Once billed as a full-fledged StarCraft MMO way back in 2011, StarCraft Universe ultimately downsized into a less-massive, still-multiplayer RPG that received Blizzard’s approval and picked up $84,000 on Kickstarter. Now it’s finally a thing you can play.
Just a reminder: this is the mod that got announced in 2011 as World of StarCraft, ran afoul of Blizzard’s lawyers, caused hella controversy, relaunched with a new name, got Blizzard’s approval, and went on Kickstarter to ultimately rake in $84,918. It’s been playable in early states before, but now it’s basically done.
It’s had One Heck Of A Ride, is what I’m saying.
The StarCraft II mod is an entire new game, a multiplayer RPG that stitches together influences from WoW, Diablo, and—somewhat surprisingly—FTL. It’s now in open beta, with a final release set for next month. Developer Upheaval Arts is even kicking things off with a Blizzard-style CG trailer, which is pretty nuts given that, well, they’re not Blizzard—nor are they even close to Blizzard’s size.
And here’s what the mod looks like in action:
StarCraft Universe takes place in an alternate timeline where Kerrigan got torn chitinous dreadlock-from-weird spider spine at the end of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. After that, it didn’t take long for the Hybrids to bring down the Protoss as well. It’s up to a few remaining survivors to, you know, not die.
The game Upheaval ultimately created sounds like a pretty far cry from an MMO, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
“We wanted to combine the third person action RPG elements of World of WarCraft, the combat mechanics of Diablo, and the starship mechanics of FTL with the StarCraft setting,” Upheaval wrote. “We wanted the game to be completely voice acted with a unique story, custom art assets, and a fresh musical score.”
The open beta is made up of four parts, three of which are tutorials. The last portion, SC Universe: Beyond Koprulu, is the meat of the experience. You can find the mod by searching for “SC Universe” in StarCraft II’s Arcade. You can even play for free if you download the StarCraft II Starter Edition. If you like what you play, you can donate to Upheaval through Indiegogo.
Has anyone tried this yet? What do you think? Worth the wait?