Legacy of the Void pleases both veterans and newcomers in a winning formula.
Back in July 2010, Blizzard released StarCraft II:Wings of Liberty , promising its fans that the next part of the trilogy would be ready soon. Here we are in late 2015, and we can finally say that “soon” has arrived. For those who are not aware, this release is a standalone — it does not require the two previous installments to play. There is also a “Story So Far” feature to help you get an idea of how the story got to where it takes you in this installment. Still – five years after the last installment, does this game stand up on its own?
In Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void , you continue where you left off in its predecessor: you are Hierarch Artanis, the leader of the mighty protoss race . Years ago, your homeworld, Aiur, fell to the zerg swarm. Now, finally, you have raised a powerful fleet of warships known as the Golden Armada, and are poised to reclaim what is formerly yours, your world. However, an even greater evil approaches – Amon, who threatens the fate of the entire galaxy. You are the force needed to reunite the protoss race against this dangerous being.
With a game boasting over 30 cutscenes of story-related significance, StarCraft II gets the ball rolling right out of the gate. The cutscenes tell a lot about the story to better aid the visual appeal of the game and to also guide newer players into the series with a way to understand much of what is going on in the story without necessarily having to know the background right from the get-go. The game starts off with a bang, graphically speaking, and the action gets rolling quick! The only aspect that feels like it falls short is the in-game graphics. Although the movement is fluid and the game runs well with everything that can take place on one screen at one time, the action feels too chaotic and is very difficult to follow the in some instances. It is evident that the Starcraft II engine is beginning to feel dated.
With access to tons of abilities and specific units not available in the standard multiplayer, there are many possible strategies waiting to be discovered. There’s more than one way to win every mission, so be creative! The mission mechanics move well together in a way that makes for a very satisfying gameplay experience. Blizzard should be commended for its perfectly struck balance between satisfying in-game action and compelling strategy that forces you to consider your approach to every mission.
The control mechanics are very similar to previous Starcraft II installments, which means that they are as solid as always. If you’re not already familiar with the control scheme, you will learn it over the course of playing the game, as it is quickly and easily learned.
Several tweaks were made to the online multiplayer experience for StarCraft II – most being very solid and appropriate fixes. While the core gameplay remains largely the same, the match setup has been adjusted in a way that they begin with fewer resources for each player but provide you with more workers right off the bat – hopefully to create more action early on.
Blizzard also added daily tournaments with no barrier to entry in hopes to engage more players in the multiplayer experience. Blizzard also brought to the table a set of cooperative missions unprecedented in previous installments to allow for players to work with friends instead of to battle them. Last but not least, Archon mode is included as well. This mode allows two players to control the same side to hopefully create matches with better performances from both sides as well as with more action.
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is a very solid installment to the already critically-acclaimed series. It is a great dive-in point for new gamers to the series, as the playing field has been made more level in a way to better accommodate newcomers and allow them to experience success. It is not a groundbreaking addition to the StarCraft brand of games, but what it does bring to the table, it does right. Although the series is beginning to feel dated and will likely need to be revamped for its next release, StarCraft II does well in catering to its niche audience while accommodating newcomers in a way that allows everyone a gaming experience that, overall, is very enjoyable.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.5 Graphics
While the cutscenes are mightily impressive, the in-game graphics look just like they did in the last installment. 4.5 Control
Simple and easy to follow – although there is a learning curve, it is easy to pick up on as you play more matches. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music and voice acting fit right in, but it can get old quick as what could be quick discussions turn into long conversations as characters pontificate the future of the galaxy. 4.5 Play Value
With the addition of many new multiplayer game modes and the option to catch up with the story all the way up to this point in the series, the game remains fun to play and invites new players to dive in and enjoy the series, too. 4.2 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best