Hot off the press comes some juicy details about the single player campaign for Heart of the Swarm. The campaign will span over the course of 20 missions and will play like an RPG/RTS hybrid. One major aspect of Heart of the Swarm is that Kerrigan will be playable during each mission and she will have a WoW-like talent system.
Each mission, the player will choose a set of abilities for Kerrigan to use. This will add an interesting strategic elements to each mission as you choose which abilities are best suited the mission at hand.
Taking a queue from the research system in Wings of Liberty, you will be able to choose different upgrades or “evolutions” for specific units. These evolved units will be unique to the campaign. For example, the zergling can upgraded to split into broodlings upon death or it can be upgraded to the swarmling. The swarmlings spawn at a faster rate and create three units instead of the two for standard zerglings.
The other announced type of evolution that can be purchased for the zergling is the raptor. The raptor is more durable than the zergling and has the ability to leap small distances. As of now, it is unclear as to whether you will be able to choose one evolution like the research upgrades from Wings of Liberty.
Blizzard is also promising us a wide variety of locations to explore between missions. These areas will evolve based on mission completion and will give the player the sense that Kerrigan’s presence is being felt throughout the galaxy.
Along with all of these enhancements comes some improvements to the graphics engine. As the Zerg are the focus of Heart of the Swarm, the game will feature improved behavior and movement for the creep, and they plan to better showcase the planets that Kerrigan will be exploring. Blizzard has also stated that they plan to keep the same hardware requirements that Wings of Liberty had, so there is no need to rush out and buy a new expensive gaming rig.
Wings of Liberty will be required if you wish to play Heart of the Swarm and there will be a beta, but they don’t have a date as of yet. You can, however, begin the opt in process now and we will be sure to keep you up to date with any further news regarding the beta. For those of you concerned with pricing, nothing has been confirmed yet but Blizzard has stated in the past it will be “expansion priced” so expect it to be in the $40 range.
Stay tuned for details about the multiplayer aspect of Heart of the Swarm as well as more BlizzCon news.