Homeworld Remastered Collection Hits February 25

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Homeworld Remastered Collection’ Gets Release DateAt PAX South in San Antonio this weekend, Plano-based Gearbox Software finally announced the price and release date for their long awaited recreation of two classic PC games, Homeworld Remastered, and it’s coming sooner than you might think. The Homeworld Remastered Collection, a renovated version of the first two core entries in the spacefaring strategy series, will launch on Steam Feb. 25 with a price tag of $34.99, Gearbox Software announced today.In addition to re-releasing Homeworld and Homeworld 2 in both Classic and Remastered form, Gearbox Software has paired with Blackbird Interactive – a studio founded by Homeworld veterans Rob Cunningham and Aaron Kambeitz – to create an all-new entry in the Homeworld series for PC. “It is a very special and rare thing to see a project so close to your heart not only get re-released, but remastered with such loving care and attention,” said Rob Cunningham, who co-founded Relic Entertainment and served as the original art director of Homeworld . After two days filled with community events and panels built around a whole host of Gearbox titles (‘Borderlands: The Handsome Jack Collection,’ ‘Tales from the Borderlands,’ ‘Battleborn,’ etc.), the time to make good on all of those ‘Homeworld’ teasers finally arrived. The game will feature a high-definition upgrade to all the assets, new voice-recordings from the original cast, and updated cinematics that also keep in with the games original theme and style.

Homeworld is a sci-fi strategy game classic from 1999 (its sequel was released in 2003) that hasn’t been seen in a long time, and as is the case with many old games it’s not easy to get running on modern hardware, even if you happen to have a copy of the game itself. In a brief peek behind the curtains, I was allowed to take a look at the new Homeworld Remastered cinematics side by side, frame for frame with the original titles (Homeworld and Homeworld 2) at the first PAX South.

The package will also feature the classic versions themselves; partially so lovers of the originals can play through them without interference, but also so players can see just how far the remastered versions have come. The remastering of Homeworld 1 and 2 was announced alongside the news that Gearbox had purchased the rights to the Homeworld franchise after the bankruptcy of former owner THQ back in 2013. Later, they announced that they were partnering with many of the game’s original creators not just for the remake but also for a sequel: Homeworld: Shipbreakers (previously in development as a “spiritual successor” to Homeworld under the name Hardware: Shipbreakers).

For the nostalgic among you, Homeworld Remastered contains untouched versions of the original PC games, modified only for compatibility with modern operating systems. Gearbox started with the ‘Homeworld 2’ engine and the finished result is an ultra-high-definition presentation that can make the most out of today’s most powerful PC rigs. (With multi-sampling enabled, the game can technically be rendered in 8K). Space itself is far lovelier; instead of battling in a black void punctuated by the occasional, errant star, battlegrounds can be shifting nebulas or spiraling asteroid fields. The beta code that players will receive combines code from over 15 years ago with newly-written changes, and Gearbox would like to shape the multiplayer through fan feedback as the development progresses. “The Homeworld series has a long legacy and is regarded by many as one of the best strategy series of all time.

Following its release in 1999 by publisher Sierra and developer Relic Entertainment, Homeworld received several Game of the Year awards and redefined the RTS genre. I heard about them, and the reverence people have for them to this day has made me regret missing them way back when (in my defense, I was a broke kid with a sub-par computer at the time), but I never took the dive. The one thing that really couldn’t simply be made modern PC friendly, however, was the original games’ multiplayer, which was built on the now defunct GameSpy service. Gearbox have fused the multiplayer modes, races, and maps from both games into one platform, offering players more choice than ever for their multiplayer space antics.

That has involved taking code from the two classic titles — code that didn’t fare especially well during the franchise’s dormancy and transition from THQ — and updating it with new code. I have been sucked into a bubbling time-vortex hot tub of Homeworld – and I love it.” When I asked about the possible development of a remastered Homeworld: Cataclysm, which takes place 15 years after the events of Homeworld, I was told (very sadly might I add) that the source code for the game has been completely lost. Such fine-tuning may be necessary and that’s because the multiplayer will support such crazy variations as Homeworld 1 vs Homeworld 2 multiplayer matches.

This is obviously the same game, and the new ships are easily recognizable as the old ships, but everything about Remastered strikes me as an obvious upgrade. This means that unless the code is somehow recovered, we are not likely to see the third entry into the original series remastered for us by Gearbox.

From Brian Martel, Chief Creative Officer at Gearbox Software, “Homeworld is among the greatest strategy games in history, and we’re very proud of the work our team has put into bringing this exceptional series to modern PCs. Battles that looked slow and choppy on the old software look downright zippy by comparison, with smooth animation of impressive space maneuvers and attractive graphical touches to everything from explosions to backgrounds to the individual lights on each ship. While it sounds as if high-quality sources for the original audio were available for the remaster, Gearbox instead opted to fix something that fans complained about when the game first released: Due to timing conflicts, the voice actress for Homeworld 1′s Fleet Command was replaced for Homeworld 2, upsetting many players.

The team behind this remake clearly cares about the source material, and I’m personally very excited to experience the entire thing myself when the full game launches next month.

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