Eroldren continues his spotlight review over Blizzard’s Heart of the Swarm short story series.
“An unexplored viewpoint that’s been fleshed out and told in a brisk read.” – The Founding Fields
So we finally have our protoss short story. Coming from Blizzard’s newly promoted Cameron Dayton as Senior Story Developer and author of the recently released and free Kerrigan – Hope and Vengeance digital comic, the Firstborn have returned.
For more than a thousand years, zealots have been the sword and shield of the Protoss. When they prepare to take back their homeworld after the fall of the Queen of Blades, one brave Zealot warrior must overcome impossible odds to save his people from certain doom.
Before Cameron’s “Cold Symmetry” was published I was about to voice my thoughts on a little gripe of mine that after following all these interesting terran-centric POV short stories Blizzard been releasing weekly in a future retrospective. Where was the protoss in all of this? Well, that subject matter was very short-lived with and answered after the fifth entry of the StarCraft II’s ARG Project Blackstone featured the protoss expert, Dr. Jake Ramsey, the lead character from The Dark Templar Saga. (Perhaps I could hope for a tale of woe and rivalry between Brood Mothers seeking Swarm dominance next time?)
It was rather unexpected that I found out this particular slightly deviated away from the HotS short story format that’s been focusing on a centralized zerg unit as the short story’s main subject like those published beforehand. We have a Zealot as the lead character and he’s up against a small array of zerg enemy.
Anyway, like with any fictional alien race, telling a story from their own perspective and getting into their minds without resorting to having a lead human character instead who among their company can be a challenge. After all, how can us mere humans ever comprehend being alien minded? It’s a strange and elusive territory that I’ve haven’t read much (let alone heard of) aside from what Blizzard shown in their tie-in fiction and Gav Thorpe’s first Path of the Eldar novel, Path of the Warrior. Between conveying the flow and formality of Teredal’s words, they’re largely kept me going onwards and progressively being caught up in the story. Although I did find that portrayal of his character a bit distracting at a few moments occasionally. Yet unlike those scholarly types in the expanded universe we’ve normally seen so far, I do understand I’m dealing with a zealot – a hardened warrior of the Templar Caste. It’s a different manner of storytelling and action.
With the new lore content we’ve provided in “Cold Symmetry” it was the little things seeded here-and-there that were neat background additions. Some which certainly would become subject of Fenix forum debates. However, there’s a particular matter in here of great interest that leaves me questioning either if this mystery be resolved with Heart of the Swarm or as a seeded breadcrumb plot waiting to be explored in Legacy of the Void, the third and final expansion of the StarCraft II Trilogy. Who knows what’s happening but I want to know!
Until next time, En taro Adun!
Overall Verdict: 8.5/10
Eroldren, a SFF follower of both tie-in media and original works, enjoys rereading books frequently. So be warned, he might bring out sometimes his share of older and heavy duty titles alongside the newcomers.