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Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Introduction Impressions

/ Feb 11th, 2013 1 Comment

Heart of the Swarm opening scene

Blizzard released the introduction to the Starcraft 2 expansion Heart of the Swarm last month. Immediately, YouTubers were posting their impressions. Here are a few standout comments:

“I kept throwing my money at the monitor and nothing happened.”

“Blizzard make a movie already”

“Requesting infested Kerrigan porn ASAP”

“ That Viking was pretty brave”

That was just a sample of many thoughts that flooded the comment section soon after the release of the opening cutscene to Blizzard’s newest expansion pack.

[adsense250itp]The opening cinematic begins with a bird’s eye view of a Terran city, possibly Tarsonis. We then follow a couple Vikings, including a view from their cockpit, as they begin to engage a Zerg Overlord, which apparently got a size upgrade from last we saw one. After the Vikings release their missiles, the camera zooms to the inside of the overlord, where Kerrigan begins to narrate and we get a peak at a new Zerg transport unit. Still in her Queen of Blades voice, Kerrigan says a few lines summed up with “Worlds will burn,” triggering the beginning of the epic opening soundtrack.

Hundreds of Corruptors descend upon the unfortunate city. Switch to two, lone marines below unaware of the impending attack struggle against the ambush by Zerglings and Hydralisks that turn into thousands. This is where things get epic. When players faced off against Ultralisk’s in-game, while respecting their talents as a unit, prepared players never had a reason to run or fear them. In this video, there is a lone tank running from the behemoth of a monster, making potential players realize the thought of an intimidating Ultralisk has been fulfilled. Holy sh*t, is it huge! After it catches up to the unfortunate tank and crushes it (that’s right, these Ultras don’t need their tusks to do damage, they just go William ‘The Fridge” Perry on anything in sight), it’s game time as the Zerg force heads toward what appears to be the city capital, where a Terran force puts up what seems to be their last stand in the open.

Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

Watching the tanks go into siege mode gives the audience goosebumps. When they let it rain on the incoming Zerg, the music track drops the hammer and the three-minute-long opening immediately eclipses all recent trailers for any movie that may have been seen in the last decade. Blizzard just does it right. The hits and explosions are far and few between but, combined with the great tracks, pacing, and writing, everything clicks and sends a message.  While the Ultras dominated the video, the siege tank sequence gives viewers a true feel for the power behind them. When their rounds hit the Zerg and smack the Ultra on the side, players gain respect for them instantly (though, I don’t think any F’s were given by the Ultra about siege tanks. Honey badger don’t care).

Unfortunately, the fireworks display by the Terran defense is all for naught and the Zerg overwhelm them, with an overhead view of the carnage shown to video watchers. It is reminiscent of when the Army of the Dead arrived at the fields for the Battle of Pelennor in “The Return of the King.” While all of this is going on, a Terran battle cruiser, which also got a huge size upgrade, plummets to the ground causing a huge explosion. After a quick transition, Kerrigan, in her Queen of Blades form, is seen overseeing and admiring her carnage while great voiceover work plays over music.

Plain and simple, the opening cinematic kicks ass. It is the kind of video anyone would enjoy and appreciate. If Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is half as good as the opening cutscene, and Blizzard usually delivers, gamers are in for a very good February.

Carl Armstrong

Carl Armstrong

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Carl Armstrong has been with GI for over four years, serving as a review writer, on-site reporter and Associate Editor. He's worked as an award winning radio show producer for The Mighty 1090 sports station, Xtrasports 1360 and was the executive technical director for the San Diego Chargers radio network from 2008-2012.

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