One of my first loves…apart from chocolate
Barber’s Adagio for Strings is one of the most recognisable pieces of classical music. When it’s accompanied by a full choir, it’s a solemn, yet beautiful song. In Homeworld, it’s used to maximum effect when the Mothership jumps back to Kharak, only to find that everyone in your civilisation has been annihilated.
It’s one of the most powerful starts to any storyline in a game. Even though there are only sixteen missions, the gravitas of these first few chapters of Homeworld, plus the very pretty designs made it a classic in many a mature gamer’s heart, whether you love strategy games or not.
The game has been revisited by the polarising Gearbox Software, known for its ability to simultaneously make awesome and shi!thouse titles. No matter, they’ve done a wonderful job remaking Homeworld and its almost as awesome sequel, Homeworld 2, by making the best bits better, and taking some of the more annoying things away. Thus, the essence of what made these games so great has been preserved.
One of the most annoying aspects of Homeworld was having to refuel your fighters and corvettes, especially in the nebula missions. That’s gone. Thank Sajuuk! Gone also is the awkward interface of the original, leaving behind a well organised and simple visual interface. Taking elements from Homeworld 2 and blending the best aspects of that into the remaking of both has really helped to breath new life into the games.
The new graphics are also gorgeous. The ships use the same basic design, but with new textures and more complex shapes, they look more realistic than ever. Even little details like pipes, once flat textures are now complex three dimensional entities. Of course, Homeworld 2 still looked pretty good for an eleven year old game, and the graphics refresh hasn’t made too much difference.
You know what? I don’t care. The single player campaigns of both games are so well executed, with the correct amounts of tension and awe that I’m going to relive this all over again. Life be damned!