The Game Grinder - Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void (PC) Review

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I'd hope that everyone at least knows the name of Starcraft. If not, then of course

I'd hope that everyone at least knows the name of Starcraft. If not, then of course

finish this video, then go and play the original Starcraft. There is no working computer that

cannot play the original game, and it, along with the Warcraft series, are pinnacles of

the RTS genre. With that said, we now come to the culmination of a near 20 year saga

with Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void.

Church here, and welcome to The Game Grinder. Today we'll be reviewing Starcraft 2: Legacy

of the Void. Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void was developed and published by the legendary

studio Blizzard Entertainment, and is the third and last game in the Starcraft 2 trilogy.

The original Starcraft told the story of our main characters through 3 different campaigns

covering the events of three races, the human Terrans, the advanced alien Protoss, and the

ferocious animal or insect like Zerg, and it's expansion as well. Starcraft 2 took a

different approach giving each race it's own game covering the overall story arcs included

within. Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void was released in November of 2015 for the PC.

As I've mentioned, and for those unfamiliar with Starcraft or the RTS genre, these are

real-time strategy games. The basic game-play involves controlling various units and base

building dependent on gaining resources allowing building, all while opponents do the same.

Many games are present in the genre, like Command and Conquer, Age of Empires, and Supreme

Commander, but Warcraft and Starcraft are the games that every other game aspires to

be. These games took a simple concept, added in incredible amounts of depth to the game-play

itself, and the big allure for these games for myself are the finely crafted single-player

campaigns. These aren't great just for the incredible stories they tell, but takes a

simple game genre like the RTS and uses them to tell these sagas in a way that no other

game in the genre has been able to do besides perhaps Command and Conquer.

Of course Starcraft is most well known for it's multiplayer experience and has remained

one of the largest and most competitive esports scenes in the world, but for the sake of this

review I'll just be covering the single-player story campaign. I will briefly cover what

else is included, because regardless of what I love Starcraft for, it seems like the vast

majority of people who play go for the online scene rather than the story mode.

In terms of game-play, if you've played any Blizzard RTS game, then you should know what

to expect. For those who aren't familiar with the formula this is the basic jist of things:

In most instances from single-player to multiplayer you'll start out with a "command center" of

sorts. The initial structure that is required for a base, that will build our initial workers

that will gather resources, and may eventually build more structures for additional units

or upgrades. The driving factor of building relies on resources, either minerals or gas.

Once we have the funds, we may build additional buildings, units, or upgrades. From here it's

then boils down to building necessary units to defeat our enemies who are doing the same

thing.

Added to the base building, unit management is important, as every race in Starcraft has

units that may be weak or strong against other opposing units. That's where the strategy

aspect comes in. You don't necessarily need to know what is better than what, especially

in the story mode where I usually just build mass armies of the units I liked, sometimes

called a "ball", and just roll over whatever obstacle I needed to clear. Skill in this

game isn't too important in the single-player campaigns, but incredibly important when playing

multi-player. The story campaign is a great way to get familiar with the game and how

to play it if one was interested in trying out the online scene.

The multi-player is the real meat and potatoes of the RTS genre, pitting player versus playing

in strategic battles to the death, requiring adaptation, quick thinking, and fast mouse

and keyboard skills aka micro, to dominate.The online modes are quite robust, featuring a

variety of game-play options such as 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, Free for All, versus AI, and

the massive amount of custom made "arcade mode" games that are mostly fun scenarios

covering everything from challenges to dungeon crawlers to tower defense.

There is a large online competitive community for Starcraft, though it's not the powerhouse

it used to be, mostly due to wide adaption of the MOBA genre, but there's still plenty

of folks online to game with. With the various versus modes, and the ability to play ranked

or unranked leads to a lot of options to choose from, which leads to a ton of content.

Of course with any game these days, and especially Blizzard games, there's a massive amount of

unlockables from profile portraits to unit skins and logos, to the standard massive list

of possible achievements to receive.

As we move onto the story I'd like to just briefly cover how the single-player game-play

goes. In many ways it's very similar to how it's played online, but the campaign has a

little more structure to it with the story integration. Besides the many incredible Blizzard

famous cinematic scenes, before each mission we'll have some general story progress through

said scenes or we'll find ourselves on the "Spear of Adun", the spacecraft mobile base

of our Protoss forces. Once on the ship we'll be able to interact with many other important

supporting characters, and also be able to upgrade our forces, and choose some new abilities

to make use of during battles. This is where a large portion of the world building and

lore take place.

Once we choose a mission, we'll get an initial briefing talking about our next objective.

Here we can also see any additional special circumstances that may reward bonus such as

the "Solerite" resource that gives us more points to allocate to abilities, and bonus

achievements. Moving into the mission itself will play out in two ways, either introduced

by a cinematic scene, or the more often in game introduction of mission objectives, or

story related dialogue between the main character.

How missions will typically play out is like this. Once the initial dialogue is over, we'll

usually start off at our base, though sometimes we'll have more side-off missions where we

control a small force or even sometimes the main heroes. From here we take over and will

need to fulfill whatever requirements are needed to complete the mission, while choosing

to do optional side missions or not. Throughout each mission there are often many dialogue

events between the main characters, and sometimes with the enemy depending on circumstances.

Then after completing said mission, we may be presented with another cinematic, in-game

scene or return to our main spacecraft base. Missions may last anywhere from ten to forty

five minutes depending on requirements, if optional objectives are completed, or the

pace that we play at. There's also an initial difficulty selector from easy, normal and

hard, and hard has some extra achievements that may be earned.

It's also worth mentioning that much like the previous entries in the Starcraft series,

Legacy of Void introduces a decent variety of new units, and brings back many of the

classic units and structures from the original games to further enhance choices in unit building.

Through the missions the game introduces us the the various units, how they can be best

made use of, and really does a good job of teaching mechanics through game-play instead

of non-immersive tutorials.

Before moving on, I'd like to mention I will be talking about some spoilers, so if you'd

like to skip ahead, click on the annotation.

So onto the story then. Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void is the third entry in this trilogy

and continues off immediately where Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm left off. One really

neat addition is shortly before Legacy was released, Blizzard had released a few bonus

missions named "Whispers of Oblivion", which connected Swarm and Legacy together directly

covering Zeratul's investigation into the Xel'naga prophecy. This prophecy leads Zeratul

on a hunt to discover Amon, a creature who plots to wipe out all life in the universe

with it's army of Protoss-Zerg hybrid.

In the last game, the once human, now Zerg queen Kerrigan had learned from Zeratul that

Amon was responsible for the Zerg swarm and was once again plotting to wipe out all other

life from the universe.

Zeratul then brings his findings to the current leader of the Protoss, Artanis, and informs

him about the present and growing danger of Amon and sets the wheels in motion to stop

him. During Artanis's crusade to reclaim the Protoss homeworld Auir, Amon awakes and seizes

control of the vast Protoss force through their telepathic connections with one another

via a force called the Khala. Few Protoss besides the Dark Templar are unaffected by

this form of mind control, and Zeratul manages to sever Artanis's connection to the Kalah

by severing his nerve cords, and gives his life in the process.

Artanis is tasked with seeking out a keystone created by the creators of life, the Xel'naga,

which is the same artifiact the removed Kerrigan's infestation in the Wings of Liberty Campaign.

Amon begins to decimate the Korpulu sector, and Artanis arrives in time to aid Jim Raynor

and Valerian Mengsk before securing the keystone.

The Protoss forces then head to Shakuras to revive ancient weapons known as the Purifiers

to aid in the fight, and Artanis recruits Matriarch Vorazun of the Dark Templar, and

once securing the purifiers, finds that Fenix has been resurrected as a Purifier. In an

attempt to halt Amon's capture of Skakuras, using the Spear of Adun, the planet is destroyed.

Once the keystones information is accessed, Artanis then heads to the Xel'Naga home world

of Ulnar, a massive relic hidden within a in-hospital location of space. Upon arrival

Artanis finds Kerrigan has come there with the same agenda, and the join forces in hopes

of recruiting the Xel'naga, but find they have all been slain my Amon.

During this time, the Tal'darim, a protoss force who worships Amon, invade the Spear

of Adun, and their leader Alarak is recruited as he believes his people had been betrayed

by their "false god". With all the remaining protoss factions united, they lead an assault

an Auir, and are finally able to banish Amon into the void, and save Auir in the process.

Eventually Artanis and Raynor are summoned by Kerrigan to Ulnar to invade the void and

destroy Amon once and for all. They are able to save an imprisoned Xel'naga Ouros, who

tells them that only a Xel'naga can defeat Amon. Kerrigan is the only person powerful

enough to survive this ascension, and she then becomes one with Ouros, and with the

combined efforts of the Terrans, Protoss and Zerg, are finally able to destroy Amon.

With the universe free of this threat, the Terrans and Protoss usher in a new age of

peace and prosperity, and the new Zerg queen Zagara reclaims Char for the brood. As years

pass we'll eventually find Jim Raynor in the same bar he was found at the beginning of

the Starcraft 2 saga, and though the door we see Kerrigan, who's taken on human form

again. Jim leaves his badge, and they leave together, never to be seen again.

And with that, the near 20 year saga of Starcraft comes to an end. Each release in this series

has been carefully crafted, and the effort definitely shows. Starcraft has always been

a leader of it's genre, paying utmost attention to the characters and lore of the universe

it builds. The storytelling, character voice acting and delivery are some of the best in

the industry. I said it before and I'll say it again, anything that Blizzard creates,

whether you're a fan or not, are nothing short than top notch. They truly are one of the

few game developers that do not sacrifice integrity for a quick buck, and put out the

best product they possibly can. Each series they've made should be a shining example to

the rest of the gaming industry, from Starcraft, to Warcraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Heroes of

the Storm, and probably the upcoming Overwatch as well.

The amount of detail and creativity put into this universe is impressive, and lends itself

directly to the immersive world we spend so many hours in. Of course again I'll mention

the absolutely stunning Blizzard cinematics. When it comes to CGI, they are the leaders.

The soundtrack is pretty amazing as well, hitting on all the moods and always doing

what it needs to do to enhance the overall experience. Some tracks from the series are

pretty legendary at this point.

For me, in many ways this game was highly anticipated, but at the same time I was sad.

It's like a an amazing friend that moves away, and you don't know if you'll ever see again.

I knew this was going to be one of my favorite games of 2015, but I knew this is the possible

end of the Starcraft story. Besides a few DLC missions Blizzard has planned, which is

a new thing to the series, the future of Starcraft is unknown. Like I said before, this story

has been in the works for close to twenty years, and when the story, the characters,

the game-play, the graphics, and the soundtrack are held in such high regard, there's a lot

invested in it. Investing on the inside. And with that said, this is a series that I think

everyone should play at least once, and this release is no exception.

Thanks for checking out my review of Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void. What were your thoughts

on the game? Have you played the series? Let me know in the comments below. If you like

what you've seen or heard, please give the video a like, a share, and subscribe to see

future videos. I'm on Twitter and Facebook as well, and post a lot of other great game

related content there, and links are in the description. Until next time on The Game Grinder.

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