Homeworld is one of the best real time strategy games there is, it was developed by Relic Entertainment and was published in 1999 by Sierra Studios and is the winner of several awards. Maybe the most interesting thing in the game, is that the game is in 3D! How can that be? The game takes place in space, without any ground, so you can view and move your ships from any possible angle and zoom in and out of the selected ship you want.
The Story of Homeworld
The storyline describes the journey of the Kushan/Taiidan (whichever you choose) race that have lived on the desert planet of Kharak for some millennia. With the advancement of their technology they start to uncover ancient myths that suggest that Kharak is not their original home world. Genetic research has concluded that their biological and biochemical structure is completely different from those of all other Kharakid life forms. But the real turn-about is the discovery of an ancient city at the planet's great equatorial desert. Within the city they've made two significant discoveries: a space craft, equipped with hyper-space drives, which has helped to advance technology on Kharak; and a single black stone on which there's a basic schematic of the galaxy, and in it a line drawn between two co-ordinates - the first is those for Kharak and the second is marked 'Hiigara' - home.
A mothership has been planned and built over six decades. The goal of the game is returning 'home'. The single player game starts with the hyper-drive test, and from there on, the plot thickens.
In each new level you move your mothership and fleet via hyper-space to the next location towards the journey home. Another interesting feature in this game is that, unlike most strategy games, in each new level you have exactly the same ships you had at the end of the previous one.
As mentioned earlier, the gameplay relies on a 3D environment, so the play interface is obviously different to other strategy games. The game has an excellent training session which explains exactly how you do everything.
Moving is performed by a special command, which displays a horizontal disc with the selected ship as its centre. You select the horizontal direction and distance you want to move your ship to. If you want 3D movement you can determine how 'high' or 'low' in relevance to the disc you'll move. If you want to move greater distances, you can zoom out to a 'sensor' mode, which takes the form of a map, and which uses the same movement method as the normal mode.
Attacking an enemy ship consists of the player issuing a ship (or, usually, a group of ships), selecting the attack command and choosing its tactics and formation (there are different manoeuvres programmed into the game, dependent on tactics and formation selections, that manage the battle). These battles are usually very spectacular, especially with fast, small ships. During battle you can zoom on any unit without selecting it and follow all of its moves (you can do this always and it's extremely cool). A drawback is that you can't see how much life the enemy ship has, although it starts to show 'injuries' after a while.
Building and Harvesting
The construction of ships is performed at the mothership or at carriers (which are more than half the size of a mothership). You can simultaneously build one ship of each kind you have in store. The kinds of ships you build are determined by how much you research. The research takes place at special research ships.
There are three basic classes of space ships, from smallest to biggest:
- Strike crafts
- Capital ships
- Super capital ships
Each of these classes is divided within itself to classes, which need to be researched separately. The resources used in the game are asteroids and cosmic gas, which are all transformed into RUs (resource units), and are collected by a special ship called the 'Resource Collector'.
As mentioned before, this game's interface and unique style are still unique, maybe because people have a hard time adjusting to something extremely new and different, and not all that more convenient. The only other game that uses this special kind of interface is its sequel - Homeworld: Cataclism.
For more details, look at the guide on Homeworld's home page.