Revisiting the Starcraft II Campaign

A few months ago, I revisited the Starcraft II campaign in an attempt to get 100% achievements on it.

Starcraft II logo

During my first run-through of the campaigns, I did individual posts for each of the three editions of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void. At the time I wrote those posts, I was very new to Starcraft II, with almost no experience playing the game. I played through the entire campaign on Normal difficulty.

Now that it’s been a few years down the line, with Starcraft II being my favourite game, I wanted to revisit the campaign and complete the achievements. This means that I had to play and complete every single mission Brutal difficulty. Additionally, I had to complete certain tasks to get other achievements on Hard difficulty. This opened up a whole new aspect to the game that I want to share my thoughts on.

First and foremost, the thing I did not like about any of these three expansions is the fact that you do not end up back on your ship after the completion of the campaign. I noticed that I was missing some dialog-related achievements which required me to talk or click on certain characters. This meant that I had to do a full run-through again. To get these achievements, I just re-played the campaigns on Casual difficulty.

As far as hard-level achievements go, there were a few missions that were fairly difficult, but eventually, I was able to complete it. While all the mastery achievements posed some kind of challenge, I was able to complete them eventually. The hardest achievements I found to complete on each campaign were:

  • Wings of Liberty: All-In on Brutal difficulty
  • Heart of the Swarm: None
  • Legacy of the Void: Purity of Purpose on Essence of Eternity

As a side note, a lot of people seem to find the Lost Viking achievement to be extremely difficult to get. I got it on my first try:

Lost Viking Achievement

As a minor digression, I’d just like to point how to flexible the Starcraft II engine is, to be able to make a bullet-hell game from an RTS engine.

But yes, I did not struggle at all with that achievement. This is probably because I was quite big on bullet hell games when I was younger, with Major Stryker being a favourite game of mine. It’s good to know I still have it in me!

Major Stryker Screenshot

However, the one thing I did not enjoy about the Starcraft II mastery achievements was the time-limited aspect of some of the achievements. Some of the achievements have the form of “Do X before Y minutes” or “Do X before Y happens”. This is particularly the case with the Legacy of the Void mastery achievements. I do not like being rushed and those achievements, while not extremely difficult, were not enjoyable to achievement.

The only advice I can give to others that want to get 100% achievements on the entire campaign is to save frequently. For my Brutal run on All In, I had about 10 saves. For my Hard run on Essence of Eternity, I had close to 35 saves at key points in the game.

And this brings me to my last point: some of the achievements were not fun to get. Especially for the Purity of Purpose achievement. That one was extremely frustrating to get. I had to try numerous methods to eventually get a viable strategy. It changes the game from a strategy game to one where save files dominate.

But I’m glad it’s done. I finally have 100% achievements. You can see my Starcraft II profile here. I don’t have to go through the campaign again ever. I don’t have to try really hard to beat something with certain limitations. If I ever go back, it will probably be on Normal difficulty.

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