Starcraft: Brood War Campaign Reviews – Episode 5 – Terran Campaign – The Conquest of the U.E.D. and the Legacy of Stukov

AlexeiStukov_SC1_CineBWIntro1

We continue the “Starcraft: Brood War” Campaign Reviews with Episode 5, the Terran Campaign. This campaign ties directly to “Brood War’s” opening cinematic where we see Vice Admiral Stukov and Admiral DuGalle studying the Zerg as their troops fight below. Eventually they leave the battle and the story kicks off.

The story begins with Stukov ordering you to take out the capital Boralis on the planet of Braxis for the U.E.D. (United Earth Directorate). It is here you meet Lieutenant Duran, a man who says he is resisting Dominion rule and can show you a back entrance. He helps and you are victorious. The two reasons the U.E.D. came to this sector is to conquer rogue elements like Emperor Mengsk and pacify the Overmind so the Zerg will no longer be a threat to humanity.

The next mission involves you capturing Mengsk’s Battlecruisers in the Dylarian Shipyards so he will lose his ability to fight and you’ll gain a larger fleet. Next you learn of the Psi Disruptor the Confederacy had been trying to build on Tarsonis and that there might still be a functioning one. Stukov once to keep it since it seems to work at disrupting the Zerg but Duran wants it destroyed so Mengsk doesn’t get it. DuGalle eventually goes with Duran even with Duran acting insubordinate and disrespectful in the conversation. Once you arrive on the planet you take out the surrounding zerg forces and ghosts arrive to take control of the Psi Disruptor of Stukov forcing Duran to leave.

The next missions involve the assault on the capital world of the dominion, Korhal. You choose to destroy Mengsk’s ability to create nukes or battle cruisers (I went to destroy nukes since ghosts are really annoying) and after you assault his command center directly in the next mission. It is here Raynor arrives with a protoss fleet to rescue him which involves you giving chase to Aiur, but before you can capture Mengsk Duran allows the Zerg to overrun his position forcing Stukov to take matters into his own hands.

The penultimate mission is pretty powerful as Stukov has taken control of the Psi Disruptor and DuGalle orders Duran to kill his friend. Once he shoots Stukov, Stukov tells you that he believes Duran is infested and to finish his work on keeping the Psi Disruptor alive. Regretting his actions DuGalle does just that.

The final mission is pacifying the infant Overmind and destroying the surrounding Cerebrates who can no longer reincarnate since the Overmind is not fully functional and is still in it’s infant stages. Once you pacify it Duran arrives with Kerrigan and speaking fully in an infested voice (at different points in missions you can here the infestation, this time it is fully apparent) and Kerrigan says that they will meet again soon and that Stukov was twice the man DuGalle would ever be. She retreats and the cinematic begins.

The Cinematic is similar to the last propaganda speech by Mengsk except this time it’s the U.E.D. who lie and say Stukov died against the assault on the Overmind on Char and that losses were minimal but that Stukov died a hero. The corny voice makes it surreal, which is a shame as the opening cinematic which is U.E.D.centric is so personal.

Brood War Terran Campaign

Here is the assessment of the Campaign:

The Pros: The story – This was my favorite of the Terran Campaigns, which says a lot given the rise and corruption of Mengsk is a fascinating story. What sets this apart though is the personal relationship between DuGalle and Stukov and their interactions with the people we’ve met before such as Mengsk, Duke and Kerrigan. The story also shows humanity victorious in a way that is still ironic like Mengsk’s victory, but more powerful too as humanity managed to pacify the Overmind.

The Gameplay – The gameplay had a good learning curve and every new unit you receive (medic, Valkyrie) you use in the mission and the rest of the campaign. The missions can be challenging too, especially the missions involving the war on Korhal and the final mission against the Overmind. For this reason every victory feels like it means something.

The U.E.D. – The United Earth Directorate is an awesome new element in “Brood War” and adds depth to the story as Earth has been paying attention to the Zerg and Protoss threats and the rise of Emperor Mengsk and fall of the Confederacy. Their intentions are good though they are just as empire driven as Mengsk was, the difference is Ego though. The U.E.D. is run by a council and not a dictatorship.

The Dominion – Mengsk’s faction is a worthy enemy, and facing him and General Duke after playing their rise in the “Original Starcraft” is pretty powerful. We also see how their connections go a long way since even though the Dominion falls…General Duke and Mengsk are still out their with Raynor and the Protoss. Leaving things open for the next episode and campaign.

The characters

Admiral DuGalle – This is a well meaning military man who is like the gruff Grandfather. He tries to mentor Duran throughout the mission briefings and he has no patience for arrogance as he says that Mengsk won’t have a chance to fight back as he will be publicly executed. Only time he loses his cool in the campaign is when Duran kills his friend he realizes he was used. This adds depth to his character too as the rest of the missions he is living with regret and willing to go to any lengths to finish the mission for Stukov.

Emperor Mengsk – You only interact with him briefly, but he promises retribution before he realizes that he is going to be executed (until Raynor arrives to rescue him).

General Duke – Learns from Stukov the U.E.D. is here on orders from Earth to pacify the sector. This surprises him at first and you can tell he is out of his element, until he finally attacks with his Battlecruiser fleet.

Lieutenant Duran – This character is not all he appears to be, which is the theme he follows over his entire arc in the Starcraft Universe. His introduction is great as he gives you reason to trust him and he is meant to mirror Raynor joining with Mengsk’s Son’s of Korhal against the Confederacy. We see his isn’t Raynor as his final agenda is unknown but that he can play the game masterfully.

Vice Admiral Stukov – This guy is one of my favorite characters in the Starcraft Universe, and I’m glad they found a way to do more with him post-death in “Heart of the Swarm.” In this game though we see  that Stukov is a patriot who sees the big picture and cares deeply for his friend and comrade DuGalle. He realizes they’ve been used by Duran so tries to counter it and he nearly captures Mengsk but only doesn’t because of Duran’s betrayal. He is probably the most competent human character besides Jim Raynor. For now, R.I.P. Stukov. You are one of the best things about Starcraft.

Okay: Final Cinematic – The final cinematic is cheesy and a little annoying. It’s propaganda so it makes sense…but Mengsk’s propaganda felt powerful. I’d hope DuGalle’s could be comparable for his enslavement of the Overmind and defeat of the Dominion.

This is one of my favorite campaigns in “Starcraft” as a whole, and especially “Brood War,” Stukov is a character worth rooting for and the complexity of human politics and outcome of the U.E.D.’s arc in this campaign is fascinating. There aren’t any dud characters and you get an appreciation for the enemies you helped rise to power in the Original Starcraft Campaign and the new heroes of this campaign. I highly recommend this campaign and for what it is worth it does stand well on it’s own…even if Episode 1 of the “Original Starcraft” does add more depth to the enemies you face.

Final Score: 9.6 / 10

UED End Cinematic

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