|Dev: Blizzard Entertainment|
|Pub: Blizzard Entertainment|
|Release: November 10, 2015|
|Players: 1; up to 4 online|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i||Blood and Gore, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence|
by Erik Pederson
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.