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.
Terran Campaign: 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
Zerg Campaign: Heart of the Swarm
Protoss Campaign: Legacy of the Void
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.
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.
The campaign teaches the players some gameplay skills, often without them realizing it as they're being immersed in the story.
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. 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.
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.
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. They fit the same role they had in StarCraft I, but have even more unique abilities from standard units.
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.