Once in a while a game comes along that sets the standard for developers and players alike. And it probably comes as no surprise that Blizzard Entertainment is often a leader in this trend. How can a game company take so much vacation time between releases and still remain in business? Because they have become so versed in delivering amazing quality and production value with their games that the industry knows they will receive nothing but the best.
Our praise of StarCraft II doesn't stem from a mindless love of war-strategy games. In fact, the majority of us are terrible at them, so what a great opportunity for Blizzard to reach beyond their dedicated fan-base and envelope us in their talent for story-telling and entertainment. Both of these factors play a large role in the single-player campaign that StarCraft II offers. We focused much of our attention on the campaign because we felt it might be overlooked since Blizzard games naturally revolve around intense online multiplayer battles. Still, having a truly engaging single-player campaign is an excellent sign of a genuinely entertaining video game experience and StarCraft II does not disappoint.
The single-player campaign revolves around a battle-worn James Raynor who, if you are somehow unfamiliar with the StarCraft history, was a primary character in the original. Without diving into spoilers, Raynor must lead the way through a series of inter-linked scenarios against the vile Zerg as well as the Terran empire. Made out to be a traitor in the strictly-governed media, Raynor finds himself with limited resources and allies as he tries to envision a way to defeat the Zerg collective. Between each mission in StarCraft II, you are given control of Raynor aboard his starcruiser. From here you can visit different locations of the ship such as the armory, bridge, and cantina. Each area provides you with selectable dialogs between different characters as well as interfaces for purchasing mercenary contracts, upgrading unit abilities, and even playing a fully-developed 2D arcade game.
This break between missions adds a significant decisive aspect to the StarCraft II single-player campaign. As you progress you will only earn enough credits to purchase certain types of upgrades for units and structures. This allows you to take precise control over your single-player experience and forces you to think strategically about your next moves. Rather than feel like an unnecessary delay, you will find yourself looking forward to returning to base in order to spend your hard earned credits to acquire better gear.
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