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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timelessly classic., 13 April 2009
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
Homeworld is infamous as the first real-time strategy game set in space that utilised full 3D movement. Your 'HQ' in the game is the Kushan Mothership, which starts each level by hyperspacing into a new region of space. Your fleet deploys from the Mothership and you can commence harvesting resources (asteroids and pockets of gas) and expending your forces. Homeworld features a persistent fleet model, so the fleet you leave one mission with is the same force that appears at the start of the next. You also carry researched information and resource units (money, basically) between missions as well, meaning that canny (and extremely patient) players will wait until they've harvested every single possible resource from one level before jumping to the next. Each region or area has a specific objective, whether it's the acquiring of resources, the destruction of an enemy force or investigating a mystery before moving on. In this manner Homeworld is actually fairly reminiscent of a TV series. In fact, those detecting similarities between Homeworld and Battlestar Galactica are on the money: the game started as a concept for a BSG adaption, but when Universal made it clear they weren't interested, an original storyline was developed instead.

Homeworld remains a terrific game. The art direction is absolutely stunning, with both your ships and those of the enemy having a crisp feel very reminiscent of SF book covers from the 1970s, particularly the art of Peter Elson or Chris Fosse. In fact it's worth playing with the Taiidan ship skins because, whilst not the 'canon' ship designs, their bright primary colours and more interesting gun arrangements are a joy to control in battle. Graphically, the game is nowhere near as dated as you'd expect. The models are not as sophisticated or have as many polys as modern games, of course, but the game still looks great and even the cheapest modern laptop should be able to handle the game with everything turned up to maximum. In terms of control the game does not stray far from being a traditional ground-based RTS "but IN SPACE", but it features some innovative touches to allow control of spacecraft in a fully 3D environment, such as the camera 'focus' system and the long-range sensor manager system, both of which are initially a little odd but once mastered allows for instinctive control of the battlespace. The game's music is brilliant. The original soundtrack is fantastic, and its use of classical music at key moments is extremely well-handled. The original song by 1970s prog group Yes that accompanies the closing credits is a bit left-field, but it works nicely as well, tying in the whole retro-sci-fi feel of the game.

The missions are varied, giving a real sense of progress as you move closer to the Homeworld. The excellent between-mission loading screens show your progress so far and how far you have to travel (although modern PCs tend to load the levels in about two seconds, not leaving much time to appreciate the artwork), and visually this is communicated in the missions themselves, with the first few missions taking place on the outer edges of the Galaxy with a night-black sky and the Galactic Core getting noticeably brighter and dominating more and more of the sky with every mission. As the game progresses your fleet becomes larger and more powerful, and more backstory about the reasons for your race's exile are revealed. It's all interesting, well-thought-out stuff, although some explanations for the game universe's deep history have to wait for the sequels.

There are some flaws, as you may expect with a game that's ten years old. First off, there's no ability to skip time in the game. This means that you often complete a mission and then have time to go off, make a cup of tea and watch half an hour of TV whilst your collectors finish mopping up the resources on any given level. Towards the end of the game, when you've maxed out your supply limit and have more money than God, you can ignore this tactic, but for the first two-thirds of the game or so it's absolutely essential. The persistent fleet tactic also means it's possible, particularly on second through fifth levels or so, to build a fleet that's completely ill-suited to the next mission, forcing you to reload the previous level just to finish it with a more balanced fleet. However, this happens extremely rarely and usually maintaining a sensible attitude, such as keeping back some money for the start of the next mission to see what the challenge is, will prevent this from occurring. Towards the end of the game there is also the argument that tactics go out the window as your vast fleet simply concentrates all its fire on one enemy ship at a time and massacres its way through the enemy without too much trouble. This argument is rebutted by the grand finale, however, where pursuing this tactic is extremely ill-advised. The final complaint is that the Mothership not being able to move is daft (although explained by the ship's sublight engines not being finished before it had to do the hyperspace tests at the start of the game) and a bit of an artificial and cheesy game limitation. However, I don't think it's a particularly major flaw (especially as the later games sensibly dispense with it). Finally, Relic have shut down the game's multiplayer lobby and it's unclear when it will be back up, making multiplayer matches a bit tricky to organise.

Homeworld (****) is a genuinely classic game that has withstood the test of time superbly. With a rich, involving atmosphere that genuinely evokes the vast emptiness of space, a gripping story and excellent controls and units, it is a game that every SF and strategy fan should play.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little dated, but excellent value, 23 Nov 2003
By 
A. D. Stead - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
I was worried about Homeworld. A 3D-RTS...it's easy to lose track of what's happening in a 2D one, let alone 3D. Homeworld tackles the problem with an excellent mass-selection system, allowing you to select entire formations of ships or single ships, to assign groups quickly and easily, and allowing perfect control over your armada. The range of ships is excellent, giving you a wide range of tactical options to handle any situation - faced with an enemy armada? You can deploy one or two super-heavy ships, a handful of destroyers, a fleet of frigates or a swarm of fighters with an equal chance of winning, as long as they're properly managed. Add to that mix the variety of each size, and no two battles will ever be even close to similar.
In short, for this price, Homeworld simply cannot disappoint. Beauty, brains and graceful aging - buy it now.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 21 Jun 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
This may be an old game, but what a buy. I completed the game twice it was so compelling. The interface is intuitive, if a little outdated, but it is still good enough to cope with the 'higher pressure' moments in the game. Just don't go crazy gathering resources, as this game is almost unique in the fact that resources are VERY limited. This adds an extra dimension to gaming. Use them wisely.
If you haven't played it, then buy it. You will not be dissapointed, and it represents outstanding value for money.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 27 Mar 2006
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
I bought this game several years ago and even now still occasionally pick it off the shelf for a blaze. It is a fantastic game and incredible immersive and atmospheric.. and a rare diamond in this game is that the single player storyline is actually REALLY good. Online this game is also great fun and although awkward at first, once you get used to the full 3D navigation the game is excellent fun. I can't do anything other than heap praise onto this game as it is a masterpiece and a benchmark game.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a godsend, 10 Jun 2004
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
I picked this game up one blustery afternoon on the way home from a bar shift. As i sat awaiting a bus i found the manuel and didn't immediatly discard it. Unlike most modern game manuels it didn't read like a 11 year olds first attempt at creative writing.
The game itself continues to impress, to be honest the grapihics alreay had me, but with such a plot i was completly hooked. About 9 months ago i broke my neck and was made bedbound for 5 months; it may sound cheesy but in that time this game kept me sane. A pc magazine described the games attraction as the almost real life-like moments this game breeds, i couldn't agree more- whether it be that split second before your cruiser implodes, the sheer fright as an ion beam ignites the air in front of your face, or the sorrow as your last scout desperatly fends off the inevitable.
i can remember one forum post having a customer saying thankyou for such a game, now that's rare
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest space based RTS ever to be made or dreamed, 28 Mar 2002
By 
Iain S. Palin (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
Homeworld is a space set RTS (Real Time Strategy) game, which puts you in control of the most advanced ship ever to be built by your race, the Mothership. A fully contained world that can create ships, gather money, and control an empire away from home. When your home planet is attacked and everyone you knew killed you take the mothership on a revenge attack against your attackers.
With gamesplay and control unsurpassed in any RTS game to date and graphics to match them this game was a sure fire success and unlike Star Treks attempt at a space RTS, it goes where no other game has gone before. Homeworld has beautifully crated graphics, which even today look state of the art, with each ship designed and graphed by the producers so you could even imagine seeing people walking around inside the ships. From the tiny fighters, to the large Destroyers, to the mammoth Mothership the artwork and care put into this game is clearly visible. The gameplay in this game even surpass the graphics, as this is the first space game that actually gives you a 100% 3D environment. With excellent controls and the extra abilities to cap or have infinite units this game would delight any gamer, Sci-fi fan or not.
The game gives you two fully playable campaigns and together with an excellently composed soundtrack and well-designed video sequences this game is almost perfect. Homeworld lead the way for two sequels but still the first shines out as the future of all space RTS's, a most buy for all gamers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best rts ever, 25 July 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
Homeworld 1 and 2 and the best ever real time strategy games ever created.It feels like you are the commander of a vast 3d fleet,You can live out you sci fi dreams with the homeworld franchise.I have been playing games for over 30 years and in all honesty the homeworld series games are the best games i have ever played.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal moment in entertainment, 1 July 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
Homeworld was a little more than a game in hindsight.

I bought it when it came out first time round as the prospect of full sphere gaming was a revolution & big space fights were cool, but all this is secondary.

Never has a game impacted me more than this. 11 years later I still remember poignant moments from starting out on the edge of explored space and how that actually felt, to later incidents when the exceptional soundtrack would hum back in and lock your mind in a different place. Very cinematic.

Then there was the end...

I can't say too much obviously as I don't want to ruin this game for anyone brave enough to have a go of an 11 year old game. But if you do be under no illusion, Time has not diminished this achievement, and an achievement it is.

Relic and anyone else involved in this should still be proud of what they did. I would say however that it is a shame it has not found its way onto next gen equipment.

If ever a game was to be amongst the first for photo realistic graphics then this should have been.

If you have ever been mesmerized by the old sci fi art of the 60' 70' & 80' periods then this will give you pleasure.

I hope you read this and buy it. Its worth ten times its price even today, I am listening to the soundtrack on you tube as I type.

Thank you Relic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!!, 19 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
this game was released years ago but still manages to keep me glued to the screen for weeks, even with the temptations of Halo, Max Payne 2, C&C generals.
take charge of a fleet of intergalatic battleships as you go in search of the empire that destroyed your world. Depth, flare, passion, top storyline....brilliant
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest RTS ever made, 21 April 2014
This review is from: Homeworld (PC) (CD-ROM)
Homeworld is so amazing you will not want to play any other RTS after you experience Homeworld it will also make you feel everything that the Kushan are going through as you travel from Karak to their Homeworld.

if you like epic space RTS combat its got it all massive fleets attacking defending through every mission!! the story allow is worth getting this game for its a thing of beauty.

GET THIS GAME but wait for the NEW Homeworld remastered collection to be released in autumn DO NOT BUY IT HERE!!! the price is stupidly high and the new remastered versions will be around 30.

"The mothership is on it's way."
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