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Generally favorable reviews - based on 68 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1144 Ratings

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  • Summary: StarCraft II continues the epic saga of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg. These three distinct and powerful races clash once again in the fast-paced real-time strategy sequel to the legendary original, StarCraft. Legions of veteran, upgraded, and brand-new unit types do battle across theStarCraft II continues the epic saga of the Protoss, Terran, and Zerg. These three distinct and powerful races clash once again in the fast-paced real-time strategy sequel to the legendary original, StarCraft. Legions of veteran, upgraded, and brand-new unit types do battle across the galaxy, as each faction struggles for survival. Featuring a unique single-player campaign that picks up where StarCraft: Brood War left off, StarCraft II presents a cast of new heroes and familiar faces in an edgy sci-fi story filled with adventure and intrigue. In addition, Blizzard again offers unparalleled online play through Battle.net, the company's world-renowned gaming service, with several enhancements and new features to make StarCraft II the ultimate competitive real-time strategy game. Features fast-paced, hard-hitting, tightly balanced competitive real-time strategy gameplay that recaptures and improves on the magic of the original game. New units and gameplay mechanics further distinguish each race. Vibrant new 3D-graphics engine with support for dazzling visual effects and massive unit and army sizes. Full map-making and scripting tools to give players incredible freedom in customizing and personalizing their gameplay experience. [Blizzard] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 68
  2. Negative: 1 out of 68
  1. Mar 17, 2013
    100
    For those of us who still deeply love this specific style of real-time strategy and want more of it, this is a must-have add-on.
  2. Mar 22, 2013
    90
    Its accessibility over previous entries may be its biggest strength as for those who’ve always been curious about StarCraft multiplayer but may have felt too intimidated to give it a try will find that learning has never been easier, and is still a hell of a lot of fun, even if you’re not in it to climb ladders and make a name for yourself.
  3. May 9, 2013
    90
    Heart of the Swarm is ScarCraft made better. Welcoming to newcomers, but never dumbed-down, the franchise at its best. [June 2013, p.66]
  4. Mar 18, 2013
    88
    Accompanied by the incomparable multiplayer, Heart of the Swarm is a worthy middle act to tide us over until the protoss warp in for the impending conclusion.
  5. May 9, 2013
    85
    Accomplished, if not exactly groundbreaking. [June 2013, p.80]
  6. Mar 14, 2013
    84
    The campaign is solid, but I can’t help but feel it could have been a bit more robust. The improved multiplayer more than makes up for this fact though.
  7. Mar 14, 2013
    40
    The campaign is poorly written, poorly acted, erratically paced, full of pointless upgrades and meaningless choices, crammed full of overproduced cutscenes that fail to relate to the gameplay, and without a shred of creative insight into how to use a real time strategy game to tell a story, much less how to get me to click "next mission" without heaving a tired sigh. For all their incomparable game design smarts, Blizzard remains one of the worst storytellers in the business, partly for how hard they try and mostly for how spectacularly they fail.

See all 68 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 263
  1. 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 fastOne 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
  2. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    Starcraft2 自由の翼に続いて今度のHeart of the swarmも本当に名作だった。Storyもよかった。特に主人公の立場や考えをPlayerがもっと体感できるようにゲームが作られていていることがよかった。あのせいかStoryにも夢中できた。Just rememberStarcraft2 自由の翼に続いて今度のHeart of the swarmも本当に名作だった。Storyもよかった。特に主人公の立場や考えをPlayerがもっと体感できるようにゲームが作られていていることがよかった。あのせいかStoryにも夢中できた。Just remember awesome fantastic impressive Expand
  3. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    the game is everything they promised. if you loved wings of liberty, you'll love this game as well. the multiplayer is running surprisinglythe game is everything they promised. if you loved wings of liberty, you'll love this game as well. the multiplayer is running surprisingly smoothly. it's all working just like it did during beta. in fact, there was more lag during the beta than there is now. the slick new interface and leveling system should be a huge draw as well, in case multiplayer is not your particular cup of tea. this is the ultimate pc game, it requires fast hands and quick decision making. the ultimate skill based game for those who love the feeling of constant improvement. Expand
  4. Oct 4, 2013
    9
    Excellent game, picks up on wings of liberty fluently and brings much improvements in gameplay. Story is criticized for some reason but it'sExcellent game, picks up on wings of liberty fluently and brings much improvements in gameplay. Story is criticized for some reason but it's not any worse than any other Blizzard game, it's perfectly acceptable. Expand
  5. 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 andI'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
  6. 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
    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.
    Expand
  7. Dec 5, 2014
    0
    Starcraft went from a somber military-science fiction RTS about cybernetically enhanced exiles struggling for survival in a hostile sector ofStarcraft went from a somber military-science fiction RTS about cybernetically enhanced exiles struggling for survival in a hostile sector of the universe, to a painfully generic space western with extendi-penis dragonflies grabbing a highly advanced two-story tall colossus. Bask in the glory of real time strategy as two testicular masses of comically isometric units duke it out with lighter fluid filled RC cars, decoy **** inflatable eyeballs, and figure skaters with akimbo popsicles to smack you with!

    By the time Legacy rolls around, RTS will die. Good riddance and RIP in pieces to the RTS genre.
    Expand

See all 263 User Reviews