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Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (PC)

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Genre: Strategy / Computer Game for Windows XP / Mac OS X / To Be Announced / ESRB Rating: Rating Pending / Release Date: 2010-07-27 / Published by Blizzard Entertainment

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    8 Reviews
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      20.04.2011 23:45
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      Good RTS Game, Poor Online Gameplay.

      As a returning reviewer to Dooyoo, I might be a bit rusty to say the least... but here goes:

      I feel this game is brilliant if your a fan of Command and Conquer styled games. It really pushes the boundaries of Real time Strategy (RTS) games. It links a really playable campaign mode with an enjoyable yet challenging Multiplayer mode.

      As far as the Campaign goes it continues, yet is surprisingly different to, Starcraft I. It has a very enjoyable story and has many knew things to unlock. Similarly to Starcraft I, there is a relatively free feeling to the campaign. However some might feel it doesn't differ much to any other RTS game.

      I would see it as a downside however that there is no need to complete the campaign (other than for achievements) to play online. I personally would prefer some kind of necessity that players must complete the campaign in order to venture into playing against other players. Though for players that are new to SC, or that may find playing RTS games quite tough, I would suggest playing through the campaign, getting a good feel for the game before playing against others.

      The online side of the game is good yet it does have its downsides. For example, I dont feel that there is a very fair system of matching players of the same ability. In some cases you can be put up against some challenging opponents (some of whom do beat you quite easily). And in other cases, I have been placed up against players of a lower ability that I beat with ease. I do not intend to write this review boasting about my gameplay abilities, however I do feel that Blizzard need to find a way of matching players upon there ability to play the game, rather than going on what level they are.

      So to conclude, I would say that it is good for an RTS game, however the multiplayer opponents that players face tend to be incredibly difficult or astonishingly easy.

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      29.01.2011 14:15
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      The finest RTS I have played and a great followup to the original

      It has taken over ten years, but finally Blizzard have released the sequel to their smash hit RTS (real time strategy) game. You certainly can't accuse them of rushing out sequels to cash in on the popularity of a franchise. Then again when you are guaranteed an income of millions every month (thanks to the subscribers of their online role playing game World of Warcraft) I guess you have the luxury of polishing your product before sending it out to the stores.

      Blizzard are no strangers to the RTS genre having become famous for the Warcraft games. Starcraft was more of the same, but taking place in a sci-fi universe instead of a magical fantasy world. What made Starcraft arguably better than Warcraft 2, which preceded it, was that you could take command of one of three factions as opposed to Warcraft's paltry two. The forces on offer are...

      TERRAN: The humans who in the distant future have expanded to settle colonies in deep space. They fight using aircraft, tanks and marines armed with guns and power armour.

      ZERG: An insect like alien race who operate via a hive mind (kind of like the Borg in Star Trek.) Any races they conquer get mutated and become part of the swarm. The Zerg are technically the weakest of the three factions, but make up for this by outnumbering their foes.

      PROTOSS: An advanced alien civilisation that use their technology to warp in units. Protoss armies are expensive to produce, but powerful. Protected by force fields they complement their regular troops with robotic soldiers such us the teleporting stalkers and massive, war of the worlds like, colossi.

      Starcraft 2 had the unenviable task of following the success of the original Starcraft and its expansion pack Brood War. After such a long wait fans would not accept a sub par product. In South Korea especially the game has a huge following. Starcraft tournaments which attract substantial crowds are organised offering large cash prizes for the professional players who take part. It's a fine example of how some multiplayer games are starting to be considered a sport.

      STORY

      The game takes place a few years after the Brood War expansion pack. Players take command of Jim Raynor's rebel forces. In the original game the former marshal teamed up with Arcturus Mengsk to overthrow the corrupt Confederate government that run the Terran race. Unfortunately for Jim his partner Mengsk turned out to be just as bad as the Confederates. Arcturus betrays Raynor and after becoming emperor declares that Raynor's band of followers are criminals who should be brought to justice.

      When the game starts Raynor's Raiders are continuing their battle against Mengsk. They travel from planet to planet trying to help worlds that get attacked by the zerg, sabotaging any operations Mengsk's dominion are conducting and contending with hostile Protoss factions. They eventually come across an ancient artifact which is believed to have the power to defeat the Zerg queen Kerrigan (Jim's former love interest turned enemy leader after being captured by the swarm.) It all cumulates with an invasion of the Zerg home world Char which will decide the fate of the human race.

      GAMEPLAY

      As with any RTS the core game has the player in charge of a base which they use to build an army. You use hovering workers called SCVs to mine mineral deposits and gas. They transport the resources to the base which you in turn use to build additional structures. These include buildings such as the Engineering bay which allows you to develop weapon upgrades or facilities such as barracks and factories were you make troops, tanks etc. Once you have built up a decent army you can go out and explore your surroundings to accomplish your goal. It may also be an idea to build defensive structures such as missile turrets and bunkers to protect your headquarters when your main force is away.

      I have to say that I was very impressed with the single player campaign in this game. Unlike older RTS games the missions are not just a case of building an army and beating the computer player. You are given specific objectives to complete and optional side missions which keeps the game from getting repetitive. Tasks you will be expected to complete include surviving for a certain period of time against a superior force, rescuing civilians, destroying trains which transport Dominion goods and protecting allies.

      Before each mission you get to explore Raynor's ship. Here you get to interact with his crew, watch the news and even play mini-games at the arcade. The ship is also were you get to spend the credits and research points you earn after completing a mission. These can be used to hire powerful mercenaries and to upgrade your troops at the armoury which grants them some nice abilities and boosts (for example you can buy an upgrade which makes damaged buildings repair themselves, give troops more energy and so on.)

      Once you are done with your business you click on the star map to pick the mission you wish to tackle. You are normally given the choice of two missions so if you are stuck on a level you always have the option of trying a different one and going back to the tougher level later on (at which point you will have unlocked more troops and purchased upgrades which should make things easier.) That isn't to say that the game is overly difficult. Blizzard have done a good job of making the game accessible to as wide an audience as possible via the inclusion of difficulty settings. This allows a novice can play on casual to experience the story and for hardcore RTS players looking for a challenge to take on the brutal difficulty.

      MULTIPLAYER

      I have to say that when it comes to multiplayer games I am not the competitive type. I'd rather team up with a buddy and complete Streets of Rage or join a guild and do raids in World of Warcraft rather than fight someone. This isn't the case in Starcraft 2 though which I have found to be highly addictive. Once again I have to commend Blizzard for coming up with a system that caters to new RTS players and the hardcore crowd alike.

      The way the multiplayer works is that you start out playing a number of practice matches against fellow new players. To ease you in the speed of the game is slower than usual and the entrance to your main base is protected by a pile of destructible rocks. This allows newbies to build up an army without the danger of an early enemy rush. Once you run out of practice games (or decide to play with the big boys) it is time for the placement matches.

      You get five matches and depending on how you fare you get planted in a league with players of a similar skill level (the leagues are bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond.) The idea is that you play against people of an equal skill level and avoid the situation of pro players crushing new players which scares them off. On average you should be winning around 50% of your matches, but if you improve you can expect to be promoted to a higher division. Beware though you can also get relegated if you hit a bad losing streak.

      I think this ladder system is great as you will do well in half of your matches which will encourage you to keep playing and improve. I started out fairly clueless, but in time have noticed that I have improved learning about effective build orders, how to scout enemies and utilise hot keys to multi-task which speeds up my game. A quick search on the internet will bring up videos and guides you can check out to improve your strategy and if all else fails you can save replays of your matches. You can study the replays to see what you could have done better or notice what a better player does which gives them an edge. Watching replays is actually rather entertaining which is why people on Youtube can get quite a number of subscribers just by commentating on Starcraft games.

      The multiplayer portion of the game allows you to play 1v1 matches, but for those who like team based play there are also leagues for 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4. Here you can join up with friends or just sign up for a random game were you will be allocated team mates from the queue of players that want to play. It doesn't take too long for the server to setup a random game (around a minute) which is nice as no one likes to sit around waiting for a match.

      Aside from league playe there are some multiplayer options which allow you to take part in unranked games. These include the free for all were it's every man for themselves on a big map. If you don't want to face human opponents you can team up with someone and take on computer opponents. Lastly there are custom games which are very creative. It's amazing the stuff you can find there (some of the better games I have seen are a Starcraft racing game and clone of the classic snake.)

      LIFE SPAN

      I think the Starcraft 2's long term appeal is its strongest selling point. The multiplayer experience alone will eat up hours of your life. Heck some people just dive into the multiplayer portion of the game and don't play the campaign. The best part about it is that multiplayer is free (no subscription fee.) All you have to do is create a Battlenet account and you are set. If you are however more of a solo player there is no need to worry as the single player campaign has plenty of replay value.

      Each mission in the single player game has console game like achievements to unlock. You might cruise through the game on the easiest setting, but if you want to get all the achievements you will have to replay the story on the harder settings and complete the optional objectives which will take a while. Those who replay the story will also get the chance to play missions they missed out the first time round. It's impossible to play everything on the first go as some missions start off asking you to side with a particular character. Depending who you select determines the level you play and what rewards you get. Having a choice is nice, as is the ability to play different missions the second time you go through the story.

      SUMMARY

      I have to congratulate Blizzard on pulling off a successful sequel (not an easy thing as many a movie goer would testify to.) Wings of Liberty is actually the first part of the Starcraft 2 trilogy. When I heard they were splitting the sequel into three parts I was not amused as it sounded like a ploy to milk consumers for more bucks. I cannot however complain after playing the finished product. As I have mentioned above you get a lot of game play so it's not as if they are making us pay full price for three short games.

      The campaign in this game just deals with the Terran (the original Starcraft had campaigns for all three races.) Don't worry though because you can still play as Zerg and Protoss in multiplayer. The next game will concentrate on the Zerg and the final on the Protoss. Although I don't want to give away spoilers, don't worry about being short changed by the story ending. Although not everything is resolved (as they have more games to make) the ending does bring this chapter to a close in a satisfying way. I can't wait for the next Starcraft game, but if Blizzard take their sweet time I won't be too fussed as this instalment will keep me occupied for a long time to come.

      Review originally posted on Ciao (November 2010)

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        19.01.2011 11:17
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        Any fan of strategy based games should look no further.

        Starcraft 2 is a real-time strategy pc game.

        There are three different races involved in gameplay: Terrans, Protoss and Zerg.

        In the campaign you play as a Terran fighting against the Protoss(Predators) and Zerg(Aliens) in different missions. You have to gather resources through mining gas and minerals which you exchange for troops, vehciles, ships and bunkers to achieve your goal. With just marines and medics at your disposal to start, you gain access to various upgrades, including armour, research upgrades, different units, vehicles and ships to fight with as you progress through the game.

        The action is fast paced owing to the real-time gaming (as opposed to turn based which I think is much slower) and the 3d graphics are awesome!

        The storyline through the campaign is good and keeps you entertained right up until the last.

        Once you have finished the campaign you can compete against other players online on the battle.net server, and play as any of the three factions

        The battle.net server allows players to compete against each other in leagues and multiplayer games against AI opponents or against up to 7 other players on a variety of different terrains and difficulty levels.

        Additionally battle.net gives players access to Custom games.

        Custom games are written by owners of the game using the starcraft 2 map editor and they are the real reason for me that there is so much mileage in buying this game. This game has been so extensively bought, there were bound to be lots of gamers that were also great programmers and the quality of additional games you can play in Custom games really shows this.

        There are hundreds of custom games already and the list will only keep longer. There are excellent tower defence games, tug of wars, income/economy based games and so on. And don't think that the list of custom games is limited. There are also excellent pvp games, side scrolling and single person shoot 'em ups as well as even some RPGs.

        So if you are thinking about buying Starcraft 2, don't just think that your fun will be over in a month, or even two. Even when you have finished the main campaign, there is so much more for you on battle.net that will keep you coming back for more. And hey, why not try your own hand at creating a custom game using map editor? You might even carve yourself out a new career as a gaming programmer!

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          10.01.2011 17:51
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          One of the best PC strategy game

          In this review I would have to start with negative note, Blizzards you made me wait for ages. Probably the longest spoiling wait I ever had. But that is about it on negative side.

          The game is a masterpiece, no wonder it was rated the best strategy game of the year 2010, well it could be the best ever game of a century and here I cannot believe that some people are still saying it has not changed that much since the first version of Star Craft back in late 90's. Well I do not agree, can any of the hardcore Star Craft fans remember the last time you played the first version, well yes it's been so long and missed we all missed that action and here we are in 21 century, the game is back with a good story line for a single career and endless multiplayer. It is good to see old characters renewed in a rendering 3D environment.

          The game itself is now so addictive I cannot stop playing on multi-player and the fact that Blizzards has done so much to protect its product against piracy and made me pay over £40 cannot be classified as a drawback. The creators deserved to be paid for this game and I believe that it is still a good practice to release such games on PC platforms only, because consoles are still miles and miles behind in graphics. Well this is my opinion and playing games on PC is still a very pleasurable experience.

          I would recommend anyone who still plays on PC to buy this game, if you are a teenage and never played the first part it could still be a good revelation, at least you will get the taste of what we players in late 20's were experiencing 10 years ago when we were at your age.

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            23.10.2010 01:13
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            Description about Starcraft 2 in Detail.

            ~ My story ~

            I was waiting for this game to be released and finally, the moment has arrived, the game is out!
            I was so excited I pre-ordered it right away, but I don't have allot of time to play it online, that's a bummer though. But in order to play proper and play against players , you need to gain your knowledge.

            And by knowledge I mean, the strategy of the game, you can also play against the computer. But take this advice, start to play at a normal game type, like easy, learn the game piece by piece. And take the ability to learn, in other words pay attention when your building your race.
            Also notice during the game, a unit has a cool voice the one from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

            ~ The races ~

            Zergs:
            The zergs has 22 units consisting out: baneling: the baneling is an explosive zerg strain, evolved from the zergling, also has a cocoon, a brood lord, and cocoon,
            Attack units Changeling, Corruptor, Drone: is used to extend your capacity infested swarm egg, infestor larva and it has a Queen, you can use a Queen to plant eggs inside your main building and each time, there comes 5 larves out of it.

            Terran
            Assault dropship is a aerospace transport, battlecruiser, can attack ground and air. Firebat: is a robot that can attack only at the ground. Ghost: special made soldiers who are quite expensive and powerful.
            Grizlly: can transport limited troops. Marine trained standard soldiers to attack ground units, and air.
            Siege tank: powerful tank that can suck up to the ground and it will shoot larger artillery rounds.
            Vulture: is a fast mobile unit that can attack on ground, and you can use it to scout the enemy.

            Protoss:
            Arbiter: warship specializing in providing psychic support. Carrier: can transport units mobile.
            Corsair: fast space warship that can attack units quick and agile.
            High templars: are powerful templers that can support forces and have powerful abilities, but downside, they move slow.
            Probe: anti-ground units that can be placed on ground and can attack units.

            ~ Game options ~

            If you got a normal pc, and by normal I mean like a average pc, or laptop you will be able to play, at the maximum performance and the game will still be fast, if you set it up to normal speed, be sure to enable all the settings that you want at the best is the maximum setting for each tab, like sound, graphics, controls, game performance.


            ~ Multiplayer part ~

            You can play online against other players, or versus a player in your house (lan) but you can only do that if you bought the game, it is wisely to play allot of matches, against unknown and known players. So you can gain friends, and become some sort of legend and, try to win as much matches as possible.

            ~ My overview ~

            This game truly rocks, you can also see allot of players online on youtube, playing this game, these players are really great, take a pen and take some notes, how they play and replicate them, and try their styles, some great players get a contract, well most of them are Asian Players, no offence though, they get paid to play I read somewhere that a player needed to play a minimum of 10 hours each day in order to get paid.

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            07.09.2010 12:05
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            Great game, should have been better given the years of delay

            As a huge fan of the original Starcraft I've waited anxiously for this follow up for what seems like years now. The makers Blizzard delayed release until they thought they had everything perfect and could do justice to the franchise.
            The good news it it is a very polished game, graphics are excellent and the gameplay in the single player campaign is good, if a little short.
            All the old favourite units are here plus a few new ones as well.
            For newcomers to this RTS it features 3 races - Human, Zerg and Protoss.
            all fighting with each other for supremacy. The zerg are insect like with huge numbers but their armoury is all biological with little technology, the Protoss are a highly advanced race high on tech but without the numbers, the humans fall in between the two.
            The balance between the races was always a strong point with this game and nothings changed here, certain units counter-act other units and getting your forces balanced is one of the key aspects to the game.

            Game modes include a single player campaign, a skirmish mode against the computer or a direct online battle against another player. Just be wary there are many hardened players online who have been playing the Beta version of the game for months now who delight it demolishing newbies online. A points system is put in place to ensure you are matched against someone of similar experience and ability.

            RTS pro's and novices alike will enjoy this game and it is one of the best around however you can only access play now though Blizzards online 'Battlenet' server, even if you just want to play the single player campaign or skirmish mode, so if you have slow internet days you can't play the game smoothly. It also means you can't sell on the game if you ever fed up with it, the retail box is basically just an activation code which binds the game to whatever computer you activate it on.
            In this respect I feel Blizzard have got a little greedy, the old game had 3 full campaigns, you could play the human, zerg and protoss campaigns giving weeks and weeks of gameplay. This new Starcraft only has a human campaign which you can complete in a couple of days, you are expected to buy the zerg and Protoss campaigns as full games which will be released shortly so thats over £100 in total for the full package, shocker.
            Having said this the game is very good, I just expected more given the years of delay and would recommend it to gamers but only if they have deep pockets.

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            19.08.2010 14:05
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            Worth the wait!

            As a gamer who never stepped foot into the Starcraft arena before this release, I can quite (un)happily state that I think I've been missing out.

            The campaign is engaging with likeable, if cliched, characters and the multi-player game brimming with limitless possibilities. At the moment the possibilities are of me being thrashed soundly within 10 minutes, but it's so enjoyable I'm not even thinking of throwing in the towel.

            Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a RTS (real time strategy) game where you are the military commander of one of three races of inter-galactic warmongers. The future humans, the Terrans; the psionically gifted Protoss or the horrid swarming bugs of the Zerg.

            Your goal, of course, is to annihilate your opponents. With ready made leagues on the go, enabling you to rise, and fall, through the ranks, you'll not be happy until you are number one, and that will be a lot of work.

            Blizzard are forecasting 7 million copies sold by year end and I can see why. After years in the making, Starcraft 2 will enthrall new players and Starcraft veterans alike.

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            01.07.2010 23:21
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            It can't fail.

            Obviously this game has yet to be released in full and as such I can only review what I have seen so far from personally playing the beta release.

            For those of you who don't already know, the official release date for Starcraft 2 in the UK is 27th July 2010.

            My enduring first impression of the game is that it looks and feels very, very similar to the original Starcraft. This can be seen as either a good or bad thing, but personally I think it was a very sensible option for Blizzard to take. With the gameplay being so similar (so much so that it's easy to forget that you are not playing the original title) Blizzard are guaranteed to please the hordes of fans of the first release and do not risk alienating everyone by not meeting expectations.

            Many units remain the same - hydralisks, zerglings, mutalisks, overlords, marines, siege tanks, zealots, carriers and many others. Their places in the scheme of a battle have often been significantly altered though. For example, hydralisks are still available, but a new unit called a Roach is now between it and the zerglings in the hierarchy and have a cool new ability to gain health extremely quickly when burrowed.

            Overall, just enough units have been retained from the original to maintain the audience's emotional connection to the game and the new ones provide a huge amount of new potential strategies.

            As far as I am aware, the game will not have LAN support upon release, but this is supposed to be supplied in a patch soon after. I surely hope so because LANS are at the heart of the gaming community - actually meeting other gamers! In person!

            The game looks set to be a good one and live up to the huge amount of anticipation (God knows Blizzard have spent enough on advertising - including plastering a Terran marine on two Korean passenger jets).

            I have one concern: Wings of Liberty is only the Terran chapter of the new story with two more games to come for the Zerg and Protoss. At 10 gigs plus for the installation, I'm hoping for a pretty lengthy and epic single-player campaign to get my money's worth of game. I am frightened that the will do 'a Dawn of War' on us and stiff us on gameplay hours for the single-player campaign in order to drag as much money as possible out of us. This is not unprecedented. Remember playing Dawn of War? Remember finishing the fairly short Space Marine campaign and thinking 'oh well, that was ok. Maybe the Ork campaign will be better' only to find that there was no Ork campaign?! How can a game in the vein of Warcraft 3, which follows those conventions almost exactly, only have a campaign for one race when there are clearly at least 3 races and then release campaigns for other races as seperate games which need to be PURCHASED seperately?? I think we can put that one down to the money-grabbing nature of the Games Workshop, but I'm not sure we are safe from Blizzard doing the same thing - I mean, what is World of Warcraft other than a money-spinner?

            Review/rant over.

            Don't stiff us Blizzard.

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