Review — Starcraft: Legacy of the Void (430)

Starcraft has always had a special place in my heart. I know it’s not accurate, but I do consider it the beginning of Esports and gaming on a competitive level. I never was very good, though. I was probably only about twelve years old when the second true installment of the game, Wings of Liberty, came out. This game has had an enormous impact on the gaming community as a whole, and while I’ve talked about it before, let me give my thoughts on the latest version. Even though it’s already two years old at this point, I hadn’t played through the last chapter until this past month, so cut me some slack.

Protoss is my favorite race. Between the goopy, brooding, and infesting insectoid swarm of the Zerg, the mechanical, sturdy, and militaristic might of the Terran, and the advanced, noble hierarchy of the vengeful Protoss, I’ll take the latter. I don’t like the bug or the hardbitten war aesthetic much, but an ascended race of people who think they’re better than everyone else? Yes please.

So, I think it goes without saying that since Legacy of the Void was the Protoss chapter of Starcraft II, it was definitely my favorite. I have the strongest handle on what my capabilities are with that faction, so I can try a little bit harder and pay more attention to the story than I could before.

And man, Legacy of the Void has some awesome characters and stories. I won’t spoil anything here (though the statute of limitations is definitely over), but it definitely has a lot more character than anything I really felt in the other two campaigns. The previous two objectives were: “save my x-girlfriend”, followed by “figure out who I am then get vengeance”. This time it’s “unite your fractured people, then take down a god”. This campaign felt a lot more impactful than the previous two, even if it is because it’s the “final chapter” of Starcraft II. Obviously I can’t really give credit to the writers here. It’s pretty much comparing the climax to the beginning and middle of a book, which isn’t fair at all.

All that being said, my favorite part about the single player is that it’s totally okay to give the player incredibly powerful abilities because it doesn’t have to be balanced. You’re supposed to win. The way that Legacy of the Void achieves this, through giving your character choices of unique units as well as adjustable in-game abilities (like ‘giant_lazer.exe’). Being able to upgrade and customize the way your character(s) go into a fight is one of my favorite game mechanics, and the fact that the things I’m choosing are all incredibly powerful makes my decisions feel extremely rewarding.

And, of course I can’t talk about Legacy of the Void without mentioning Alarak. (Minor spoilers ahead, but nothing too pivotal to the actual plot.) As far as I know, this character didn’t even exist in the Starcraft universe before this campaign, but he quickly ascended (see what I did there) to one of my favorite characters. You don’t get a lot of ‘Lawful Evil’ characters in any franchise, and even the ones that are aren’t on the good side. Alarak is a good guy, but he would never be mistaken for a good guy, if you know what I mean. Plus, he’s amazing because he’s so condescending, and the way he does it is so funny it’s amazing.

So, is Legacy of the Void worth getting? If you’re a Starcraft player, absolutely, but if that’s the case then you’ve probably already bought it. If you’re new to the RTS genre and want to know where to start, it’s great for that, too. All the complicated strategy stuff is easily tossed aside for new players. It’s mostly there to give veterans a way to amplify their abilities even more.

But, as old as Starcraft II has gotten, I’d imagine the next major installment for the franchise is due somewhat soon. I’d be willing to bet that the next big game release will happen before 2020 ends. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it was announced by the end of the year, but I don’t expect it to be. Whatever might be the case, this game is great and is very compelling for an eight/nine hour experience!

One thought on “Review — Starcraft: Legacy of the Void (430)

  1. “I don’t the bug or the hardbitten war aesthetic much, but an ascended race of people who think they’re better than everyone else? Yes please.”

    Two things – first, typo – you forgot “mind” in the first statement.

    Secondly, consider the following:

    “… but an ever evolving race of people who think they’re better than everyone else…”
    “… but an adapting and tenacious race of people who think they’re better than everyone else…”

    I mean, I know what you meant, but really, the more villainous side of every faction believes it is the superior race to a fault. I also have qualms with the “ascended” bit – I know it’s established in game a bunch, but c’mon, protoss. Just because you’ve evolved to have no orifices and speak brain talk… I mean lots of beings in the universe seem to have various traits like that. Does play into their “think they’re better” mindset though haha.

    Trying to think on which of the 3 games is my favorite… it’s tough.

    Wings of Liberty had that shiny new awesomeness that it just gets for being the first game.
    Legacy of the Void, like you mentioned, got to be the huge climax.
    Heart of the Swarm though, I feel like it got to redeem Kerrigan and focus a lot on her character. Which I liked a lot. I’m not sure if you played it, but in my mind, she was an irredeemable villain after Brood War.

    But… Void probably wins it for me because of the voice acting. All three games were great. I loved hearing Jim again in Wings. Abathur was so much fun in Swarm. But man, Alarak just has the most amazing voice ever.

    Alarak kinda feels like “What if Peter Parker was a Sith Lord with the voice of a purring sabertooth tiger.”

    Also Fenix. Fenix would have been my favorite character in the entire series had Alarak not existed. I’d describe him as The Tick, but remove all of the humor and make him a robot.

    All of the games were great though. The ability to swap in new units and try new super powered troops was just so much fun.

    Like

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