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Homeworld 2 (Windows)

80
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  SharkD (415)
Written on  :  Dec 30, 2008
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars3.57 Stars

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Summary

Visually superior; but lacking in most other respects.

The Good

Homeworld 2 is the much-anticipated sequel to the critically-acclaimed Homeworld. On the surface, little has changed to the basic formula: you pilot a mothership and manage a fleet of smaller helper ships in a struggle for the survival of the human race. The battles are still tactical, and the ship controls are as intuitive as ever. The graphics and multiplayer have also received a noticeable boost.

The Bad

Developed in fits and starts, this game was finally pushed out the door by Relic Entertainment in 2003. The fractured nature of the game's development is somewhat evident in the final product. As noted above, the game's story is "epic". Maybe a bit too epic. The sequel seems to try and up all the antis introduced in the first game, but ends up lacking the intimate feel that made the first one so great. You feel more like you are dealing with "super" persons, as the factions you meet become ever more immense, and thus removing all sense of personal involvement in the plot. The missions are also too frequently broken up and interrupted by scripted pauses. I swear that every 15 seconds there is a scripted sequence or auto-save that steals control of the game away from you. You end up feeling more like your progress through the game is being parceled to you instead of experienced.

The game balance has also become more biased towards capital ships. Some of the early missions are fun in that you control smaller ships and get a feel for their different uses. Too early, however, the game switches to ships like the destroyer. If not this, then you are just wishing you had one of these larger ships as you struggle to survive a battle you were outclassed in to begin with. Too soon in the game numbers become more important than individual vessels. Any connection you feel with the earlier ships is limited to that of an ever-lengthening build-queue.

The Bottom Line

The game has improved somewhat in terms of graphics, multiplayer and controls, but otherwise feels hollow. Some of the many mods for the game add to its replayability, but not really by a whole lot.