So, this is a thing. Did you know about it? I didn’t know about it. But it’s been in development for five years already, caused some legal drama with Blizzard, resolved the legal drama with Blizzard, cashed in over $80,000 on Kickstarter, constructed additional pylons, and now it’s almost finished with a playable open beta just launched on Battle.net.
StarCraft Universe is basically on StarCraft II mod that mashes up “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”, explains the two-man team at Upheavel Arts. “But that wasn’t enough. We wanted the game to be completely voice acted with a unique story, custom art assets, and a fresh musical score. We wanted the game to open with a breathtaking CG cinematic, inspired by Blizzard Entertainment’s dedication to high production values, and end with an obscure and convoluted conclusion… also inspired by Blizzard.”
Oh, and here’s that cinematic.
And some gameplay stuff.
The game’s set in an alternate timeline where things, uh, didn’t work out for Kerrigan at the end of StarCraft II:Wings of Liberty. “Without the Queen of Blades to stop the Hybrid’s assault, the Protoss are overwhelmed and defeated,” the blurb on Kickstarter reads. “In this reality, what would the survivors of these shattered worlds do?”
The open beta spans four parts, including three single- and multiplayer tutorial chapters and the “Beyond Koprulu” campaign, and you can find it in the StarCraft II Arcade by searching for “SC Universe”.