The light bulb, penicillin, mathematics, democracy, and porn. They%26rsquo;re all important inventions, testaments to mankind%26rsquo;s collective creativity and ingenuity. But none of them were ever as much fun as StarCraft. Well, maybe most of them. It%26rsquo;s been about 12 years since the first StarCraft launched. The seminal title was a genre-defining game that cast a shadow over every RTS that followed in its massive footprints. But this week, StarCraft fans finally got the sequel they%26rsquo;ve been waiting over a decade for and it definitely doesn%26rsquo;t disappoint.
The singleplayer campaign resumes where the StarCraft: Brood War expansion left off. Players take on the role of Jim Raynor, leader of Raynor%26rsquo;s Raiders, a ragtag group of rebels railing against the unjust rule of Arcturus Mengsk, Emperor of the Terran Dominion. But Mengsk%26rsquo;s autocratic rule is only the beginning of Raynor%26rsquo;s problems.
The Zerg have also returned. Led by the Queen of Blades, the bug-like aliens are wreaking havoc across the galaxy, infesting Terran colonists as they search for a mysterious artifact. It doesn%26rsquo;t help that Raynor still harbors heartfelt feelings for the the leader of the Zerg swarm. Before she sprouted demon-like wings and a thick layer of carapace armor, the Queen of Blades used to be Sarah Kerrigan, a Terran Ghost operative and close friend of Raynor.
Above: After a betrayal by Mengsk, Sarah Kerrigan was transformed into the Queen of Blades
Enter Zeratul, a Protoss Dark Templar and former ally of Raynor. The mysterious warrior leaves Raynor Raynor with a warning, suggesting that Sarah Kerrigan (aka the Queen of Blades), may be the only one able to save the galaxy from a threat far greater than the Zerg swarm.
With the corrupt and irresponsible Terran Dominion to topple, a galaxy-wide Zerg assault led by a lost love, and a mysterious prophecy foretelling the destruction of everything, Jim Raynor has a lot to deal with. But even if you aren%26rsquo;t already caught up with the intricacies of the plot leading up to Wings of Liberty, it%26rsquo;s still easy to settle into Wings of Liberty%26rsquo;s new story arc. There%26rsquo;s lots of expositional cutscenes to catch you up to speed, and they%26rsquo;re all top-notch with the slick high-quality CG work Blizzard is famous for.
A ton of great RTS titles have released since StarCraft: Brood War, but despite all the great campaigns we%26rsquo;ve played since then, StarCraft II: Wing of Liberty still manages to make every mission feel exciting and fresh. Strangers to RTS titles shouldn%26rsquo;t be daunted by StarCraft II. The singleplayer campaign eases newcomers into the game gracefully, but still offers interesting twists for RTS veterans with unique objectives and special scenarios.