StarCraft II : Legacy of the Void - Critique
When I play Legacy of the Void, I am amazed at how much fun I get to enjoy the latest version of this six-year-old RTS, an ever-increasing pleasure. Maybe it comes from the way each of the episodes was thought of: Wings of Liberty had to redefine the standards set by Starcraft and Brood War. For its part, Legacy of the Void simply had to be a very good version of Starcraft 2 and it is!
Legacy of the Void offers quite a few new things, especially for those who have been frustrated by the ladder and the high level of competition that previously defined Starcraft 2. Without compromising the competitive side, this expansion offers a lot more to do for casual players once the campaign is over.
Brothers in arms
Co-op missions are a great surprise that's particularly fun to play, especially thanks to the mission design and unique heroes that offer their own additions for all three races. There is one, particularly well thought out, which places you with your buddy in co-op in control of a base in the center of a map and you will have to stop the attacks which come simultaneously from two fronts, whereas you must in at the same time intercept enemy convoys. This is possibly the best mission in the Starcraft 2 campaign since Dusk Till Dawn Zombie Battle in Wings of Liberty.
Army variations and progress bonuses allow you to refine the possibilities each time. Playing as Swann, the Terran Mechanized Engineer, for example, is completely different than controlling any other Terran army might be. Only Swann has access to high-tech armored units and defenses, albeit relatively expensive, which makes his army incredibly powerful, despite the consumption of resources beyond measure. Learning how to use each hero well, and trying out higher difficulty levels, makes co-op really interesting.
Co-op carries over to PvP multiplayer, and while Archon mode probably doesn't change your mind about multiplayer, it's a fun option. Sharing control of a single base (and an army) with a friend is a more sociable, sometimes frustrating, but always fun way to play the same fast, yet ruthless RTS that Starcraft 2 is. can't say I've always been on the same page as my ally, and Archon mode has made me miss more spells than it has allowed me to pass games. Nevertheless, I had fun each time. This doesn't necessarily make Starcraft a more accessible and easier game to play, but it does allow you to enjoy it with friends when playing online.
A new armor kit
Legacy of the Void brings new units to each race, but some have such issues that I haven't been able to use them as much as I would have liked. The Adept forms the basis of the Protoss army early in the game, using his bizarre teleportation to create new strategies, just as the Liberator can for Terrans. But I had a hard time finding a place for the Ravager in my Zerg armies or not getting bored when using the Protoss Disruptor. Interestingly, both of these units require a lot of micro-management and they can be a real annoyance if you don't know how to manage them. For an average player like me, hit-and-run units like the new Cyclone are new ways to get into trouble when I'd better run away with a bit more classic build and Ancient.
Legacy of the Void turns old, familiar units into something much more exciting. I don't know if the Navel Carrier will be used a lot in competitive matches, but I clearly had a good time using its new ability (Freeing Interceptors), to launch waves of suicide bombers shooting all over the place. while my Carriers retreated. And since games get off to a quicker start with Legacy of the Void's new economy and starting positions, I got a feeling of more freedom and opportunity to be able to use some weird and surprising builds.
Why be so serious?
The campaign itself is very good, with a lot of options, all classes, for modifying your armies (choosing between three variations for each unit as the options unlock) and improving your ship, the Lance of Adun. In each of the twenty-two missions, you can request the intervention of super abilities from the Spear of Adun, such as a temporal disruption that freezes enemy units in place while yours smash them to pieces. You can also summon a mechanical clone of an ancient Protoss hero to wreak havoc on the battlefield for a short time.
The single player (or co-op) mode is also where you can find a lot of special units for each faction. The mighty Dragon, who was the base unit of the Protoss army in Starcraft, returns in this campaign, as does the Dark Archon from Brood War, who can control units and turn them against their own army. It's really cool to use these units, especially since they are not balanced for the competitive I, but rather fun for their astonishment.
However, I have to warn you that the Protoss are a beast to play. The game is endlessly serious and serious. The characters use language that would have its place in the bible, or in a faithful adaptation of the Silmarillion, speaking of a war against an ancient evil. It made me miss the days of Wings of Liberty, when I was walking with Jim Raynor aboard the Hyperion.
But the missions nonetheless provide a lot of fun thanks to a mixture of infiltration, search and destruction, as well as passages through checkpoints. They are much more traditional than those of the innovative Wings of Liberty campaign, remaining the showpiece of the series in terms of mission design and campaign structure. However, I was not as bored in the missions of Legacy of the Void as in those of Heart of the Swarm, too focused on the hero. I wish there was something between the walk in normal difficulty mode and the enormous challenge of hard mode. Anyone is able to finish the game in normal mode because it suffices to use their units en masse without necessarily thinking as there are resources to get there. In hard mode, all perks are taken away from you, and the number of enemies in Zerg territory explodes.