Completed Games: Starcraft 2
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Date Released: July 27 2010
One of the few games this year that I let myself be caught up with the hype and purchased on release. Looking back I don’t really know why I bought it since the only computer I could play it on was an underpowered Macbook. Even on the lowest performance setting the load times where around 3-5 minutes and it crashed quite often if I played for more than an hour. These problems have entirely nothing to do with the quality game just the crappy hardware and Mac OS which is not optimised for gaming. Despite these problems I completed the entire single player mode playing most of the missions multiple times on different difficulties.
For me the best qualities of the game was the sense of nostalgia of playing an RTS game that is rooted in the classic conventions of the genre. The heavy focus on resource management, tech trees and amassing large number of units continues on from the original Starcraft ignoring recent innovations in the RTS genre. The Starcraft 2 single player campaign brings its own innovations not in the gameplay but everything else around it. The story is much more engaging giving you a mix of CG cut scenes, in engine scenes and conversations with your crew at your base of operations. Along with the multiple objectives for each mission, the story was a major factor for me to keep coming back to the game until I finished it.
Your ship serves a hub for not only choosing missions but you can visit sections of the ships to upgrade your units, hire mercenaries and research Protoss and Zerg technologies. This adds a welcome RPG/adventure aspect to the game.
The missions never felt repetitive, they were surprising in that they expose how varied an RTS can be. The normal convention of building up a base and amassing an army works most of the time but only on the easier difficulties. You have to be more aggressive and strategic in the units you build if you want to actually complete the missions quickly or on harder difficulties. The fun is in the amount of choices you have and reacting to what the enemy throws at you.
Note: Haven’t played any multiplayer or skirmish maps just the single player. If this is all you do the game is still worth purchasing regardless of experience with RTS games.