Azurephile gives this an astounding "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Azurephile gives this a "Must Play" on the Ghost Scale
This achieves something special, and it would be a shame to miss it.
Quick Review

  • Recommended +1

  • Seems short

  • Different playable characters with unique abilities

  • Not too difficult

  • Level up Kerrigan and the swarm

  • New units

  • Replay-ability and achievements

  • Multiplayer available
Last night, I finished the expansion to StarCraft II, Heart of the Swarm. It didn't seem to last as long as the campaign, Wings of Liberty, but it was still a lot of fun.

Synopsis: In Heart of the Swarm, you are Kerrigan, pretty much, and are working on getting the swarm back together to get revenge on Mengsk. There are a few different characters you get to control instead of just Kerrigan. Each character has their own unique abilities and roles to play. However, Kerrigan is the only character that you work towards leveling up by completing certain objectives in missions. These objectives weren't very difficult to achieve and I was able to level her up to the max by the time I was at the end of the expansion.

Kerrigan and swarm evolution: When leveling up, Kerrigan gains HP and special abilities. Not only do you work on evolving Kerrigan, but you also work on evolving the swarm, your army, by completing missions in the Evolution Pit. This was a fun part of the game where you learn about a creature that acts a certain way and, as a Zerg, you must destroy it and adapt its essence into the swarm.

New and old units: Familiar Zerg units have returned, but they have various mutations that you can choose. There are also new Zerg units, but that applies to the Terrans (in Wings of Liberty) as well. As for the Protoss, what little of them I got to play in the Wings of Liberty campaign, they had some new changes as well. As for the Protoss, we have to wait for their expansion to be released, which, at the time of this writing, has no release date.

Achievements: I can still replay some missions and get achievements that I missed, but I think I've pretty much gotten most of them. Some of them require meeting a certain objective on Hard mode, something I'm not really interested in. I haven't looked up specifics in what you get with the various achievements, but I'm sure I've gotten all the ones that I really wanted. I replayed some of Kerrigan's missions so that I could level her up all the way. There are also multiplayer options for the game, but I'm not really interested in that.

I'm kind of sad to be done with StarCraft II, as I am when finishing a game that I really enjoyed. What's next? Well, I think I'm going to give this Diablo III demo a try.

Anyway, in summary, if you liked StarCraft, you'll probably like StarCraft II and the expansion, Heart of the Swarm. I'm really impressed with Blizzard for the games I've played (Warcraft I & II, StarCraft I & II). I'm also really impressed that after all of these years, StarCraft got a sequel and it was done with excellence.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/08/2014 at 01:04am

I really liked Heart of the Swarm. It was everything I wanted from a Zerg expansion(my fav race). I am really eager to hear about when Legacy of the Void will come out. Now that the new Diablo III expansion is out I hope they mention it's release date or just talk about how development is coming along with it.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/08/2014 at 01:04am

Oh and I didn't get all the achievements either. I went back to Wings of Liberty to try and complete them all and did some but not all.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/08/2014 at 03:15am

I really liked Heart of the Swarm as well. One thing I forgot to mention was that it reminded me of Spore, how you have to gather essence. I'm not sure who my favorite race is, I'm thinking the Terrans because I like their bunkers and some of their units (like the Battlecruiser and Ghost). Which reminds me of a game called StarCraft: Ghost. I don't think it ever made it to being released. I also look forward to the new expansion. I saw a heading that alerted me to its existence and I researched it while writing one of my last entries (the one where I provided links for more info).

As for Diablo III, I just finished the Starter Edition. Travis was trying to talk to me, but I had some issues with getting my messages to him. It would tell me whatever I typed and is "not a valid chat recipient." He said it was probably while he was switching characters, but it could also because I've been having some local network connection issues since I got the new computer. I think I just need a new main Ethernet cable as I know it has a short in it.

Anyway, I think I chose a Barbarian. I was thinking, "is this game really this easy at the beginning or is my character really that much of a bad ass?" It was easy, though I died once in the beginning. I can now saw I've finally played a version of Diablo. I'm not sure that I'll go out and buy it. It was generally ok, but didn't peak my interest. Maybe I'd like it more if I played more of it or one of the older ones.

Still, this brings me back to a point in my gaming life that I hate, what do I play next? I hardly played Lightning Returns and Dragon Age Origins, perhaps I should get back into those games, but I guess they didn't quite peak my interest either. DoTA 2 was ok as well, but none of these games have really captured me like Minecraft, Terraria, and StarCraft II did. I've got to find something else that's epic and awesome.

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/08/2014 at 08:06pm

Yeah you don't want to use a cable you know has problems.

Also, if it didn't pique your interest, you may consider trying a different character or upping the difficulty a bit.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/08/2014 at 10:49pm

It's a very long Ethernet cable, maybe 20 ft., it connects my switch down here in the basement to the wireless router a floor above. I think something told me there was a short in it and where, but it's been so long and I don't remember what told me that, it may have been something I found out with my NIC. My networking issues are kind of random and last for a few minutes. I haven't thoroughly investigated or troubleshot the issue. Perhaps it's the additional network traffic of having an extra computer running on that cable as well. I don't think it's the wireless router or DSL I'm connected to as it seems to only cause an issue on the two computers here in my room (which are connected to the switch along with the PS3 and Wii).

I'm glad you, Travis, read this post as I was wishing I could "tag" you in it since I mentioned you and wanted you to see what I had said about D3. I was going to send you a message on here to check it, but luckily you already did. As for the game, it did look great and it did function very well. Upping the difficulty a bit would just make things worse. LOL I enjoy being a bad ass character and defeating my enemies without too much trouble. Basically, I like over kill. Hahahaha.

Jon did tell me a while ago (before the expansion's release) that the game was only $20. That's cheap and it wasn't a horrible experience, or bad even really, so I could easily pick it up. Actually, I could just upgrade my Starter Edition and do it digitally. Usually I like to get a hard copy of the game, but there are other factors to think about. Now that I'm running on 3TB, I have plenty of room for digital games and that option would be cool because it'd mean I wouldn't have to drive to GameStop. One more plus about digital copies is that I don't know where my Heart of the Swarm disc is. Luckily, to get HoS working, I just had to download some data and insert the disc key, so I don't need it for a while. It'll show up eventually, I'm sure.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/08/2014 at 11:42pm

The game isn't hard at the start. If you want more of a challenge try a different difficulty mode. Diablo has some REALLY challenging modes now and if you want to ramp it up right away, setting it on higher will do it. If that is still too easy, go one more until you find the right balance.

And yeah, with digital games I don't "lose them." That said, some games I have in Steam get effectively lost right? Because I have so many games I can't really play them all.

Travis   Admin wrote on 04/09/2014 at 03:12am

Ha, the gamer's lament. I have too many games to ever play them all.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 04/09/2014 at 11:20am

I don't have that problem. LOL Still, I have plenty of games and and many have replay value.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/10/2014 at 02:25am

I have tons of games with replay value to Greg. In fact, if I stopped buying games i'd be set for years.

Still want to replay Starcraft 2 Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm. I recently started a new character in Diablo III and hit acts I - IV again, which was rad. I come back to Link's Awaking every few years and love it. I've been itching to play Earthbound and Final Fantasy VII again.

I also will prob play PixelJunk Monsters, FTL & Terraria until I am in the grave as well :D

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