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StarCraft 2 Prologue: Whispers of Oblivion Impressions: The End Begins

The StarCraft 2: Whispers of Oblivion prologue follows the Dark Templar Zeratul, as he tries to find a way to defeat Amon, a powerful being responsible for creating the Zerg/Protoss hybrids and seeks to remake all life in the universe in his image. Comprised of three missions, Whispers of Oblivion bridges some of the events between Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void, the upcoming expansion that will conclude the StarCraft 2 trilogy.

Each of the three Whispers of Oblivion missions are relatively short, and generally involve battling your way through a series of obstacles to get from point A to B. Although the first mission mixes things up a little by requiring you to free Protoss prisoners, and the second mission has you searching out resources, but the format still applies.

Players are challenged with very limited resources to complete each mission, so you'll want to avoid full on confrontations with heavily defended bases when you can. The Protoss also happen to be a very resource intensive and relatively slow building race, so these missions also give players a chance to familiarize themselves with the faction's gameplay if they're not already.

Enemies include both Terrans (Moebius Corps Forces) and Protoss that have been corrupted by Amon's power. Zerg make an appearance during the first mission, and will produce near unstoppable waves of destruction set to be thrown against the Moebius forces, so it's often best to stay out of the way when this happens. Except, they're out to destroy the space station's power core while you're still on it, so you can't hold back for too long. You need to work as fast as you can and get out. The second and third missions feature ever more powerful Protoss forces, including a few hybrids.

Once I got into a more conservative mindset, Whispers of Oblivion turned out to be a relatively easy set of missions. I almost started to feel bad for the enemies during the third mission, because I was a near unstoppable force with Zeratul under my command. He has permanent cloaking, a powerful strike, and the ability to make all soldiers temporarily invincible. It's too bad you don't get to use any of the new Legacy of the Void Protoss units, not even as a little sneak peek, but you can try them out by getting beta access.

Generally speaking, getting through these missions is largely a matter of timing and knowing how to draw fire away from your heavy ships. Taking a Protoss base is a relatively straightforward affair, since destroying pylons will kill power to both defensive towers and production buildings. However, the game does have a few tricks to surprise players with.

But the point of Whispers of Oblivion isn't necessarily to provide a huge challenge, although I'm sure turning the difficulty up a few ticks might do just that. The prologue is designed to set up events leading into Legacy of the Void, and both Zeratul and Praetor Talis, introduced in the prologue as a supporting character, feature excellent voice acting.

Whispers of Oblivion is a short but sweet experience. The single player experience might not be worth playing more than once or twice, but it certainly gets you in the mood for Legacy of the Void, which should release sometime this winter for PC and Mac. Those that pre-order the stand-alone expansion can play Whispers of Oblivion now before it becomes free for all players sometime in the future.

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