StarCraft 2 holds a dear place in my heart as the game that I love and hate at the same time more than any other game. I can leave it alone for weeks or months only to return with a passionate obsession as I did the first time. From the days of Wings of Liberty late into the evening now to the end an of era with StarCraft 2: Legacy of the Void. As the final entry in the StarCraft 2 trilogy Legacy of the Void has to aim high and deliver higher. In an industry where eSports in growing everyday and longer, open world games take centre stage is StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void up to the challenge and can Blizzard work magic once again. I hoped so and I was not disappointed.
Continuing on with the StarCraft 2 story, Legacy of the Void brings the trilogy to a close following the events of last two games. Wings of Liberty (2010), which focuses on the Terran was followed by Heart of the Swarm (2013), which focused on the Zerg and now, Legacy of the Void picks right off where the last two games finished. The story will see you play as Hierarch Artanis as you lead the last remaining Protoss on a journey across the stars to reclaim your lost homeworld, Aiur. Though I don’t want to spoil the story as it really is something to experience as it brings an end to the StarCraft 2 trilogy with respect and greatness, you just need to bare in mind that your be tasked with overcoming a great evil and blowing up everything that stands in your way.
After a few tutorial missions of sorts you are then giving control of a ship known as the Spear of Adun which will become not just a flagship but a key part of the gameplay throughout the story. Much like in the last Starcraft 2 games you will be able to pick what missions to play and when throughout the story but all will need to be cleared to finish the game. These give you a range of unlocks and bonus which you can then change up throughout the story to adapt to your play style and strategy. Given the wide range of missions you will encounter throughout the Legacy of the Void it is important to truly understand the Protoss units, abilities and upgrades. By the of it though you should find yourself, if not already, a more comfortable Protoss player to then take to the competitive multiplayer.
As you would expect with a StarCraft game Legacy of the Void continues to deliver a high standard of real-time strategy with a number of improvements. Besides the new units for both single and multiplayer the standard StarCraft 2 formula has been changed for the better with new balances across the board and some speed changes to. One of the greatest additions to the story is the Spear of Adun which lets you warp in Pyons, call on Orbital Strikes and much more all in real time. Your still be managing your macro and micro but you now have a host of new options available to you that help keep the game fresh and alive. It could also be said that the StarCraft 2 multiplayer is now the best it has ever been in Legacy of the Void thanks to those changes and new units and modes.
Going back to the new modes that Legacy of the Void has to offer you will be spoiled for choice once you finish the story mode. Now with co-op missions and Archon Mode the life of the game has grown dramatically. Co-op missions let you grab a friend and fight through waves of enemies in objective-drive missions where you plays as one of the many legendary StarCraft heroes, each with their own units and play style. Run and gun with Jim Raynor, deal death to all as Sarah Kerrigan or even play as Hierarch Artanis and fight for Aiur. As you level up your characters and unlock a number of new units and abilities the possibilities within co-op mode are ever expanding offering hours of enjoyment.
Archon mode on the other hands is a great way to ease someone into the StarCraft 2 multiplayer environment. By allowing two players to control a single base resulting in some brilliant moments as you double your performance against your enemies. Likewise, you can grab a friend and use Archon mode as a chance to show them the ropes by taking some of the stress away under your own control so they can work on managing more focused roles. As for the standard competitive multiplayer actions you can rest assured that Legacy of the Void steps the game up to a new height and keeps the action fresh. Though exploring the multiplayer of StarCraft 2 would take forever I would advice you drive in for yourself and experience the joys, or sorrow, of battle. It never gets old even after all these years.
In the end, regardless of the mode you might be playing the core mechanics and systems in place within StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void gameplay hold up just as you would expect with some exciting new changes. To say that Legacy of the Void didn’t have fun gameplay would be a lie because honestly, it’s better than ever. Online or offline.
As with any Blizzard game StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void comes packed with stunning audio from the unit sound effects to the epic backing music, you won’t be disappointed with this soundtrack. The only real complaint I would make it regards to the audio would be the voice acting of some of the character was hard to handle at times. This was mostly the Protoss due to the manner in which this mysterious beings speak with a spiritual echo about their every word. As a whole though the audio within StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void is as great as ever which helps to aid with the emotion and tension your experience along the game’s journey.
On the visual side of things the game holds up to the much loved Blizzard style of graphics and fits with the other StarCraft 2 games. Though the menu and other elements have been overhauled graphically the game still has that charm. More important is that Legacy of the Void still performances solid throughout even the most hectic of battles you might encounter. Blizzard have kept their standard high even for this entry and it really does show.
I could honestly talk about StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void all day long. It is a game that for me doesn’t just set a standard for my expectations of competitive gaming but also for real-time strategy games as a whole. To explore Legacy of the Void as a whole or even StarCraft 2 for that matter could lead to many debates and arguments but in the end all that matters are two things. Is it good, and is it fun and you know what? StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void isn’t just a great game it is a brilliantly stunning game which offers complete enjoyment across the whole package.
If Blizzard have taught me anything over the years it is that they know how to make an outstanding game regardless of the genre. From the new changes to the core formula, co-op and Archon mode, a brilliant story and ever engaging competitive multiplayer. StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void brings the trilogy to a well earned close but doesn’t stop the series in it’s tracks but rather sets it up for the future. If your looking to experience StarCraft 2 or any real-time strategy game for that matter make sure to pick up StarCraft 2 Legacy of the Void as I can’t recommend it enough. My life for Aiur!
This review is based on a copy of the game provided by Blizzard Entrainment.