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Starcraft II: Legacy of The Void First Impressions

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It’s been a long time coming, but the finale of the Starcraft saga is here. After so many years the story of one of gaming’s most legendary franchises is coming to a close. In continuation of the style of Starcraft II, if you’ve played one of the game’s campaigns before, you know what to expect – an interesting mix of RTS and RPG mechanics that have been Blizzard’s tentative step forward for the RTS genre as a whole.

Nothing anyone currently drooling to play the new expansion doesn’t already know, and if you want more, read on.

While this continuation of the story isn’t as poignant or hard-hitting as previous iterations, it does carry some immense weight. The overall feeling and themes throughout the campaign will be familiar to longtime fans. The various faction campaigns are compelling and offer interesting closure to the various stories that have been developed over the years.

That being said, some of the campaigns feel a bit lacking in gravity. The Zerg campaign was an exception to this, but many of the missions in other campaigns felt a bit anemic in terms of design. They are creative at times as they gently guide the player into utilizing all of the units in the Protoss’s repertoire, but they feel a little stale after Heart of the Swarm. That isn’t to say it’s bad, but it’s just not as mechanically fun to play.

The storyline is exceedingly well-written, as is expected for a AAA title expansion. The characters developments feels well thought out and makes serious attempts to bring satisfying closure to the character-driven elements of the campaign. Even considering that the characters might be hard to relate to given their alien nature, the story still handles emotional moments well.

The previous campaigns made great use of the NPC conversations as points of lore development and exposition. The same is true here, if not more so due to the fact that these NPCs now function as a crucial point of relation between players and other NPCs.

Sound design in Blizzard titles, and StarCraft especially has always been a high point. Legacy of the Void is no different. There is honestly nothing serious to criticize so far in the expansion. Voice acting and overall effect fidelity are second to none. The same can be said for the graphical presentation. Units and their effects look stellar and keep the player’s attention focused on the action. And even at lower settings the presentation aims to please. A bit of work could be done to optimize anti-aliasing in certain scenes to prevent performance drops, but the technical aspects seem solid otherwise.

I haven’t dove into the multiplayer yet, but I expect great things as a longtime player. Though I’m by no means talented at the fast-paced RTS style of gameplay StarCraft is known for; this will likely translate to a lot of multiplayer losses when I finally do get my hands on it. Although I suspect even losses will be enjoyable. It must also be said that the improvements made to the matchmaking and overall UI for the game have held strongly. It is not an understatement to say Blizzard had made many leaps forward in terms of UI design and usability over the life of StarCraft II.

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