|Dev: Gearbox Software|
|Pub: Gearbox Software|
|Release: February 25, 2015|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Suggestive Themes, Fantasy Violence|
by Sean Engemann
The original Homeworld made its debut way back in 1999, where it reaped several Game of the Year awards. The first fully three-dimensional real-time strategy game, it was a marvel of engineering. Now, fifteen years later, we marvel at how far graphical technology has advanced, with this gem of a game given gorgeous new life by developer and publisher Gearbox Software. With the story and gameplay left largely untouched, Homeworld Remastered Collection has faithfully given this cult classic a makeover unlike any other game remade in high-definition. The detailing is amazing, the audio pitch perfect, and the game still able to pull you into its gripping story without ever leaving the void of space.
Unlike the cinematics pervading big budget titles these days, the pencil drawn cutscenes that presented the story arch from the original Homeworld games have remained, though polished with smoother lines and more fluid animations. It scrawls a harrowing story of the Kushan civilization exiled to a desert world - a history they had long since forgotten - where an ancient vessel is found buried deep in the sand. This highly advanced relic holds the key to their past and the technology of faster-than-light speed. This discovery brings the once hostile factions of the planet together in kinship, though their pursuit to advance into a spacefaring age and seek out their true homeland is thwarted by sinister forces who would see their accomplishments undone and their civilization wiped from the universe.
The excellent voice acting from the centrally integrated being named Karan S'Jet, (referred to as Fleet Command) straight down to the radio affirmations of the military units delivered with a steadfast demeanor even in the face of danger, all provide the warmth in the cold space. So simple yet so well delivered, you'll feel sympathy for every ship lost in battle. A dwindling race fighting against overwhelming odds, with not a single attempt at dramatic overtures through cinematics, and yet every destroyed ship cuts to the core. It's amazing. The subtle ambient soundscape, the angelic chorale of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, and the gripping battle orchestrations only heighten this immersion.
As noted earlier, Gearbox was assertive in keeping Homeworld's gameplay untouched. The fact that it remains an engaging experience without feeling the slightest bit antiquated since the fifteen years of its conception speaks volumes to its quality. The game provides the very basic tutorials of navigating the 360 degree void in space, how to construct ships, and the a crash course in combat. The rest of the deep strategy must be learned on the fly, no pun intended. With your mothership providing the nativity of your fleet, its protection is paramount, thus you must work quickly but smartly in order to provide the proper cycle of offense, defense, and resource acquisition. A single resource, aptly called Resource Unit, is the commodity used to construct new vessels and research upgrades. From small but agile fighter units to massively armored capital ships, along with support vehicles, probes, and utility platforms, the breadth of strategy to employ as you progress through the campaign merits replayability.