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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awesome!!!!!!!
Took ages to decide if I should buy this add on. So glad I did, it is so good being the Zerg new units and upgrades were very good. If your starcraft 2 installation is up to date you do not need to install the game as it is already part of the starcraft 2 program, all you need is your CD KEY to activate the add on, which is a great idea. The story is great the video...
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. Y. Doughty

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The cheap hamburger to Star Crafts steak.
More of the same. But fun. The animations still get the love - the story - is still pretty fun.

The plot? A bit amateurish and immature. But still a blast.

A decent romp through the universe of Star Craft
Published 10 months ago by Peter Davies


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awesome!!!!!!!, 7 Sept. 2014
By 
Mrs. Y. Doughty "dazad" (Walsall, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Took ages to decide if I should buy this add on. So glad I did, it is so good being the Zerg new units and upgrades were very good. If your starcraft 2 installation is up to date you do not need to install the game as it is already part of the starcraft 2 program, all you need is your CD KEY to activate the add on, which is a great idea. The story is great the video sequences are brilliant, for an expansion in my opinion it is worth every penny. Can't wait to the Protoss expansion when its released.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great game, absolutely loved it., 13 July 2013
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Let me start off by saying that I will only be reviewing the single player campaign, as I am too much of a noob to play the multiplayer well enough to give a competent review.

Firstly, the addition of Kerrigan as a hero unit is good. Her varied powers can let you build her for various roles, ranging from pure damage warrior at the frontlines to support and healing your troops. Allowing you to change her powers allows you to test out her abilities to see which one suits you most, something that becomes very useful if you realise that you're not using a power. However, I would advise you not to rely on her, as she is nowhere near strong enough to face an enemy army without backup.

Secondly, the feeling of raw power gained from sending hundreds of zerg at the enemy is exhilarating, and is not something I felt in Wings of Liberty. The sheer amount of zerg units you can launch at your enemy really lends itself towards the sense of controlling a vast swarm, something that can be greatly enhanced with the new evolution pit.

The evolution pit is the place in which you upgrade your zerg, and there are two ways to do this. First, the mutations. These are small changes that can be altered between missions in order to suit your strategies, and there are three for each zerg creature. They range from simple damage upgrades to entirely new abilities and can be very useful in battle. The second type of upgrade is the evolution. The evolution is a large permanent change to a creature that is able to be trialed first in an evolution mission. These missions are fun sidetracks, but they don't really tell you how useful your upgrades are going to actually be in battle, as each creature is usually perfectly suited for its evolution mission. These evolutions are fun and varied, ranging from creating an extra zergling for no cost every time you spawn a zergling to being able to transform mutalisks into brood lords mid mission.

The storyline in Heart of the Swarm is fun, but lacks the freedom of Wings of Liberty. Heart of the Swarm is a very focused tale of revenge which serves well but I do miss the side quests and the Hyperion. Don't go into Heart of the Swarm expecting a nuanced and complicated, perfectly crafted, story. Instead go in expecting what it, and Wings of Liberty, is. A fun, cliche full tale of love and revenge.

The actual missions are very fun, and follow the Wings of Liberty method of inserting an unusual and fun gimmick into each match. A standout example for me was basically the Meinhoff zombie apocalypse mission from Wings of Liberty, but in reverse, with Kerrigan having to keep her infested buildings alive in order to get a steady stream of reinforcements.

Overall, I would highly recommend Heart of the Swarm to anyone who liked Wings of Liberty and if are usually a multiplayer only sort of person, give the singleplayer a try. It might just surprise you.

9/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best RTS game available, 4 April 2013
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
It's been 15 years since the release of the original StarCraft, and the Heart of the Swarm expansion ensures it stays as the best RTS game you can find.

If you have never heard of StarCraft before it can be briefly summed up as follows: It is a complex MMO RTS game set in a fictional space age universe where 3 races of different design, Terran, Protoss and Zerg, are able to be played against each other. It has a story mode that gradually introduces the player to the game's units, buildings and basic strategies and a multiplayer system for player-versus-player combat. StarCraft also has a vibrant eSports community and there is a lot of depth to the game beyond the campaign. If you enjoy a competitive atmosphere then this title could be for you.

Most obvious with this release is the brand new campaign spanning 20 missions where you play as Sarah Kerrigan, the psionic human-turned-zerg overlord, who is able to manipulate the Zerg swarm to her cause. The missions are good fun and can be played on a variety of different skill levels, and the story is easy to follow though some have criticised it for not being intellectually challenging and containing holes in its plausibility. I have to say at this point that I adore the voice acting talent in this release, the Zerg characters mesh really well with the overall feel of the story. The gameplay in the campaign is a mixtures of RTS and RPG elements. Sometimes you only control Kerrigan and must complete objectives using her powerful abilities and sometimes you gain access to a variety of the Zerg arsenal. Having previously played Zerg in Wings of Liberty, I think the campaign is a decent introduction to the Zerg race and many new players should feel relatively comfortable going forward into multiplayer, should they wish to do so, with the skills they develop during the missions. However it must be noted that a number of abilities in the campaign, such as the queen's heal, are different when switching to multiplayer.

Blizzard have tried to widen it's appeal to both the casual and hardcore communities by introducing a number of features that address issues they had with Wings of Liberty. The new clan features are great if you play with friends or want to meet like-minded individuals, if you often play solo then this update won't mean much to you. Extra rewards have been added that are unlockable by gaining experience through the online ladder, presumably to encourage players to have a go at the multiplayer pvp and ensure they feel they are being rewarded for their play. Lots of new maps have been added as well as new tilesets.

Despite receiving some visual upgrades it's still not aesthetically extravagant, but then it doesn't really need it. The gameplay has been knocked up another notch with the addition of new units and overall everything feels really fun right now. Having played a few games online it seems fairly balanced and there doesn't seem to be any overwhelming strategies storming the ladders (though widow mines are popular right now).

I've given this review 5 stars because I'd started to get bored with Wings of Liberty at the end of 2012, but this expansion has rekindled my love for the game.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Passable, 28 Mar. 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Blizzard seem to turn out games that, while not technically amazing, are nevertheless well put together and fun. Heart of the Swarm is relatively easy to play, as real-time strategy games go. Setting the difficulty level to hard in the single player campaign is advised if you are a veteran of the genre. Completing the single player campaign may teach you enough to enter the multi-player fray, but it's not going to be a walk in the park just because you finished the campaign against the computer.

My main concern when I bought Heart of the Swarm, is why an add-on expansion cost as much as the original game. The number of additional units isn't that great, and of course, all the work on the game engine was done for Wings of Liberty. Having played the game, I don't feel cheated of my money, but I still think Blizzard could have released it at a fairer price. I guess there would be less to complain about if Heart of the Swarm was released as a standalone sequel. Perhaps it's not right to be so critical about Heart of the Swarm being an expansion, because the fact it's an add-on means it's completely integrated with Wings of Liberty and gives the earlier game a new lease of life.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great expansion that continues the great story of SCII with better graphics and more fluid gameplay, 13 Mar. 2013
By 
L. Hubbard (Cardiff) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
HOTS is the second installment of Starcraft II that focuses on the Zerg story as opposed to the Terran story in SCII. Without dwelling on it for too long, the installation of the game seemed a bit strange, with it seeming to install both from the DVD and as a download simultaneously for me. I have read on other forums that for some people, it downloads the game in its entirety and completely bypassed the DVD altogether, which makes you wonder why they didn't just release it as a digit download only. Anyway, regardless of how you get it on to your hard drive, it's certainly worth the wait.

The 1 player Zerg story is every bit as good as the original. In a nutshell, the story begins at the end of SC2 - Sarah Kerrigan aka Queen of Blades has been captured and continues to enjoy wearing her orange Zerg contact lenses from time to time. The woman is also in desperate need of anti-psychotic medication to treat those anger outbursts that usually results in a burst of psychic energy followed by pain and death of those around her. Emperor Minsk is still that evil dude running the show and Jim Raynor continues to look in desperate need of a shower. Needless to say Kerrigan doesn't stay locked up for long, and the game plays out like a Rentokil nightmare as you build and increase the strength of the Zerg swarm. Kerrigan is playable as a "hero" unit that stronger during the game as you upgrade her abilities. In the 1 player missions, she can be "killed" but is quickly respawned from the hatchery so no lasting damage there. In addition, you can improve Zerg units during the course of the game, increasing speed of units, increase health etc. One thing that impressed me is that the graphics looked better, and the game feels smoother, yet the specs required to play the game are the same as SC2.

There are a variety of new units for multiplayer for the different races. I won't go into detail on those here, there are plenty of other places online that describe it better than I could. Needless to say this will undoubtedly make the game more strategic than it already is.

The only potential criticism is that those familiar with playing as Zerg from SC2 will likely find many of the early missions tedious as these act more as a tutorial on playing with that race. Actually that suited me, because I never got to grips massively with them in SC2 so I found it pretty useful. If you are a pro with Zerg, just enjoy the really good graphics! I previously wrote that an additional criticism was the fact that you needed a constant internet connection to play the game (as stated on the box as a minimum game requirement). As a gentleman helpfully highlighted in the comments, this is not true. You don't need a constant internet connection to play the one player campaign, but any achievements you get will not be saved to your Starcraft account.

Although I've read criticisms about the price considering this is an "expansion", I actually think the game is reasonably priced given the length of the one player story and the additional multiplayer units. It's clear a lot of work went into this game. I should also note that a previous review have said they had problems connecting to Blizzard's servers. I have had no such issues so I would put that down to the first day rush of people logging on. Is it acceptable? Not really. Was it likely they would have problems? After the shambolic Diablo 3 launch by Blizzard it seemed highly likely. Whatever the issues it seems to be sorted now though.

Overall, if you were fan of SC2 and found the story engaging this is a fantastic expansion that is just as gripping as SC2. There are plenty of cinematic cut scenes that look sensational, as well as the smaller cut scenes that help the story along. The improved graphics and smoothness of the gameplay are also impressive. For those of you more interested in the multiplayer side of things, the new units for the factions do spice things up. I look forward to the final expansion with the Protoss called Legacy of the Void. Game director Dustin Browder has said "we will certainly do our best to reduce the time between expansions" so I expect this final installment will be released around 2025. Until then, I would say any fan of SCII should add this expansion. Great fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Solid addition to the Starcraft Franchise, 26 Aug. 2013
By 
J. Sadler (Newcastle, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
For a StarCraft fan the games coming out in 3 instalments is both a blessing and a curse in that you are desperate to play more and find out what happened next but also have something more to look forward to every couple of years.

Although (unpopularly) the Zerg are not my favourite faction of the game the single player storyline managed to help me forget that as I became so engrossed with the character development and overriding story arch as well as the background of the Zerg which to this point had been something of a mystery. However if you are a true StarCraft fan you will know that multiplayer is where it's at.

The addition of new units and abilities manages to change up the game significantly without causing issues to balances of the different factions, leading to a different experience to Wings of Liberty.

For a RTS fan or even just someone who enjoys a good ol' fashioned Sci-fi romp I would recommend Heart of the Swarm (providing you have played 'Wings of Liberty' first!)

5 Stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice expansion, 20 April 2013
By 
A. F. Mell (Edinburgh, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
I enjoyed the first part (Wings of Liberty), and was looking forward to the expansion. Really like this game - note that I play campaign only, and am no expert.

Good bits:
* Loved the story - thought the cinematics told an interesting story
* Engaging gameplay - like the way the Zerg play different tactics to the Terrans
* Good graphics & controls are easy to learn (though not to master)

No so good:
* Normal setting was too easy, I'm no expert but finished most missions first time
* Too easy to adapt a 'select all' .. 'attack!' gameplay style. I didn't bother with the more complex units except in missions when they were required, usually all you need is a zergling rush - which is fine, but I would have liked more challenge.
* Graphics are a bit glitchy - sometimes need to Alt-Tab away & back to recover display (quite rare)

Anyway, now I get to play through on a higher difficulty - and might even try some multi-player. Now where's the next episode!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, not bad., 29 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Well... Its a great expansion to a great game. I have a little bit of problem with a story, but not with the way how it is handled. So story is meh, but it is executed perfectly!!! Missions are also GREAT. Maybe i feel a little bit rushed to finish each one of them, but if you think about it, it is basically made so that you feel rushed. You have to mass an army and ATTACK! Zerg style oppa!

Multiplayer is perfect, new system works fine. So i would recommend to the people who enjoyed Wings of Liberty. It goes a long way from the cliche that was present in WoL. It was exactly what i expected and more. Maybe the campaign could have been a bit longer (around 8 hours), but again, it is fair enough. Even if you do numerous playthroughs, you can still discover some new stuff and evolve your units differently.
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5.0 out of 5 stars good add on, 16 May 2013
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Well as you need the first game to get this you probaly know what to expect and just want to know if it is worth it, well yes it is.
New things include the evolution missions, where you can evolve your units to a choice of 2 forms. the missions themselves are not great to do this but then your units have an additional upgrade,
I do not think these upgrades can be used in multiplayer games or even skirmish games.
The menu is the worst part of the upgrade, to start with I couldnt figure out how to make a vs Ai game but m almost certain that the system has changed even if you do not have the add on pack. The Zerg were always the most fun to play with and It is woth the price as yes it is almost the price of a whole game but you do get a whole game in content.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great game, price on Amazon more like it!, 13 May 2013
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This review is from: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Don't understand why this is so much more expensive direct from Blizzard! Great add on to WoL, IMO the campaign was very weak story-wise, the evolution missions have no real reason to exist (would promote a second playthrough if you only got to try one variant of a unit!), and overall the whole campaign is way too easy, but then I'm sure that varies. As a game, though, it adds a whole new dynamic in whatever they call Skirmish in this game, plus honestly it was fun and I'll probably play through again. For reference, I'm an OK-ish player, played through on Hard with only 1 reload where I wasn't paying attention on a mid-level mission, but I don't really play against other people because it's just so stressful!! I know, I know, I'll have to get over it...
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Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD)
Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (PC/Mac DVD) by Blizzard (Mac OS X, Windows 7 / Vista / XP)
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