Parents' Guide to

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

By Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Exceptional strategy sequel with some mature themes.

Game Mac , Windows 2010
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 12+

Give it a shake, but you MUST have online to get the full experience.

If you don't have a constant internet connection every time you want to play...well you're in for some disappointment. The game's appeal focuses mainly on its massive and competitive multiplayer community, the single player mode is just extremely limited. Oh and don't try to out-muscle (out-macro) an insane AI. At least not if you're not really really good. The community is far better than Call of Duty's, partly because it's for PC users (which boasts a more mature fanbase, unsurprisingly) but still in some regards hostile. People with extremely sensitive feelings should steer away from multiplayer and multiplayer chat. If you aren't an instant starcraft genius the trek up the ranking ladder will be arduous and you will be frequently called "noob" (a term which means new player) and often it will have derogatory connotations to it. Don't get me wrong; noob isn't intended to be insulting, but a lot of people will use it as so. Some examples of which consist of "man you f--- noob i'm not playing with you no more". At the end of games it's customary to say gg (which means good game) but particularly troll'ish players, especially those who feel like they've been cheesed or hustled, will feed you a variant like "gg B--". I am occasionally guilty of it myself. Oh and prepare to lose. A lot. And by a lot I mean on average about 50% of your games. Some of them simply won't feel fair. If you get past the competitive metagame which is actually a professional sport, you can try out the custom games (they've done some spectacular things with starcraft). Don't believe me? Think I'm exaggerating? There have been first person shooter mods, albeit not very good, based on starcraft. There are DotA ripoffs and Diablo clones, rpgs, Civ clones, tower defense, counterstrike starcraft edition, etc. etc. My personal favorite doesn't deviate away from the starcraft metagame too much; it's team monobattles. You work on a team of 4 against another team of 4 and each member is restricted to only building an army consisting of one type of military unit. The problem being that many units are hard counters to others so you need to communicate and coordinate with your teammates. It builds character. As for positive role models...well...I can think of Matt Horner, and to a lesser extent Valerian Mengsk, who is using his power for "good" in that he's purifying Char, the zerg homeworld. Otherwise, the protagonist who's supposed to be Jim an alcoholic mess of an individual who in my opinion was simply a massive jackhole many a time. And hey, regarding the violence, the protoss deaths are the least violent. However, if you do have models turned on to a high setting (basically default graphics medium or above, for the less graphically literate), terran biological unit deaths are rather violent. For example, if fried by laser or flame type weaponry biological units will flail in agony before collapsing in a charred mess. If attacked by explosives they will...well, basically fall apart. If attacked by blade-like weaponry marines and marauders can be cut in half for examples. ALL zerg units...almost NO exceptions, die very gruesome...and frankly unrealistic...deaths, for example the ultralisk splits apart and you can see all of its internal organs. When zerg buildings "die" they leave behind a gory mess. The violence part of the game makes a lot of M-rated games feel lightweight, but hey I ain't complaining.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 12+

The best Electronic Sport for anyone.

Definitely the SC2 game is aimed to active minds; the more you can achieve in "mind cycles" (mining, construction, production, scout, combat) the more you are able to develop a high paced multitasking sense. And this is not end here, you must be creative at the same time, the limited information about your rival challenges you to wonder about what to do, when to do and how to do. I think the very competitive nature in the game can discourage to some kids with security issues, in that sense, the game can be useful to challenge the kids to deal with the insecurities and develop a commitment with put your best effort and improve constantly. SC2 is a mix from theory, exercise and constant practice. As bonus points, the community in SC2 is huge, and we hope to grown even bigger: live events, broadcast events, local tournaments, replays, commentators, analysis, discussion, competition.

This title has:

Great role models
Too much swearing

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (27 ):

This real-time strategy game doesn't mess with the original StarCraft formula, but the gameplay is so tight and polished it's impossible to resist its charm. As with its predecessor, StarCraft II has you collecting resources, such as blue crystal minerals and vespene gases, creating new recruits, constructing varied units, developing new technologies, and battling against uncompromising enemy species.

Along with introducing new (and familiar) units and characters, this sequel is rendered in full 3-D and can handle huge skirmishes on the battlefields. The story-driven cut-scene sequences are stunning to say the least, complemented by well-written dialogue and a moody soundtrack. StarCraft II also shines in its multiplayer modes, but fans of LAN (local area network) parties might be upset to hear Blizzard isn't allowing for this kind of head-to-head play in StarCraft II. Without question, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will satiate both seasoned strategy fans and newcomers alike. Get ready to fall in love with your computer all over again.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac , Windows
  • Subjects: Language & Reading : following directions, reading, Social Studies : exploration, geography, Science : energy, geology, rocks and minerals
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning : analyzing evidence, applying information, strategy, Creativity : brainstorming, developing novel solutions, making new creations, Collaboration : cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork, Tech Skills : digital creation, using and applying technology, Self-Direction : identifying strengths and weaknesses, time management, work to achieve goals
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Release date: July 27, 2010
  • Genre: Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
  • ESRB rating: T for Blood and Gore, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
  • Last updated: August 30, 2016

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