Overwatch might be getting the lion’s share of the press, but Blizzard also took the wraps off of the final Starcraft II installment at the show this past week- Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void.
Legacy of the Void centers its story on the Protoss, the final race in the Starcraft universe that hasn’t been explored as of yet in the game ‘series’. The stars of the episode are Protoss heroes Artanis and Zeratul, and the narrative follows them as they attempt to unite their fractured species in order to battle against an “ancient evil from the Void” that’s threatening not only the Protoss, but the rest of the universe. How’s that for epic?
With the inclusion of the Protoss, and the fact that both the Queen of Blades Kerrigan and Terran hero Raynor ar involved in some way, Blizz is saying this is the definitive Starcraft II volume. Not that fans would probably miss it anyway.
“Legacy of the Void will deliver the quintessential StarCraft II experience,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “The new single-player campaign will wrap up the massive story, and we’re excited to share new game modes that will open up different ways to play the game and additional units that will expand the rich strategic depth of StarCraft II multiplayer.”
As far as improvements to the core game, Legacy of the Void will include some new multiplayer goodness in the form of two new modes. In Archon Mode, gamers share a single army in a kind of tag team match (with no tagging) against a pair of opponents. It’s a simple riff on the classic versus RTS gameplay that pretty much everyone should be familiar with, but should add in a decent amount of strategy that just isn’t available with only one player controlling a faction… I imagine it also will probably cause more than a few squabbles between partners.
Allied Commanders is the second new addition and is an objective-based, co-op affair. Each player takes up the role of a commander and is granted unique powers and abilities. They’ll also have to work together to take on a series of scenarios that the game will throw at them, leveling up their in-game characters as they go. Aside from the real ‘new’ stuff, Legacy of the Void also adds in some improvements here and there in the game’s architecture and brings back some old favorites in terms of units.
Blizzard has improved the online play quite a bit here with the addition of automated tournament play. Obviously, if you know anything about Starcraft in general, tourney’s are a big part of the game already- throw in some built-in functionality, and you’ve got a whole new reason for gamers to flock to (or flock back to) the game. And in terms of returning units, players should be pleased with the announcement that the Zerg Lurker will be back in action… or a little tee’d off if they’re not too fond of facing them on the battlefield.
Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void is a standalone expansion (so you don’t need to have the other two chapters to play) and will be headed to the PC and Mac simultaneously. We’ll have news about the launch date and pricing (and the sure-to-be-announced Collector’s Edition) as soon as we get it.