Players will take on the role of Jim Raynor during the Terran campaign. The campaign begins on Mar Sara, the point of first contact with the Zerg in the original StarCraft.
"Depending on which missions you choose and which order, you may open up five planets [at once]," said Blizzard's Rob Pardo of the game's non-linear, planet-based progression.
As the game begins, Raynor is fighting a losing battle against the Terran Domninion, lead by Arcturus Mengsk. A new character named Tichus Findlay will be introduced. Tichus has a long history with Raynor, and comes to visit Raynor in a bar during a cutscene. Findlay explains that the Terran Dominion is looking for artifacts, and offers to split the profit if Raynor will help him locate the objects.
After the cutscene played, the game switched back to the in-game bar environment, with an interactive jukebox and other objects to explore. The player could also talk to Findlay further on a number of subjects, the game smoothly transitioning to dialogue scenes from the click-based interface. A watchable TV was shown, with a newscast briefing the player on current events.
Mission briefings are now accomplished through dynamic cutscenes, with objectives and briefing maps interspersed between character dialogue.
During the middle of a mission, a Battlecruiser flew down to rescue Terran hero Jim Raynor. A loading screen then occurred, with a cutscene then depicting the escape. A news broadcast then revealed a glimpse of Kerrigan, the Zerg Queen, overrunning Mar Sara.
"You're going to see units that are in the single-player campaign that may not even show up in multiplayer," added Pardo.