|Dev: Gearbox Software|
|Pub: Gearbox Software|
|Release: February 25, 2015|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Suggestive Themes, Fantasy Violence|
Outside of the campaign, there is a large selection of multiplayer maps, ranging from two player skirmishes to eight player conflicts. These matches can be customized with added features, such as challenges to perform certain tasks, relics that appear randomly to provide a resource boon to whomever controls them, bounties awarded for kills, and various other options to test. With limited diversity in the void of space, the variety between maps comes from asteroid (resource) placement and the gorgeous yet superfluous backdrops, ranging from nebulae to light echoes to various planetoid configurations. At the time of this review, only computer controlled matches were available, though the online multiplayer beta is expected to be available on launch day.
The display of combat was a fluid experience in the original Homeworld, and flows like a symphony in the remastered version - albeit a somewhat confusing one. With the ability to zoom out to where your units are mere specks or zoom in to scrutinize every panel of a ship, controlling the camera and issuing commands is a monumental task. There is a steep learning curve to organizing your units into separately controlled squads, mastering tactical formations, and memorizing the effectiveness of each unit type against the enemy's armada. Trying to discern your own ships during a heated engagement with hundreds of vessels whisking around is a challenge in itself. The game tries to differentiate between teams via the color of the plasma stream from the engine's exhaust, though it is nonetheless daunting at first. Of course, the cult community of aging fans of the series will find no issue with the controls, and those freshly plucked gamers who become enraptured by the Homeworld's beauty will likely wield a craving to become masters of the formula themselves. When figured out, a massive engagement between several players is a glory to behold, and one I personally cannot wait to see with the new graphics.
To see a fading classic rejuvenated with such a clear display of visual craftsmanship sets the bar going forward for any other would-be remastered title. And yet the untouched gameplay manages to stand the test of time, offering an engaging and challenging experience able to stand on equal ground and even eclipse some of the more recent RTS offerings. Homeworld Remastered Collection is a testament to game development done right, both in its original form and in the meticulously updated version, and one that should not be overlooked by any fan of the genre.
Date: March 4, 2015