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Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Second Opinion
The thoughts of a PC gaming enthusiast



August 26, 2010 - War is ever changing, however, one fact remains, that it has always been a brutal affair in real-life and real-time strategy games. Usually brutal affairs frighten people into hiding, but, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty molds war into a fun, and enlightening real-time strategy experience that is inviting to newcomers and veterans alike.

Wings of Liberty is Starcraft as it has always been, and for those who donít know what Starcraft has always been, itís a real-time strategy (RTS) game that places significance on build order, scouting, micro (control of individual units and abilities), and macro(overall picture). However, unlike Starcraft and its expansion, as well as countless other RTS games, it sets forth a ton of effort into teaching players how to play Starcraft, if he or she plays the tutorial, challenge missions, story mode, various leveled computers, and watches replays of his or her matches. Therefore, assuming the player dabbles in those opportunities, he or she will steadily learn everything needed to know in order to compete online against the hordes of professionals looking to wage war. Not to worry though, for anyone new to Starcraft, he or she will not be combating against opponents far above his or her level due to an ingenious matchmaking system. Nevertheless, no matter how great the program or teacher, nothing can match learning from the perils of defeat.



Speaking of defeat, Liberty has a specific charm that prevents defeat from being a pissed-off fest, as long the player understands Starcraft, that is. That charm being Liberty's overly balanced rock, paper, scissors multiplayer component, as each unit has its strengths and weaknesses, and that expands to each race. For instance, as far as units go, Colossus (imagine War of the Worlds) excel against infantry and tanks, and are decimated against Banshees (helicopters) because the Colossus cannot attack air units. As to each race, the Terran (humans), Protoss (advanced aliens), and Zerg (ant colony) are unique. Matter of fact, they're so unique that players need a different mindset to play each race. Terran are the most versatile, the Protoss are the most specialized, and the Zerg are like endless hordes of hyperactive zombies. Their differences and similarities do not stop there, either, because of how each race constructs bases, units, and the like. So, because of this, most of the time, players will not become angry because of a loss, but more-so enlightened, a majority of the time.

Multiplayer is not for everyone, so, fortunately, for anyone who wants to play single-player or does not have a sufficient internet connection or out-right despises multiplayer will find an in-depth, extremely polished, beefy, epic single-player aspect in Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. To explain, its campaign is a long affair, roughly around twenty hours, if timed, but that's not the half of it. Throughout the campaign, the player is given a choice of what to do on a few occasions, and depending on the playersí choice, a different mission will be presented. Hence, players are forced to play through the campaign twice, if he or she wants all the missions, and cinematics. With that, the campaign played twice could be a thirty-five to forty hour conquest, but there's more, and that would be playing through the game on multiple difficulties (players don't need to restart a campaign to do so), as well as multiple mission objectives placed in each mission, and the reward of portraits online, if certain objectives and the like are accomplished. There are other distractions as well, like a Lost Vikings tribute mini-game (space shooter), and the challenge missions, which will help teach players what he or she needs to know. Overall, the campaign presented is one of the largest, most polished and varied seen in a RTS. While some may believe its narrative to be commonplace, honestly, it's entertaining and memorable.



Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is the birth of a trilogy, and the return of one of the most highly regarded PC (N64) franchise. With that, all that can be said is that Wings of Liberty has soared the Starcraft franchise to new heights with a campaign that has booming production values and polish out of this world, and a balanced, fun multiplayer. So, like my colleague, Christian Higley said in his review, this game was worth the wait.

Written By: Matt Guile


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