Review: Starcraft 2

Atmosphere:  A.  Very few flaws can even hope to disrupt your suspension of disbelief.  Every mission or scene brings originality and the mark of fine craftmanship.

Intelligence:  B+.  The execution is nearly brilliant and only slightly less impressive than the presentation.  At its base is a thoughtful and prolonged exposition on the kind of men who wage war most effectively and their place outside of it.  The interface is also greatly improved in terms of usability.

Involvement:  A+.  Massive content and insightful writing create a thrilling engagement not easily distracted.  Both the single-player and multi-player aspects are of the highest production quality.  The campaign even offers some replayability due to a few dichotomous choices and financial limitations.

What will annoy you:

Price.  I do agree that the game is worth $60, but it is not easy to stomach that kind of price for a modern computer game that offers only a single campaign.  If more games of this quality were available and I was accustomed to both this and a higher price, I personally would probably not have any objection at all.

Interface.  While massively updated, there are still some glaring omissions in helpfulness.  Your ability to zoom out always feels just a bit cramped, and the standard screen-edge-scrolling is very old hat.  More hotkeys to automatically select certain classes of buildings (like W for all Warp Gates as the Protoss) would also be welcome.  I’m also still disappointed to see that units must be purchased before they are actually produced in queues; it really doesn’t make sense, and basically just feels like a punishment for planning ahead.

AI.  Again while this is an area that has had enormous attention, there are some issues with units failing to pathfind (mostly in balls of both large and small units such as Marines and Thors) and incredibly stupid SCVs who will box themselves in after building a structure.

Voice acting.  Many of the voices are fantastic, but some sound quite weak.  The Tank gunner sounds like he is struggling to replicate his original voice.  Tychus, for being a main character, has a voice that is just a bit overdone.  Kerrigan also didn’t strike me as very sincere in her affectations.

Final Fantasy.  One of the last new characters to appear in the game is very much out of place as some kind of effeminate anime representative.

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