StarCraft fans, rejoice! The dawn of the Protoss is finally upon us. After all those excruciating years of helplessly waiting since the first game came out in 1998 and doomed us to a lifetime of sitting in front of the computer all day, we will finally get a closer look at the Protoss home world of Aiur. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void comes out next month on the 10th of November. The release marks the thrilling conclusion to the StarCraft II trilogy, and the story arc that’s 17 years in the making. Brace, brace, brace. It’s the end of an era, and we’re sure it’s going to be one heck of a ride.
The story thus far
Jim Raynor and the Queen of Blades have taken us all on a grand adventure with Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, but now that darkness looms overhead and the fate of all creation as we know it hangs in the balance, it’s finally time for the Protoss race to take center stage. Legacy of the Void follows the campaign led by Artanis against Amon as the main antagonist. According to the official story summary, “You are Hierarch Artanis, leader of the mighty Protoss race. Years ago, your home world of Aiur fell to the merciless Zerg Swarm. Now, at long last, you have raised a powerful fleet of warships known as the Golden Armada, and are poised to reclaim your world. But an ancient evil—Amon—threatens this destiny and the fate of the entire galaxy. Only you can reunite the Protoss factions and defeat the coming darkness before it consumes all life in the sector.”
Blizzard is definitely not scrimping on the cinematics, as the mind-blowing opening spectacle alone will show you just how formidable the Protoss are when reclaiming their home world from the Zerg that have overrun the place. After watching this piece, you will never hear “Power Overwhelming” the same way again.
During TwitchCon 2015 in San Francisco, lead producer Tim Morten revealed three new commanders that will be playable throughout the game, namely, Rory Swann, Dark Templar Vorazun, and Zerg broodmother Zagara (who was actually already introduced in Heart of the Swarm). Players can take control of these commanders in addition to Artanis, because nobody can do it alone, right? Getting rid of the Zerg while fighting off a bigger interplanetary threat can’t be an easy job.
“There is also this ancient evil that was alluded to earlier, this sort of fallen very old member of this old race,” Morten says about Amon of the ancient Xel’naga race. “It’s going to take a unified Protoss, and help from the Terrans and Zergs. All of the races are going to have to come together if there’s going to be any hope of vanquishing him.”
Taking control of the Protoss
A three-mission short series called Whispers of Oblivion features Zeratul probing more into the Xel’naga prophecy that was already mentioned in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. These three 30-minute missions will act as a prologue to Legacy of the Void, with titles Dark Whispers, Ghosts in the Fog, and Evil Awoken respectively.
Meanwhile, another juicy sneak peek titled Reclamation shows Artanis’ struggle to make the big decisions on the impending battle and invasion. “We are an ancient people. There are few of us left…and tomorrow…I send so many to die,” he says. Both stakes and costs are high in this prelude, and as the Golden Armada arrives at Aiur, Artanis begins to doubt his capabilities to lead the reclamation to victory. In a spine-tingling conversation with his friend, Kaldalis, we get an inside look at the past of the Protoss race during what they call the Aeon of Strife. However, because of Kaldalis’ bold words, Artanis comes to a decision. “Because I know of no higher honor. I volunteered for a chance to give my life for our home. To make a world for all Protoss once more. You, made me believe in that,” says Kaldalis. And, in a nerd-gasmic final note, both whisper the cry players hear so often on the battlefield—“My life…for Aiur.” Can November 10 arrive sooner, please?
Seasoned StarCraft veterans will be delighted to know that Blizzard has introduced an in-game automated tournament system that pairs same-level players based on their skills. For those who’re looking for more friendly options, the co-op mode can team friends up together to battle against other players, or against AI. More units and structures abound, opening up opportunities for players to conjure up new strategies in this expansion. Rushing with Pylons has already become a thing apparently, as the Mothership Core can now overcharge Pylons (25 energy) and enable the supply buildings to go on the offensive. Archon Mode also allows two players to take control of the same base—whether or not this will make your unit management more efficient is up to you. The Protoss Disruptor, Terran Liberator, and the comeback of the Zerg Lurker from Brood War are only some of the additions to look forward to on the expansion as well.
Over the horizon
“We’ve been so busy finishing ‘Legacy of the Void’ that we haven’t really set up a concrete plan for what’s going to happen next,” says Morten. “There’s no end of stories we could tell in the StarCraft universe. It would be fun to explore other characters stories but we haven’t made a hard decision.”
Considering it took twelve years after StarCraft: Brood War before StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty came out, does that mean we all need to wait more decades for the next installment of the StarCraft franchise?
“This isn’t the end of StarCraft, but it’s the end of this story for these characters. We don’t have any specific plans, but I’ll say that the universe has so much potential for more stories, clearly other stories could be told,” Morten continues. “It’s very rewarding for us to hear that there’s demand out there for more RTS content in the Warcraft universe so once we’re done with Void I think we’ll get together as a team and talk about what would inspire us to work on next. There’s no question, though, that we’ll consider Warcraft, StarCraft, or even new ideas. Anything is possible.”
*Image taken from official StarCraft website. Videos from official StarCraft YouTube account.
Cathy Dellosa Lo is a freelance writer by day and a geek by night. She constantly struggles between sniffing the novels lined up in her bookshelf and trying to whip up something unusual in the kitchen, much to the dismay of her loving husband. To this day, she still has not cooked a decent meal. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero for her future children, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction. She also maintains a personal blog on her rookie misadventures as a noob wife at http://quirkylifeofthenoobwife.blogspot.com/