Here we are, nearly three weeks after the launch of Blizzard’s closure to its epic saga, Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void. I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but there is very little which compares to freezing every enemy on the map and letting rip with every piece of firepower you have…
The story starts with the Protoss forces attempting to retake their homeworld, previously lost to the Zerg under the Overmind. Needless to say things do not go according to plan. You spend the majority of the rest of the campaign embodying Artanis, the leader of the protoss forces, in his quest to defeat the “Dark Voice”, Amon. As a major villain to the story, Amon lacks the sheer brutality and visceral sense of the Queen of Blades. It makes up for this shortfall in an ever-present sense of dread; the feeling that everything you do has barely any effect. It must be said that Blizzard have managed to turn stories in gaming into something close to an art form.
“As a major villain to the story, Amon lacks the sheer brutality and visceral sense of the Queen of Blades”
However, in this latest Starcraft instalment, the campaign is not all that has been introduced. Blizzard has launched two additional game modes in parallel to the campaign and multiplayer. First is the long-expected Archon mode. In this mode two players control one single army. The idea is simply that two minds are better than one. In this way a less skilled player can be taught by a pro, or two players of similar skill can combine their efforts to pull off feats which would be impossible for one person. The second addition is a Co-Op mode. In this mode players choose a commander, one of the characters from the story, such as James Raynor or Sarah Kerrigan, and command a reduced but more specialised version of their faction. With varying difficulty levels and unlockable skills this mode offers a great deal of replayability, which Starcraft has lacked outside of its world famous multiplayer scene. Furthermore Blizzard intend to add more characters to this game mode as time goes on.
“The idea is simply that two minds are better than one”
The end verdict: while lacking some of the more personable elements of previous instalments this is a fitting end to an epic story. Character driven, and with multiple ways of approaching each challenge, this is a worthy game in its own right. The addition of new game modes only makes the deal sweeter.