A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Homeworld Remastered Collection is a space-themed real-time strategy game. Combat is frequent but relatively mild; players don't see anyone killed or injured but instead only spaceships exploding and breaking apart. Battles encourage players to think strategically in three dimensions. The story, about a civilization trying to escape its enemies and find its home world, could lead kids to draw parallels with cultures closer to home that have faced similar trials in their struggle for continued existence here on Earth. Parents also should be aware that players can communicate with one another while playing online via voice-chat services.
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What's it about?
HOMEWORLD REMASTERED COLLECTION is actually four games in one. It includes both the original and newly remastered editions of Homeworld and Homeworld 2, a pair of classic space-themed real-time strategy (RTS) games both well over a decade old. The first game tracks the adventures of a space-faring people journeying to find their long-lost home world, facing genocidal enemies and other hazards along the way. The second takes place about a century later. Having found its home world, the civilization faces new enemies and learns of a prophecy that could destroy their way of life, prompting a series of missions to thwart the threat. Combat takes place in the vastness of space with players in control of large fleets of ships, harvesting resources, researching technologies, building units, and devising and employing strategies to defeat enemies. Unlike most RTS games, the maps here are absolutely enormous and largely empty, and they stretch along three axes, forcing players to consider tactics in a trio of dimensions. Outside the campaigns, players can engage in a centralized online multiplayer mode that combines the factions, game types, and maps of both games, using the newly redesigned interface created for the remastered editions.
Is it any good?
There's a reason Homeworld is considered a classic in the real-time strategy genre. Not only does it do an outstanding job of simulating complex combat in huge, 3-D swaths of space, it also has an epic and moving narrative that gets players worked up about the struggles and survival of its protagonist civilization. The Remastered Collection preserves all of this -- including the original voice work (still impressive today) -- and gives it a coat of modern graphical paint as well as an updated, more efficient interface. The result stands toe to toe with almost any modern RTS. The core game has aged that well.
Just keep in mind it’s a pretty complicated title that takes time to fully understand and master, especially if you're not used to working and strategizing in three dimensions. The controls, while empowering, take some getting used to. Focusing on specific units, for instance, is a good way to jump around the map and see what's happening on different fronts, but you may not be comfortable with it right away. Plus, working out how to place waypoints in 3-D space can be a bit of a challenge. But the campaigns are designed to slowly acclimate players to the interface, and by the time you get to the second game -- which features lots of nice little improvements, such as fighters that are automatically grouped into squadrons rather than controlled individually -- your space legs should be firmly beneath you. For kids too young to have played the originals, Homeworld Remastered Collection provides a great way to experience these two great games for the first time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of online safety. What are some of the risks involved in communicating with potential strangers online while playing games? Have you ever encountered an online bully?
Families also can discuss strategizing. Which sorts of strategies do you create and employ on a day-to-day basis?
- Platforms: Windows
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, logic, strategy
- Price: $34.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Gearbox Software
- Release date: February 25, 2015
- Genre: Real-Time Strategy (RTS)
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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