StarCraft II Legacy of the Void: Archon Mode Gameplay Impressions

Hands on gameplay impression of StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void's Archon Mode

There were big announcements for StarCraft at this years BlizzCon. Not only will Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void be a standalone game and not an expansion, it will also feature a new game mode. This is Archon Mode, a 2v2 game, but in the world of a 1v1, meaning that two players will control one side, and two will control another.

I was lucky enough to get some hands-on impressions of the new game at BlizzCon. When entering the play area, you sat down next to a friend to play whoever was across the table from you. The set up was fast on the computers as the demo available was locked to only Archon Mode. I had decided to go with random as my teammate and I couldn't decide on a race to play.

As soon as the match started things became difficult. There is no seperation between who is controlling the units, whether it is you yourself or your teammate. Communication immediately became the most important thing in the game, more so than control or basic mechanics. We often had issues where both my teammate and I would build a Supply Depot, when we would only need one.

Later in the game when roles were set it became easier to control what was going on. Issuing duties such as one person controlling the army and the other focused on base building made this game mode really shine. Splitting the duties helped me focus primarily on controlling the army and doing air drops, without ever having to be concerned that we were expanding to new bases, keeping up on upgrade research, and building more units.

In the past I was always a fan of ranked 2v2 in Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm. I hope that Archon Mode will get a ranked mode, as it is a true test of communication with you and your partner. In order to truly succeed in ranked you will need to act and think as one and become a true Archon.

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Published Nov. 10th 2014

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