StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Game Poster Image
Thrilling, violent end to the StarCraft II strategy series.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a wide variety of tactical and strategic skills, including cooperative play, time and resource management, diplomacy, and more. Players must plan and execute offensive and defensive maneuvers to accomplish the particular mission at hand. Working together with other players on a particular goal is rewarding and could be beneficial in other areas. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void will test both a player's planning skills and tactics across intergalactic battlefields.

Positive Messages

No positive messages; heightened focus on constant combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Aside from user playing as a military commander named Artanis, this isn't a character-driven game. Instead, it's a top-down military strategy game with multiple playable units.

Ease of Play

Simple keyboard/mouse controls, easy-to-follow tutorial, but game can be tough on some levels.

Violence

Though units look small because of top-down view, battles include realistic gunfire, explosions, and blood, gore can be seen. Some nonplayable cut scenes also show instances of violence, such as humans impaled by light-saber-like swords, alien creatures dying from melee combat.

Sex

Some sexually suggestive references, such as a comment about a "strip-o-gram." One reference of "Whoops, damn premature detonation.” One alien creature is partially nude, but player can't see any body parts clearly.

Language

"Ass," "bitch," "bastard," "hell," "damn" used throughout.

Consumerism

Latest installment in popular franchise, with novels, action figures, board games, apparel, backpacks, more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is a real-time military-focused strategy game that takes places in space among three dueling races. There's violence with its focus on combat, with blood and gore sometimes shown in cut scenes. The impact of the violence is limited because of the fantastical scope of gameplay, along with its angled, top-down viewpoint on game action. Combat does include loud gunfire, explosions, and some screaming by both human and alien races. The game has some implied nudity, but no discernable body parts can be seen. The game has some mild profanity, including "ass" and "damn" heard frequently. This is also part of a large and popular strategy franchise, and players may be interested in diving into the other games in the series.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

STARCRAFT II: LEGACY OF THE VOID is the concluding chapter to 2010's StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and 2013's StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm -- this time allowing players to guide the powerful Protoss alien race in an ambitious, explosive campaign. You'll work together with different Protoss tribes to help them prepare for the overall goal: to unite the three once-rival races -- Terran (humans), Zerg, and Protoss -- to confront an even more power ancient evil that threatens all life in the universe. Like its predecessors, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void lets you build and control units on large battlefields from an angled top-down perspective. This real-time strategy (RTS) game has you look for and mine resources to fuel your battles, upgrade your buildings and units, and take advantage of the environment for both offensive and defensive actions. This sequel features many new units and introduces new competitive and cooperative modes.

Is it any good?

Though it doesn't mess with the formula that made its predecessors so successful, this is an engaging, challenging, and rewarding RTS game expansion for computer players. In fact, the tale (and related missions) nicely tie up everything for those who've been following along over the past couple of games. Despite some cheesy dialogue and sometimes confusing side stories, it's a gratifying end to the story arc. The game looks and feels familiar, which is a good thing, as you build structures that produce units, mine for resources, explore the map, and engage in tactical skirmishes that can last from a few minutes to close to an hour.

Along with the single-player campaign, which offers some welcomed unit, name, and character customization, Legacy of the Void adds some online cooperative (co-op) missions, where you and a friend choose from a half-dozen characters and work together to complete various tasks. The matchmaking works well through the online lobby. There's also an option to play the new Archon Mode, where you and a friend share one base and army and take on another Archon. As you'd expect, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void also introduces a few different competitive multiplayer modes with new units, maps, and tournaments. For StarCraft II fans, buying this game is a no-brainer. Real-time strategy lovers who haven't yet played the previous games might consider them first. Legacy of the Void is an intensive and immersive "lean in" RTS experience to help keep you glued to your monitor for hours on end.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about strategy titles. Do games like this encourage critical thinking, tactics, time management, and risk-reward lessons, or is it solely focused on battle and combat?

  • Talk about the violence in the game. Is the combat acceptable because it's against aliens, or is it gratuitous and unnecessary?

Game details

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For kids who love strategy

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