Back in the early 2000s Starcraft.org presented the StarCraft community with a campaign from JudasCloud, named "The Shifters". It's not a technically advanced campaign, the only fancy modifcations are some portrait swaps and using custom music in various places. Throughout the years The Shifters has floated around Starcraft.org, at one point the EXE was even updated for 1.10, but after that point it was forgotten... until now!
There are many cool campaigns for StarCraft/BW, but The Shifters has always intrigued me. The premise is simple: Disaffected humans finding themselves allying with the Zerg, throw in a love interest, some good writing, and you've got yourself a way to waste an evening on a cool story.
How has it aged? Well I would say that any negatives surround the use of Starcraft as the medium. After 14 year there are many technical issues that might pop up with the game. I took awhile to figure out how to update the old EXE to work with the most recent version of Starcraft, luckily it doesn't require you to downgrade or anything.
Download The Shifters (76mb, zip archive)
Installation and How to Play
- Download and extract the archive to your StarCraft directory (shifters.exe should be in the same folder as StarCraft's exe, and the maps will be under maps/campaign/shifters/)
- Double-click "Shifters.exe"
- Choose Single-Player, BW, and load 1) Shifters. Episode 1.scx, and enjoy!
If you prefer to play Starcraft/BW through different means (via a launcher to play in window mode for instance) you can skip using the exe, it's a simple mod that switches some portraits around (Zheng = Raynor without the patch, otherwise he uses the Vulture portrait).
There is an early mission where you are supposed to clear out a number of zerg enemies, please do not treat it as a standard campaign mission of "turtle up, build stuff, roll over", the Zerg have access to every unit, and will go air heavy, your best bet is to push early, do not wait (I found abusing Goliaths and Tanks worked well).
Aside from the mission I mentioned, the campaign's difficulty is mostly easy, you can tell that JudasCloud preferred to tell a story, so it might feel as if you're watching a movie in a few places, that's intended.
What did you think of The Shifters? Is it how you remembered? Are you playing it for the first time? Let us know what you think!