StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Hits PC
The StarCraft series debuted in 1998, and nearly two decades later, it still commands huge respect from fans of real-time strategy games. It's a particularly strong shower in eSports tournaments, where competitors from around the world engage each other in fierce wars for supremacy.
But the detail and depth Blizzard Entertainment weaves into the StarCraft games is highly evident in its single-player campaigns, too. The campaign for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is particularly content-rich, as it's the final chapter in the StarCraft II saga.
Arm yourself with a large cache of snacks and supplies. Saving the universe from the horror of eternal darkness is a big job, and you're going to be busy for a long time.
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is a stand-alone expansion for StarCraft II. Chronologically, its story follows the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign (which focuses on conflicts within the human/terran race), and StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (which focuses on the struggles of the fractured zerg Swarm).
The intricacies of terrans and the zerg are examined in the previous expansions, so Legacy of the Void focuses on the galaxy's third dominant race: The ancient and highly enlightened "Firstborn," the protoss.
The game's campaign features Hierarch Artanis, a renowned protoss warrior who stands at the forefront of an armada that aims to reclaim his homeworld, the ruined Aiur, from the zerg Swarm. However, something far deadlier than even the zerg casts its shadow over the mission: An unspeakably dark and corrupt life form called Amon.
Amon, a highly malevolent member of the xel'naga precursor race, makes the protoss race seem young and soft by comparison. He seeks to end all life in the universe.
As you might expect from an adventure that throws you against an unfathomable entity that wants only to drag everything with a heartbeat into non-existence, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void doesn't pull any punches about the stakes. Though the remnants of the protoss are troubled and fractured, the campaign sees you pull them together to take a last stand against the very end.
The theme of a small but determined band facing down a comparatively tremendous force is a very intentional choice for Blizzard. In 2013, Blizzard's vice president of creative direction, Christopher Metzen, told PC Gamer that one of the inspirations behind Legacy of the Void is the movie 300, wherein 300 Spartans face off against 300,000 Persian soldiers.
Legacy of the Void offers a brutal fight, to say the least -- but the bloody struggle and sacrifice make the strategies you lay down for victory all the sweeter.
Though Blizzard worked to make Legacy of the Void's single-player campaign as meaty and engaging as possible, a StarCraft game isn't a StarCraft game without its multiplayer element. Legacy of the Void's multiplayer features Archon Mode, Co-Op Missions, and a focus on micromanagement that prevents players from using large unit clumps.
The new additions exist specifically to make Legacy of the Void's multiplayer feature as friendly as possible for newcomers. Both Archon Mode and Co-Op Missions let you observe and cooperate with more experienced players, allowing you to learn the ins-and-outs of StarCraft II's complex combat.
These new modes open up possibilities for digital "mentorship," and should prove increasingly popular as the significance and impact of eSports continues to grow.
The modes' existence illustrates how StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is a friendly choice for newcomers to the series. Despite the fact its story puts you smack-dab in the middle of a long and ferocious war, Blizzard tailored the game to be a jumping-in point for anyone who's interested in StarCraft, but doesn't necessarily want to start all the way back at square one.
Whether you're StarCraft veteran or a new recruit, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is definitely worth your time on PC. It doesn't matter if you prefer to fight alone, or engage in strategic combat with other players.
You can download StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void on PC or Mac from Battle.net.