Skip to main content

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

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.

Watch on YouTube

Read this next