Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 37

Thread: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

  1. #1

    Default Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    This isn't plagiarism from another guy's thread. Why would it be?

    The game

    * Overall: this was the best SC II game of all the three. It got me binge playing until the very end.

    * The soundtrack is due to 50% of the result. WoL's sountrack disappointed me - Russell Brower's direction unfortunately failed. We still had other composers doing good stuff, but Brower, who spent too much time doind WoW, unfortunately got yo do the main theme. It was one of the many stances in WoL were "epicness" swallowed "atmosphere". Another one were the sound design - much inferior to the 1998 original game which was made by a bunch of resourceless kids. HotS' soundtrack was so much better, a good surprise in all ways. It brought in new things to the table, like helping me see the Zerg and Kerrigan more like Godzilla than like HR Giger's Aliens, and was still a spiritual sucessor to Derek Duke's own music in SC Vanilla and BW. Good music that felt about violence and mistery, about being an alien, using prog rock and orchestras instead of dubstep.

    Now LotV's soundtrack... I think I never liked video game music so much. It even moved me. Good pace, very emotional but without sugar. "The Stars our home" and "Last Stance" are really about the end of an era and about ancient aliens fighting against an ancient evil. All the track, but specially "Khala's End" and "The Fall of Shakuras" talk well about loss. 10/10, have been listening to again.

    * The gameplay of the campaign is the best as well, as it should be. They had time to perfect the model. WoL had a genius meta-resource system with the credits and the research; it didn't give you as many options, but games shouldn't give you everything; but the missions, though as fun, where too repetitive in that all of them depended solely on the new unit being introduced. Making you choose sides was a darn good way to integrate story and gameplay. I don't even care none of our options will ever be canonical, but the problem was that you pretty much changed reality with your choices: if you choose Ariel, she good make a cure for infestation, if you choose Selendis, Ariel was infested and maybe lying to you... it was a good idea, badly executed. So HotS took this level of "story customization" away and gave us more freedom to customize Kerrigan and units. Nothing was permanent but the evolutions. It felt good! But unfortunately they failed to balance the missions properly with their "quasi-RPS" model. And it was too bad they didn't implement the Conqueror of Worlds mechanic...

    ...because a similar thing worked to the best in LotV. In LoTV we have full freedom to customize; which is good, but also cheap. Fortunately, this freedom makes sense in the story and because all the units seem different enough. The best, however, is the Spear of Adun. I always wandered what an actual fight in SC universe should look like if all the factions used all their resources and not just troops: nukes from Terrans, infestation spores from the Zerg and the technology to glass planets from the Protoss. In LotV, for the first time you are in control of the "post soldier" component of high tech war. It makes you feel more present at the battlefield than Kerrigan did. And because of what I said, it integrates the lore with gameplay much better. So we have the most satisfying gameplay so far!

    * The cutscenes are much more well integrated with the general gameplay. They even played with it when you press "Launch" before a mission and intead of the mission starting the lights go off and Amon contacts you. Not much to talk here; it was a technical achievement, not just from programmers but also a evolution of their storytelling techniques. We could say in WoL we had point-and-click, RTS missions and cutscenes independently telling the story and now they made it harder to say when one ends and the other starts.

    The story

    * I'm going for a free-style musing instead of a review. Overall I was astounished by LotV's story in the first half, got a little disapointed here and there later, but overall it was great. The Epilogue was necessary, and better than another cliffhanger, but badly executed lore-wise. More ahead.

    * When Artanis had all five of his "officials" with him - Rohana, Vorazun, Fenix, Alarak and Karax - discussing their plans, with their opinions and values shocking, it seemed to me LotV had something interesting to say about diversity. How to deal with it? Alarak posed a series of challenges on that. At their first interactions Alarak phisically intimidated Artanis into silence. Then Artanis learned to be a little like a Tal'Darim around him - imposing, violent and willing to hate. He and Vorazun talked about the Tal'Darim - she said their Ascencion rites where disgusting, and that she was afraid of fighting along potential betrayers. However, she was really afraid her culture would change into something more like the Tal'Darim with contact. That's the deal with diversity, isn't it? We're afraid our culture could change with immigrants and people with different morals or a different religious view. Maybe a naive person would say we should just embrace everyone - but is it that simple? Do we want to embrace and become like violent, psychopatic barbarians like Alarak? Artanis is willing to - because he's a radical. He's willing to pay every price of diversity. I thought it was brave of the story to talk of diversity of something with pros and cons.

    But then the Judicator in me became filled with rage at the Khalai becoming a templar. Aw, come on, this is bullshit! They present it as if justive demands the caste system was abolished. But I liked in the Protoss that they were so alien - a post-scarcity society of people who don't it - that even social unequality could go well with them (since it obviously doesn't work with us). But seems Protoss became - and were - a little less alien than I liked them to be. Ironically, while Artanis is a radical for diversity, the writers are not radical enough. Thus the protoss become less different and less diverse from us.

    Like with the loss of the Khala - Artanis not just learns to cope with its loss, but also disown its legacy. This seems to me like a poisonous idea that was there since SC1 - the Khala is actually bad, because it makes them colectivists and smart people should be individualists. Of course this is silly. Maybe humans should be individualists (we shouldn't), but aliens might work differently. This finally comes to a close with Artanis decreting this Khala thing was just a mistake. So it says the Judicator in me, at least.

    * However, the writers chose LotV to be not so much a story about loss but much more a story about let-go. And that's the core of it: letting go of prejudices is the easy, common sense part of it. The story demands them to let go of their identities, their memories, their past, their values, their home planets. In a short story Vorazun has a discussion with the rest of the Twilight Council because she didn't want a holy mountain to be mined; in the game, she explodes the whole planet. How can fans criticize a work for changing all we liked about Protoss if the game itself says some strong things about let-go and attachment? Artanis' let-go doesn't even sound to me like spiritual, or merely pragmatic; it is a radical choice. They chose a new meaning of what being a Protoss means; now they're sticking to it and cutting off everything that doesn't belong with that. It's like the Cultural Revolution if it was enacted by a compassionate telepath. Still, it's impactful. They tried to say something relevant about choice in WoL and failed, because they were unable to say anything ugly about choice. Now here's choice, and let-go, and what they wanted to talk about in their game, wirts and all. They're not trying to send a good message anymore (WoL) nor are they afraid to show something ugly anymore (as they were in HotS). This makes LotV campaign the best one, in my opinion.

    * All along, Amon was like a space Gengis Khan. His objectives (destroy everything) are alien, sure, but he's too much like a mundane conqueror. Get armies, conquer planets. He's too much like a powerful person and not enough like an alien entity like Cthulhul, which spiritual and philosophical presence can be more threatening than its physical one. On the other side, they almost achieve to make him more threatening and screwed up by making him human (he wants to save the universe from suffering), but them just go back to make it about petty veangeance and hate. It's like Blizzard, even in their best section of SC II, have lost the capacity to understand moral subtleties. The villain not only wants to cause utter evil (destruction of everything) but he also has utter evil feelings (hatred and egotism). Just like Arcturus before him; can we have a noble villain? Someone with good intetions who does evil, and that you must fight and destroy to survive all the same? Or, can we have evil heroes, necessary evil you got to ally to, like Alarak? No, Arcturus had to be both rotten to his core, past redemption, and a bad influence for the sector.

    * The epilogue, as I said, was necessary, but not well done. It is hard on the suspense of disbelief to put Terran and Protoss and Zerg side to side. I think it actually never happened, except in BW when Kerrigan manipulated everyone? See, they had a good set up that time: they're desperate and don't even like each other. Now Kerrigan is all the way too much like a super hero instead of the anti hero she can only be; even in the Ulnar missions, with Artanis, she was too sweet and willing to prove she became good. Raynor just shows up there with a lot of troops and so does Artanis. No, we needed a good set up so a mission with the three races does not sound like a parody of Mount Hyjal.

    That's the epilogue main flaw. Every cynic opinion on it derives from that, in my opinion. If they had did it right, it would be the kind of "epic" they wanted and they talk so much about - not my favorite way of doing sci-fi, but their choice, right? However, when epic fails, it's silly. And if there's genre that can't survive silliness it's sci-fi. So the epilogue is too much like Power Rangers and too little like Babylon 5. Kerrigan's "mutilation" of absorving Xel'Naga essence makes she freakshly big and unhuman... but it could make more, right? I don't know, getting her together with Raynor in the end is like they don't have the balls to give us a bittersweet ending.

    And that were my thoughts, uh, meditations, what did I write up there? "Deliberations", what does that even mean.

    Veredict for LotV: Game, 9.5/10; Story, 9/10 for the Protoss campaign and 5/10 for the epilogue.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    The grammar of some of your statements makes your meaning unclear, but I get what you're saying about letting go. Blizzard used LotV to tell us fans to let go of SC/BW because Starcraft is whatever they want it to be, not what we like.
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    Seeing how there's hardly anyone here anymore, seems like most people haven't had much trouble letting Starcraft "go" already.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  4. #4
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    6,895

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    Still can't make the connection from BW to WoL. I feel no sense of closure.



    Rest In Peace, Old Friend.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Seeing how there's hardly anyone here anymore, seems like most people haven't had much trouble letting Starcraft "go" already.
    Lorewise it's not hard because it focused too much on fantasy.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    Come on guys, surely there was something more interesting in the OP to comment about?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    ^ Um, you forgot to say that Alarak was the coolest Protoss character in LotV? I had forgotten how fun Protoss dickery could be until he showed up.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


    _______________________________________________

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    Sorry Tche, we're all tapped out. It's basically to the point where SCII is just fan-abandoned.

    Am I the only one who wasn't all that impressed with Alarak? I'm not saying he was horrible, he just felt like the sort of snarky character that De Lancie always plays. He's not really so much of a Starcraft character as he is just some modern trope with a voice actor everyone likes.
    "Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy."
    - Artanis.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Nissa View Post
    Sorry Tche, we're all tapped out. It's basically to the point where SCII is just fan-abandoned.

    Am I the only one who wasn't all that impressed with Alarak? I'm not saying he was horrible, he just felt like the sort of snarky character that De Lancie always plays. He's not really so much of a Starcraft character as he is just some modern trope with a voice actor everyone likes.
    Not fan abandoned, Nissa. Some of us still try to see what had been accomplished, instead of just a total botch up

  10. #10
    TheEconomist's Avatar Lord of Economics
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    6,895

    Default Re: Tche's deliberations on LotV Campaign

    Am I the only one who wasn't all that impressed with Alarak? I'm not saying he was horrible, he just felt like the sort of snarky character that De Lancie always plays. He's not really so much of a Starcraft character as he is just some modern trope with a voice actor everyone likes.
    I thought he was alright, but I was definitely not impressed in any way.



    Rest In Peace, Old Friend.

Similar Threads

  1. New LotV UI/menus
    By Robear in forum StarCraft Discussion
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 10-10-2015, 11:15 PM
  2. Wispers of Oblivion LotV Campaign Prologue
    By The_Blade in forum StarCraft Discussion
    Replies: 45
    Last Post: 06-25-2015, 11:38 PM
  3. LotV Trailer!
    By Visions of Khas in forum StarCraft Discussion
    Replies: 275
    Last Post: 03-22-2015, 02:24 AM
  4. Campaign Creations Campaign Contest
    By Lavarinth in forum StarCraft Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-30-2011, 10:55 AM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-01-2010, 11:54 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •