Published on January 28th, 2015 | by Jonathan Beck
Hands-On: Homeworld Remastered
Gearbox Software is the latest dev to take a classic RTS and update it for the modern era. With Homeworld, this is no small task. A game so well loved for its unique take on the genre, it has a large following of fans who will expect great things. After getting an early glimpse at the title this weekend at PAX South, I believe those fans are not going to be disappointed.
With Homeworld Remastered, Gearbox is bringing both of the original games into the modern era. They are first making the games compatible with modern computers operating systems, and beyond that they are also revamping and tweaking them to look truly gorgeous with HD graphics and textures. That’s right: If you want to just play the original game as it was created all those years ago, you can do just that; or you can apply the fresh coat of paint that Gearbox developers have lovingly created.
In talking to Gearbox at South, they let us know that the remastered editions are both built on a heavily modified version of the Homeworld 2 engine. They dove deep into the code and brought the games up to speed with revisions and tweaks to make them run fantastically.
At the event, they were showing both the old and new engines side by side so it was easy to compare not only the resolution and textures, but also how smoothly the game now plays: There were certain ways the old games were coded that just limited the frame rate. When seeing them side-by-side, it’s clear how much passion is in this project. The new textures and effects are a stark contrast over the original titles. Sections that originally stuttered are now buttery smooth. In addition to bringing the original game to the sequel’s newly modified engine, all the races from both games will now be available at the same time.
Gearbox has made it clear that this isn’t a simple cash grab update. Every detail of the game has been well attended to, and there is obviously a lot of passion and love behind the project. What I’ve seen has already sold me. With the inclusion of features like Steamworks for online multiplayer and the Steam Workshop, which will allow the community to bring the mods from the original games to this remastered release, it appears they’ve done everything they could do to please diehard fans.
Homeworld Remastered is available for Pre-Order now via Steam and will launch on February 25th.