Homeworld Cataclysm - PC - Review

Cataclysm: (noun) any great upheaval that causes sudden and violent changes.

Years ago (in Hilgaran time) the Guide Stone lead a people of a dying world on a desperate journey across the galaxies for their home world. It was a time fraught with danger from unknown races, space storms and lack of resources. But the journey was made, and the Hilgarans reached their home.

It has been 15 years since landfall. The joy of the discovery of home is thrown into turmoil. A Hilgaran sect has unwittingly let loose an evil alien presence. You are the only hope of a people. You must commandeer the Kuun-Lan, a mining vessel, refit it as a combat-ready mother ship, build a fleet of fighters and support vehicles, research new technologies, and boldly go … Oops, that was one step too far into the wrong universe. However, the universe that the Kuun-Lan will fly into is just as dynamic and dangerous, and requires great skill in reflexive action and strategic planning.

Homeworld Cataclysm is the sequel to 1999’s incredible space civ/combat game Homeworld. The companies responsible for this new title are Sierra Studios, Barking Dog Studios and Relic Entertainment. The companies have deemed it only appropriate to give newcomers to this universe the opportunity to pick it up from the Cataclysm stage rather than having to travel back to the original game. Translation: You don’t need Homeworld in order to play Homeworld Cataclysm. This is an independent program.

What does it have that will intrigue Homeworld game players? How abut 18 new ships with unique stats and 25 new technologies to research. Maybe the idea of 17 new single-player missions will lure you, as well as the prospect of playing online with up to eight other gamers.

This title also features time compression, which hurries up the time consumed in long journeys or resource gathering. Waypoint navigation is improved.

Yes, the new features are very nice and add to the gaming experience. They take a solid game and power it along, adding to the legacy of the original title with intriguing new storylines.

But what is best is still what won this title so many awards. The graphics are simply stunning. They feature zoom in and out, 360-degree rotating camera angles that allow game players to enjoy the intricacies and graphics from any angle.

The control elements are multiple and complex, but there is a rhyme and reason behind it all and, after what first seems like a daunting task, soon becomes achievable. Of course, going through the tutorial can really mess up a player at first. But then you see the relationship between control elements and it all falls into place. The tutorial is a nice place to start for anyone new to the program, or those who need a quick refresher.

Then it is into the heart of the game. The battle is against the Beast – aptly named because of the weaponry it will throw against you – including a virus that will take over ships and turn them into Beast war birds. There are five difficulty levels, ranging from very easy to very hard.

This program combines space-based blast ’em action with the standard elements of civilization games. To succeed, you must not only be a better tactician than your foe, but you must research new technologies and harvest resources to make it all possible to create the weapons which will enable victory.

Homeworld Cataclysm is sheer joy – a delight to look at, a treat for the ears and a challenge for the mind. This game is the sibling to an award-winning program, and will in all likelihood be continuing that family tradition.

This product is rated for everyone and does contain mild animated violence. It supports multiplayer gaming over the LAN and the Internet.

 

Install: Easy. Though the program does not feature anything that will entreat the eyes, it only eats 250 megs of hard drive space and installs quickly.

Gameplay: 8. Once you jump into the void of space, you will wonder if there is any stopping ground. The program features a seamless game board.

Graphics: 8.5. This program had some minor trouble recognizing the host system’s 3D card and relied on the software rendering. But even then, the 3D elements are wonderful.

Sound: 8. There is some generic chatter from squadrons that mirrors what has been heard in other games. “I’m on it,” is typical. In spite of that, the music, battle noises and other chatter is solid.

Difficulty: 8.5. The multiple difficulty levels let you proceed at your own pace. However, don’t think that because you choose very easy, the mission will be just that. There will be challenges aplenty for anyone.

Concept: 8. This is a younger sibling, containing some of the same elements as the older program while injecting new and exciting aspects.

Overall: 8.5. Cataclysm is fun, intriguing, wonderful to look at and challenging. This program is a nice supplement for fans of the original, and a great introduction to the genre for anyone who has thought about playing this type of program, but hasn’t before. 

Great

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