StarCraft II: Legacy of StarCraft
I had given up hope a while ago, that this day would ever come. But there it was. After 17 years they finally finished the story they started in 1998 with StarCraft. Incredible! Such a development is quite rare in any medium. Sadly, now the story is at least partially such a convoluted mess, that it more or less became a total sideshow (I liked the epilogue slides at the end a lot though – good call to include them). The MP crowds probably aren’t going to care anyway, so I don’t think Blizz is going to loose any sleep over this.
So the story might have been what drew me back in, but the gameplay was what kept me hooked. Seriously, the gameplay is the star here. Of course SC isn’t the sole good RTS, but hardly any other is so polished, so solid in all its aspects. I played another RTS shortly after and I was often trying to press F2 to quickly select all of my troops, but of course this feature didn’t exist there. All these options are so well thought out and implemented, that it’s a joy to play, even if they mutated the story at the core into meaningless drivel.
The Protoss might have the coolest troops overall, I was always a huge fan of the carriers (and so happy they were never removed), but it was the Zerg campaign I maybe liked the most. Again because of the game design. I thought the ideas to have Kerrigan level (and make optional mission objectives count towards this goal), along having customized troops after playing special evolution missions between the actual story missions, were brilliant. The Protoss adopted roughly the same setup (by leveling their ship), but the focus on putting much work into Kerrigan herself, who was always present in every fight, was more engaging to me. And I say this although I recognize that it is good design too, to give each of the 3 campaigns a more unique identity.
I’m really into building large bases that can mostly defend themselves, so the new Protoss tower became quickly my favorite building. Its firepower and range made it almost OP. A few shield batteries behind it, and even major onslaughts wouldn’t crack my defenses. Only the space needed to build enough of them really limited their deployment. So maybe they balanced it nicely after all.
PPS: Someone stole Geordi’s visor!