Starcraft 2 News and Reviews
As with every other Blizzard game ever, Starcraft 2 generated a ton of hype leading up to its release in 2010. Because it’s a Blizzard game, there need not be any question of its overall quality. With some companies, gamers can just expect them to release AAA titles without fail, but which parts of Wings of Liberty stand out in particular?
Good isn’t good enough since it follows in the footsteps of the original Starcraft, one of the most popular video games ever. Thankfully, Starcraft 2 doesn’t disappoint. However, it’s only the first title in a planned trilogy. Its sequel, Heart of the Swarm, is expected for release sometime in 2013.
- Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty Review
- Some First Impressions
- Starcraft 2’s Cast of Characters
- A Nostalgic Look Back at Starcraft
- Heart of the Swarm Preview
If you’re new to the game or even the series, these guides will give you a solid starting point. Will you be competitive online? Definitely not, but you have to learn the basics before you can move onto the more advanced tactics.
- The Very First Strategies New Players Must Learn
- Getting Started in Multiplayer
- Basic Tips and Tricks
The Single Player Campaign
Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty’s campaign isn’t entirely linear like that of the original game. After the first few Mar Sara missions, players can choose between two to three missions to focus on first. While all missions can be completed regardless of order, each mission unlocks new units which can make later scenarios easier to complete.
- Stepping Into Raynor’s Boots: Mar Sara Missions 1-3
- Helping Out Dr. Hanson: The Colonist Missions
- Uncertain Allies: Covert Missions
- Taking Down the Dominion: Rebel Missions
- A Brief Guide to the Artifact, Prophecy, and Final Missions
Socializing in Battle.net
For many years, Battle.net was the gold standard of online functionality for video games. Starcraft 2 features many improvements and changes, including the slightly controversial Real ID system. With Real ID, you can see your friends' real names as well as their screen names. These Real ID guides help set up your Battle.net profile and protect your privacy.
- Basic Social Features of the Real ID System
- Upcoming Battle.net Changes Sure to Leave Players Unhappy
Three Playable Races - Terran Players
Playing as Terran affords new players the best opportunity to win matches. There are two main things going for Terran in Wings of Liberty to give newcomers a competitive chance. Most players complete the single player campaign before taking their chances online, so they have a bit of experience before they ever set foot in multiplayer.
Terrans aren’t exactly a defensive race, but their ability to wall of their bases and defend themselves early on are a bit more forgiving than playing as Protoss and Zerg. While nothing can substitute for experience, Terrans perform equally well at rushing and teching.
Land and Infantry Units:
Swaming Your Enemies as the Zerg
If Terran players can take a balanced approach to fighting, Zerg players seek to overwhelm their opponents through sheer numbers. Zerg players can use the infamous zergling rush, dumping a dozen or more cheap units in the other base before their enemies can muster enough units to defend. There’s also the popular roach, hydra, and infestor offensive, and a player harassing with mutalisks can decimate opponents' economies if they aren’t keeping a close eye on their home base.
Just as the Zerg threaten the Terran colonies in the single player campaign, Zerg players win by quickly building up their armies and expanding across the battlefield, leaving nothing but devastation in their wake.
Protoss Bring Advanced Tech to the Battlefield
As the complete opposite of the Zerg, Protoss focus on building expensive but powerful units. Six or more colossi can butcher almost any ground force while a carrier fleet backed up by void rays is nearly unstoppable. The only problem is that these powerful units can’t be built until the late game, and many new players make the mistake of rushing these units out without focusing on the weaker but necessary (at least early on in each match) units like zealots and stalkers. Then again, zealots and stalkers are still more powerful than their Terran and Zerg counterparts.
Don’t get too comfy, though. While any Protoss players focus on late game units, you still need to expand to build up your economy. A common mistake with inexperienced players is to build carriers while mining resources from only their main base. You might even get a carrier or two out before the enemy attacks, but you’ll run out of minerals long before you can build up a fleet strong enough to beat the enemy’s army.
“Cheese” refers to all-in strategies early on in the game. Players who cheese sacrifice their initial economies in favor of gaining an upper hand over their opponents within the first few minutes. While most players dislike cheese tactics, they’re here to stay, and you don’t want to set foot in Battle.net without learning how to defend yourself against these all too common strategies.
- Don’t Lose the High Ground: Beating the Reaper Rush
- Cannon Rushing a Sure Sign of Noobs
- Your Enemy Has Six Zerglings but No Economy
As with most games these days, Starcraft 2 features hundreds of achievements for everything from single player campaign missions to winning 1,000 competitive multiplayer league matches as each race. It’s probably not possible to earn all the achievements in the game (unless you play the game for ten hours a day every day for five years). Achievement junkies will want to check these guides out if for no other reason than to prioritize their achievement goals.
- Multiplayer Achievements
- Campaign Achievements
- Terran Achievements
- Zerg Achievements
- Protoss Achievements
Cheats and Unlocks
We’ve all been there. There’s that one impossible fight or mission that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t beat. You don’t want to turn the difficulty down, but you’re on the dozen-th attempt. Maybe you just want to exact some unfair vengeance against the computer. Maybe you just want to move on.
Regardless, using cheat codes in Starcraft 2 disables achievements, so you can’t earn any more after you’ve used a cheat. Also, don’t become clever and try to use them in multiplayer. You’ll just give the other players a good laugh. Games increasingly forgo cheat codes these days, so it’s nice to see Starcraft 2 harken back to an earlier time.
- Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. Blizzard Entertainment. 2010.
- Author’s experience.