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    dkirschner's Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (PC)

    [November 15, 2023 03:59:31 PM]
    My time with the Homeworld series has been underwhelming. I don't have the nostalgia for it. RTSes are also not my favorite genre, but I've played many that I prefer over these, including Starcraft 2, the last one I played. Homeworld doesn't come close to how much I enjoyed Starcraft 2. I'm glad I finally got to these though, and that I was able to get through Deserts of Kharak since I couldn't stomach the remastered originals. I enjoyed it overall, but it wasn't great. Like a solid C.

    Strengths include the story, which I found intriguing. It's a sci-fi tale about a people who discover technology on their desert planet that is jealously guarded by another civilization. There's some religious prophecy involved, and ultimately the technology allows for hyperspace travel, which is where the original Homeworld games began (your people discovered the technology and spread into space, then are punished for it, and then go looking for their origin world). There's a cool cooperative element to the main campaign, as you end up allying with another civilization. I enjoyed the missions where I was defending their base ship, or clearing a landing zone for their planes to refuel my fleet, or where they were diverting the attention of the big bad guys while I flanked them. Another strength was the variety of vehicles and ships at your command, as well as all the abilities each possessed. It was overwhelming for sure, but I liked the control it gave you over how to use each unit.

    I especially liked the main base ship, which was badass. You get this monstrosity to command, that moves like molasses, but that can dish out and take serious damage. The base ship has a heating system, and over the course of the game, you find artifacts that grant bonuses, including giving it better cooling abilities or more energy to spend in its four areas: defense (adds armor); repair (heals itself); range (fires longer distances); and power (does more damage). My general strategy for it was to funnel energy to range and power, sit it at the front of my army, and surround it with support cruisers, which repaired it, while it absorbed damage and the rest of my army sat behind it firing away. The base ship is also a mobile hangar, and can launch three types of ships, as well as missile barrages. So it's never alone if you've got planes built because you can launch them to carpet bomb the variety of enemies you'll face. The base ship and all its tricks were fun to play with and very effective.

    This latter strength though was also a weakness when taking into account the sub-par movement of units, especially the base ship. Their pathfinding could be wonky, vehicles are generally very slow to turn around, and often will make big arcs to turn (dying in the process; don't think you can run effectively). The base ship can't navigate narrow spaces easily (makes sense), but often will try to go around, or will spin circles, or will do like a 10-point turn, when you direct it to make a tight squeeze. I understand if it can't make it, but often even when it can, it will go haywire trying to do it.

    The game isn't that difficult on normal (two stars), and one reason is because everything (resources, units) carries over from level to level. If you spend time mining resources on each level, you’ll have a lot of resources to spend to keep your fleet at max capacity. Every few levels, I'd stop and mine everything, and it would see me through a few more levels. For example, in the last two levels, I only mined one area because I had so many resources saved up from exhausting the previous few levels. I was able to hurl my army at the bosses, building new units the entire time as old ones died. Strategic? Not really. Fun? Definitely.

    So yeah, overall, I enjoyed my romp through the desert(s of Kharak). I definitely got tired of seeing nothing but sand in every environment. It looked good, but was monotonous. It's not a long game, but it's action-packed, yet simultaneously slow. I hear that Homeworld 3 is on the horizon. I wonder what it'll be like? How much will it stick to the Homeworld formula and what will it update for 2024? Curious, but not dying to know. Eyeing it from afar...!

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    dkirschner's Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 8 November, 2023

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 15 November, 2023

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    More accessible version of Homeworld. Intrigued... ----------------- It's fun, but slow and at times frustrating. Overall, enjoyed it.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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