Multiplayer games online allow you to choose between three distinct races. Dominate the battlefield with siege tanks and fortified bunkers (Terran); warp in photon cannons and exotic aliens with shields (Protoss); or amass a biological menace that will infest the universe (Zerg).
The quick match option, thanks to numerous patches to fix balance issues and bugs, pits players of similar experience against each other. When Wings of Liberty first came out a lot of people—myself included—stopped playing because they could not last longer than a minute due to being 'rushed' by veterans. Thankfully things have changed.
For those who enjoy the single player campaign the story continues after the events of StarCraft: Brood War. You follow Marshall-turned-outlaw Jim Raynor and command his loyal space marines as he leads an intergalactic crusade against Emperor Mengsk. The plot thickens when Raynor's love interest, Sarah Kerrigan, resurfaces as the Zerg's Queen of Blades …
Blizzard Entertainment have modernised their 1998 science fiction classic with gorgeous visuals and a stunning soundtrack. The slick in-game graphics are on par with today's standards while the stylised cut-scenes throughout the campaign tell a grander tale and pay homage to the legacy of the franchise.
When you click on soldiers to give them orders they have their signature catch phrases. The Thor unit, a Terran robot that boasts massive cannons, sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Between missions you can speak to members of Raynor's crew in the cantina, spend credits at the armoury for base and unit upgrades and unlock bonus research at the laboratory to prepare you for the epic finale.
If you play the campaign on 'normal' difficulty you could probably finish it over a weekend. And then there are the achievements to unlock.
Overall, StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty is an addictive and entertaining title. The narrative is paced well and full of lore while the online element is refined and user friendly. For strategy gamers this is an essential purchase.
The second standalone expansion, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, will be available very soon (March 2013). If you have not played StarCraft there is still time to catch up.