The following review will continue to be iterated upon, as of now it is the hard-script for the Video review you can find here:
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is a prequel to Relic’s Homeworld series, developed by Blackbird Interactive. After dejected in development hell for a good 6 years, the game is finally finished. This new Homeworld game takes place nearly 100 years before the original. In which a discovery of deviations in Kharak, ensue an expedition through the southern deserts.
The Homeworld games are scientific, yet grungy. And it is all used as a behind-the-scenes approach to help tell the story. Religious warfare is a habituated trait among the dusts of Kharak. And while an acreage of this plot was interlaced with the original Homeworld’s instruction manual. Preconceived plot devices have been replaced in favor of concentrated design. Squabbling races, somber sacrifices, and titanic discoveries all move the plot into a coherent stream, eventually creating a dynamic and unforgettable plot.
The animation and art-style are cel-shaded into an arenaceous aesthetic. Vehicles look weathered and blemished. And the physics are interlaced to the elevations of the deserts ridges. Another description would be regarding the scale of your expedition through the secluse wild. Units look impressive in scope when an abundance of them are present. And the contrast from appliances, such as Salvagers when compared to the Kalisi, is well designed.The art-style perfectly conceives the atmosphere of the desert planet it’s trying to represent, with a great presence towards the desolation and emptiness of the Kharak landscape. Seeing dune-buggy’s circle and bounce around their opposition is a satisfying use of physics, and the dust their wheels kick up is a wonderful example of the game’s attention to detail. Overall this is a truly beautiful game, even on lower end computers.
The music in Deserts of Kharak is persistent in reminding you of the bleak pastels that you’re traversing. Orchestrating and retaining the astrological concept of the original games, the soundtrack twists it into a symphony, chronicling an excursive crusade fully motivated by the desire to discover. No longer are the airy drawls of the original homeworld, in it’s place are the searing sounds of low methodical beats.
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is an RTS, a genre that has been seemingly dormant during recent years. You can organize attack-squads, call in airstrikes, and control the hulking PC called the Kalisi, as you traverse the seemingly endless sand-dunes and opposing forces you encounter. The micro-managing of resources and defense of incrusion, is an exercise in choices. Should I allot development of better units, or should I create more of the same in order to fend off this attack? Which resource should I harvest, and how many attack units should I leave with them in order to preserve them? All of these questions contribute to how you will execute your gameplay experience when playing Deserts of Kharak. It’s all very complicated, but intensely rewarding when you execute a perfect mission leaving no possibility unsecured in a timely manner.
With a 15 hour campaign, Deserts of Kharat includes a decently meaty story. And including a multiplayer mode that has a bevy of replayability value, the value for Deserts of Kharat is impressive. The game is a worthy successor that takes a step back in all the right places, while including an impressive amount of innovation and character that was not yet seen in the originals. Gearbox, amidst their incredible resume, helped make a descendant to the cult-classic series, a choice that I hope they will continue to go through with.
I was left wanting more by the end of Deserts of Kharak, not because of brevity, but because it was so satisfying to play. Every second of the game was the perfect amount of difficulty that made me feeling hopeless one second, only to turn the mission around with one bold choice. With a great world inhabited by great writing, Deserts of Kharak bares the Homeworld badge proudly. The new perspective of ground combat is fresh and new, while the aesthetic and ambience increase an already quality RTS series worthiness. Even if you are new to the series of Homeworld, and similarly unfamiliar with the RTS genre. Deserts of Kharak is a great game for veterans of the Homeworld series, and newcomers alike.