StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void Single-Player Review - A Trilogy Triumph

John Keefer

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StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void Single-Player Review - A Trilogy Triumph

SC2: Legacy of the Void picks up the story from Heart of the Swarm and runs a marathon that will have players winded as much from the tale as the excellent gameplay.

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shintakie10

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I'm assuming the units charging headlong into enemies and dying are zealots. Charge is on autocast by default which means that, unless you tell them to do otherwise with a direct move command (or a hold position command), they will automatically charge at a nearby enemy. Simply right clicking it will stop it, but you'll need to use it manually if you turn it off (or right click it again if you want to turn auto cast back on)

I'm really really enjoying the singly player missions. Its really weird how I've never been able to play Protoss effectively in ladder, like ever, yet I feel more comfortable playing Protoss in this campaign than I did playing Zerg in the last (especially since I main Zerg on ladder). The fancy campaign units you get are super fun too. Carriers that heal other mechanical units, Collosus that leave patches of fire on the ground when they attack, Dark Templars that teleport around wipin out anythin and everythin, Zealots that stun on charge. So much fun.

I liked just messin around with some of the units. I remember tryin one level where I picked up the Purifier zealots and the Dark Templar that resurrect when they die and just spammin them. No anti air at all, just spam them, watch them resurrect and keep pushin. It was just a ton of fun to watch.
 

John Keefer

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shintakie10 said:
I'm assuming the units charging headlong into enemies and dying are zealots. Charge is on autocast by default which means that, unless you tell them to do otherwise with a direct move command (or a hold position command), they will automatically charge at a nearby enemy. Simply right clicking it will stop it, but you'll need to use it manually if you turn it off (or right click it again if you want to turn auto cast back on)

I'm really really enjoying the singly player missions. Its really weird how I've never been able to play Protoss effectively in ladder, like ever, yet I feel more comfortable playing Protoss in this campaign than I did playing Zerg in the last (especially since I main Zerg on ladder). The fancy campaign units you get are super fun too. Carriers that heal other mechanical units, Collosus that leave patches of fire on the ground when they attack, Dark Templars that teleport around wipin out anythin and everythin, Zealots that stun on charge. So much fun.

I liked just messin around with some of the units. I remember tryin one level where I picked up the Purifier zealots and the Dark Templar that resurrect when they die and just spammin them. No anti air at all, just spam them, watch them resurrect and keep pushin. It was just a ton of fun to watch.
You may be right about the Zealots. I'll need to double check. But even if charge was on CD, they still ran in, not charged and stunned. But either way, that may be the mechanic that was in play.

And I agree. I loved playing with all the various units. So many options, so little time before the review ;)
 

RJ 17

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And at long last, my patience has finally paid off. Like many people, I was waiting for pretty much a full decade after Brood Wars for SCII to come out...and like many people I was incredibly hyped up when it was finally announced. I checked the website every day, eager for new updates.

Then came the day where they decided "We're going to split the game into three games!" As someone who's not very competitive and instead was eagerly looking forward to continuing the actual story, this was an extreme "....WTF?!" moment for me. So at that point, I said fuck Blizzard as I'm not paying three times for a single game...if I did ever end up getting it, I told myself, I'd just wait for the inevitable battlechest with all three "games" in a bundle.

Took about 6 years, but it's finally here: a $60 bundle for all three games...where as buying each one new would have been $40 a pop. So thank you very much, Blizzard, I'll happily take my full game now at a full game's price.
 

Ticklefist

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Just wrapped up the epilogue. I'm not RTS vet so this thing really kicked my ass. I'm mentally exhausted over here. Awesome game. Glad I chose it over other options.
 

Dinadan

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I'm sitting here, reading another rave review of Legacy of the Void and can't help but think: "Has ever reviewer played another game than me?"

Now don't get me wrong, LotV is far from a bad game. The multiplayer part improved once again and the new units are interesting in concept and execution. And the story is certainly trying, what with it tackling some interesting themes and subjects, like traditions and such. The conversations were also fine, with great voice acting.

But going so far as to call it a great story? Well, a great story for RTS games maybe, but that's faint praise. In generally didn't feel that there were any sort of stakes. There was never a feeling of urgency or pressure. The new concepts that were introduced (or explained, in the case of foreshadowed stuff) felt either token or uninspired to me. I don't wish to spoil, so I'll keep it down to one specific example (still somewhat a spoiler, I guess): Sith Protoss. Really?
The missions also felt like a lite version of themselves, the final mission in particular. At no point in it, did I feel like this was a final anything, much like HotS's final mission felt. Certainly no comparison to WoL's final. Although there were some very cool missions along the road, most left me dissatisfied. There was of course some passion there, when they tried to argue about non-standard topics, something WoL never did. I find myself comparing it to WoL, that had such a bog-standard story to tell, yet managed to do so in a rather impressive way.

All in all, I think that LotV is just a competent ending, done because it had to be done and nothing more.
 

Uratoh

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As much as the plot really turns into 40K fanfiction at points...a lot of points, really, it's still great fun to play through, and it's not BAD 40K fanfiction XD
 

Xan Krieger

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So glad this is good, they avoided going downhill like so many other series (Supreme Commander 2 I'm glaring at you). Can't wait to finally get my hands on it even if my favorite race is the terrans (purge the xenos).
 

Hawki

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RJ 17 said:
And at long last, my patience has finally paid off. Like many people, I was waiting for pretty much a full decade after Brood Wars for SCII to come out...and like many people I was incredibly hyped up when it was finally announced. I checked the website every day, eager for new updates.

Then came the day where they decided "We're going to split the game into three games!" As someone who's not very competitive and instead was eagerly looking forward to continuing the actual story, this was an extreme "....WTF?!" moment for me. So at that point, I said fuck Blizzard as I'm not paying three times for a single game...if I did ever end up getting it, I told myself, I'd just wait for the inevitable battlechest with all three "games" in a bundle.

Took about 6 years, but it's finally here: a $60 bundle for all three games...where as buying each one new would have been $40 a pop. So thank you very much, Blizzard, I'll happily take my full game now at a full game's price.
Um, you do realize that both HotS and LotV were developed and priced as expansions (same as Brood War), and that WoL was a full game with full campaign and full multiplayer right? Or is a game only a full game when it has around 70 missions (full total for the trilogy) and a certain number of units?

Anyway, I'm playing through now, up to Shakuras. Thoughts are as follows:

-The story so far is on par with WoL, and I'm not sure which will win out for me. While all three installments have utilized the same method of storytelling, the themes, characters, and tone have differed significantly. HotS easily comes at the bottom for various reasons, but, well, time will tell. The main difference is that I like how WoL starts off as something of a light-hearted space western, revelations are revealed, and by the end of the game, the characters and tone are in a different place to where they were at the start. LotV seems to be following the Brood War example - things start bad, and only go downhill from there.

-It may be because I'm out of practice, but the missions feel much harder, as I've always played on normal (I'm a newb, never got higher than silver in multiplayer). Heck, it took me 40 mins to beat the second Korhal mission. That said, I'm not complaining.

-I love the new units. Not that WoL or HotS were slouches when it came to army customization, but able to switch between them between missions is a step above. Spinning zealots, the centurion, the frickin' Annihilator - heck, I haven't even got to the good stuff yet.

Oh, and "I have returned." :)
 

Zelderahn

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Finished the single player experience and it is a fitting end to it all. I wasn't too keen on the Expac splitting the single player campaign into three chunks as I assumed similar production qualities compared to Brood War, but it's pretty obvious now in retrospect that each campaign in order had a full game of narrative on their own.

It certainly helped build Amon into a very respectable foe, and with how Legacy of the Void ties up old plot points that have existed all the way since Brood War, it's a wonderful thing to go through for a veteran.

Now it isn't Baldurs Gate or Planescape tier writing, but it's a fucking Single player RTS campaign with a respect for it's own setting and narrative.. and replayability derived from army customization divorced from the multiplayer facet of the game as to allow you to have -fun- as well as go through the extensive back-lot of formerly mothballed parts of the tech-tree.

.. .. .. I mean I had to use the Aiur Dragoon variant of the Stalker on principle. I HAD to. Mind Control via nostalgia.
 

Dinadan

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Hawki said:
-It may be because I'm out of practice, but the missions feel much harder, as I've always played on normal (I'm a newb, never got higher than silver in multiplayer). Heck, it took me 40 mins to beat the second Korhal mission. That said, I'm not complaining.

-I love the new units. Not that WoL or HotS were slouches when it came to army customization, but able to switch between them between missions is a step above. Spinning zealots, the centurion, the frickin' Annihilator - heck, I haven't even got to the good stuff yet.
It's probably due to practice and the missions being non-standard. If you got problem with a mission, try to just restart it. Much of the difficulty comes from having only a vague idea what exactly the mechanics of the missions do.

The new units and the ship abilities were my favorite part of the campaign. Lots of flair and tactical value. Liked it a lot more than HotS's customization.
 

shintakie10

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RJ 17 said:
And at long last, my patience has finally paid off. Like many people, I was waiting for pretty much a full decade after Brood Wars for SCII to come out...and like many people I was incredibly hyped up when it was finally announced. I checked the website every day, eager for new updates.

Then came the day where they decided "We're going to split the game into three games!" As someone who's not very competitive and instead was eagerly looking forward to continuing the actual story, this was an extreme "....WTF?!" moment for me. So at that point, I said fuck Blizzard as I'm not paying three times for a single game...if I did ever end up getting it, I told myself, I'd just wait for the inevitable battlechest with all three "games" in a bundle.

Took about 6 years, but it's finally here: a $60 bundle for all three games...where as buying each one new would have been $40 a pop. So thank you very much, Blizzard, I'll happily take my full game now at a full game's price.
I'll never ever understand this point of view.

Were there any of the three games that didn't feel like a full game to you?

Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, Legacy of the Void.

Did any of those games look or sound or play like a game that was cut up and sold separately? The answer is no. No they weren't.

People who had this thought goin into WoL and before HotS release I can understand. We didn't know for sure that it'd actually be 3 fully fleshed out games. Since then though? You'd have to be purposefully ignorant of the games in order to think that it was 1 game chopped up into 3 different games.
 

rcs619

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The campaign was pretty good for the most part, up until the Epilogue anyway. Once you get to the Epilogue, the story just falls off the rails and gets very stupid very quickly. But then again, that's not a huge surprise given how much this game had going against it. The Protoss are, objectively, the least interesting of the three factions. They're just a bunch of boring space-mystics with some cool tech. Blizzard has never been able to make me feel anything for a single Protoss character in this whole franchise. They're not the worst alien species of all time, but they're just so very, very boring.

Overall, I feel like the campaign suffers from 3 main issues:
1: The Protoss are boring and it's hard to actually care about any of them. Just glass Aiur from orbit and be done with it as far as I'm concerned. I mean, they're so boring that Blizzard had to completely fabricate an entirely new sub-faction of killer robots along with lore that has never been brought up before just to give them something to do. And the Tal'Darim are basically just chaos space marines, and about as interesting.

2: All the other factions get downplayed to irrelevancy until the last two missions. You get 2 missions with Raynor, 2 missions with Kerrigan, then they don't do *anything* for the rest of the game until the end. It's just a protoss-on-protoss show, which goes back to the first point.

3: The Epilogue suffers heavily from what I like to call "Mass Effect Syndrome," wherein a sci-fi game/movie/book doesn't know how to freaking end, so it tries to break out a bunch of bullshit metaphysical space-magic to make itself seem deeper and more thought out than it actually was.

Tassadar was a Xel'Naga in disguise all along and his entire life and death was part of a billion year prophecy to bring about the exact events of LotV? I call bullshit on that. Not only is it dumb, but it completely removes any agency any of the characters had. They were just pawns in someone else's game, doing what they did because lol prophecy and chosen ones.

It wasn't horrible, but nothing about it wow'ed me either. Lives were given for Aiur. Kerrigan continued to be a super-special snowflake and Jim Raynor (the best character) continued to get kicked in the balls again and again.

At least Wings of Liberty was legitimately good though.
 

RJ 17

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Hawki said:
Um, you do realize that both HotS and LotV were developed and priced as expansions
Indeed I do...and I really don't give a damn. $40 per game, they sold it to us in chunks.

(same as Brood War), and that WoL was a full game with full campaign and full multiplayer right? Or is a game only a full game when it has around 70 missions (full total for the trilogy) and a certain number of units?
You know what SC and BW had that SCII doesn't? 3 campaigns per game. Everything that I've heard - and from what I'm experiencing now - indicates that these campaigns are full of mostly filler missions. Cut out the filler, and you've got about 10 missions that actually pertain to the story. How many missions did each campaign in SC and BW have? About 10.

shintakie10 said:
I'll never ever understand this point of view.

Were there any of the three games that didn't feel like a full game to you?
It's simple, really. I expect one thing from my Blizzard RTS's: a campaign for each race in each game. That's how every RTS made by Blizzard has worked previous to SCII. I'll take shorter campaigns with each race included over longer campaigns with one race per $40 any day.
 

Hawki

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RJ 17 said:
Hawki said:
Um, you do realize that both HotS and LotV were developed and priced as expansions
Indeed I do...and I really don't give a damn. $40 per game, they sold it to us in chunks.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expansion_pack

Look it up. I know free DLC is nice and all, but the world doesn't work like that.

RJ 17 said:
You know what SC and BW had that SCII doesn't? 3 campaigns per game. Everything that I've heard - and from what I'm experiencing now - indicates that these campaigns are full of mostly filler missions. Cut out the filler, and you've got about 10 missions that actually pertain to the story. How many missions did each campaign in SC and BW have? About 10.
Three much shorter campaigns with much simpler mechanics and much simpler, if still decent, stories. What counts as filler is subjective (i.e. WoL has a core storyline with numerous side missions, which to me, enriches the experience),

shintakie10 said:
I'll never ever understand this point of view.

RJ 17 said:
It's simple, really. I expect one thing from my Blizzard RTS's: a campaign for each race in each game. That's how every RTS made by Blizzard has worked previous to SCII. I'll take shorter campaigns with each race included over longer campaigns with one race per $40 any day.
So, your entire logic is:

-I like my RTS campaigns a certain way, and if they're not done in that way, I feel cheated.

Which conveniently ignores the fact that:

-Blizzard's RTS campaigns have changed over time as with the rest of the genre. WC1/2 had two practically identical campaigns for two practically identical factions, with mutually exclusive results. SC1/WC3 change the ballgame with sequential campaigns with different race mechanics. And SC2 changes the ballgame again with massive single race campaigns with route choice, customization, etc., that each form part of a trilogy, but are distinct stories in their own right. Only now is this a problem apparently.

-And if you want multiple race campaigns, then I suggest you stay clear of RTS games like Homeworld, Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, and Halo Wars. Were you "cheated" in those games as well? Did their expansions rip you off by charging, gasp, money? Yes developers, please give me new units, missions, stories, etc. for free.

Oh, and stay clear of other game/film/book trilogies as well, where the story is spread over more than one installment. I hear they actually charge full price for those things. 0_0
 

Ridrith

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Really? My god I thought it was a horrendous way to end the series. Blizzard has got to be one of the worst companies out there in terms of storytelling. It's painfully juvenile and cheesy which is fine, seeing as how it's always kind of been that way but having Kerrigan turn into a pseudo, angelic figure wreathed in fire to fly off into space so that they can fight and kill the giant lumpy Cthulhu/old god ripoff is ridiculous.

I'm glad it's over. Hopefully they leave it alone or come back with a non-shitty storyline.
 

fix-the-spade

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RJ 17 said:
Took about 6 years, but it's finally here: a $60 bundle for all three games...where as buying each one new would have been $40 a pop. So thank you very much, Blizzard, I'll happily take my full game now at a full game's price.
I'd say you're getting about 1 and three quarter full games for the money. SCII has certainly been a weird one, for $120 the campaign was a bad deal, for $60 it's a very good one, certainly bigger than Brood War.

More importantly, Blizzard actually manage to make the story come to a mostly coherent ending, no Mass Effect 3 syndrome here. Although it does have the Brood War style text log at the end, not sure if that was a deliberate call to nostalgia or a case of time running out.
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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Ridrith said:
Really? My god I thought it was a horrendous way to end the series. Blizzard has got to be one of the worst companies out there in terms of storytelling. It's painfully juvenile and cheesy which is fine, seeing as how it's always kind of been that way but having Kerrigan turn into a pseudo, angelic figure wreathed in fire to fly off into space so that they can fight and kill the giant lumpy Cthulhu/old god ripoff is ridiculous.

I'm glad it's over. Hopefully they leave it alone or come back with a non-shitty storyline.
The problem for me is that this whole Plot about Prophecy and Chosen One stuff just does not fit well in Starcraft.

If this was done in Warcraft or Diablo, it fit better. I mean in Warcraft's case its heavily implied that Anduin Wrynn is some chosen figure to lead everyone against the true final battle against evil.

And it works her because Anduin was never once an evil overlord that slaughtered and conquered and betrayed everyone and everything in his path.

That is the crux of the issue, that it was Kerrigan being the chosen one, Kerrigan the Queen of Blades, the evil Queen ***** of the Universe that did so much evil shit in Brood War, despite the fact that she was once Human and her becoming Queen of Blades was accidental. She wasn't like Arthas who willfully corrupted himself.
 

John Keefer

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Samtemdo8 said:
That is the crux of the issue, that it was Kerrigan being the chosen one, Kerrigan the Queen of Blades, the evil Queen ***** of the Universe that did so much evil shit in Brood War, despite the fact that she was once Human and her becoming Queen of Blades was accidental. She wasn't like Arthas who willfully corrupted himself.
For the sake of argument (SPOILERS AHEAD!),
wasn't her redemption by Raynor at the end of Wings of Liberty and her voluntary return to her role as Queen of Blades that made her the chosen one? You could almost say she was more human as the Zerg Queen this time around. So she already had human and zerg in her,
then (SPOILER AGAIN)
her absorbing the Xel-naga essence basically combined all three races into the super being?

Eh, my 2 cents. Everyone has a different view of what makes a good story. I enjoyed it better than Heart of the Swarm.