Sunday, 25 January 2015

HOMEWORLD REMASTERED launches on 25 February

Gearbox have finally announced the release date for Homeworld Remastered, their updated version of the classic space strategy games Homeworld and Homeworld 2.

Originally released by Relic Entertainment in 1999, Homeworld was lauded for its highly atmospheric soundtrack, cool visuals, the first fully successful depiction of 3D space in a strategy game and its compelling storyline. Its sequel, Homeworld 2, was released in 2003 and added some vastly more advanced graphics and a more comprehensive user interface. Released between the two was Homeworld: Cataclysm, a stand-alone expansion which is sometimes regarded, in at least gameplay terms, as the high point of the series.

Unfortunately, Cataclysm is not included in this release due the source files being missing and the rights to the game being in question.

Homeworld and Homeworld 2 were made by Relic Entertainment, by a team led by Rob Cunningham. Cunningham left Relic in 2007 to set up his own studio, Blackbird Interactive. He was joined by many veterans of the two Homeworld games. Blackbird have been assisting Gearbox in their remastering of the two games, by tracking source files and original audio and graphical assets. More excitingly, Blackbird are also working on a full prequel to the games. Homeworld: Shipbreakers will be based around ground combat and strategy as competing factions on the planet Kharak fight for resources. More news about Shipbreakers is expected to be released after the remastered games are out.

The remastered collection will feature both the original or 'classic' versions of the games as well as the new versions. The new versions will feature a remastered version of the original audio (including, where necessary, new voice recordings by the original actors), hugely updated graphics and a new multiplayer mode combining the maps and ships from both games into one competitive game. It's looking pretty great at the moment.

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