I finished the campaign on casual difficulty. My thoughts:
– My general opinion of HotS (which I’ll just call SC2 part 2) is the same as of part 1: The game was entertaining enough, but too many cut scenes that went on for too darn long, and scenario load times that were seriously too long.
– For all the additional units and abilities offered to the swarm units in part 2, I found I could do well enough sticking to just a few basics: Mutalisks and Aberrations (later Ultralisks) for assault, Swarm Crawlers for defense. Maybe if I played with higher difficulties I’d see the need for Banelings and Lurkers and whatnot.
– It might be my imagination, but the graphics (of both the cutscenes and the game itself) seemed better in part 2 than in part 1. They didn’t sit on their laurels for the three years it took to develop this game.
– For all that I found the new units of marginal value, this did feel like a new game, and not just a simple continuation of SC2:1 with the word Terran replaced with Swarm. I did not begrudge paying the price of a full new game.
– The Mac version was a trifle glitchy at times. I play in windowed full-screen mode, and there were times the mouse disappeared. Using Cmd-Tab to switch between programs cleared up this problem.
– Tricia Helfer, good ol’ number Six from Battlestar Galactica, voices the character of Kerrigan. She also voiced EDI in Mass Effect 3. From pure mechanical to pure biological; from EA to Blizzard. Not bad, Ms. Helfer!
I guess it will be another three years before we’ll see part 3, and learn what it’s like to be Protoss.