Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Review – Newfound Terran Dominion

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty gives space and consequences a whole new meaning. After 215 hours of gametime with Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, one thing is clear: the game is phenomenal. From the incredible campaign to the tightly balanced multiplayer featuring brilliant variety, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is an unremarkable experience to its best-RTS predecessor of the time Starcraft I. The campaign is lively with story elements that make the gameplay feel realistic, the combat A.I. along with the mission structures itself have been revamped into something entirely new and exciting, and the characters themselves make each other more memorable than ever. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty revitalizes a newfound sense of nostalgia and energy that leaves players in the dark and within the formality of a light surprise to find out what else is yet to come in this thrilling reinvention and continuing series of games for the Starcraft universe.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty gives players the insight to freedom fighter Jim Raynor struggling to survive and defend the Koprulu Sector against the threat of the alien Zerg race, hope to defeat Emperor Mengsk, and give everything he has to the cause. Players who have not played the first title will be openly welcomed into Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, as the campaign provides a beautifully integrated backstory as the narration unravels. The storyling itself deigns on simplicity but has an unforgettable atmosphere with an incredible soundtrack, cinematics, but moreover excellent voice acting to keep players enthralled. If you’re headed into this sequel without any knowledge of prior events, you need not worry that you will be in the dark: the campaign does an excellent job of filling in backstory even as the current narrative unfolds. The cutscenes are lengthy, but are perfect when coupled with the in-engine cutscenes that highlight the facial detail and subtle expressions of the cast, making a journey leagues above the first title.

Unlike the first title, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty solely focuses on the missions and campaign of the Terran aspect, a young technological species with psionic potential. The mission structure of the campaign verges on a level of genius. The single-player campaign itself has a variety of difficulty curves based on the difficulty of the A.I., however, will hardly prepare anyone for a massacre with online professional Starcraft II gamers alone. Despite this, the campaign is full of wonder through the variety, excitement with missions that give information about enemies this time than throw you into the map, and finally storyline elements that are unforgettable with cutscenes to match. The campaign mission structure involves leading small groups, defending a specific structure, and going from one place to another. The RTS facets seem simple, but that is the magic of Starcraft II: it gives these missions meaning through storyline elements mixed into the excitement. The missions can be extremely unpredictable, and this is where the fun of the mission and the single-player campaign as a whole comes into play.

The campaign mode is not all about being out on the field, but exercises a control and grasp for something more realistic than simply going into a field and trying to relate with characters that you really cannot understand through limited storyline.  The first title focuses on the races as a whole, whereas the second one also focuses on individuals. The crew can be spoken with in Raynor’s battlecruiser, the Hyperion. Within the ship, players can also upgrade their units through the use of research points earned in several missions to gain permanent upgrades and units normally associated with Zerg and Protoss factions.  By spending research points you earn on particular missions, you will gain access to permanent upgrades and new units normally associated with the Zerg and Protoss factions. Players can continue utilizing upgrades through the first earned currency. Currency can be used for mercenary units that can be summoned immediately on the battlefield as well as other upgrades. To balance this, if players spend points on one thing, they might lose advantage in another and so on. As this is invigorating the gameplay, players are able to make these small devisions in-game to make changes to the minor story elements, a gameplay design style that reveals consequences within the actual storyline.

Online multiplayer has always been the focus of Starcraft, and the online campaign modes within Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty are unforgettable through sheer variety. There are over 12 maps and multiple modes that allow for team-based objectives or 1 vs 1 gameplay action, something which should only be done after a minimum of 30 hours of actual life spent playing this game even if you are a Starcraft I veteran. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty comes with numerous improvements and changes to the structure of the gameplay. Battle.net sees itself improved along with a new competitive “ladder” system for ranked games, and new automated matchmaking mechanics designed to make sure players of different skill have a challenging gameplay experience. The only drawback about Battle.net has to do with earning achievements in single-player campaign missions, which requires you to be signed in all the time for rewards. Finally, one slight annoyance is that friends have to always be signed on. There is no invisible mode to hide from your friends, a smart move considering Starcraft II is built around teamwork and the social proclivity. When a friend receives an achievement, you will automatically receive a notification, which Blizzard figured also leads to some friendly competition. The socialization, achievements, crisp interface and customization within Battl.net is simply invigorating and fitting for a sequel of this magnitude with players all around the world.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty supports a wide array of offerings to people of all PC specifications around the world. The system requirements are decently low and the highest settings is not that graphically intense in terms of the actual usage of the GPUs. This is not to say that the game itself is not full of wondrous details and incredibly vast environments. The audio carries through to the clicks of the Zergs and the idiosyncratic whispers of the Protoss are equally appealing and relevant.

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a game with an incredible storyline but moreover space and sci-fi action for any type of players new and old, casual and hardcore. The single-player campaign has depth through the storyline elements, while the characters are represented more convincingly than the first title. The RTS action is more refined and elegant as the units move more fluidly, the opponent cannot see all the units you have immediately, and finely the action is unremarkable in technical achievement. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty has already set the precedent on which Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void will follow, but moreover set the precedent for how a great RTS predecessor becomes greater.

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