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Gabe Graham
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Homeworld Remastered Collection



Homeworld is a real-time strategy video game developed by Relic Entertainment and published by Sierra Studios on September 28, 1999, for Microsoft Windows. Set in space, the science fiction game follows the Kushan exiles of the planet Kharak after their home planet is destroyed by the Taiidan Empire in retaliation for developing hyperspace jump technology. The survivors journey with their spacecraft-constructing mothership to reclaim their ancient homeworld of Hiigara from the Taiidan, encountering a variety of pirates, mercenaries, traders, and rebels along the way. In each of the game's levels, the player gathers resources, builds a fleet, and uses it to destroy enemy ships and accomplish mission objectives. The player's fleet carries over between levels, and can travel in a fully three-dimensional space within each level rather than being limited to a two-dimensional plane.




Homeworld Remastered Collection


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Homeworld is listed by review aggregator Metacritic as the highest rated computer game of 1999, and the fourth-highest on any platform for the year. Critics praised the game's graphics, unique gameplay elements, and multiplayer system, though opinions were divided on the game's plot and high difficulty. The game sold over 500,000 copies in its first six months, and received several awards and nominations for best strategy game of the year and best game of the year. A release of the game's source code in 2003 sparked unofficial ports to Mac OS X and Linux, and three more games in the Homeworld series have been produced: Homeworld: Cataclysm (2000), Homeworld 2 (2003), and Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (2016). Gearbox Software purchased the rights to the series from then-owners THQ in 2013, and released a remastered collection of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 in 2015 for Windows and OS X which was also highly regarded. In August 2019, Gearbox announced the fifth game in the series, Homeworld 3; the game is being developed by Blackbird Interactive, was partially crowdfunded through Fig, and is slated for a 2023 release.[1]


After destroying the remnants of both alien fleets, the nascent Kushan fleet sets out for Hiigara, intent on reclaiming their ancient homeworld. Their multi-stage journey across the galaxy takes them through asteroid fields, a giant nebula, a ship graveyard and several imperial outposts. Along the way, they fight other descendants of their Hiigaran ancestors who have started worshipping a nebula which conceals them as a holy place, and who do not allow outsiders to leave due to fear of discovery. They also meet the Bentusi, a race of traders, who sell them advanced technology. After discovering that the Bentusi have given aid to the exiles, the empire attempts to destroy them, but are stopped by the Kushan fleet.[11] The Bentusi then reveal that the Kushan had once ruled their own empire, before being destroyed by the Taiidan, and were exiled from Hiigara. In gratitude for the Kushan's intervention, they promise to summon the Galactic Council to recognize their claim to Hiigara.[12]


In 2004, Relic Entertainment was bought by THQ, which confirmed in 2007 that it had acquired the rights to the series from Relic and Sierra.[71] No further game in the series was made before THQ declared bankruptcy in 2013; on April 22, 2013, Gearbox Software announced that they had bought the rights to the series at auction for US$1.35 million.[72][73] On July 19, 2013, Gearbox announced the production of remakes of Homeworld and Homeworld 2 as Homeworld HD, later renamed Homeworld Remastered Collection.[74][75] The following month, collection producer Brian Burleson stated that Gearbox had purchased the property with the express purpose of making a collection including the original and remastered versions of the game. He also noted that neither game had code in a releasable or playable state when purchased, and they ended up recreating many of the original development tools with the assistance of the Homeworld mod community.[76] A later posting by a developer at Gearbox further praised the mod community for their assistance in getting the original code to be playable on modern computers.[61] The stand-alone expansion Homeworld: Cataclysm was not announced for a remake, despite the outspoken interest of Gearbox, as they were unable to find the original source code for the game.[77]


Released digitally on February 25, 2015, for Windows computers by Gearbox and on August 6, 2015, for OS X by Aspyr Media, the collection includes the original and remastered versions of the two games.[78][79] A retail edition of the PC version of the game was released by Ubisoft on May 7, 2015.[80] In addition to compatibility fixes for modern computers, the "classic" version of Homeworld removes local multiplayer and the licensed Yes song; the "remastered" version adds a new game engine for the two games, and upgraded visuals, graphical effects, models, and sound.[31] It also initially removed some functionality not present in Homeworld 2, such as the fuel system, ballistic projectile modeling, and tactical ship formations; some of these were restored in a 2016 patch.[81]


As of February 2017, Steam Spy estimates that over 700,000 copies of the Homeworld Remastered Collection have been sold on the Steam distribution platform.[82] The remastered version was warmly received by critics; reviewers such as IGN's Dan Stapleton and Game Informer's Daniel Tack praised the story as still "fantastic" and "emotional", while Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot claimed that the gameplay was still entertaining 16 years later, and Tom Senior of PC Gamer applauded Gearbox's visual updates to the game.[67][68][69][70] Reviewers were more mixed on the gameplay changes included as part of the upgrade to a new game engine; VanOrd noted that some of the changes did not fit with the original game, while Tack made note of several bugs due to the gameplay modifications.[67][68] Overall, the updated game was highly praised, with Senior concluding that "Homeworld is simply incredible and everyone should play it."[70]


As for the festive ghost of Homeworld future, there are a lot of big projects just on the horizon. Veteran modding outfit Phoenix Interactive are gearing up to launch three total conversion mods in the new year. Battlestar Galactica: Fleet Commander, Mass Effect Reborn and Stargate: Space Conflict. While older builds of these mods are available for the original game, the remastered versions appear to be a far more ambitious set of productions, with the Stargate mod promising a scripted campaign with voicework lifted (where appropriate) from the TV show.


While threadbare, only partially functional and long out of date, there's an early demo of Stargate: Space Conflict here on Steam. If nothing else, it features some flashy UI work, wholly replacing Homeworld 2's main menus. Phoenix aim to get the first wave of Stargate remastered releases out January 2020, followed by Mass Effect sometime in June, and Battlestar out by the end of the year. Is three total conversions in development too much for a single team? Probably, but I'm excited to see how the Stargate launch early next year goes, if nothing else.


No matter how polished and beautiful these games are, the point deserves repeating that the biggest, newest 3D space-based real time simulation is a remastered edition of two titles that are 16 and 12 years old. Fundamentally, bringing them back is valuable, great work, but it only serves to remind players of what they aren't getting today. The Homeworld: Remastered Collection is the opiate you'll use to get between fixes of the good stuff. There's no guarantee that Gearbox will make a sequel unless this offering is wildly successful, but having played it for the last week or so, I've now got a very particular desire for Homeworld 3.


HOMEWORLD REMASTERED COLLECTION is actually four games in one. It includes both the original and newly remastered editions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2, a pair of classic space-themed real-time strategy (RTS) games both well over a decade old. The first game tracks the adventures of a space-faring people journeying to find their long-lost home world, facing genocidal enemies and other hazards along the way. The second takes place about a century later. Having found its home world, the civilization faces new enemies and learns of a prophecy that could destroy their way of life, prompting a series of missions to thwart the threat. Combat takes place in the vastness of space with players in control of large fleets of ships, harvesting resources, researching technologies, building units, and devising and employing strategies to defeat enemies. Unlike most RTS games, the maps here are absolutely enormous and largely empty, and they stretch along three axes, forcing players to consider tactics in a trio of dimensions. Outside the campaigns, players can engage in a centralized online multiplayer mode that combines the factions, game types, and maps of both games, using the newly redesigned interface created for the remastered editions.


Homeworld Remastered is a complete remaster of Homeworld and Homeworld 2, released on 25 February 2015 by Gearbox Software. The Homeworld games have been re-mastered with key members of the original development team using the newest sophisticated graphics rendering technology, plus a fully remastered score and new, high fidelity voice recordings by the original actors.


The Homeworld Remastered game engine is a heavily modified and improved version of the Homeworld 2 classic game engine. So both remastered campaigns and the multiplayer mode all have very similar gameplay to Homeworld 2 classic. In addition to improving graphics and sounds, Gearbox also added many Homeworld 1 classic features such as formations, realistic ballistics, and tactics/stances. However these features were often implemented differently than they appeared in Homeworld 1 classic, to the disappointment of many fans. 041b061a72


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