Although many PC gamers are already enamored with SimCity, which is finally playable after a rocky launch, Heart of the Swarm provides the next chapter in the planned StarCraft 2 trilogy. As such, the game picks up the story where Wings of Liberty left off, focusing on Kerrigan's quest to reunite the Swarm and exact revenge on Arcturus Mengsk. Upon booting up the expansion, you'll be provided with 20 new campaign missions and new units such as Terran Hellbats, Zerg Swarm Hosts, and Protoss Tempests. Existing units from Wings of Liberty have also been updated with new capabilities.
In addition to campaign elements, StarCraft 2's technical gameplay experience has been enhanced with new features including group and clan systems; training and versus-A.I. modes, to help new players transition from the campaign into multiplayer; unranked matchmaking; Global Play, enabling players to battle others in different regions around the world; additional stat tracking; user interface improvements; an enhanced physics system, for more visceral-looking battles; "Watch With Others" and "Take Command," to watch replays with friends as well as jump in and assume control at any point; a leveling system that gives Heart of the Swarm players a new way to earn customization options for their online profiles; and much more.
Meanwhile, PlayStation 3 owners can enjoy the first of three highly anticipated PS3 exclusives (The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls). Today marks the release of God of War: Ascension, the seventh installment in the series, but a prequel to the entire series. Ascension features the same combo-based combat as previous installments, but with a few minor changes to its quick time events system and the addition of a World Weapon System. For the first time ever in a God of War game, there is also a multiplayer component.
Check back later today for our review of God of War: Ascension and later this week for StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm.