Right before the launch of the final chapter of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Blizzard let us know that they were planning a set of 9 new DLC missions. The missions feature Nova, a Terran Ghost and a smaller scale StarCraft II story than the epic grandeur of the previous StarCraft games. Like many I pre-ordered the Nova missions and looked forward to playing the new game. StarCraft II is a very popular online multiplayer game and eSport but my focus as a player is solely around the single player campaigns. For whatever reason, Blizzard decided to split up the DLC into three packs numbering three maps each. I don't particularly love this release strategy but I like getting a new game to play at a faster pack so it's not the worst thing around.

The game starts with Nova waking up in a place she has no memory of. She gets a message from a mysterious friend saying she is in danger and after a series of quick thinking on her part in conjunction with the friend on the outside she escapes. I won't go into much more detail on the story to avoid spoilers but it's classic Blizzard storytelling. The game feels like a proper StarCraft II set of missions just at a smaller scale. I enjoy this very much as one gripe I had with StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void was that they were trying so hard for a grand scale that those epic moments all seemed to run into each other such that it destroyed most of the tension.

As I was playing the first mission of Nova Covert Ops I was very impressed as it is a visual feast to behold. The gameplay and music is what you would expect from playing previous StarCraft games and I didn't notice anything new there. Each mission is broken up into two parts each and both propel the narrative forward in different ways. In the first level Nova escapes the science facility in a Hero mission similar to the handful of missions in previous games focusing on abilities and dungeon crawling. The second part of the first level is a fun and unique mission where Nova is on a speeder bike and needs to avoid other vehicles as she escapes. It's a fun mission that highlights what kinds of creative stuff you can make with the StarCraft II map editor. Each mission is book ended with an in game rendered cut scene and they are as good as you would expect from any Blizzard game.

Like any StarCraft II game the missions start small in scale and slowly work up in scope and complexity. That said, by the third mission I was having to juggle multiple things at once and it felt a bit harder to manage that previous StarCraft II campaigns. I really enjoyed some of the unique aspects of the mission and hope to see more of this diversity in the remaining three packs. If I had to pick some gripes with Nova Covert Ops i'd say that i'd rather Blizzard have released all the packs at once. That said, it's nice to get content as it comes and i'd prefer this over waiting a year. Another critique I have is that after only three missions i'm not as invested into the story as i'd like to be. With previous StarCraft campaigns you could continue on all the way to the end and somewhere around the fourth or fifth mission I was hooked. After three missions the game barely gets time to get moving before it's over. So I guess my biggest complaint is that I was left wanting more.

Azurephile   Super Member wrote on 04/13/2016 at 05:46am

So, the beginning at least was the kind of mission I was hoping for, it seems. Are the other missions the same or are they more similar to what we're used to main Starcraft missions being? I haven't given Nova Covert Ops a try yet. From what I got from you, I don't think I'd enjoy "having to juggle multiple things at once." That reminds me of some of the LotV missions where I had to worry about multiple battle fronts, that was a bit too much for me.

Any idea when the next 2 mission packs will be released?

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 04/13/2016 at 11:17pm

> Any idea when the next 2 mission packs will be released?

No word on that yet, i'll post when there is smile

> Are the other missions the same or are they more similar to what we're used to main Starcraft missions being?

Yep they are. I'd say the first three missions are about half of the strength of the "base build and attack" missions of LoTV. Those kinds of mission exist but they are smaller in scope and contain elements of the hero missions.

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