Touted as a masterpiece by many, the Homeworld games are known for their deeply intrinsic value as some of the best designed real time strategy titles of all time. Packed with the original Homeworld 1 and Homeworld 2 games completely untouched, the Remastered Edition of each game, and the Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta, the value proposition of this Collection is very appealing.
The amount of hours of enjoyment strategy players can expect per dollar is at an all-time high with this package, and it would be hard to find a set of games that could replace the niche it fills or perhaps impossible. In addition to being a total upgrade in quality, Homeworld Remastered Collection is also the first time players can buy the Homeworld series digitally – making it no longer rare / hard to get a hold of. For that we respect Gearbox Software taking care to maintain their franchise availability for the many hardcore fans of the Homeworld IP.
The tale of a race of people forbidden by their masters from ever seeing their home planet again starts off with a bang. Acquiring the ability to work their way, inch by inch, across the universe comes at no cheap cost. Many lives will be lost along the way, but the galactic map found etched on a stone of the keepers will be worth the fight. The chance to touch foot to base on the ground of one’s home world is something that us humans perhaps take for granted given that we’ve never been lost so far away, stranded from all that is natural to us.
Fully 3D battles are managed in both of the Homeworld games and players even get control of the Z axis, a rare feature expanding gameplay but also complicated things to a large extent. If you’ve never played the original titles this may take a good amount of adjusting, but there are plenty of tutorials and beginner missions to churn through until a comfort level is achieved. On the one hand, players must mine asteroids and gather resources to build up their fleet proceeding from mission to mission with the same units and set up. On the other hand, constant bombardment from scripted enemy battles occur during the objective phase in each mission. The variety of these missions has been subject to some debate, but overall feels well balanced.
Although players are always killing something, defending something, or taking possession of something through conquest, the stakes increase each time and the story-line of Homeworld is such that players are gripped by what is going on at any given moment. This is a very engaging game and at no time does it feel like the battle is unimportant. In addition to fighting for the lives of your crew, you are fighting for their future in the deep, cold, and uncaring void of space.
In addition to the graphics being re-done in Homeworld 1 and Homeworld 2, the sound effects, voice acting, cutscenes, and music have all been upped in quality significantly. This is perhaps one of the most well put forward efforts in the “Remastered” category that I’ve ever seen. It should be noted that the original Homeworld games are not bad looking at all, and still hold up to scrutiny to this day. They’ve aged very well, and as such, those wishing to experience the original flavor will find that a worthwhile task. The game’s Remastered Editions are now in crisp clear HD audio with thoroughly detailed textures and color balancing based on modern state of the art game development methods, the aspect ratio is widescreen for new age monitors, and the user interface is completely re-done.
That being said, one of my favorite things to do in a strategy game is to jump into a Skirmish. There’s a lot of changes that have been made to the Homeworld Skirmish and Multiplayer modes compared to the original. This is mostly well received by veteran fans of the title, but there are classic versions of this available to play as well if these are not enjoyed.
Mechanically speaking Homeworld is a game of tactics and deep, over-arching strategy. There are certain ships that must be created, upgraded, and have their parts researched for in order to deal with onslaughts from ships they are strong against. Build the wrong ships? Anticipate the wrong strategic need? You may find no way out and have to restart the battle or attempt to cut your losses and quickly recoup them by adjusting the fleets of combat ships you’ve got. This may even include a suicide kamikaze flight into enemy units, yep that’s possible!
With over 100 mods already developed for Homeworld Remastered Collection in the Steam Workshop, the gaming community has saw this immense expansion upon the originals and digital availability as a chance to not only make their mark on the game and set things up how they see fit, but also to recreate entire universes and games from other IPs using the Homeworld Remastered engine. For example, there are players working on Star Trek and Mass Effect presentations as free mods using the Homeworld Remastered framework.
Engine Performance: Even on a modest build this game looks insanely good and runs well. If you have something powerful you can expect a locked on 60 frames per second at higher resolutions but if 1080P is sufficient for your rig then there won’t be a single hiccup to cry about. Field of vision can be disabled, even on the cinematics (and these are adjustable separately, which is rare and awesome).
Whether you have or you haven’t played Homeworld 1 or Homeworld 2 this package gives you everything you need to enjoy them in this modern day and age with updated graphics, a re-envisioned user interface, and the original classic experiences intact. As it stands, I have never seen any Real Time Strategy game quite like this one. A work of labor and love from Gearbox Software has brought this title back to life. The story, gameplay mechanics, visuals, and new found audio fidelity of the original experience and remastered efforts all mesh together giving players the feeling that this title is a brand new 2015 release, and that’s really saying something for time in games when we more often than not see very lazy remaster attempts. Homeworld Remastered Collection stands on its own as a solid design in space combat / strategy and gives an immersive feel for those looking to jump into a compelling entry in the genre. We are proud to name it as one of RGN’s Platinum 2015 Games.
Overall Score: 9.8 / 10
RGN Rating: Platinum Game
Developer / Publisher: Gearbox Software
Available On: Windows PC
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20150404 and was last modified on 20150404 .