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Homeworld Remastered Collection

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Gearbox Software
Release Date: Feb. 25, 2015

About Tony "OUberLord" Mitera

I've been entrenched in the world of game reviews for almost a decade, and I've been playing them for even longer. I'm primarily a PC gamer, though I own and play pretty much all modern platforms. When I'm not shooting up the place in the online arena, I can be found working in the IT field, which has just as many computers but far less shooting. Usually.

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PC Preview - 'Homeworld Remastered Collection'

by Tony "OUberLord" Mitera on Feb. 20, 2015 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

Crafted with the help of the original creators and fan community, Homeworld Remastered Collection introduces Relic's classic space strategy games Homeworld and Homeworld 2 to modern players using the latest advances in graphics rendering technology.

Set in the three-dimensional battlefields of space combat, the Homeworld series was ahead of its time in 1999. When I heard about Gearbox's intention to remaster the games into a new collection, I was optimistic that the series would still shine in the modern era. Based on what I've played so far, the Homeworld Remastered Collection shows that the gameplay still holds up today, and the fresh coat of paint makes it look better than ever.

It's been a few years, so Homeworld could use some introduction. You control a fleet of spacecraft, with the flagship vessel being the Mothership. It's a massive vessel that's complemented with internal production and research facilities, and it's the crowning spaceship of the civilization that built it. On its maiden voyage, the Mothership encounters a hostile alien force and returns home only to find its homeworld turned to ash and ringed with debris from its space stations. The only survivors of their civilization, the inhabitants of the Mothership begin to avenge their obliterated world and seek a new home among the stars.


Unlike other RTS games that cause you to start fresh on every mission with a new base and tech tree, your progress and choices carry over in the Homeworld games. Build a few corvettes and conduct some research into new fighters, and those assets will be available in the next mission. Conversely, if you make poor choices and lose a lot of ships, you may find yourself outgunned in the next few missions and need to claw your way back to strength. It helps cement the feeling that your moment-to-moment choices matter, and the gameplay mechanic is just as compelling now as it was 15 years ago.

Thankfully, Gearbox has not messed with the successful formula of the original game. Despite UI elements looking different and having been moved around, the underlying gameplay is the same. Fans of the original will appreciate the trip down memory lane, and I don't think there are many who would say that the game needed much changing to begin with. It's impressive that despite its age, the gameplay stands strong today with minimal changes.

 


The biggest change in the new release is the HD overhaul, and it does not disappoint. Ship models and textures are the most obviously affected, and they look extremely sharp and detailed. More subtle but just as powerful is all of the care taken on the special effects, with weapons fire looking impressive and the new lighting and shadow effects making the game pop. Frankly, the remastered version is absolutely gorgeous. When you look at the comparisons between the old game and the new game, the difference in quality is like night and day. Doing so is made easier with the remastered collection containing the original versions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 as well, if you want to see the games in their original forms.

As an old fan of the series, my time with the preview build of Homeworld Remastered Collection was heartwarming. Fans of the original games are in for a treat, as the titles have never looked this good or been as easy to get up and running. The multiplayer is not quite considered live yet, but newcomers will find that the gameplay holds up just as well today, and there hasn't been another game quite like them.


Previewed on: Intel i5 2500k, 8gb RAM, nVidia GTX 660 Ti


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