just not as interesting as she was in Broodwar. There she was a master manipulator as well as a tragic character; here she feels like an spoiled teenage girl who happens to command the Zerg Swarm. Some of the Campaign missions are cool since not all revolve around destroying all enemies on the map, but you won't spend more than 7 hours in the Single Player. Heart of the Swarm may look like a masterpiece compared to Blizzard's last pile of garbage known as Diablo 3 but it is hardly the major improvement of Starcraft II that we've been waiting for. Expand
  46. Apr 2, 2013
    6
    Although I’ll be waiting for the end of the trilogy, I can’t say the game has as much grab as it once did for me. I was able to beat campaign in two days, and then I moved to play on-line. I stomached about three games and moved on. Nothing there to keep the more casual player there, something I hope they'll address in the future.
  47. 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
  48. 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
  49. 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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  50. 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!
  51. 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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  52. 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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  53. 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
  54. Mar 22, 2013
    6
    I bought the game purely for the single player campaign to get to know the continuation of the SC2 story that WoL got me hooked on. And i have to say i am a bit disappointed. The plot is too simple and to be honest feels uninspired and sucked out of a tonn of forced brainstorms of the campaign team. Most new characters are really vague and boring and the old ones aren't as charismatic asI bought the game purely for the single player campaign to get to know the continuation of the SC2 story that WoL got me hooked on. And i have to say i am a bit disappointed. The plot is too simple and to be honest feels uninspired and sucked out of a tonn of forced brainstorms of the campaign team. Most new characters are really vague and boring and the old ones aren't as charismatic as they were in WoL. The only new character i love is Abathur the Evolutions expert he is really charismatic and funny in his own way. Just for Abathur i give the campaign an average score rather than a fail. I understand that it is much harder to make a campaign for an Alien race than for humans and the team had to be really creative to make it interesting but they kinda failed to do tho. It is a solid experience but u don't get that warm feeling like u are watching a really good movie that hooks u from the first missions as the WoL campaign did. Expand
  55. 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.
  56. 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
  57. 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$
  58. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    The story is great and the characters are integrated well into it, and although I am not a lore junkie I thoroughly enjoyed delving into the Zerg history. Graphically there are only minor tweaks and even though the graphics are not cutting edge, It is the atmosphere that is achieved with them that make this game look so good and gives it a lasting visual appeal. There are some great,The story is great and the characters are integrated well into it, and although I am not a lore junkie I thoroughly enjoyed delving into the Zerg history. Graphically there are only minor tweaks and even though the graphics are not cutting edge, It is the atmosphere that is achieved with them that make this game look so good and gives it a lasting visual appeal. There are some great, intuitive additions to the UI which adds to the amazing game play in both single and multiplayer. Overall, 'Heart of the Swarm' is the near perfect compliment to "Wings of Liberty'. Expand
  59. 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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  60. Mar 17, 2013
    9
    Three more minutes then we can give you the game you been waiting for this is what i hear at about eleven fifty seven at night on the eleventh. I bought the collectors edition came with some pretty awsome stuff once i started to play Heart of the sworm i did not want to stop until it was beat and even after beating the game i found my self stating over to get the achievements i had missedThree more minutes then we can give you the game you been waiting for this is what i hear at about eleven fifty seven at night on the eleventh. I bought the collectors edition came with some pretty awsome stuff once i started to play Heart of the sworm i did not want to stop until it was beat and even after beating the game i found my self stating over to get the achievements i had missed any person who has fallowed the star craft series will love hearing more of the story told and if your any thing like me cant wait for the next installment of Star Craft2. Expand
  61. 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.
  62. 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
  63. 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.
  64. 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
  65. Mar 18, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Almost three long years have passed since the groundbreaking debut of the second installment(well, I guess you could call it the third one) of the great Starcraft saga. Although, for those, who actually played Wings of Liberty(later WoL) this wait might not have been so long after all(considering the amount of gaming everyone was doing). I am of course talking about the wait for the Heart of The Swarm(later HoTS) sequel a game which brings us one step closer to the epic conclusion which will be Legacy of The Void. A game we all anticipated and deserved. Or is it? To answer this question I feel I must divide this review into two parts. And I am reluctant to say that the single player part of the game was quite disappointing.

    For those of you, who aren't familiar with the setting, the game is about a human soldier Sarah Kerrigan, who was left behind on a Zerg(an alien race) infested planet by her commander and afterwards artificially evolved into a monster. She would later become the sole leader of the Zerg and get saved by her friend Jim Raynor. Jim is deeply in love with her so he doesn't let his fellow humans kill her. The events in HoTS are what follows afterwards(WARNING: A LOT OF SPOILERS!). Firstly, the plot was not worthy of WoL, which means it couldn't even hold a candle to the first Starcraft or the Brood War expansion. It was cheesy at times, the ending was completely predictable and it wasn't at all thrilling. For example, for those, who remember the first Starcraft game, Tassadar had to make difficult choices like whether to trust Zerathul, who was an outcast of his people at that time, or to ignore him and risk a Zerg invasion of the entire galaxy. Or how Sarah Kerrigan was betrayed by Arcturus Mengsk and turned into a zerg monster afterwards, how Jim Raynor was so passionate about her and how it broke his heart and changed his life. HoTS was very lacking of such thrilling twists that actually keep you interested in what's going to happen later on.

    Furthermore, the missions weren't challenging at all. The difficulty level 'Hard' should probably be renamed to 'Very Easy' in an upcoming patch just to make it more accurate. Even the Brutal difficulty didn't prove to be much of a challenge. And the hunt for the achievements is also much easier than in WoL and probably takes twice less the time. Which is very bad, to be quite frank. Simply because a lot of players buy the game just for single player campaign alone and they want to prolong their gaming experience as much as possible.

    But then, I actually couldn't say that the campaign was a complete waste of time. It had some good moments as well. Even though the story wasn't very good, the missions were quite fun and very versatile. Also, the cinematics were very cool and they probably were the thing I was looking forward to the most after every mission. And Kerrigan was really bad-ass. She had a lot of personality, she was witty, passionate, relentless and determined to have her way. The voice over was perfect and I'm actually really sad that she won't be playing such a huge role in the upcoming expansion. But I really think that she and Jim deserved a better ending considering that throughout the whole game she was driven by the feelings she had towards him. And of course we also have the multiplayer part of the game, which delivers a very unique and practically endless gaming experience. Even though to some it may seem that the online play in HoTS isn't really that different from WoL considering that there are only a few new units. But don't be alarmed they are dead wrong. It's these few seemingly small changes are they key aspect that actually changes almost everything the builds, the compositions, the styles and strengths of every race and basically the whole mechanic of the game. Of course your knowledge of WoL mechanics is still valuable and gives you the edge over less experienced players, but to be an accomplished player you'll have to learn new builds, that require a lot more multitasking than the ones in WoL which makes the game even more challenging and further prolongs the gaming experience.

    In conclusion, Heart of The Swarm didn't disappoint. Even the single player oriented gamers should try this game(I guess you could get a lot of time out of the arcade mode plus the versus A.I. feature has been completely revamped and is a lot more challenging than it used to be), especially if you liked Wings of Liberty. Normally I would give the campaign part of of the game a 6/10 and a solid 10/10 for the multiplayer and write an average of 8/10, but considering that the game is largely based on the multiplayer feature I just can't let my self give it less than a 9/10. It is an excellent game good work Blizzard!
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  66. 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
  67. Mar 15, 2013
    3
    A truly disapointing expension pack at a huge price. The new campaing is way too short and quickly over and generally feels uninspired. If you wan't to play custom games there is not much new stuff being added.

    I wouldn't have complained if it was priced somewhere around half of what it is not and even that is fairly high for what you get. With the price they actually charge this is a
    A truly disapointing expension pack at a huge price. The new campaing is way too short and quickly over and generally feels uninspired. If you wan't to play custom games there is not much new stuff being added.

    I wouldn't have complained if it was priced somewhere around half of what it is not and even that is fairly high for what you get. With the price they actually charge this is a rip-off. Definitely not worth it.
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  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    Overall, the game is superb. It's meant to be experienced online as a balanced and competitive multiplayer RTS, and this is the one thing that SCII: HotS does better than any other game in the genre. Period. The UI is great, and with the new additions of unranked play and the new leveling system, the game is more friendly to newcomers than ever before. Plus, it comes in a nice, polishedOverall, the game is superb. It's meant to be experienced online as a balanced and competitive multiplayer RTS, and this is the one thing that SCII: HotS does better than any other game in the genre. Period. The UI is great, and with the new additions of unranked play and the new leveling system, the game is more friendly to newcomers than ever before. Plus, it comes in a nice, polished package that is easy on your hardware even if you are playing on an outdated rig. And perhaps best of all, you won't have to worry about any crippling connection issues with Blizzard's Battle.net service (a la Diablo III and SimCity), and you can play to your heart's content as soon as you install the game. This is best RTS experience on the market and deserves a 10. However, if you're playing this game only for the single player component, knock the score down to a 8.5. The campaign is extremely entertaining, although it is a bit short, and is also the easiest campaign in a blizzard RTS to date. Some of the mutations available to Kerrigan's swarm as well as some of her own abilities are so powerful that you can basically sleepwalk through many of the missions even on the harder difficulty settings. Despite that, it's still a blast to play. There are several boss-type fights, which are extremely fun, and evolving your swarm in between missions is an enjoyable experience and allows you to customize the swarm to fit your play style. The story is a C+ effort at best typical of Blizzard's efforts as of late. Don't expect the same type of gripping narrative as Brood War, or you will be disappointed. Still, this is a more than worthy expansion to a great game, and deserves all the praise it gets. It's not perfect, and I'd give it a 9.5 if I could, but this is the game that sets the standard for the genre, and HotS definitely raises the bar. Expand
  72. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    First game I've reviewed on Metacritic. I created a Metacritic account to review this game.
    That's how serious I am.
    I'm a fairly critical person in general. I'll admit that I'm the first one to pounce on the negative aspects of a book or movie or game. But StarCraft II is taboo. You can't do that. You can't be negative about this game and still consider yourself a good person.
    First game I've reviewed on Metacritic. I created a Metacritic account to review this game.
    That's how serious I am.
    I'm a fairly critical person in general. I'll admit that I'm the first one to pounce on the negative aspects of a book or movie or game.
    But StarCraft II is taboo.

    You can't do that. You can't be negative about this game and still consider yourself a good person.

    Everything in this game is perfect.
    If you're trying to decide whether or not to buy this game because you're worried the story will be a let down, well, listen. If you've ever watched Firefly or Doctor Who, the same cheesy cliche-esque stuff is in the StarCraft II campaign. The story may be corny, but in that lies the charm.

    I bought this for the multiplayer, having won more than five thousand matches in Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm's predecessor. The campaign (~7 hours in) is fantastic. It's beautiful (graphically), it's got deep characters with questionable motivations and backgrounds, and it's got an interesting story with really fun gameplay. I expected a lot from the campaign, considering Wings of Liberty had a campaign touted as the best in the history of RTS gaming, and you know what? The campaign in Heart of the Swarm TOPPED that. Yeah, it EXCEEDED my expectations, and again: I'm not the most positive of people.

    So when I see 0's and anything less than an 8 on Metacritic, I know that the person who rated the game as such is either a troll, or has no taste in games.

    To sum it up,
    If you're looking for an RTS that's got a casual vibe to the single player with multiple difficulty settings and a fun and interesting, immersive experience, buy this game.
    If you're looking for something competitive to sink hours into fighting battles against others online, buy this game.
    If you're looking for a game to play with your friends online cooperatively in a very wide range of custom games (I'm talking about tower defense maps, tug-of-war maps, hero maps like DotA, etc), buy this game.

    If you want to rail on Blizzard for greedy DRM or whatever other adjectives and nouns you can crunch together haphazardly, go ahead. But nobody cares because as long as Blizzard keeps on shaping these gems, we real gamers will keep on buying them.
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  73. Mar 14, 2013
    10
    A great expansion set that makes the original Starcraft 2 much polished. The campaign is fun and detailed. The cutscenes are movie like, exceeding WOL and most games in this regard. Playing the HOTS multiplayer for the first time surprised me a lot: the whole gameplay got much smoother, the graphics got sharper. The tweaks and new units shows that Blizzard listened to the community (ofA great expansion set that makes the original Starcraft 2 much polished. The campaign is fun and detailed. The cutscenes are movie like, exceeding WOL and most games in this regard. Playing the HOTS multiplayer for the first time surprised me a lot: the whole gameplay got much smoother, the graphics got sharper. The tweaks and new units shows that Blizzard listened to the community (of course some minor balance changes will still be required). The new physics engine makes battles more spectacular both in multi- and in singleplayer mode. All in all, this game is the Blizzard quality I hoped I could once again experience (Diablo 3 was a disappointment for me). Expand
  74. 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
  75. 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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  76. 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
  77. 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
  78. 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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  79. 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!
  80. 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
  81. 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
  82. 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
  83. 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
  84. Mar 13, 2013
    6
    First lets begin with the story. The story is fairly engaging with great characters, good rising and falling action, decent dialog(some of the dialog from the other Zerg creatures could have been better). However there are parts in the story that where it seemed like the writers wanted to make the player sympathize for the Zerg. How can you ever sympathize with a giant alien killingFirst lets begin with the story. The story is fairly engaging with great characters, good rising and falling action, decent dialog(some of the dialog from the other Zerg creatures could have been better). However there are parts in the story that where it seemed like the writers wanted to make the player sympathize for the Zerg. How can you ever sympathize with a giant alien killing machine? Also the societies they've created on Zerg's origin planet make very little sense. The Proto-Zerg creatures are feral beasts why would they even have societies and packs when their lifestyle seems to be a highlanderesque dog eat dog. Gameplay wise there really isn't much to it. Its the same old build a base and a bunch of creatures and attack the missions are incredibly easy with a few unique gems in there. The new leveling system is interesting but falls short as it seems like a substitute for the research portion of WoL only minus the quirky scientist guy. Overall I feel like Starcraft 2 hasn't really done anything to redefine the RTS genre but because the game flows smoothly with a pretty good story and atmosphere I'll give it a 6. If you're a Starcraft fan its worth it for the story but beyond that the game doesn't really have much to add. Expand
  85. Mar 14, 2013
    9
    Nice balance even in campaign, who cry about an easy game should pick brutal there comes t2/t3 units that active use their spells. Well done-cinematrcs looks fantastic the story but is a bit dull
  86. Mar 15, 2013
    10
    A really good expansion! The campaign is awesome with nearly every mission being different from previous. The side characters you meet are all likeable and in some cases absolutely bad ass.
    The story is what it is, hardly a masterpiece, but it's entertaining, and it brings you to a lot of very interesting and neat looking places.
    The multiplayer aspect of it is enhanced with the new
    A really good expansion! The campaign is awesome with nearly every mission being different from previous. The side characters you meet are all likeable and in some cases absolutely bad ass.
    The story is what it is, hardly a masterpiece, but it's entertaining, and it brings you to a lot of very interesting and neat looking places.

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

    In short, awesome expansion. If you like RTS games then this is a must buy.
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  87. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    I was skeptical to say the least, £25 for an expansion that requires the previous game a separate multiplayer experience... I felt like Blizzard was segregating the community and that the community would form a coup against them. However great cinematics, familiar gameplay, and a coherent Blizzard storyline: I was going to give the single player a shot and enjoy the multiplayerI was skeptical to say the least, £25 for an expansion that requires the previous game a separate multiplayer experience... I felt like Blizzard was segregating the community and that the community would form a coup against them. However great cinematics, familiar gameplay, and a coherent Blizzard storyline: I was going to give the single player a shot and enjoy the multiplayer regardless, despite feeling like £25 was too expensive.

    The point of this expansion, like many others is to fix the shortcomings of the previous title, and continue the storyline while possibly expanding on the gameplay. Blizzard succeeded. Take the critics reviews with a pinch of salt the singleplayer game experience draws a lot on the successes of other genres. There are many mechanics within the story that you don't often see in a RTS that alter the pace of the game and turn what is ordinarily a trivial singleplayer vs bots into an engaging and dynamic-flowing-epic tale of a fallen, and yet rising hero. Continuing where WoL left off you are in control of Kerrigan, or as you may know her "Queen of Blades". Your control of her is one of the important advancements in the core gameplay. Kerrigan has abilities and levels up (persistently through the game) by completing objectives within missions. These abilities can be changed before beginning allowing you to change your tactics entirely. It also fits symbiotically with the story of the zerg, their constant need and desire for evolution. On the subject of Zerg you also control their evolutionary path through side missions, while communicating with "Abathur". the hive minds evolution expert who searches for new essences to incorporate into the swarm.

    There are missions that involve traditional RTS elements, with base building, expansion and race-against-the-clock battles with an overpowering enemy; and there are missions that involve controlling only a few units with specific abilities, and fighting against tough and epic bosses and armies with devastating effect. These are tuned well they are not too easy but are satisfyingly challenging, the game alters it's pace constantly and frankly it is the best single player experience I have encountered in a long time I rarely give single player a second thought on any game but I found this surprisingly to be a gem. Well worth the money and better than the previous single player tenfold. Alongside this the multiplayer is expanded greatly also new portraits, new achievements, new leveling up system new mechanics, league changes, interface changes lots of new multiplayer maps and a long awaited non-ranked matchmaking system. Obviously the multiplayer changes are something that is impossible to review without many hours being spent to consider the balancing and relative powers of the individual races. I believe Blizzard achieved what they advertised, and the expansion is 100% worth getting if you have the previous title.
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  88. Mar 16, 2013
    10
    it'is MOST BEST EXPANSION! I LIKE IT! I LOVE ALL Blizzard Games. We must play this games. campaign, MultIplay, Arcade..and more...cinematic is likely movies. for now..we wait to Final Part, The second expansion Legacy of Void..
  89. Mar 17, 2013
    10
    LOL I can't believe the low scores on here. I expected to see 98% average, that's how good this game was for me playing the Singleplayer first, then I've spent a few hours on Multiplayer. It took me a whole weekend to finish the Singleplayer on hard. I started it on brutal, but about 10 missions in it gets almost impossible. There's so many achievements still to do as well (I'm onlyLOL I can't believe the low scores on here. I expected to see 98% average, that's how good this game was for me playing the Singleplayer first, then I've spent a few hours on Multiplayer. It took me a whole weekend to finish the Singleplayer on hard. I started it on brutal, but about 10 missions in it gets almost impossible. There's so many achievements still to do as well (I'm only about 35%). Very challenging singleplayer game. Very fun. Great story. Has a lot of cool moments and great sense of accomplishment and a feeling of "kicking ass". I will admit that some of the intro's are annoying and I skip those. The missions where u get your unit upgrades could have been better. I liked being able to see the ability and how it works, but they should have made a few more of those levels with a micro challenge like on bnet to make it more fun.

    Also, you only get to play Zerg except for a brief Terran usage. They should have made it like SC1 and Broodwar expansions using 3 races. They could have done it by reducing the cutscenes and character discussions which are useless except in game. It reminded me of Diablo, upgrading Kerrigan with different skills and XP. It was pretty cool, but I think again, they should have just cut all that extra useless stuff out and focused on just giving you core Kerrigan abilities.

    Great to see some new ideas in this game and it definitely was fun playing the singleplayer.
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  90. Mar 31, 2013
    10
    I don't like giving out 10's, especially to Blizzard, but this one earned it. I sat here for a good 5 mins trying to think of something I did not like about the game. But honestly, as far as RTS's go this is a great one.

    Story gets a 11/10 The story is not original, but its hard to be truly original these days with the shear amount of product out there. The plot is a great continuation
    I don't like giving out 10's, especially to Blizzard, but this one earned it. I sat here for a good 5 mins trying to think of something I did not like about the game. But honestly, as far as RTS's go this is a great one.

    Story gets a 11/10 The story is not original, but its hard to be truly original these days with the shear amount of product out there. The plot is a great continuation on the first 4 games, it has sacrifice, pain, hope, and tragedy. What starts out as a great re-unification of our favorite lovers, separated by a war, quickly turns into tragedy, eventually (without spoiling any story) the prospect of great hope comes at the end, though permanent, irreversible sacrifices may have been made. Truly made me feel for the characters in this world and their struggle. I am looking forward to the final act!

    Play Control and Interface, 10/10 Its hard to screw the pooch on this one, never the less some developers can fail with immeasurable grace and precision. Blizzard has enough experience with this that if they ever got a 9 or an 8, it would be a complete fail. Keyboard controls and character controls are centered around the left side of the keyboard, and Kerrigan's controls are always q,w,e, no matter what skills are mapped to the character. Mechanics and Replay-ability 10/10 Like in the previous campaign game you get upgrades to your units and buildings, this is done a little differently in HotS however. Short concise missions are used to demonstrate new abilities. Additionally, and unlike the in the original Star Craft II campaign, you earn ALL upgrades, which can not all be used at once but can be swapped and changed during the interm between missions. Achievements are plentiful, and again, the hard and brutal difficulty setting have their own.

    If I had one complaint about this game it would be that most missions are timed in some way, either to finish or to collect optional goals, so most of the game is go go go. While there are a few missions that will let you just build and play the game at your own pace, they are indeed in the minority.

    Amph
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  91. Mar 29, 2013
    10
    While nowhere near as amazing as the first StarCraft, the missions and story are still some of the best PC gaming has to offer. MUCH better the the disappointment that the first campaign, Wings of Liberty had to offer.
  92. Apr 11, 2013
    10
    One of the funnest games I have played in years. Blizzard did an excellent job with the story, game play and graphics. The game is just smooth to play.
  93. 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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  94. 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.
  95. Apr 2, 2013
    6
    The game is very polished as is usual of Blizzard games and the game mechanics and units are fun to control. The upgrade system for kerrigan and the units is kind of pointless though as you never really get to use your upgrades in a meaningful way. There are very few additions to the multiplayer side of the game so you can't really give credit there. What really drags this expansion downThe game is very polished as is usual of Blizzard games and the game mechanics and units are fun to control. The upgrade system for kerrigan and the units is kind of pointless though as you never really get to use your upgrades in a meaningful way. There are very few additions to the multiplayer side of the game so you can't really give credit there. What really drags this expansion down is the storytelling of the very short singleplayer campaign. It really makes you feel stupid to be playing the game given how cringe worthy it is. I thought the story in Wings of Liberty was borderline ok but Heart of the Swarm sinks a few levels lower to the point of being completely worthless. If you mostly just play Starcraft for the singleplayer like me then you will find that this expansion is not worth full price. Gamespot said it really well in that the original Starcraft looks like Shakespeare compared to SC2. Expand
  96. Mar 25, 2013
    6
    Overall this expansion pack feels like a rip off in the worse way, then why a 6 not a 1 or a 3 because the campaign was ok not as bad or as good as other people make it to be. The multiplayer improvements are great thats the only reason why you probably got starcraft 2, if not then why did you get starcraft, get company of heroes which has a great singleplayer and a ok multiplayer
  97. 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!
  98. 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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  99. Apr 9, 2013
    9
    Great! Very well changed from the original, allowing hours upon hours of online gameplay, in which you can expand your skill and go against players with equal level.
  100. Apr 22, 2013
    10
    One word AWESOME! the story is very good as the continuation of Wings of liberty. AI brutal campaign is way too hard but the campains end fast Kerrigans upgrades are hell good same as the evolution of the zerg broods. The love story of Raynor and Kerrigan makes the whole story of the game. If your dissapointed as a fan sorry. but in WOL even in starcraft 1 you know there will be someOne word AWESOME! the story is very good as the continuation of Wings of liberty. AI brutal campaign is way too hard but the campains end fast Kerrigans upgrades are hell good same as the evolution of the zerg broods. The love story of Raynor and Kerrigan makes the whole story of the game. If your dissapointed as a fan sorry. but in WOL even in starcraft 1 you know there will be some lovely thingy as the story progress. The prophecies and the history of the zerg makes it understandable. Expand
  101. Sep 13, 2015
    0
    Campaign: WoL campaign was bad, but I think it was still overall a worth while experience. Hots campaign is awful, its a waste of time if you are older than 12. The dialog is painful and simple. There is no character, emotion, or purpose. Things simply happen and then you have to kill everything. Yay! The missions become very repetitive, especially the evolve missions. I know theyCampaign: WoL campaign was bad, but I think it was still overall a worth while experience. Hots campaign is awful, its a waste of time if you are older than 12. The dialog is painful and simple. There is no character, emotion, or purpose. Things simply happen and then you have to kill everything. Yay! The missions become very repetitive, especially the evolve missions. I know they are built to be simple but its really boring. Other missions are simple, revolve around one idea and are easily accomplished. There are no twists or turns in a mission that will make you think of any sort of strategy. Blizzard has introduced even more of their **** wow ideals as well. Everything has levels and all sort of **** maybe in an attempt to distract you from the poor quality of everything else.

    Multiplayer: I played a lot of WOL and really got sucked into the scene. I left after I realized that many of the players were smarter than blizzard and were aware that bliz was running a multi million dollar gaming industry into the ground. Simply from a business perspective they failed. 60$ for a game and 40$ for the expansion, is it any wonder why LOL and Dota took off? That compounded by the team nature of the games, even counter strike became successful with a 20$ fee which is really 5$ if you wait for a steam sale.

    Anyway blizzard really needed to do something amazing here if they wanted to survive, release the game for 20$ total and free multiplayer if you already have WOL. Then they would need to create a game mode that works with 4v4 or more players. Instead of barely putting effort into those maps, team games should have become much more of a focus.

    NOPE none of that. Lets add a few more units that don't contribute to the game in any meaningful way, then lets charge 40$ for it on top of the 60$ original. GREAT WAY TO EXPAND YOUR PLAYER BASE 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. 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]