StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Review for PC

On: PC

Sequel to the hugely popular RTS Starcraft.

Review verdict Read Review
10Out of 10
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StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty screenshot
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty screenshot

And crikey, taking the game for a spin online can be a bit of an uphill struggle. Multiplayer is a fast affair, epitomising the virtues of the rush and solid micromanagement. Playing the game can have a severe effect on your brain, and a couple of hours spent in multiplayer can be a genuinely exhausting process. There's a lot to do, and even more to observe, and you'll need to learn your hotkeys and invest a large amount of your time into practicing the basics to scrape even a single victory, but the satisfaction derived from winning is immense - an intense rush of accomplishment and satisfaction that puts almost all other online games to shame.

Blizzard try and extend the olive branch to beginners by way of an unranked practice league and an effective system of bucketing players into skill-based ladders, but the level of competition is high and these tools will only benefit players who've already decided to commit to learning the intricacies of the game. It's not an easy ride.

As expected, the new units have shaken up the dynamic of the three races from the original. Fans of quick rush tactics have taken an initial fancy to the Terran Reapers, for instance, who can jump up cliffs and cause endless problems by harassing the opponent's harvesting units, and a well-executed MMM (marines, marauders and medivac dropships) strategy can cause endless problems to the Protoss or a Zerg opponent focusing on a Roach rush. I’m primarily a Terran player, but new and established strategies are equally prevalent for the other two races.

It's here, in multiplayer, that you realise the sheer amount of strategic finery the game exhibits. Other RTS games have been able to have a jolly good crack at strong single-player campaigns - notably Relic's efforts with Homeworld, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War - but no other developer has been able to devote the time and resources to creating and balancing such a strong multiplayer experience. Even WarCraft III, Blizzard's last RTS, didn't come close.

The decision to region lock the servers might cause problems if any Europeans fancy playing with North Americans (in tournaments, for instance) or vice versa, requiring players to import copies of the game and setup multiple profiles to access inter-continental play. It's one of the controversial decisions Blizzard has taken with their revamped Battle.Net service, the most notable of which being how the game uses your real name to identify you online. While the system is certainly efficient and technically impressive, such demands can be a little off-putting. It shouldn't detract anybody from the quality of the game, however.

Both the single and multiplayer parts of StarCraft II have legs, and each stand strong on their own: combine them in one package and you're getting an awful lot of game for your money. StarCraft II can be daunting, distressing and demanding but it's one of the richest and most expertly produced video games of recent years. StarCraft II is a shot in the arm for the RTS genre, filling a void that's been left dormant for far too long - about 12 years, actually. StarCraft is dead. Long live StarCraft.

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10 Comments

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Highwayman's Avatar

Highwayman

NO DX10/11 at all, yet manages to have some very nice graphics considering.

As with most Blizzard titles there's lots of tightly designed gameplay and levels, excellent multiplayer. The Zombie night & day levels were fantastic, as were the volcanic tidal ones.

9/10 close but not perfect, needs better graphics and enviromental scarring, and unit capping is for gaylords.

Makes up for crappy C&C Twilight, and Sup Commander 2.
Posted 17:48 on 28 November 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade@ Bloodstorm

Seem to be the done thing to blame Activistion for everything. Blizzard are smart enough to know how to make a game.

The problems you highlight don't effect most of the people tbh. If the Single player is good and the Multiplayer is as solid as the first. Whats stopping it getting a 10? No game is perfect.

I think its great to see a Pc exclusive being a contender for Game of the Year and in a very busy yaer.
Posted 16:17 on 30 July 2010
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm@ renegade

So you're saying you're fine with that? This is what PC gaming as become.....you shouldn't have to have stupid limits on mods, memory especially.

I also dont like how Activision are trying to cash in on player-made mods like those created in Warcraft 3. Good game but it's not brilliant.
Posted 15:43 on 30 July 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade@ RecoN

Yes I loved that game lol.

If you want some old games try.

Warcraft 3
Diablo 2

Both Blizzard both amazing
Posted 13:30 on 30 July 2010
RecoN's Avatar

RecoN@ renegade

I loved C&C, maybe i might give the 1st one a go :) Im looking for groundbreaking games of the past and i might have found one :)

Did any one ever play Dundeon Keeper? That was like the ultimate classic in RTS
Posted 13:16 on 30 July 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade@ RecoN

Starcraft is probably one of the best RTS series ever made, close with Warcraft 3. the C&C series I never got into. Red Alert was good however.

If you like RTS games or story games you need to play this game.
Posted 12:55 on 30 July 2010
RecoN's Avatar

RecoN

Guys i have never played Starcraft. Is it good? Can anyone compare it to C&C for example?
Posted 12:44 on 30 July 2010
renegade's Avatar

renegade@ Bloodstorm

Shouldn't get 10? :O

One thing with regards to sound, why is it an 8. I mean the sound track is amazing for this game and some of the "piss" sayings the units have are awesome. and did you listen to the Cut scenes :O.

I agree with the 10 this game is amazing, but do not agree with the two 8s
Posted 11:29 on 30 July 2010
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Oh dear, someone forgot to mention that you can only publish 5 mods and they HAVE to have a limit of 20mb for 5 mods. The editor refuses words like "Suicide", "God" and "Blow" among others, why is that you're asking? Because thanks to hot coffee Blizzard ARE liable for any obscene content on custom projects thanks to the new system they introduced thanks to GTA.

Shouldn't get a 10, an 8 maybe but giving a 9 would be generous.
Posted 10:51 on 30 July 2010
Roland_D11's Avatar

Roland_D11

I read somewhere that the region lock will be removed in the future because of the negative reactions. Blizzard only hasn't said when exactly, yet.
Posted 10:39 on 30 July 2010

Game Stats

System Requirements
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
10
Out of 10
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
  • Compelling campaign and multiplayer
  • Incredible depth
  • The genre at its peak
  • Region locking is a bit of an annoyance
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Release Date: 27/07/2010
Platform: PC
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Genre: Real-time strategy
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 17 3
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