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Homeworld Remastered Collection Released

By on February 26th, 2015 10:15 am

Homeworld Remastered Edition (2015) by Gearbox Software

Gearbox Software has released Homeworld Remastered Collection, and as the name implies this is a quality enhancement edition (e.g. improvements to sound, graphics) for the Homeworld sci-fi strategy series released in 1999 and 2003 by Relic and Sierra Entertainment.

The remastered package includes both Homeworld and Homeworld 2 (but not the expansion Cataclysm) remastered editions, as for the old classic editions for both, as well.

In detail, the key features (and enhancements over the Homeworld series) are listed as follows:

Key Features:

  • Build and battle with more than 100 space ships
  • Updated high-res textures and models
  • New graphical effects
  • Support for HD, UHD, and 4K resolutions
  • New audio mix using original source effects and music
  • Cinematic scenes recreated in beautiful high fidelity by original artists
  • Mod support and mod tools
  • Bonus archival versions of Homeworld Classic and Homeworld 2 classic, preserving the purest form of the original releases with compatibility for modern operating systems
  • Access to the Homeworld Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta beginning February 25: play Homeworld races against Homeworld 2 races with up to eight players on 23 maps, plus brand new game modes

Apparently, members of the original development team have been involved in this remastering version. Besides the improvements to the aesthetics, this version also allows playing Homeworld and Homeworld 2 in modern computers and operating systems in both the remastered and original form.

Homeworld (1999) by Relic Entertainment and Sierra Entertainment

On top of the games themselves, Gearbox is also offering access to the “Homeworld Remastered Steam Multiplayer Beta” at the time of release.

The competitive multiplayer modes for both Homeworld and Homeworld 2 have been combined into one centralized mode that will allow you access to content (races, maps and game modes) and improvements, features and technology from both games, allowing you to play unlimited competitive multiplayer space battles on an epic scale. –Gearbox Software

I played, and finished both Homeworld (including the Cataclysm expansion) and Homeworld 2 back in the day and can honestly say that those games were among the best experiences I’ve had in my entire gaming career. The amazing soundtrack, the sense of freedom in a real 3D environment (that was easy to control), the oozing atmosphere, all that combined with slick graphics (for the time) helped create the classic and the cult around this series.

However, those were other times and what was excellent in the past may not necessarily be in the present. These were great games back in the day, and the enhancements will surely be welcomed by those who were not exposed to the games yet. But, are the enhancements enough to justify another go by the hardcore fans, or should some things just be left as they were experienced in the past?

What say you?

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  1. AstralWanderer says:

    Most “remastered” or “enhanced” updates seem to offer little than a graphics reskin, and often not even that due to lack of access to source materials (Baldur’s Gate Enhanced, MKD2 Enhanced, Resident Evil HD Remastered, etc). And that “key features” list seems surprisingly modest – Homeworld original could handle 100+ ships and could run in high resolutions (I’ve run it at 2560×1600 in OpenGL mode).

    Gameplay could be better tuned (allowing orders to be given to units when paused, providing a “quick harvest” option to scoop up all remaining minerals at the end of a scenario) but anything substantial would mean having to rebalance the campaign. That would probably be the most promising aspect of any update – extending the storyline, providing a greater degree of choice (should we go through that asteroid/nebula/supernova system field to avoid pursuit, etc) and maybe even adding more strategic elements like being able to create resupply depots or colonies.

    However given the licence was acquired 2 years ago, a full-scale redevelopment seems very unlikely – a simple graphics overhaul would be quicker and a less risky way for Gearbox to recoup their investment.

  2. Welp, been getting my ass kicked. I’m down to a destroyer and a captured carrier, plus a few strike craft. I love the BSG-style despair this game offers. Always running, always trying to keep a strong enough fleet. The only way I can survive at this point is to scrap my captured carrier because I don’t have enough money to do anything else.

    Loving it.

    The asteroid field mission was awful though.

  3. Martok says:

    Giggity! Looking forward to getting my hands on this.

  4. Mark says:

    Great games, even though I suck at RTS. I’d kill for a TBS tactical combat game with graphics like this!

  5. Jeff P says:

    I completed all three Homeworld games (several times), but the original Homeworld is my single favorite space-themed game. The story is immersive, the sketched cut scenes just right, and the music and soundtrack haunting. I enjoyed it so much I fear this new edition won’t do justice to my memories. I’ve dusted off and replayed MoO2, SMAC, and Freelancer, and was disappointed those games simply didn’t hold my interest as they did the first time around. I’d hate to do that to Homeworld.

    I heartily encourage anyone who hasn’t experienced these games to buy and play them, but I’m going to pass.

  6. SQW says:

    Good to finally see a remastering worthy of the term. However, I’ll wait until the bug hunt and MP are done first.

    It’s also sad to see the difference between the heavily scripted, ‘accessible’ AAA video games of the modern age compared to the design philosophy of yesteryear. That a decade old game can still command instant attention from gamers compared to the massively hyped ‘experiences’ that are quickly forgotten after a mere year or two should hopefully make a few studios rethink their future projects.

  7. Bob says:

    Well according to people over in the Steam forum, a bunch of features were removed/modified from the original games. That doesn’t sound too promising.

  8. SQW says:

    I think most reviewers are so taken in by the fantastic visual upgrade in Mission 1, nobody really noticed the issues until players are half way through the campaign.

    Fortunately, the bugs reported seem to be just that instead of some fundamental coding issue. The general player base consensus also seems to be rather forgiving so the negatives hasn’t affected the generally positive reaction.

    On a related note. I’ve learnt to never buy modern games within a month of release due to the sheer prevalence of day 1 patches. Hopefully Gear Box’s accounting factors that into consideration when looking at the number for HW3.

  9. poctyk says:

    Another nice + of this, is that they finally digitised Homeworld. Before this, you couldn’t buy digital version of game. And disks have bad nature of getting lost/brake etc.

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