Quarter Circle Forward Review: Starcraft 2

Our resident PC gamer Toast reviewed Starcraft 2 for the PC on episode 26 of Press Pause Radio. Here is the full review.

How do you improve on a game that after ten years is still actively played by thousands of players, and has also become a national sport in South Korea? You release Starcraft 2. I’ll be honest with all of our readers, my experience with the original Starcraft is limited only to the time that I have put into the anthology that was included with the Starcraft 2 Collector’s Edition. When it comes to a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game, my abilities are almost non-existent. This is where I believe Starcraft 2 really shines. It has the depth and challenges that will please the hardcore Starcraft community, while also being accessible to any newcomers to the series.

The events of Starcraft 2 occur about four years after the events of the Brood Wars expansion. If you are not familiar with the story of Starcraft and it’s expansion, no worries. The installer of Starcraft 2 will explain the key points of the story, so everyone is up to speed once we see Jim Raynor casually drinking whiskey in an abandoned bar. The campaign, which I have not yet completed is simple at first. The first few missions will reintroduce the controls and different units available to the Terrans. After the first five missions, the home location will change, and the missions become more and more challenging. I must stress again that I am inexperienced in this type of game, so I have been playing on Casual. So the game at this point has been an uphill climb, but also is very informative. I feel that each mission will introduce a new mechanic or new strategy that I will need in order to succeed. This also will be beneficial for the huge multi-player portion of the title.

At the time of this writing, I have only played in the practice leagues, and have yet to play my placement matches. I actually feel very intimidated by the ladder systems and various leagues that are accessible through the game. However I believe this is a strong selling point for the game. Even after playing through the thirty missions in the first campaign, there is countless hours of play still available. Currently I enjoy just going online with my friends and playing either 2 vs. 2 or 2 vs. CPU. Knowing that leagues and competitive play is still available makes me want to improve and learn more about the game. Hard to believe that this is only the first game released in the announced trilogy of Starcraft 2. This is the only criticism that I may have about the title.

I can understand that Blizzard develops titles that are polished and full of content. I also am aware that Starcraft 2 can be released years after being announced and still sell over a million copies in the first two days. What I do not understand is why the game is being released in three separate campaigns. The additional purchases do not bother me as much as some other reviewers. I truly believe that the other two faction campaigns will be expansions and not full retail games. The argument here is that I do not want to wait for the Protoss and Zerg campaigns. I suppose that waiting for over ten years was not long enough.  In closing, I can honestly say that I am now a Starcraft fan, and that this title has enough content to please new gamers and long time fans. This game is a required purchase for any PC gamer.



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