Pre-orders for 2016’s batch of StarCraft II DLC have gone live on Battle.net, offering the three episodes of three missions each that will form Nova Covert Ops for $14.99 / £11.99 / €14.99 all-inclusive. They’ll be released throughout 2016, with a promise that all three packs will be available before December and the first some time in Spring. It’s not stated explicitly, but the implication is that each episode will also be available standalone as they arrive, akin to the way Hearthstone Adventure wings work.
StarCraft II easily makes our list of the best strategy games.
The listing also clarifies that the Starter Edition of the game is all that will be required to play – that’s the free version that has access to a few missions and some skirmishes, as well as the StarCraft II Arcade. You won’t need to have purchased Legacy of the Void or either of the other two campaigns to play. You’ll also get some in-game goodies for pre-ordering, including a portrait and unit skin.
Nova Covert Ops was originally announced at Blizzcon as the first single-player expansion to StarCraft II, featuring the eponymous ghost and set two years after the ending of Legacy of the Void. There’s precious little other information out there, beyond her being a constantly-available hero character in missions and the protagonist of the series.
I’ve mixed feelings about it as, while the three main games have been the best RTS campaigns I’ve ever played, the three-mission prologue to Legacy of the Void, and to a lesser extent the Protoss interlude in Wings of Liberty, was lacklustre. The missions don’t have the time to properly ramp things up, either story-wise or in terms of teaching you how to play, and definitely feel short. There’s an obscene amount of entertainment you can get for £12 these days and, even though it’s less than I was expecting, I’m worried this won’t match up.
Naturally I’ll be playing it day zero because StarCraft is effectively tattoo’d on the inside of my heart, so take all that concern with a bit of salt. Reservations, but not nearly enough to stop me wanting to have it right now. If you’re not sure why, the first two parts of the SC2 trilogy are cheap on the Bnet store until, I think, the end of today. I really can’t recommend them enough, even if you’re a total RTS noobie.