GKick Review: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

FACT SHEET: StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty | Available Now PC | Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment | Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Better late than never, right? Well, I figured that now was...

FACT SHEET:
StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty | Available Now
PC | Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment | Developer: Blizzard Entertainment

Better late than never, right? Well, I figured that now was as good of a time as any to take a look back at one of the hottest RTS games - if not THE hottest - to have been released since, well… StarCraft. When Blizzard announced many years back at BlizzCon that the StarCraft II story would be split up amongst three separate games, a lot of folks were curious as to how the games would be delivered. Would we get neutered versions of the main story, deliberately cut in three just to squeeze more money out of their customer base?

Well, yes and no.

For starters, the single-player campaign of Wings of Liberty is plenty long. It’s also plenty challenging. Combine that with single-player challenge modes, achievements, AI matches and - of course - multiplayer and you’ve got a game with nearly infinite replay value with a ferociously competitive ladder system and rewards - REAL rewards - for the most dedicated of you. Thousands of dollars go to the best pro SC2 players worldwide (though mostly South Korea) and if you have the time, patience and skill, you can get a piece of it.

The beauty of SC2 is in it’s balance. Any race can beat any other race at any given time and it just comes down to the skill of the player. You can eek out a cheap win here and there, but if you aren’t skilled enough to adapt to some incredibly mind-bending scenarios on the battlefield, you’ll be overwhelmed and defeated in no time. That isn’t to say that multiplayer is only for the future pro gamers out there. With a laddering system that is gentle yet competitive, a growing player can ascend through the ranks of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum all the way to Diamond, Master and even the coveted Grandmaster rankings, a feat reserved for the best 200 players of the region.

SC2 also does a great job at teaching you the essentials as you play all of it’s other modes. The campaign, even though you’ll get units you’ll never see and abilities you’ll never get in multiplayer, does a good job of teaching you how to manage your forces. The challenge modes are also excellent teaching tools in unit control and countering. Of course, no challenge - not even the AI - is sufficient to a real person on the other side of the internet. While some of the finer points of multiplayer aren’t really taught in-game, there’s an infinite resource available for players who are interested in refining their game.

When it comes down to it, the multiplayer is the heart and soul of StarCraft II and it always has been, and considering the competitive nature of SC2 multiplayer, the balance is incredible and always improving.

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About Steve Perry

The owner of GKick Network, co-host of the GKick and Bottom Line Live podcasts, and hero to millions worldwide.