Background--In Brood War, the saga of galactic warfare between the Zerg, Protoss and Terrans continues
where the original left off at its conclusion.
With the shattered Zerg hive torn apart by fierce in-fighting, the
Protoss seek to reunite with their Dark Templar brethren and begin
the rebuilding of their homeworld, Alur. It is inevitable that trouble
will follow them, and thus the Protoss must battle the Zergish horde
on the Dark Templar homeworld of Shakuras. Terran Emperor Mengsk I,
having achieved his goal of total power over the human colonies, must
now turn his attention to both the rising power of the woman he betrayed--Kerrigan,
the infamous Zerg Queen of Blades--and a conspiracy deep within his
own ranks. The
United Earth Directorate, a force from the original Terran planet
is intent on bringing Arcturus Mengsk's empire back into their dominion.
The United Earth Directorate (UED), getting anxious about hostile
alien life in the galaxy, decides to do more than oversee the epic
battle between the three races. With the leadership of Admiral Gerard
Dugalle, they plan to to dispose of the Terrans, and use the Zerg
to their advantage to destroy the Protoss. With the reigning Overmind
destroyed, Kerrigan wants to take control of the Zerg broods. The
newly spawned Overmind won't be easily overcome, this Kerrigan must
scheme to overthrow it and take her place as ruler of the Zerg. The
game progress through the three campaigns with the Terran side being
played with the UED, and the order is altered: Protoss first, then
Terran, then Zerg.
New Units and Upgrades--Each race has two new units and the Terrans and Zergs have upgraded units. Some
of these new units and upgrades add balance, others create new strategic possibilities.
- Terrans: There are two new units and an upgraded unit. New Terran units
from the United Earth Directorate have more technology than the original Terrans. The two units are the Medic and
a heavy missile frigate called the Valkyrie. The Medic are women who are highly skilled with three special abilities:
Heal, Restoration (heals and removes special effects or spells on a unit), and Optic Flare (ultra-bright flash
grenade). These Medics are great for restoring the health and vitality of wounded soldiers and for curing various
Zerg infestations such as Parasite or Ensnare. For defense, the Medic use the A-13 Flash Grenade Launcher to discharge
a maximum burst in the visible white light as well as ultra-violet spectrums. This has the effect of severely damaging
the retinas or photo-optic receptors of any targeted unit. The Valkyrie Frigates are a powerful addition to the
UED Fleet. The Valkyrie missiles are capable of reducing most conventional star fighters and airborne structures
to rubble. Valkyries are heavily armored and can take substantial punishment from enemy fire before they suffer
any failure. The Goliaths have been upgraded. They are much more useful and cost efficient now, with the necessary
range to defend against Guardians.
- Zerg: There are two new units
and one upgrade. New Zerg units are the Lurker and the Devourer.
The Devourer is an acid-spewing assault flyer that can quickly overcome
enemy air units and are excellent for stopping Wraith or Scout rushes.
The venom of the Devourer consists of toxins that can eat through
any known substance, including the reinforced armor plating of the
Protoss capital ships. The Lurker, a new Hydralish mutation, is
useless above ground but watch out when it burrows. Lurkers emit
waves of supra-dense spines against their enemies. Any warriors
on the surface who are caught by these spines are instantly impaled.
These spines are capable of tearing into flesh, steel, and even
reinforced armor plating. And the only way to see them is to fly
in a detector. They can easily take down Marines or Zealots. The
Ultralisk have been upgraded and given thicker armor and faster
- Protoss: There are two new units. New Protoss units are the Dark Templar
and the Corsair. The Dark Templars were in the original game but could not be mass-produced. The Dark Templar warriors
are able to bend light around themselves which renders them virtually invisible. Dark Templars can also merge to
create Dark Archons, who wield impressive psychic powers. The Dark Archons don't have attack capabilities comparable
to the Dark Templars but their three abilities: Feedback (used to drain enemy energy points), Mind Control (used
to possess and manipulate opposing forces), and Maelstrom (nulls attack ability of organic units) are important
weapons. Blizzard had done a good job of balancing the strength of the three races. Even though the Dark Templars
have highly developed attack powers, they have not been made overpowering in comparison to the other two races.
The Corsairs, air-to-air fighters, have the ability to block any form of attack on the air or on the ground. They
can employ a disruption web to temporarily incapacitate ground forces and are good for dropping troops down from
transports into an opponent's base.
Missions--The three new missions in Brood War contain complex
plots, with early missions being as difficult as the midgame missions
in the original. Scripted sequences and conditions provide interesting
twists. Some missions require deep gameplay and decisions made in
one battle will affect the number and type of units faced in the next.
There are multiple objectives for most of the conflicts and players
have the choice of targets.
The addition of new units for the missions does not have a negative
effect on the play balance achieved by Blizzard in the original StarCraft.
The equilibrium between the races is even better, and the story is
more complex. There is a large cast of characters that are believable
and interact in a convincing manner. Blizzard has improved Artificial
Intelligence on the opponents part. Improved AI and enhancements in
the game design create more interaction between the characters in
the game. For instance there are levels where allies will appear,
perform a vital mission with troop drops,
energy web, destruction of power generators, all without any need
for player control. The computer does many more sneak attacks in areas
of your base. This adds to the realism and the feeling that there
are many parties with their own agendas, which are decidedly different
from yours. There are many twists, turns, backstabbing, and suspense
in the missions. You have to really think and use strategy. Your outcome
depends on the unit makeup (defense/offense emphasis, health, reserves),
so you have to keep in touch with all units and keep your strengths
up. With the new units in Brood War each race now has the means to
deal with enemy swarm tactics. Thus, you need to plan more. The player
who just piles up one type of unit in a mission will lose to someone
who combines his forces.
Maps--Maps vary dramatically from mission to mission, requiring careful offensive and defensive strategies.
Graphics--The graphics in this Expansion Set are as good as
in the original. The three new tilesets: Twilight, Desert and Ice
World are excellent. Special effects such as the spectacular explosions
look extremely realistic. The tilesets enhance and change the balance of power and add to the strategic
experience of the game. The twilight world of the Dark Protoss is
very atmospheric; the desert is similar to a nuclear wasteland; and
the ice world is like something from Star Wars. The 3D modeled buildings
are also great. There are not as many cinematics as in the original
game, but the new intro movie and ending cinematics for each of the
three campaigns are longer and more stylish. The animations are crisp
and smooth for a 2D game.
Sound--The sound in Brood War is even better than in the original. There is new music, new sound effects,
and new speech. Each of the three races gets a new music track, and surviving characters get many more speaking
lines. All the new units in Brood War sound great and many of them have very amusing things to say if you keep
on clicking. The dialogue used in mission briefings and during the in-game scripted events is convincing. The sounds
help make the characters believable and they seem to have personalities.
Documentation--There is a chart of the three races and the units, as well as a CD cover/booklet that has
information on the new units.