Heart of the Swarm: Kerrigan Is An Unsympathic Hero
WARNING: Story spoilers abound!
In my review of StarCraft 2′s first expansion, I lamented that the story was the game’s weakest aspect. My main issue with Heart of the Swarm’s narrative is the simple fact that I found Kerrigan lacked the single quality necessary in a protagonist: being a sympathetic character.
A sympathetic character is one the audience can identify with and care about. Unfortunately, I was unable to follow the logic of her actions or care whether she succeeded in her goals.
This has nothing to do with the morality of the character. I’m a fan of shades of gray and antiheroes. However, antiheroes still need redeemable qualities that render them endearing to the audience.
What are Kerrigan’s qualities in Heart of the Swarm? Let’s list them:
- She is incredibly powerful
- She is a physically attractive female in a skin-tight outfit and high heels
That’s a very short list. In fact, it’s about to be made shorter; her power level is so much higher than anyone else’s once she becomes the Queen of Blades again that it is no longer a positive quality. Her interactions with humans smack of bullying. This means Blizzard is relying on visual appeal to males to make Kerrigan endearing. I’m sorry — I didn’t fall for that back in 1996 with Lara Croft, and I’m not falling for it today.
Now, what are Kerrigan’s flaws in Heart of the Swarm?
- She makes irrational decisions
- She is consumed by vengeance
- She is either naïve, stupid, or blinded by emotion
- She waffles in her stance on the worth of life
- She gives terrible leadership advice
Raynor moved heaven and earth to restore Kerrigan’s humanity, and she throws that gift away in her quest to avenge… Raynor. Way to go; I’m sure that’s what he would have wanted.
It baffled me that Kerrigan even believed Raynor was dead to begin with — because I certainly didn’t. Kerrigan knew Mengsk better than anyone. She knew he was a propaganda-spewing spider that would never take a chess piece off the board so long as he could manipulate it. The fact that she accepted Mengsk’s report of Raynor’s death without even a hint of doubt is ludicrous and makes her come across as an imbecile.