For the sequel to one of the greatest real-time strategy franchises of all time, Blizzard decided to do something big and somewhat controversial: split the game into 3 parts, one for each of the three factions. Wings of Liberty deals with the Terran faction, while the recently released Heart of the Swarm deals with the Zerg. However, just because WOL deals with only one faction, it is by no means incomplete, as the tale of Jim Raynor is a story deep enough to stand on its own, and the RTS gameplay, refined over the years since the original Starcraft’s release, stands the test of time.

Wings of Liberty stars Jim Raynor. After the events of Brood War, Raynor is getting more destitute even as his private army, Raynor’s Raiders grows in size. The group is fighting against the rule of Emperor Mengsk, and to make matters worse, Kerrigan and the Brood are attacking planets and colonies. It’s up to Raynor to figure out what’s going on, even as there are signs of dissension among his own allies. The campaign mode’s missions are more than just your standard “destroy the enemy base” type objectives that you see in other RTS games. One mission has you rebuilding your base during the daytime and fending off waves of attackers during the night time while another has your units traversing the inside of a base on foot. The campaign mode’s missions contain side objectives that award players research points for unit upgrades. In between missions, you’ll be able to visit your ship’s lab and armory, where you can unlock abilities and skills for your units and buildings. Of course, once you’re done with the main game, you can always hop online and take on the world with any of the three factions. You can also watch matches and design your own maps with the included editing tools.

Just because WOL represents only 1/3 of the main Starcraft 2 story, it is by no means one third of a game. Between its campaign and online modes, WOL has enough material to stand on its own. As it is, it is the first part of the next installment of Blizzard’s legendary RTS franchise. Now, if we can get a new RTS Warcraft anytime soon….