StarCraft 2 Starter Edition offers free maps and missions to new players

Tom Senior

StarCraft 2

The StarCraft 2 demo is dead! It has been reborn as the bigger and better StarCraft 2 Starter Edition, which includes four single player missions, two challenge maps and four skirmish maps that will let you play as Terrans against AI opponents. That's a great big slobbering shank of free StarCraft 2 for new players.

The starter edition has no time limit, the missions and maps can be replayed as often as you like. All you need to get your chunk of free StarCraft 2 is an internet connection and a Battle.net login. You can set up an account and download the starter edition from Battle.net now.

In a Q&A on the StarCraft 2 blog Blizzard say they plan to rotate the available skirmish maps, and will make a limited selection of custom maps available to Starter Edition players, including the Blizzard-made StarJeweled mod . You'll even be able to play the custom maps with friends. Read on for the full list of features currently included.

  • The first four missions of the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty single-player campaign, including Mar Sara 1-3 and the choice to embark on Tychus's first mission or Dr. Hansen's first mission.

  • The first two Challenges: Tactical Command and Covert Ops.

  • Access to the terran race in Custom Games and Single-Player vs. AI.

  • Access to the following custom maps (map selection may rotate over time):

    • Xel'Naga Caverns

    • Shattered Temple

    • Discord IV

    • High Orbit

Why should you try StarCraft 2? Well, it boasts one of the biggest and most entertaining e-sports scenes in the world at the moment, and the new trial will give you a better opportunity to find out why. There's no multiplayer skirmish in the trial , but the AI is powerful enough to provide a good challenge and teach new players the basics. You can also play a selection of custom maps with your friends, but only as the Terran race. Beyond that, the lengthy, branching single player campaign features some fantastic missions, and many units you'll never see in multiplayer matches. Read our StarCraft 2 review for more.

In a similar move, Blizzard recently made the first 20 levels of World of Warcraft free to play. The WoW trial can also be downloaded from Battle.net .

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