Who can forget the first time they were locked into an intergalactic melee with colossal implications. For a number of gamers that would have been in 1999 when game developers Relic released the original RTS game Homeworld. In 2003, interstellar space battles for survival continued with Homeworld 2. Many years have passed since with RTS enthusiasts clamoring for more. Homeworld and Homeworld 2 were expected to usher in a huge wave of similar RTS epics.
Unfortunately, that never happened and as time passed and gave way to modern operating systems that were not compatible with the original copies of the game, it seemed inevitable that Homeworld would fade into oblivion. Consequently, for a time it did just that.
Thankfully, another game developer, Gearbox, heard the gamers’ cries and a few years ago acquired the rights for the Homeworld series so they could completely remaster the series. And RTS gamers will be glad they did. The Homeworld Remastered Collection includes the remastered versions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2, a multiplayer mode that spans both games, and best of all for the purists, the original versions of the games.
You are the commander of an interstellar ship, the first mothership ever created by your race. The only world you have ever known has been reduced to dust particles, but you find that your home world was not actually your home planet. It would seem that your descendants became stranded on this planet ages ago. Your mission is to find the home planet of your descendants, which unfortunately is located on the other side of the known galaxy.
However, having this task ahead of you is problematic enough, there are other races who have no intention of allowing you to survive the journey back to your home planet, thanks to less than friendly memories they have of your people. Furthermore, they have been exploring the cosmos for generations and have enormous and established fleets bent on the genocide of your entire race.
Along the way, you must research, repair, and prepare captured ships for battle as danger flanks your every side.
There are many reasons to purchase your copy of the Homeworld Remastered Collection today:
[list_item]Purists who have been longing to play the original Homeworld and Homeworld 2 for years will be ecstatic that original titles Homeworld and Homeworld 2 have been included in the new collection.[/list_item]
[list_item]The graphics are vastly improved. Gearbox spared nothing when re-doing everything from gameplay to the cutscenes and has created a visual magnum opus worthy of the original.[/list_item]
[list_item]The game’s sound quality (music and audio) has also been re-mixed and improved on a massive scale; audio clarity and a classical soundtrack complement the graphics strikingly.[/list_item]
[list_item]The updated UI takes up even less space than its predecessor; many larger menus are now hidden; only seen when they are needed during gameplay. This minimalist element allows you to view even more of the heroic battles waging on your computer’s display. Even greater, the UI is the same for both the remastered Homeworld and Homeworld 2.[/list_item]
[list_item]When gamers purchase Homeworld Remastered Collection, they receive free access to the Steam beta multiplayer; both Homeworld titles have combined into a single multiplayer mode. This means all 4 factions are available for player vs player interstellar skirmishes.[/list_item]
Essentially, nearly everything about the Homeworld collection is enormously improved and is sure to thrill both past and new RTS enthusiasts.
Obviously, no game is perfect and an impartial review needs to point out the flaws, even though they may be few:
[list_item]One of the first items past Homeworld aficionados will notice is the glaring absence of Homeworld: Cataclysm, the adventure release between Homeworld and Homeworld 2. Gearbox is on the record saying that much of the source materials have been lost—too much to give Cataclysm a full and proper remastering. Gamers can hope though.[/list_item]
[list_item]The multiplayer is still in the beta stages, so gamers will experience balance and stability issues. Obviously, Gearbox will resolve these challenges over time, yet it was a disappointment that the Beta label was not removed from the multiplayer mode before Homeworld Remastered Collection was released.[/list_item]
[list_item]There are changes that have purists in an uproar, such changes that have forced changes in gameplay strategy. For example, creating a formation around a protected ship is no longer an option; instead a formation ends up off to the side. Also, carriers no longer act as bases for capture frigates, which must now traverse to the mothership, which could be a large distance away.[/list_item][/list]
When Homeworld was originally released in 1999, gamers and reviewers made the mistake of calling it a game ahead of its time. That suggested that other developers in the RTS genre would catch up and even surpass Homeworld’s brilliance.
All this time later, that has yet to happen and gamers are starting to realize it may never happen. Relic accomplished something that numerous developers try, but few achieve, they created not just a classic game, but a timeless one. Gearbox should be lauded for taking Homeworld and allowing gamers, new and past alike, a chance to soar through the stars again.
Since its release 15 years ago, no other game has even come close to matching the epic space battles in scale or that feeling of exhilaration one feels as they engage in interstellar combat. When you consider that, in both computing and gaming, 15 years would amount to Precambrian history, Relic’s achievement seems even more astounding.
Budding—and even veteran— game developers would do well to pay attention to the details of what went into Homeworld. The original version of Homeworld was a classic example of making the best of something when you have little to work with.
Granted, Homeworld Remastered Collection has several functional changes and challenges to rectify within the multiplayer beta, yet Gearbox took the torch from Relic and created a dazzling gaming experience that will enthrall both longstanding and new fans of Homeworld and its second sequel Homeworld 2.If the original Homeworld series was not part of your collection of games before, you need to add it now.