Heart of the Swarm is the Empire Strikes Back of StarCraft 2

Sunday, 17th March 2013 23:58 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Blizzard’s Chris Metzen has said that StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm is the darkest chapter in the trilogy.

“Heart of the Swarm is definitely the dark, Empire Strikes Back middle chapter,” the story and franchise development director said in an interview with PCGamer.

“Wings [of Liberty] was an interesting story. It set out to be the story of revolution, you know – Raynor versus Mengsk, and of course the Zerg come in and screw everything up. Really Wings takes a hard left turn, in the story, where it’s possible that this guy could get his girlfriend back. He practically drops all else – ‘yes, that’s what we’re doing. Oh, it’ll save a lot of people.’ But then his buddies call him out – like, really? We’re gonna risk all these guys getting this girl back?

“But that’s what Jim does. And that event, and that fact of turning her human again, will have serious reverberations. Especially when you line that up against Zeratul’s suggestion in the first chapter that this girl is everything; she’s the turning point of history; that ultimately there’s some cheque in the mail, it’s gonna get cashed one day and that’s gonna be bad for everybody of that girl isn’t there to make the difference.

“Maybe there was more than just the Overmind’s plans to assimilate her; maybe it had further-reaching reasons to bring her into the swarm. All of this speaks of a much grander mythology that Wings just kind of began to tease, that ultimately will result in Legacy of the Void; that’s why it’s called that, the whole thing comes back around again.

“So for this chapter, it is kind of a dark middle chapter. The third one is fairly dark, too. There’s a 300 component to the third one where the mighty rise, and start pushing back against the shadow. In this middle chapter it’s a little more morally ambiguous. It’s definitely focused on, at its heart, the innate identity that Sarah holds. What does she think of herself? Has she always just reacted to people’s manipulation of her? Has she ever had a strong core in there? In many ways this is the story of her finding that core, and choosing the vector of her life, and choosing what she will become; ultimately what she wants to be in the universe.

“Obviously at the end of Heart of the Swarm, her story does not end, She and Raynor will play a role in the chapter to come. But it’s definitely about her. Definitely about all the unrequited feelings with Jim, the big Gone with Wind love story thing that’s running through StarCraft since the first one. This is really where a lot of that resolves for good or ill.”

The full interview is available below, and has plenty of other interesting comments on the narrative of StarCraft 2 as a whole and Heart of the Swarm in particular. Heart of the Swarm is available now and is the second of three planned episodes in StarCraft 2.



  1. Sanwiches

    HoTS is definitely the darkest chapter but that’s because the story has become so cheesy I don’t even want to continue hearing about it. I’m not interested anymore. It will be the gameplay and nothing else. Goddamn Christ, it wasn’t all about a goddamn relationship before. You turned Kerrigan and Raynor into laughable characters. No depth, almost no developpement in mentality. COME ON RAYNOR YOU SWORE YOU’D BE THE ONE TO KILL HER BECAUSE SHE’VE KILLED LIKE 8 BILLIONS PEOPLE AND MANY OF YOUR FRIENDS, NOW ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS KISS HER BUTT.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    The story in the game is just the worst piece of shit this gen.

    Such fantastic characters and Blizzard killed them. Blizzard was so great in the past, but now… It’s not.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Talkar

    Have you completed the game? Jim does literally have a gun pointed right to her face. He is so mad at her for all she’s done. Especially to Fenix (who he apparently forgot all about in WoL). He decides to give her one last chance, although i wouldn’t, but he did. And she used that to kill Mengsk. I would say Kerrigan is more human now than she ever was in WoL. But yeah, the story isn’t the best written in the world, but if you compare it to the other greats in RTS (Red Alert, Generals and in general C&C) then it is definately pretty good.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. kyanwan

    Dude, it’s “the empire strikes back”? Stop fawning over blizzard. I’ve heard mixed reviews, Starcraft has gotten cheezy, everything Blizz makes is “inspired” or a “tribute” of this or that – and cliche as hell.

    Blizzard’s tired. They’re bloated, they’re big budget, they’re garbage. Step aside Blizzard. Your golden age is over.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Mineral4r7s

    Am I the only one to like the story?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Sylrissa

    @5 No you’re not the only one, I liked it as well.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dralen

    Same. I’m really enjoying it at the moment as well.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Sanwiches

    I mean, if you like the story, you probably couldn’t care less about the Brood War’s story. And that’s fine I guess. I just hate how it turned out.

    SC is like Star Wars, even tho I don’t care about Star Wars. Fans of the serie hated Lucas for what he’s done with it. I’m really disappointed with Chris Metzens. He said, talking about SC2, “StarCraft is really at it’s core a story about a boy and a girl”. meh.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Sanwiches

    I probably just totally hate love story like this one. “Oh Jim”. “Oh Kerrigan”, “I never gave up on you Sarah”. yeah because when you said you wanted to kill her, you still didn’t give up on her. ANYWAY I SHOULD KEEP MY TEARS FOR MYSELF

    #9 2 years ago
  10. timvane23

    Great story. Hopefully, it turns out well for Raynor and Kerrigan in LotV.

    #10 2 years ago

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