The StarCraft II: Legacy Of The Void beta is plenty fun

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Oh StarCraft, how I’ve missed you. I’m going to be dead honest here: Until last week, I had not touched a single game in the StarCraft II universe. No Wings Of Liberty, no Heart Of The Swarm. None of that, at all. So naturally, I was the right guy to throw into the Legacy Of The Void beta. Naturally. And you know what? The game was easy enough for this noob to pick up on. Here’s a couple of things that I dug the hell out of from the beta.

Archon Mode is aces

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I’m going to jump right into the best bit of Legacy Of The Void right here: Archon Mode. The concept itself, is simple enough. A multiplayer mode where you can share your base and resources with another player, it’s the tornado tag option of the StarCraft universe. Think of it this way: Both players can control each other’s buildings and units, while one player can be the accountant of the team and keep the resources flowing in while the other half of this side prepares for war.

And that’s freakin’ awesome. It’s not a complex mode at all, and for a guy such as myself who had to relearn the ropes, it took all the stress off of my shoulders. I could focus on mining and refining, while my Scottish pal babbled curse words at a group of Zerg rush players with his neverending army of Terran marines and siege tanks.

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And that also made for a quicker game. My partner was decent at the game, which was over pretty quickly once he’d used my resources to build up his army and corner the Zerg base. Now imagine just how creative this mode is going to be once the Koreans hit an eSports tourney with a bunch of new tactics and ideas after some extensive playtesting.

I’m digging these new Protoss units

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My StarCraft games with a Protoss side usually consisted of me mashing Templar units into one another in order to create Archons and backing them up with an army of Dragoons. Now, I’ve got Stalkers, Dark Templars and Adepts to add to my arsenal. OH MY! I really, really love the Adepts. They’ve got mad skills, and when combined with other Protoss units, they can turn the tide of battle while leaving your opposition completely befuddled. Plus, sending out a shade to scope the area makes for some quick and easy map exploration, before the Adept teleports to its current location and throws down a sneak attack or two.

Man, those f**k the Zerg rushes

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Man, there’s a special place in hell for certain Zerg players. I’ve been ANNIHILATED in several matches, as a few minutes into the game I’ve found myself knee-deep in a Zerg-rush that feeds on my sadness. Truth be told, I have no one but myself to blame after this happened for the tenth time in a row, but that’s a path for a better person. It’s all their fault, man.

And from what I’ve been told by veterans, I’m getting off easy in the Beta. The bane of many a player, Swarm Hosts were a nightmare to deal with en masse, as players would regularly unleash a squad of them and then use their locust-producing skills to keep an opponent occupied and off-balance. That made for longer matches and boring outcomes, much like an MMA match between a wrestler and a Jiu Jutsu guard expert.

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In Legacy Of The Void however, Swarm Hosts have been nerfed and now require more hands-on time to make them spawn locusts. So not having to deal with that kind of night scenario, sounds sweet to me. Now to find a way to deal with those damn lurkers.

The game is easy on the eyes

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Anytime I get a PC game to play, I just about crap myself. Because I’m not exactly running state of the art hardware here. All I have for now, is my trusty Sony Vaio laptop, a device which was designed by a genius who thought it would be a good idea to glue a rubber palm rest over the area of the laptop that generates the most heat. Smooth move, Sony asshole.

And while I’ve got plenty of RAM (8 gigabytes baby!), my processor and onboard Nvidia GPU isn’t exactly bleeding edge stuff. And still, the game runs just fine. I just had to make a few sacrifices and set the visuals lower than the expectations of parents with a fat kid auditioning on The X-Factor, and the game ran just fine. Sure, I’d like to have certain textures and effects, but I can enjoy the game just fine without them, especially when I’m clocking in at a 1080P resolution that hides my woefully inadequate hardware failings away from me.

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And smooth gameplay will always trump detailed graphics for me, especially when said game is a StarCraft game that requires precision timing.

I’m terrible, but I’m having fun

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Most of my games may end in blood, fire and sadness but I don’t care. I’ve picked a hell of a time to start sipping the StarCraft Kool-Aid. While Legacy Of The Void will be done when it’s done (OH BLIZZARD!), that leaves me time to catch up on Heart Of The Swarm and Wings Of Liberty. I don’t even need to jump into online play, as I’m more than happy with the standard campaign and some AI games. It’s nice to have that option though, and I’m just damn happy to see that StarCraft has evolved into something beautiful over the last couple of years.

It’s a faster, completely different beast of a game that hasn’t forgotten its roots. And I don’t feel lost at all.

Last Updated: April 8, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia's M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

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