Heart of The Swarm, Impressions

Recently I’ve been playing Starcraft 2 Heart of The Swarm, a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. The following are my notes:

There be spoilers ahead, read at your own peril!

Like

  • The Hyperion mission! Having to manage one unit with a continuous stream of battling non playable characters takes away the added task of micro management and lets me enjoy a feeling of ‘distinctiveness’

  • How ‘cutscenes’ meld into gameplay e.g when saving Raynor, Kerrigan’s Leviathan arms smash into the prison ship which then transitions into the game level

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  • Evolution missions really helps players understand how an evolution works and how to use it

Dislike

  • After Kerrigan’s battle with Narud, I felt she recovered too quickly. It drew from the gravity of the fight. She should have been in an injured state for the Leviathan section where characters could comment on her fight. Then by the next mission having recovered, there would be a contextual piece of dialog about it

Improvements

  • Stukovs conversation with Kerrigan whilst looking at the stars and remembering earth, in my opinion, currently feels a little disconnected from the character. This could be improved with an over the shoulder shot of Stukov looking at the stars, then have him turn around to face Kerrigan and continue the conversation
  • During the cutscene where Kerrigan breaks into Raynors cell, she hands Raynor a gun. Its a good scene, but where did the gun come from? In my opinion the gun should have been introduced earlier with a sense of tension.

For example have a body of a solider holding said gun fly in when the door is broken down, then a shot of Jim Raynor grabbing it, and pointing it at the door. Kerrigan would then enter the cell, and their conversation could occur at gunpoint whilst Kerrigan walked towards Raynor till her head connected with the barrel of the gun.

  • The map flow of Heart of The Swarm’s, Swarm Host evolution mission could be improved.

The following is the map of the level.

The above level can be abstracted into the following player movements and encounters.
Players currently retrace steps their steps which I believe is unnecessary. I propose the following ‘flow’.

The above has a circular flow which may feel better, playtesting would be used to confirm this.

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