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Alexandre Guimond

Starcraft: Insurrection Review

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One of the great features in a real-time strategy game is to have the opportunity to create or edit campaigns as we see fit. It permits us to work our creative minds in the creation of new worlds and multiplayer maps. Blizzard has always had a great campaign editor in pretty much all of their games; it led to spin-offs that sometimes, became even more popular than the original release (Defense of the Ancients for Warcraft 3). The interface of their campaign editor is simple, but there’s much more to do once you’ve picked up the “coding”. Therefore, right after the release of Stacraft, some companies had the great idea to produce mission packs for the game, in order to expand the playfield for the fans, but also, to approach the campaign editing more professionally.

It goes without saying that pretty much everybody with the time and effort would be able to create such things, but it is also rare to see approved add-on packs sent into full retail releases. Three months after the release of the game, Aztech New Media went out to publish Starcraft: Insurrection has the first authorized add-on mission pack for the game. It features new campaigns, multiplayer maps and a different take on the Starcraft narrative.

It’s kind of silly to look back on those fairly old video games and ponder on how and why PC gaming in the 90s was so great. Add-ons were the craze, and still are to be honest. There’s no shortage of bonus units, special weapon packs for a lot of real-time strategy games nowadays. So to speak, an add-on pack was made entirely of second grade campaigns, and a bunch of multiplayer packs; and it would be sold for about 40$ a piece. With digital distribution, it’s too easy to sell smaller packs to fans. But if we back up a few years, Insurrection and all the others were full price. But that’s not the point really, time has passed, and most of these mission packs are fairly obtainable if you know where to look. The real drive to these add-on packs are clearly for the dedicated crowd of Starcraft enthusiasts.

The Insurrection campaign take a whole different take on the Starcraft lore; the missions don't take themselves too seriously. The voice acting is laughably average, but is quite entertaining at the same time. There are a lot of weird accents, and poorly delivered lines. But at least it’s there, it’s not complete silence, and cheap laughs are always welcomed.

The campaign feels almost like a Dirty Dozen movie. Lots of heroes with ridiculous names (A firebat named Jack Frost, and a Goliath named Sergeant Tsuname), are always there to remind you how the 90’s were awesome. It’s full of one-liners, corny jokes, and even in all its cheesiness, it’s probably the sole reason why you should play it. The dialogues are fun and wacky; you won’t find anything serious about it whatsoever. The Zerg and Protoss campaigns are a little bit more serious, but they are easily forgettable, aside from the unusual dialog. But that is the problem; the campaign itself is not terribly appealing. The resources are scattered in very weird patterns and the map design is anemic. There are often big chunks of land completely left empty, making them feel unnatural. The maps of the original Starcraft had this advantage of feeling really organic and well done. But even with the multiplayer maps, Insurrection falls short.

The resources are oddly placed, the maps feel barren, and there’s no feel of professional craftsmanship. The reuse of maps during the campaign, although tied-in with the story, is lazy. You could have made this on your own with the proper amount of resources and some time. In all fairness, there are a few missions that are enjoyable and different, but it’s not enough to justify the whole thing. Also, when it comes to multiplayer, unless you are an addicted follower of CPU obliteration, you’ll find it rather discouraging. The base emplacements, especially in 6 and 8 player maps are too close to each other, and while some might be allured by the idea, it is quite frustrating or rather too easy.

Overall, Starcraft: Insurrection feels more like a community add-on pack than a full-ledged campaign supplement. If you really want to add more maps, and some quirky missions to your “Play Custom” menu, go on right ahead; it is Starcraft after all. But don’t expect anything too riveting.

Alexandre Guimond
Assistant Editor

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Updated 06-09-10 at 07:37 by SteveSawyer

Classic / Retro , PC


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