Recently I received a code for Starcraft 2's newest expansion, Legacy of the void. Which is a killer name by the way! I had some thoughts on it, and here they are.
Artanis leads the Protoss armada in an invasion of their Zerg-infested homeworld of Aiur, abandoned since the Brood War six years earlier. Zeratul arrives to warn Artanis of Amon's return, but the invasion proceeds regardless. Amon awakens on Aiur and takes control of the majority of the Protoss race through the Khala, the telepathic bond that forms the center of their race's Khalai faction. Only Zeratul and the Nerazim, the Dark Templar, are immune due to their lack of connection to the Khala. Zeratul and the Nerazim proceed to save as many Khalai as they can by severing their nerve chords, which connect them to the Khala. Artanis succumbs to Amon's control, and attacks Zeratul, who tries to cut off Artanis's nerve chords without harming him. In his final strike, Zeratul severs Artanis's nerve cords, releasing him from Amon's mind-control, but suffers a mortal wound. As Zeratul dies from Artanis's strike, he urges the Hierarch to combat Amon by going to the planet Korhal to recover the Xel'Naga Keystone - the artifact used to deinfest Sarah Kerrigan and free her from Amon's control. In order to expedite his mission, Artanis activates the ancient vessel, the Spear of Adun, to serve as his command ship while evacuating the Protoss who have escaped Amon's control. In the meantime, Amon's forces within all three races, along with hybrids and beings from the Void, begin to wage war extinguish all life from the sector. On Korhal, Artanis intervenes by aiding Jim Raynor and Emperor Valerian Mengsk in defending the planet from Amon's terran faction, the Moebius Foundation, before retrieving the artifact. On the Dark Templar homeworld, Shakuras, the warpgate connecting the planet to Aiur has opened and allowed Amon's forces to overwhelm the planet. Upon arrival, Artanis helps Matriarch Vorazun, Raszagal's daughter, evacuate the rest of the Dark Templar kind before obliterating the planet in order to deny Amon control of it. With the Protoss military understaffed, Artanis undertakes numerous missions to help rebuild the Protoss armada, recovering a copy of Fenix's consciousness in a mechanical Purifier body in the process.
Interesting... Now, I have played Starcraft extensively. But, this story is still incredibly confusing to me. Granted, I pretty much skipped every string of dialogue ever, but that's besides the point. I love the premise, it's really interesting, but sadly the premise is basically all I got.
Utilizing data from the keystone, Artanis is directed to the Xel'Naga homeworld: Ulnar. Upon reaching a temple on the planet, Artanis enters into a reluctant alliance with Kerrigan, after learning that she also fights Amon. During their investigation, Artanis and Kerrigan learn of the Xel'Naga's origins. The Xel'Naga are powerful beings who originate from the Void and are responsible for the creation of life in each universe. The Xel'Naga are responsible for maintaining an Infinite Cycle, an event in which two destined races, one with purity of form, and one with purity of essence, are to meet the Xel'Naga and ultimately become Xel'Naga themselves. Artanis and Kerrigan find the Xel'Naga dead, slain by Amon and his forces; they are ambushed, only to be narrowly rescued by Alarak, a renegade leader of Amon's Protoss faction, the Tal'Darim. In order to prevent further Tal'Darim Protoss from joining Amon, Artanis helps Alarak complete the latter's ritual to overthrow the leadership of the faction. At a facility on the forest world of Ension, Artanis awakens the ancient Purifiers, mechanical soldiers made from the preserved minds of legendary Protoss warriors. Created in ancient times, they were deactivated by the Conclave once the former rebelled over being treated as simple tools rather than as equals. With the help of Fenix, Artanis is able to placate their bitterness and convince them to join his forces.
This part of the story is when everything gets real and the afterburners come on, but it felt like we had already experienced the rising action, climax, falling action, then the rising action and climax again. I mean, this could've been storyboarded out much better.
With the Protoss armada remade whole, Artanis stages another invasion into Aiur. Using the Keystone, Artanis is successful in trapping and banishing Amon's conscious back to the Void after destroying his host body. In the process, the brainwashed Khalai Protoss are freed from Amon's mind control after severing their nerve chords. With Aiur reclaimed and the Protoss unified under the Daelaam, the Protoss begin to rebuild, ushering a new age of prosperity and peace on their home planet.
So there you have it, a new era for the Protoss and there is peace yet again. Overall, I found the story to be lacking. It had many great ideas, but always fell flat because of rehashed and recycled material.
Overall the game play remains the classic Starcraft game play we all know and love except much faster and more aggressive. There are some additional modes, but they just felt so over saturated it's ridiculous. Some of the new modes include: Archon and Allied Commander. As well as an arcade mode for the more casual players of the game. It just fell flat with me. I wanted much more and just didn't receive.