Zeratul fighting against a hybrid in Starcraft Universe

Fan projects with grandiose ideas appear every once in a while, usually populate a single web page with a bunch of concept art and then slowly fade away into obscurity. When I first heard about Starcraft Universe (or World of Starcraft as it used to be called) I thought very much the same as the idea of a fan-made MMORPG within the Starcraft 2 engine sounded like pure madness... and yet, here we are.

Starcraft Universe, after being successfully Kickstarted back in 2013, has finally appeared on the Starcraft 2 Arcade with an open and completely free beta, and from what little I've experienced so far, its a pretty damn impressive mod. Most surprisingly of all, however, the dev team has created a fully CGI trailer to celebrate its launch, and while its not on the same level as Blizzard's professional work, its quality is simply astounding. Have a look:

 

The full release is slated for August, but until then you can play the prologue and one of the subsequent maps by searching the following names on the Starcraft 2 Arcade:

SC Universe: Prologue 1 (Singleplayer Basic Tutorial)

SC Universe: Prologue 2 (Multiplayer Basic Raid)

SC Universe: Prologue 3 (Singleplayer Ship Tutorial)

SC Universe: Beyond Koprulu (Limited Open Beta)

Its also worth mentioning that you don't actually have to own Starcraft 2 in order to play any of the custom games in the Arcade, its all free as a part of the Starter Edition! Just head over to the Started Edition sign-up page, download the BattleNet client, and you'll be playing in no time.

If you find yourself enjoying Starcraft Universe and wish to support the developers and perhaps secure a couple of goodies for yourself, the team has set up an Indiegogo campaign that gives you a chance to do just that. Do bear in mind, however, that unlike Kickstarter your money won't be refunded if the project fails to meet its goal.

Finally, here's the gameplay trailer to give you a brief idea of what in the world is Starcraft Universe all about:

 

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