StarCraft II is an F2P PC-only real-time online sci-fi game released by Blizzard Entertainment in July 2010. The game features three species, the humans (known as the Terrans), the Zerg and Protoss. The two later stand-alone P2P expansions, Legacy of the Void and Heart of the Swarm allowed players to play from the respective perspectives of the two alien races. Both solo and multiplayer modes are available, and all versions can be played offline. In addition to the main story arcs of the trilogy, there are two additional modes that players can select; the Versus modes and co-op missions. F2P players have permanent access to three characters in the various modes: Jim Raynor, Artanis, and Sarah Kerrigan. The remaining characters are only F2P up to Level 5.
There are also co-op and PvP options, with a matchmaking system for 1v1 to 4v4 outside of the campaign mode. There is also a free-for-all option. Players can record their matches to re-watch later and therefore learn from their mistakes.
StarCraft II is a military-based game that is highly strategy-based, with players being able to opt for either the single-player campaign mode, or the multiplayer MOBA mode. Solo-mode features units that are not available in multiplayer game-modes. Players need to manage their economy and forces, as well as interact with other characters to progress both in terms of the missions and to develop the storyline. In each expansion, players can move around the main character’s ship, the Hyperion, interact with other characters, choose to visit various planets to complete main or side-missions, watch news broadcasts, upgrade units, or play a mini-arcade game.
In the campaign mode players can opt to either play on or offline. In order to progress in a battle, players will need to gather resources to develop and sustain their units. Despite the vast number of missions, Blizzard has managed to diversify them, so that they do not seem repetitive. Some missions include competing against a slowly moving wall of fire, defending a base, escorting a unit and can also be time-sensitive or stealth-based.
As the player progresses in the game, they will earn currency and research points that can be used to purchase new units, skins and upgrades. New units will be made available according to the missions that the player selects. Furthermore, while the overall plot will remain the same, certain elements of the story will shift according to choices that the player makes during the game, such as which missions will become accessible or the type of weaponry that the player will be able to choose from
Each mission contains certain tasks and completing those tasks will earn players certain achievement rewards. It is possible to complete a mission without achieving all of the tasks. This, combined with the story choice-based missions, increases the replayability of the campaign mode.
Generally, there are three achievements that are earnable per missions, but they aren’t unique to the campaign mode. They can also be earned in the PvP and PvAI modes as well. all that these achievements grant the player is an achievement badge that they can add to their publicly accessible collection. Unfortunately, although players can progress offline, they can only earn achievements when they play online.
Obviously, new FTP players playing will only be able to access the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign mode. However, in the MOBA battle-modes, they will be able to access all three races albeit with the restriction of only being able to play the main three captains past level five. However, given that each race comes with its own set of units, abilities and strategic strengths, this still provides FTP players with more than enough content to get by on.
The Premise of the Story Campaigns
1. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
This is the original base game of the StarCraft II franchise, with the game being set four years after the events of StarCraft: Brood.
The basic premise is that now that the Overmind has been destroyed, the Zerg Swarm has been taken over by the Zerg-infested Sarrah Kerrigan, who is currently known as the ‘Queen of Blades’. The Infested Terrans lose their conscious minds and mutate into strange super-powered half-Zerg creatures with super-abilities. However, their free will his completely subjugated to the will of the Broodmothers, and ultimately, to the Queen of Blades.
Raynor is now the head of a band of renegade Terrans, as he has been declared a rebel by his former friend, Arcturus Mengsk who is now in control of the Dominion forces in the Terran’s Koprulu sector. Raynar and his crew decide to start a rebellion, and so take on various mercenary mission to raise funding for new equipment. As the game progresses, they also attempt to discover a cure for the hyper-evolutionary virus that the Zerg use to invest Terrans, Protoss and other alien species as a means to expand their numbers and eventually take full control of the galaxy.
In order to accomplish this objective, Raynor and his band take on mercenary-style missions in order to earn funding for upgrades and new equipment that might aid them in discovering occur. As the game progresses, Raynor will be faced with many choices that will influence the overall story of the game, although the ultimate conclusion remains the same.
2. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm
Heart of the Swarm this expansion allows players to control The Queen of the Blades through twenty missions as she attempts to forge new alliances with broodmothers and to reap revenge on the Dominion forces that destroyed her research facilities. Along the way, she travels to various planets and meets various characters and slowly asserts her power over opposing powers, all the while evolving and growing more and more powerful along the way.
3. Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void
This title is a stand-alone game, although it is part of the Starcraft II trilogy. Legacy of the Void introduces three pre-game missions, as well as 19 missions. During this adventure, the player takes control of Hierarch Artanis, a Protoss who is the leader of the Daelaam. He is tasked with rallying his troops, and reclaiming his home-planet, Aiur, from the Zerg forces. Various events occur to prevent this, and Artanis must work to reestablish his authority, and to realize his objective. Once he has freed his planet, Raynar, Kerrigan and Artanis join forces against a new greater threat.