Test your strategic chops to the limit in Homeworld reboot

By Chris Hayes - Game Review

Published 30/01/2016 | 00:00

Being granted the opportunity to experience Homeworld again in all its glory, except in a fresh setting with a deeper and more measured storyline, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is just about one of the best video game reboots we could expect this year.

While it does harken back to the many hours burned away playing Homeworld, Deserts of Kharak does bring a lot of new concepts to the table and stands alone as a magnificent title purely on its own merit - even when not considering its excellent lineage.

Deserts of Kharak takes place long before the events of the original Homeworld, but never feels overshadowed by what's to come. As it opens, your civilization is clinging to life on a vast desert planet, besieged by technologically advanced religious fanatics, the Gaalsien, who make their home in the desert wastes.

The main character, Rachel departs aboard a carrier ship on crucial mission to recover a powerful artifact from the heart of the desert. This action causes all hell to pretty much break loose as the Gaalsien embark on a frenzied attempt to exterminate the various tribes of the coalition.

The aforementioned carrier ship assumes much the same role as the mothership in the earlier Homeworld titles, with one important difference. The carrier is an extremely powerful warship that can single-handedly turn the tide of a battle.

Your carrier is both crucial to defence and progression - just like the mothership of old - and a deadly weapon on the battleground.

Combat among the rolling plains of desert and meandering canyons is surprisingly similar to the space combat in earlier titles; line-of-sight and army composition are the big keys to victory.

You're amply rewarded for taking the time to micro-manage your armies as well. Units gain experience and veterancy bonuses through the battles and campaign, so that a "Commander" level railgun tank is hitting twice as hard and is three times as resilient compared to its rookie counterpart.

It takes a little while to wrap your head around the fact that the first Homeworld release in over a decade does away with virtually unlimited 3D movement, but you can trust that none of the depth of gameplay, wonderful asthetics and outright challenging fun has been removed with it. It is a terrific game and an absolute reccommendation for those out there that enjoy pushing their strategic chops to the limit.


Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak


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