One of the most innovative and beautiful real time strategy game franchises in the genre has finally been given the HD treatment after more than fifteen years since it first appeared. Homeworld Remastered is Gearbox Software’s gift to PC gamers everywhere after they acquired the license in 2013 during the sell off of THQ’s assets.
Originally developed by Relic, the game was one of the first to successfully make an RTS with full 3D movement. It also added an element of progression in the campaign where assets gained or lost in the prior mission would determine how you start in the next. It made every ship you own a valuable asset that you’d protect as much as you could.
The new versions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 have been given a substantial visual boost including enhanced textures, effects and cutscenes with support going up to 4K resolutions. Audio has also been remixed; the original games had such an amazing soundtrack that I can still remember many of the audio cues during missions. In addition, a Steam multiplayer client (in beta) is included as are the original versions of the games.
With a new game in the franchise on the way (Homeworld Shipbreakers) this is as good a time as any to get acquainted with some gaming history.
Despite being a massive fan, I will admit there were aspects of the games that could be intimidating to new players. Especially Homeworld whose lack of time acceleration could mean players have to spend hours in a single mission scraping together resources.
But then the moment after a fight begins and you see swarms of fighters and bombers launching from your mothership, it grabs you in way that is often only glimpsed at in shows like Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5.