17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
, September 6, 2010
This review is from: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (Video Game)
The single-player campaign is solid, carefully designed, and very well paced. Players who want to just get on with the story will not have too much difficulty, while the overachievers and masochists can sweat through the bonus objectives and other achievements. However, SC2's only real single-player advancement was the introduction of interactive objects into scenarios. It would have been nice to see more variety, as most of the missions could be categorized as "survive for a length of time", "build up your resources and attack the enemy's base", or "scout/infiltrate an area with limited units." Even a few variations on this theme would have been nice: there's never been a mission with solely air units before, or one where you had to hold a central objective (rather than an area where you're already entrenched) against attacks both on your base and the objective simultaneously.
Now we get on to the more seriously disappointing aspects.
- Single-player voice acting is fair, but the dialogue is unbearably cheesy. It's stuffed full of cliches, in-jokes, and other references that a lot of people may not understand -- and while fan service is great in moderation, there was no restraint shown here.
- The multiplayer has devolved from a carefully balanced strategy game to a mess of micromanagement. There's a lot more emphasis on individual unit abilities, a lot more units that cannot attack either ground or air, and an overall feeling that your army is more of a patchwork (dare I say confederacy?) than a cohesive force. Starcraft 1 would often see games where you focused on a single unit type as the bulk of your army, with a few extra units to add synergy and support, but SC2 forces you into more diversity without offering much in return. Really, what do cliff-walking units give that you can't get from most air units, particularly when they often require similar tech investments?
- The list of the dead (units, that is) is stunning. Science vessels, corsairs, lurkers, dark archons, dragoons, defilers ... and in many cases, the units felt like they were just renamed to avoid the perception of them being nerfed into oblivion.
- [...] 2.0 suffers from a lot of missing features: easy offline gameplay, most of the custom map features one took for granted with SC1, and ways to meet with new people other than "throw me into a random game with strangers." It still feels half-baked, with a curious overemphasis on Facebook integration to the detriment of its overall usability.
I still bought the game to play with friends. But unlike Starcraft 1, I don't see us playing this ten years from now without some serious and far-reaching changes to the multiplayer experience.
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