Wings of Liberty Complete

Posted by wanchan on October 4th, 2010 filed in Video Gaming

I finished my first pass through the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign over the weekend. The acting (such as it is) in the cutscenes was quite good, and the plot itself excellent, in my opinion.

I was quite pleased at the difficulty. On “normal” I had minimal troubles in the first handful of missions, and with the exception of the last couple of missions, the only times I had to reload from saves was when I was trying to complete the optional objectives. It made for a pretty smooth playthrough. My only gripe, I guess, is that I’m going to need to start over in order to play out all of the missions, as the story has a couple of (minor) forks – I need to replay so that I can make the other decision at each fork.

I must say, however, that having a totally different set of units available to me in the campaign battles as compared to standard multiplayer matches was a bit confusing. I like my medics, and they behave so much better than in the original Starcraft. I miss them so during my skirmish battles :/  (the Vultures are neat, but I hardly used them anyway).

The ability to research upgrades in the lab and armory to permanently modify my army for future missions, and the way each campaign battle unlocked a particular unit on completion also sat very well with me. It felt like the usual natural progression of increasing tech level mission-by-mission, complete with the expected brief tutorial about the unit’s capabilities, except that I gained some control over the order in which I added each particular unit to my arsenal. So I could do things like expedite the addition of the glorious Siege Tanks, since I knew I’d be making extensive use of those.

The Laboratory research upgrades were considerably more engaging than I expected, mostly because you are made to choose between two different upgrades at each level. The problem? Pretty much all of the research options are zomg awesome. I’m happy with my choices, but suspect I’d do just as well with the alternatives.

The Mercenary units are amusing, and useful, but overall pretty “meh” in my opinion. Admittedly, that’s probably because I often forget to summon them, other than the Pirate Battlecruiser. I make pretty heavy use of battlecruisers whenever possible (at least in campaign missions). And his “I’m being attacked” dialogue amuses the heck out of me: “it’s a trap!”

I’m still not sure I care for Blizzard’s decision to split SCII into 3 full-on games, but this one, at the least, was worth my time and money. If they charge full price for the Protoss and Zerg campaigns, I’m gonna expect one hell of a performance, since this one has the multiplayer engine already.

Speaking of multiplayer, I have a smallish complaint. Why must “offline” skirmish battles (where I’m the *only* human player) be treated exactly the same as an online multiplayer? Pausing is limited, and I once paused a game and went to bed, only to find the game had ejected me for holding the pause too long. Who was I inconveniencing? Did it really bother the AI that I made it wait before finishing the match? For that matter, if I’m playing coop or head-to-head with friends, why shouldn’t we be able to table a long match for completion after we, say, come home from work? On the other hand, maybe the save/load function can fill that niche? I have no idea if a multiplayer game can be resumed with the same humans as before, or if AIs get automatically assigned to those slots. Or are mutiplayer matches even saveable? I don’t generally play with humans, because, as a rule, People Suck. I don’t see why I should expect the SCII community to be any different. I need to send a copy to Mark and make him play with me, I guess ^^;

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