Sunday, August 22, 2010

Starcraft II

I've been playing some of this over the last couple of weeks.  It took a while, but I've really started enjoying the single-player campaign games.  They've got a difficulty tuning problem, I think - the "normal" setting is very easy, and the "hard" setting is often extremely difficult.  Except when it's not.  It's a little frustrating to play some levels and feel completely unchallenged, and then to bump up one difficulty level and feel like there's no way anyone could ever prevail. With the tech upgrades you can keep buying, the "hard" level is becoming easier, too, which is odd.

The games against actual humans seem not to have too much depth compared to other RTS games I've played, although I've heard that this gets better the better you get. For me, it mostly seems like whoever makes a bigger wad of guys earlier nearly always wins - it's a very rush-intensive game, and there aren't very many strong defensive buildings or siege weapons, although some races have more than others.  That means most of the fights are chaotic close-quarters kinds of things, and there's less of the strategic stuff going on - there are so many units, and they're sooo rock-paper-scissors, where one is terrific against some units and horrible against others, that it's hard to come up with a good strategy other than guessing what your opponent will do.

Again, I may find it to be more tuned the longer I play, but for now, multiplayer is not so much fun - lots of work for one fight about 10 minutes in that determines the whole game.  Makes me miss Age of Empires II, which was a favorite, and appreciate Company of Heroes, which allows the use of cover and defensive structures and positions in interesting ways.

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