- Motto: "This won't hurt me a bit."
- Weapon: Laser Scalpel
The game has now been out a week and I wanted to give my thoughts on it...I'm curious to hear everyone else's takes as well.
I have only played campaign mode at this point; I really wanted to get the hang of it before moving to leagues and multiplayer. The storyline itself has me hooked- I simply keep playing because I want to see what the next chapter in the story will be. The cut scenes are very telling and the detailing on the graphics are phenomenal.
First off, I am really liking the new upgrade system; you earn credits on certain missions then spend them in the Armory to upgrade your troops. vehicels, and buildings. You need to be frugal with the credits...there are not enought to simply buy every upgrade. it makes you think on what type of strategy you will be using with those units. I think it's a positive innovation. The same goes for research. Each mission has the opportunity for you to earn research points based on either the Zerg or the Protoss. Every five points, you get to choose from two upgrades. Both are very handy to have, but depend on what type of strategy you are using. Once you cap these (25 points), the Moebius Foundation pays you credits for every point beyond 25.
In campaign mode, you are playing Jim Raynor and are aboard his flagship the Hyperion. On the Hyperion there are four "rooms": the Laboratory, the Bridge, the Cantina, and the Armory. THe Lab is where you choose your research upgrades. The Cantina allows you to hire mercenary teams, interact with other characters (cut scenes), and watch "news" reports (slightly less biased than CNN) regarding the DOminion. The Bridge is where you choose what missions you want to run, with the exception of Protoss-based missions which are run from then Ihan Crystal in the Lab. The Armory is where you purchase upgrades and can interact with the weapons of mass destruction you have at your disposal. Each location also has little tidbits: trophies, random characters, and even an old fashioned arcade game that you can play!
As far as the game feel itself, this IS Starcraft. It handles, feels, and sounds like Starcraft- just refined to the Nth degree. It is a real time strategy game, meaning you have to gather resources, manage your upgrades and equipment, and plan your strategy. Blizzard has done a remarkable job with the goal diversity of the game- it's not all just "build a big army and bludgeon the opponent to nothingness". For example, in one mission you have to accomplish your goal while constantly moving your buildings in order to escape a wall of fire from a star going nova. In another, the goal is simply to survive long enough to kill 1500 Zerg. Each new mission introduces a new piece of combat material- a new troop, ship, building, upgrade, etc. I feel like it really gives me the feel of what the new weapon can do. There are a few upgrades that are unique to the game as well, including the ability to train two units at once on all production buildings, new one shot upgrades such as instant Supply Depots, upgrading Depots to cover double the personnel, the M.U.L.E. calldown. You also are given choices in a number of missions. FOr example, in one mission you are forced to decide whether you want a SPectre or a Ghost as an ally. In another you are forced to choose between killing the population of a planet to exterminate a Zerg infestation or to save the people under the promise of a potential cure.
I have given a lot of details here. I will say there is one downside...and it really is a doozy, especially for those who have "less advanced" computers. This game is a HUGE resource hog. I am talking ENORMOUS resource hog. I have two computers; one is a Qosmio gaming laptop with a 2.0 gHz dual core processor, 3 GB of DDR3 ram, and a 512 MB Nvidia video card. The other is one I built myself with advanced cooling systems, 9 system fans, a 3.0 gHz dual core processor, 4 GB of dual-channel DDR2 RAM, and an nVidia 880 GTS 640 MB video card. THe game won't run on my Qosmio...it keeps hanging. I get hesitations on my main comp at the beginning of each mission, but eventually get normal gameplay; however each mission takes at least a minute to load- usually more. The game requires 16 GB of memory...and more imporatantly an internet connection. Seems to be the wave of the future...connect to the Net to run a game (to prevent piracy). BUt it's annoying as hell. On the up side, you never have to explore for updates. They automatically download.
Alright...enough rambling. Thoughts from anyone else? And who is up for a one on one challenge? Would love to play some of my fellow TransFans here on ol' Seibertron.com...
Scalpel...blood bucket...priest...next patient!
Would ye care fer a wee nip of scotch whiskey?
Yes I am a Cubs fan. You may pity me now.