Poll: Starcraft 2 - Best campaign?

Starcraft 2. A remarkably good RTS game that I have enjoyed for years and, to this day, serves as one of my all-time favourite PC games. But, within this game there are three distinct campaigns, each focusing on the stories of one of the major races featured within this franchise. Wings of Liberty, which tells the story of Jim Raynor as he fights against an old enemy. Heart of the Swarm, which followed Kerrigan, leader of the innumerable Zerg. And finally, we have Legacy of the Void, which sees the enigmatic Protoss in their struggle to reclaim their homeworld.

But which of these tales was best? Which campaign was truly the highpoint of the overall game?

I liked Wings of Liberty, personally. It had some fun moments, interesting character dynamics, some well thought out missions. Plus it actually felt like the only campaign which Blizzard actually made into a longish tale of being a space revolutionary.

I enjoyed Legacy of the Void the most, but I may be biased because I main Protoss. Not that I didn't enjoy Wings of Liberty too, just that there were a few niggling problems with the campaign structure that they fixed in future iterations. Great characters in both campaigns.

I do wish Legacy was as long as Wings. There's a lot more missions that could have been made, but padding is bad.

Also: Your poll is missing.

Wings of Liberty hands down. The other two were really boring, and Heart of the Swarm undid all the hard work of Liberty, which just soured me on the entire story after that.

Wings of Liberty>Legacy of the Void>Heart of the Swarm>Nova Covert Ops

Hawki:
Wings of Liberty>Legacy of the Void>Heart of the Swarm>Nova Covert Ops

Not impressed with Nova Covert Ops?

Samtemdo8:

Hawki:
Wings of Liberty>Legacy of the Void>Heart of the Swarm>Nova Covert Ops

Not impressed with Nova Covert Ops?

No.

Edit: I should specify that it's still "good," but it comes up short when compared to the other campaigns in both story and gameplay.

Hawki:

Samtemdo8:

Hawki:
Wings of Liberty>Legacy of the Void>Heart of the Swarm>Nova Covert Ops

Not impressed with Nova Covert Ops?

No.

Edit: I should specify that it's still "good," but it comes up short when compared to the other campaigns in both story and gameplay.

I am still hoping the Blizzard would still make more Mission Packs like Nova Ops.

There are still loose ends in the Starcraft universe like Zagara and Alarak.

Samtemdo8:

I am still hoping the Blizzard would still make more Mission Packs like Nova Ops.

There are still loose ends in the Starcraft universe like Zagara and Alarak.

Zagara's featured in plenty of EU stuff such as Evolution and Shadow Wars.

But yes, I'd like mission packs as well...kind of. At least in the sense that LotV felt like a perfect ending to the overall story and everything since then has felt superfluous. Still, if you're obliged to keep making content and drive the story forward, mission packs aren't something I'd object to.

Hawki:
Wings of Liberty>Legacy of the Void>Heart of the Swarm>Nova Covert Ops

Same.

I think SC 2 campaign is amazing gameplay wise, but story wise its quite a few steps back from SC1. Kerrigan became infinitely more boring, Mengs is just an evil buffoon, Reinor is just vanilla and the central story isn't very interesting. It's a real shame.

I don't enjoy RTS multiplayer but really like them SP, I'd love for a warcraft 4 or even a new RTS IP, but I know that RTS is dead genre.

Meiam:

Hawki:
Wings of Liberty>Legacy of the Void>Heart of the Swarm>Nova Covert Ops

Same.

I think SC 2 campaign is amazing gameplay wise, but story wise its quite a few steps back from SC1. Kerrigan became infinitely more boring, Mengs is just an evil buffoon, Reinor is just vanilla and the central story isn't very interesting. It's a real shame.

I don't enjoy RTS multiplayer but really like them SP, I'd love for a warcraft 4 or even a new RTS IP, but I know that RTS is dead genre.

Ugh Kerrigan is still a wound and one I can confidantly say is a straight up Mary Sue.

I mean you can argue she already was one in Brood War winning in the end and becoming the Queen of Blades and leading all the Zerg.

But I never wanted a redemption arc for her this drastically. All of a sudden she's the Chosen One to save the universe from an evil Space God! And she beats him by becoming a literal Holy Angel made of Fire, Light, and Lawful Goodness! And all her prior crimes and betrayals she did as the Queen of Blades, pfft nothing.

If they wanted her to be "Redeemed" just say that we need her and her Zerg army to help us battle this new and greater threat, don't make her the be all, end all of the series!!

Arthas from Warcraft did not ended up like this, He lived as the Lich King and he died as the Lich King.

Wings of Liberty for me. I felt like I actually cared about what was going on.

Heart of the Swarm just didn't seem very interesting and it didn't really feel like much actually got accomplished. The whole Feral Zerg thing was weird.

Legacy of the Void had its moments. But I'm overall not a big fan of the whole fantasy-type prophecies and plot revolving around taking down an evil god.

thejboy88:
But which of these tales was best? Which campaign was truly the highpoint of the overall game?

As a story, Wings of Liberty by a mile. As campaign gameplay, though, I would have to go with Heart of the Swarm by a molehill. I really liked having Kerrigan as a powerful starting unit in most missions, plus the truly disposable recycling swarms of jumping zerglings. It seemed like a lot less guesswork and micromanaging required to get through.

Probably Wings of Liberty. Although I also liked Heart of the Swarm. I played through both campaigns on Hard multiple times and got all of the achievements.

I know a lot of people bitched about the love story with Raynor and Kerrigan, because they were never a thing in SC1 before she got abducted. Just Jim being a smartass and flirting with her, but that was about it. Then they retconned it to make them former lovers torn apart by tragedy. But meh, I liked it. It made for some emotional scenes, and I liked the story in WoL and HotS better than the original SC, so it was an improvement, IMO.

But I was never able to finish Legacy of the Void. I just don't like playing as Protoss. I don't like their ugly gold glowing gemmy units and buildings. I don't like their heroes. And the Protoss dialogue and story is so cheesy. I haven't been able to stomach it long enough to finish the trilogy.

Kerg3927:

I know a lot of people bitched about the love story with Raynor and Kerrigan, because they were never a thing in SC1 before she got abducted. Just Jim being a smartass and flirting with her, but that was about it. Then they retconned it to make them former lovers torn apart by tragedy.

I've never understood this. Playing the original SC1, even discounting the EU, I thought it was obvious there was a closeness between them.

It's Kerrigan's 'death' at Tarsonis that gets Raynor to leave Mengsk. It's Kerrigan who calls out to Raynor by name while in the chrysalis. It's Raynor who comes to Char to rescue her. It's Raynor for whom Tassadar mentions "in respect to the feelings you once had for her." It's Raynor who hold onto hope that maybe, she can be trusted in Brood War. It's Raynor who's torn up by her betrayal on Korhal. Some of that you can attribute to "just flirting," but people who "just flirt" don't act the way Raynor does in SC1. You don't get a "white knight routine" by "just flirting."

Hawki:

Kerg3927:

I know a lot of people bitched about the love story with Raynor and Kerrigan, because they were never a thing in SC1 before she got abducted. Just Jim being a smartass and flirting with her, but that was about it. Then they retconned it to make them former lovers torn apart by tragedy.

I've never understood this. Playing the original SC1, even discounting the EU, I thought it was obvious there was a closeness between them.

It's Kerrigan's 'death' at Tarsonis that gets Raynor to leave Mengsk. It's Kerrigan who calls out to Raynor by name while in the chrysalis. It's Raynor who comes to Char to rescue her. It's Raynor for whom Tassadar mentions "in respect to the feelings you once had for her." It's Raynor who hold onto hope that maybe, she can be trusted in Brood War. It's Raynor who's torn up by her betrayal on Korhal. Some of that you can attribute to "just flirting," but people who "just flirt" don't act the way Raynor does in SC1. You don't get a "white knight routine" by "just flirting."

I don't know, Raynor was chivalrous. Chivalrous guys tend to do white knight stuff for women. And as a good person, he was mortified by what happened to her, and felt sorry for her and wanted to believe that there was still good in her. Could have been love, but not necessarily, and if so it was probably one-sided. I don't remember her ever showing affection toward him. She just rolled her eyes at his flirting, as I remember. Again, they were never a thing. They were just squadmates.

Either way, doesn't bother me. If it was a retcon, it was a good one.

Kerg3927:

I don't know, Raynor was chivalrous. Chivalrous guys tend to do white knight stuff for women. And as a good person, he was mortified by what happened to her, and felt sorry for her and wanted to believe that there was still good in her. Could have been love, but not necessarily, and if so it was probably one-sided. I don't remember her ever showing affection toward him. She just rolled her eyes at his flirting, as I remember. Again, they were never a thing. They were just squadmates.

Kerrigan shows affection to him in New Gettysburg, and again by letting him live on Char. Her 'rolling her eyes' is at their first meeting. While they interact over the course of 4 missions, there's a clear progression as to how their relationship develops over the course of them. Even the development of Kerrigan pre-SC1 specified that her death should represent "loss for the hero" (Raynor).

Either way, doesn't bother me. If it was a retcon, it was a good one.

This is semantics, but even if this wasn't the original intent, it doesn't constitute a retcon.

Say I write a multi-part series. In book 1, John and Jane are shown having a close relationship that's left ambiguous. In book 2, I specify that John and Jane were in love. This isn't a retcon i it isn't even necessarily retroactive or recontextual (which is something only the author can answer). Not that I ever thought the relationship between Raynor and Kerrigan was meant to be ambiguous, but new information that adds to old isn't a retcon. If it was, then practically every single multi-installment narrative is retcon heavy.

Hawki:
Wings of Liberty>Legacy of the Void>Heart of the Swarm>Nova Covert Ops

Yeah. Although I'd throw in a few extra arrows between WOL, LOTV, and HOTS, for good measure.

WOL had by far the best cast of characters and came the closest to actually making the world of SC come alive. It actually had some of the moral ambiguity that made SC great back in the day. Tychus, Tosh, Nova, Mengsk, Valerian, Warfield, even Matt, they all had different points of view and legitimate bones to pick with Raynor. Like vintage StarCraft. Whereas 90% of the other two campaigns's story is just spent interacting with characters that agree with you about everything and just serve your every whim. Boring and predictable.

It's no wonder everyone loved Alarak so much. He had presence in the story and didn't just bow down to the Mary Sue protagonist.

Also the fact that HOTS/LOTV focused so much on the prophecy doesn't help. Prophecies are fucking dumb 99.9% of the time, and SC2 was not the 0.01%.

But hey HOTS canonically brought back Stukov so I guess it's not completely worthless?

I know a lot of people bitched about the love story with Raynor and Kerrigan, because they were never a thing in SC1 before she got abducted. Just Jim being a smartass and flirting with her, but that was about it. Then they retconned it to make them former lovers torn apart by tragedy. But meh, I liked it. It made for some emotional scenes

Ironically, as much as I might dislike SC being reduced to a love story, the Kerrigan/Raynor scenes were probably the best scenes she got in SC2. Everything else was just prophecy mumbo jumbo nonsense.

Hawki:

Kerg3927:

I don't know, Raynor was chivalrous. Chivalrous guys tend to do white knight stuff for women. And as a good person, he was mortified by what happened to her, and felt sorry for her and wanted to believe that there was still good in her. Could have been love, but not necessarily, and if so it was probably one-sided. I don't remember her ever showing affection toward him. She just rolled her eyes at his flirting, as I remember. Again, they were never a thing. They were just squadmates.

Kerrigan shows affection to him in New Gettysburg, and again by letting him live on Char. Her 'rolling her eyes' is at their first meeting. While they interact over the course of 4 missions, there's a clear progression as to how their relationship develops over the course of them. Even the development of Kerrigan pre-SC1 specified that her death should represent "loss for the hero" (Raynor).

Either way, doesn't bother me. If it was a retcon, it was a good one.

This is semantics, but even if this wasn't the original intent, it doesn't constitute a retcon.

Say I write a multi-part series. In book 1, John and Jane are shown having a close relationship that's left ambiguous. In book 2, I specify that John and Jane were in love. This isn't a retcon i it isn't even necessarily retroactive or recontextual (which is something only the author can answer). Not that I ever thought the relationship between Raynor and Kerrigan was meant to be ambiguous, but new information that adds to old isn't a retcon. If it was, then practically every single multi-installment narrative is retcon heavy.

People interpret things differently. But for me, it's about magnitude. As you said, it was 4 missions... they only knew each other for what, a few weeks? To me this is a relationship that never got off the ground, no first date, no first kiss... the very earliest stages of interaction. They barely knew each other. Most of the SC1 examples you cite can just as easily be chalked up to non-romantic comradery between two soldiers who fought side by side.

Then in WoL, the story kicks off with a lovesick and heartbroken Raynor drowning himself in whiskey and staring at a picture of her that he obviously carries around. To me, it made it feel like they were long time lovers before Mengsk's treachery destroyed everything. But that wasn't the case. It's a significant leap in tone. But again, I don't really mind.

Kerg3927:

People interpret things differently. But for me, it's about magnitude. As you said, it was 4 missions... they only knew each other for what, a few weeks? To me this is a relationship that never got off the ground, no first date, no first kiss... the very earliest stages of interaction. They barely knew each other.

Although I'm not the biggest fan of the romance angle, you have to make allowances for the fact that SC only developed its characters during gameplay and mission briefings. We weren't following them around during their time off like we do in SC2. If Raynor/Kerrigan did have their first date and their first kiss, we would probably never have seen it or heard about it, given the storytelling tools SC writers had at their disposal.

So if they want to say the relationship was more advanced than it seemed back in 1998, I don't think that's much of a retcon.

Kerg3927:

People interpret things differently. But for me, it's about magnitude. As you said, it was 4 missions... they only knew each other for what, a few weeks?

Two months.

To me this is a relationship that never got off the ground, no first date, no first kiss...

Not in the game, no, but we saw the kiss in 'Hope and Vengeance', and they had their first date at Sam's Place.

I'll go with Heart of The Swarm. I love all 3 campaigns, but I think HoTS had great story that showed Kerrigan's internal conflict. Jim moves heaven an earth to make her human again, then is captured and presumed dead. So she makes the choice to abandon her humanity in order to embark on her quest for revenge. She chooses to be the monster.

Kerg3927:
I know a lot of people bitched about the love story with Raynor and Kerrigan, because they were never a thing in SC1 before she got abducted. Just Jim being a smartass and flirting with her, but that was about it. Then they retconned it to make them former lovers torn apart by tragedy. But meh, I liked it. It made for some emotional scenes, and I liked the story in WoL and HotS better than the original SC, so it was an improvement, IMO.

I feel the same way. I rather liked the love story slant that WoL spun, even if the "redemption" of Kerrigan at the end was naive.

Samtemdo8:
I mean you can argue she already was one in Brood War winning in the end and becoming the Queen of Blades and leading all the Zerg.

But I never wanted a redemption arc for her this drastically. All of a sudden she's the Chosen One to save the universe from an evil Space God! And she beats him by becoming a literal Holy Angel made of Fire, Light, and Lawful Goodness! And all her prior crimes and betrayals she did as the Queen of Blades, pfft nothing.

If they wanted her to be "Redeemed" just say that we need her and her Zerg army to help us battle this new and greater threat, don't make her the be all, end all of the series!!

The LoTV epilogue ending was pretty bad. It's weird for me because I love SC2 so much, so I tried as hard as hell to like the ending...

But suddenly the person who has been a monster who has slaughtered billions gets magically redeemed, and turned into an angel. And all her prior sins are completely ignored. That was a real "WTF Seriously?" moment.

Storywise it's WoL for me, with LotV being a definite dead-ass last.

Gameplay-wise, HotS was probably the most fun.

 

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