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StarCraft II features fewer, more epic movies compared to the original. In addition, there are several in-game cutscenes of higher quality than the original games' pre-rendered movies. The number of in-game cinematics exceeds that of pre-rendered cinematics. This is due to the need for fine-tuning cinematics and that pre-rendered cinematics must be planned early on in the development process.[1]

Overview[]

Terran Campaign: Wings of Liberty[]

Wings of Liberty

Zeratul: "I bring tidings of doom. The xel'naga return, the cycle nears its end, the artifacts are the key."
Jim Raynor: "The key... the key to what?"
Zeratul: "To the end of all things."
- Zeratul delivers a warning to Jim Raynorsrc

The terran campaign focuses on Raynor's Raiders, which has become a mercenary force based in the Hyperion. It includes a Zeratul-focused mini-campaign.

Blizzard introduced players who are unfamiliar with the storylines of StarCraft I and Brood War to the storyline by introducing a plot summary during the installation process.

Zerg Campaign: Heart of the Swarm[]

Heart of the Swarm

The zerg campaign focuses on Kerrigan's Zerg Swarm, which was fractured by the de-infestation of Sarah Kerrigan during the Battle of Char.

Protoss Campaign: Legacy of the Void[]

Legacy of the Void

Legacy of the Void is a stand-alone product, and does not require StarCraft II installed to run.[2] It focuses on Artanis.[3]

Mission Packs: Nova Covert Ops[]

The StarCraft campaign continues in Nova Covert Ops, being released in parts. It features Nova Terra as the protagonist, in her fight against the separatist group the Defenders of Man. It takes place years after Legacy of the Void.[4]

Gameplay[]

Structure and Development[]

Blizzard considers the old technique of using the campaign to teach new gamers how to play multiplayer games online to be something that doesn't work. Instead, Blizzard uses tutorials, challenges, and improved score and replay screens to teach new gamers how to do so, giving them the freedom to add many new units and upgrades to the campaigns.[5]

The campaign teaches the players some gameplay skills, often without them realizing it as they're being immersed in the story.[6]

The campaigns is a tree-shaped arrangement, enabling players to choose different passages, level-ups and bonuses. Each campaign has a distinct beginning and end, but the center portion vary considerably when played by different people. Each person might try a different set of subquests, and finish them in different ways.[7] Usually the player can go back and play "missed" missions; only in rare instances a choice prevents a player from playing another mission. Decisions made in one campaign doesn't have effect on the campaign in the next expansion.[8]

Players can get closer to the main characters in interactive sets.

StarCraft II didn't feature a co-operative campaign mode before the release of Legacy of The Void. However, Blizzard hasn't excluded the possibility and may install such a function in a future patch or expansion pack.[9]

Difficulty settings[]

Each campaign features four different difficulty settings: Casual, Normal, Hard, and Brutal. Harder difficulties may have more enemy units, weaker units replaced with stronger ones, and more upgrades for them. Objectives may also be stricter, such as shorter time limits being used or key enemies having more HP. Various achievements require playing on certain difficulties.

Enemies have half as much HP on the Casual setting in Wings of Liberty. In later campaigns, the player's units instead take half damage from attacks. In Heart of the Swarm and Whispers of Oblivion, the player's units take 25% more damage on Brutal.

Game speed can be altered between Slower, Slow, Normal, Fast, and Faster within the Gameplay tab under Options. The minimum speed setting varies depending on campaign, mission, and difficulty.

Heroes and NPC units[]

Heroes aren't buildable in melee maps. Each have unique appearances, weapons, abilities, and animations. Heroes have special hotkeys to select them.[10] They fit the same role they had in StarCraft I, but have even more unique abilities from standard units.[11][12]

Heroes do not often appear in Wings of Liberty and have little impact on gameplay. Their role was mostly restricted to "story space" and thus replaced with mercenaries. However, in Heart of the Swarm, Kerrigan is prominently featured throughout the campaign and played a crucial role in the gameplay. This was intended to further differentiate the Zerg campaign.

Many units that were cut during development of StarCraft II or simply never officially used appear in the single-player campaigns, and most of them are available in the map editor.

References[]

  1. 2008-11-09. StarCraft II Art Panel. StarCraft Legacy. Accessed on 2008-12-09
  2. 2014-11-07, BlizzCon 2014 Opening Ceremony. StarCraft Legacy, accessed on 2014-11-11
  3. Blizzard Entertainment. 2014-11-07. Legacy of the Void: Campaign Preview. Blizzard Entertainment. Accessed 2014-11-08.
  4. 2015-12-01, Pre-Purchase Nova Covert Ops™ Today!. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-12-08
  5. Dustin Browder, Dave Remo. 2009-10-26. The Design of StarCraft II (page 1). Gamasutra. Accessed 2009-10-26.
  6. Frank Pearce, Bob Colayco, Billy Berghammer. 2008-09-08. Crafting a Sequel for Everyone: The Frank Pearce Interview (page 2). Crispy Gamer. Accessed 2008-09-10.
  7. Pardo, Rob and Zetaras Xal'Kurat. 2008-06-29. WorldWide Invitational 2008: Pictures, Presentations, Videos (StarCraft II Panel: Evolving Design) SC2 Blog. Accessed 2008-06-30.
  8. Karune. 2009-03-19. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 50. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2009-03-19.
  9. Jon Wilcox, Frank Pearce, Bob Colayco. 2008-08-29. StarCraft II Q&A Feature. TVG Accessed 2008-08-30.
  10. Karune. 2008-05-15. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 38. Battle.net StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed on 2008-05-15.
  11. Karune. 2007-07-23. StarCraft II Q&A - Karune Briefings. StarCraft II General Discussion Forums. Accessed 2007-09-06.
  12. Karune. 2007-08-31. StarCraft II Q&A - Batch 11. StarCraft II General Discussion Forum. Accessed 2007-08-31.
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