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Forums - PC Discussion - Homeworld 3 - Personal Review

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Homeworld, it's one of my favourite gaming series. I have been a huge fan of this IP since its very first game, and I was ecstatic when I heard they are making a 3rd game. I was so excited that I became part of the original crowd funders for its release. Long story short, the IP was up for grabs since Sierra no longer publishes the series. Gearbox jumped in and outbid Blackbird Interactive for the rights to the IP, Blackbird Interactive are the original creators of the series, which parted from Relic, who are now under Sega. When Gearbox brought the IP, they ended up hiring Blackbird Interactive to develop the game anyway, which all worked out in the end. What better to make a sequel of a great series than by the original creators. 

A bit about Homeworld

Homeworld, the award-winning series released in 1999 and was one of the very first 3D RTS games that offered full directional 3D movement for the genre. Keep in mind, in 1999, RTS games were mainly top down (Birdseye View), where you basically build ground bases and units and point and click units from one part of the map to another. The developer Relic revolutionized the RTS genre by creating a game which was heavy story focused, offered 3D movement and instead of building bases, you had 1 big mothership which acts as your main HQ where you build units from. Homeworld carries a lot of RTS elements like collecting resources and building different types of ships, which all have different effectiveness in battle. If you know how to play games like Command and Conquer, you wouldn't have an issue learning how Homeworld plays. The heart and soul of RTS breaths deep within this franchise. 

Homeworld has released 5 titles, Homeworld, Homeworld: Cataclysm, Homeworld 2, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, and Homeworld 3, which just recently released. Homeworld 1, 2 and 3 are basically very similar games to each other where Cataclysm went a darker route and is more a side story and Deserts of Kharak is the Origin story which offers completely different gameplay to the rest of the series. Deserts plays more like your tradition RTS game like Command and Conquer where it's based on the ground however offers the high ground system which means units that are placed on a hill will have greater bonuses than units below them giving them a tactical advantage. This adds an extra dimension to the game, making it feel more 3D than flat. Instead of having a giant mothership, you instead have a giant ground carrier, which acts in the same way as a mothership from other titles. The game is worth checking out if you like traditional RTS games.

They did release the Homeworld Remastered Collection, which offered both Homeworld and Homeworld 2, the original games, and the Remastered versions. It's worth picking up if you want to experience the amazing Homeworld story. 

On a sour note, Homeworld Cataclysm's source code was lost, believed to be when Gearbox purchased the IP. So unfortunately, it has not received a remaster and cannot be purchased on gaming apps like Steam, however if you use GoG.com, they have uploaded the original game but due to Blizzard owning the naming rights to Cataclysm, it's been renamed Homeworld: Emergence and can be brought purchased quite cheap. It's considered a fan favourite, so I highly recommend checking this out as well.

Okay, let's get into Homeworld 3.

GAMEPLAY

The Gameplay is very similar to other Homeworld titles, not much has changed in how you play it, it maintains the same elements and core design of the series, and it does have 2 control options to choose from, with is Classic or Modern style, having options is always welcome. The gameplay loop consists of gathering resources and building a fleet. The game also has 4 different difficulty settings, Story, Easy, Medium, and Hard. I will say this game is quite brutal on hard, so i recommend starting on Easy and working your way too hard. I found this game's campaign to be a little on the short side. The game does offer Online MP and War games which are like extra side missions (Challenges) and a Year One Pass sold with the Fleet Command Edition or sold separately, so I will assume the game will add DLC over time.

VISUALS/SOUND

This is the bread and butter of the Homeworld series. Homeworld's art style is beautiful, and it consists of some of the best sky boxes i have witnessed. The music and sound effects don't disappoint either. Hearing the emptiness of space or the pilot voices from individual ships where in combat or just simply flying to a location really brings the game to life. I have linked the full soundtrack for those interested.

Homeworld 3 | Video Game Soundtrack (Full Official OST) + Timestamps (youtube.com)

STORY

Homeworld's Sci-Fi story is something a little different to the mainstream stories you would expect from giant space battle type Sci-Fi series. Homeworld is full of lore, and the only best way to understand and immerse yourself with the story is to actually play the games as Homeworld has some major spoilers I wouldn't want to ruin. Homeworld 3's story I would say is probably one of the weakest in the series as it sort of jumps from Homeworld 2's ending, skips a bit ahead and continues a little more down the line, feeling like we missed an awesome plot in between. In saying that, it's not bad, but there is room for a lot more. 

OVERALL

Homeworld, to me, is an escape kind of game. It just feels good to play it to relax, but it also offers enough challenge with its online MP and difficulty settings. I simply enjoy this series for its beautiful art style, music, visuals, and just watching giant ship battles. Game can get a little frustrating with some of the levels on harder difficulties and the game is quite short until they add more to the campaign but there is enough here to entertain you with its Online and War Game missions. When people use the term "video games is art," Homeworld is the first franchise I think about, Homeworld is art. I recommend the game. However, if short campaigns aren't your thing, I recommend waiting for future DLC. I am looking forward to seeing more from Blackbird Interactive. 

FUN FACT

Blackbird Interactive also made Hardware: Shipbreakers, which was supposed to be some sort of spiritual successor to Homeworld until Gearbox offered BBI the right to actually make Homeworld again. If you look closely at the ship designs in Hardware: Shipbreakers, they do look very Homeworld like. Homeworld: Shipbreakers sounds pretty good to.