Starcraft II campaign thoughts

by wfgodbold

Now that I’ve finished the single player campaign (on normal, and sometime last week; I merely forgot to mention it), I can say that Starcraft II was a great game (if short), and I’m looking forward to the Heart of the Swarm expansion to see what happens next.

There were basically three different mission paths that you could pursue concurrently, and once you’d progressed far enough on one of them, you gained the option to head to the final area (and the three or four missions there); I liked being able to choose between doing the different sets of missions instead of having a set order to play through every mission in.  On the other hand, the breadth of mission choices meant that the actual campaign itself was pretty short; I think all together there are 29 or 30 missions.

Of course, most of the people who bought SC2 were only tangentially interested in the single-player campaign; the real bread and butter of the franchise is the multiplayer.  I’ve gotten my ass handed to me a few times in cooperative games, but I haven’t tried out ladder play yet.  I didn’t really play the original Starcraft, and all the fans who’ve been playing it for the last 12 years could probably destroy me in short order.

Fortunately, the game also has AI opponents for practicing your multiplayer strategies (imperfect though they may be), as well as a few challenges that are designed to teach newcomers how to micromanage their units and structures, and how to defend against common rush strategies.  I’ve cleared maybe half of those, and still have plenty of room for improvement.

I’ve also been meaning to play through the single-player missions again on hard (as well as select missions on normal to get some of the achievements I missed on the first go round), and then maybe on brutal.  Normal was fine for my first playthrough, and I did have to do some of the missions a few times to figure out how to win (I think I had to restart the final mission two or three times before beating it; my flawed strats rendered the autosaves unsalvageable).

What I’m really looking forward to from Blizzard is Diablo III; the second game consumed my free time and cost me many hours of sleep, and updated graphics and new classes will probably result in a lot of time shut in my apartment, clicking my mouse like a madman.

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