Garrett (garote) wrote,
Garrett
garote

Starcraft II: The Third One, Part B: The Revenge: Electric Plasma Farts (A Rant)

Well, I blasted through the Protoss campaign and the epilogue in about a week. In the end, Kerrigan - the leader of the Zerg (think: space roaches) - meets a fat alien slug the size of Texas floating around in another dimension, and agrees to be transformed into a glowing yellow Tinkerbell fairy to fight the last bad guy again, in a senseless repeat of the final Protoss mission that just happened three missions ago.

Oh dear, I've totally spoiled it for you, haven't I! Well, when you play a Starcraft campaign you should know what you're in for:

A driveway-sized plate of exposition spaghetti, covered with Big Important Speech meatballs, and coated with a watery sauce made from "ancient legends" and vaguely Arabian-sounding names. You eat it with a shovel, chomping mechanically as you walk along the plate, and stare at the walls of the restaurant, which are covered with over-illustrated planets and over-complicated models and graffiti etched in by the developers. Some of it reads "help me I'm trapped in an office working on a Starcraft sequel."

I know Blizzard is notorious for developing huge stables of art and code and then dumping or canceling projects because they don't "measure up" to their own standards (apparently there is some deranged tax loophole that allows this abandoned work to be written off) but I think at some point in the last decade, during the long death-march of World Of Warcraft development perhaps, the very last brick slid into place and the production directors were walled completely off from any external perspective about their work.

How else to explain their own stubborn consistency? Yeah, the Protoss race has reverse-echoey dialogue, and they have no mouths or nostrils or eyebrows or pupils and they don't blink or breathe. But that's the character design we're "stuck" with, so we're going to go ahead and have you stare at the expressionless Protoss for minutes at a time, while they pantomime their way through dialogue that's got so much reverb on it you feel like your head is jammed inside a xylophone tumbling down a mineshaft. Meanwhile, we're going to give you three different customization options for every unit in the game, plus a bunch of extra units and buildings, because hey, after nine years of development, we couldn't make up our minds. Don't bother learning much about all this stuff because it will be gone when you go head-to-head with other players.

And honestly - would it kill those people to put an actual joke in the dialogue? Artanis is as serious as the grave. In the middle of making yet another ode to bravery and brotherhood, he should rip out a giant fart and have to adjust his pants or something. And can we have a moment of silence that wasn't less than 2 seconds long and interrupted by an explosion? I understand their basic problem; they have to pitch the campaign at the level of a distracted 14-year-old boy, because that's their most important market. At least, I hope that was their market - because that's where they pitched.

Not exactly a place to linger. I'm a bit relieved to be done with it.
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