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