Homeworld 3 in the Gamescom preview: Played for the first time

Homeworld 3 in the Gamescom preview.  (6)

That the developers of RelicEntertainment enjoy such a good reputation as experts for real-time strategy games today, goes back to Homeworld from 1999, among other things. The game is considered one of the first to move the strategy genre into three-dimensional space and open up a whole new tactical level. Suddenly, enemies could not only come from left or right, but also from above or below. Today Relic has nothing left with him Homeworld to do since the rights to the series already existed almost ten years ago Gear box software have passed. They in turn have the series in their hands Blackbird Interactive laid by former developers of Homeworld Founded.

After the release of the remaster collection of the first two parts, the team has been working on the sequel for several years now, which they have been dreaming of since completing the second part. We visited the makers at Gamescom 2022 and played two strategy hope missions.

home world 3 puts at least 100 years after the events of the second part. After the legendary leader Karan S’Jet activated an ancient network of hyperspace gates, the Hiigarans entered a golden age. That changes as an unknown eclipse that is just the anomaly is called, spreading in the galaxy. To protect her people, Karan S’Jet sets out with a fleet to confront the anomaly. However, she never returns. Her successor is now hatching in Homeworld 3 Imogen S’Jet into the role of Fleet Command and with her we must solve the mystery of Karan’s disappearance and find a way to defeat the anomaly.

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As usual, the heart of the game is the gripping real-time strategy in all dimensions of space, with the mother ship as the base for our operations. Graphically, the developers at Blackbird Interactive have already done this great work done. The space we move in looks beautiful and the models of the ships shine with it crisp textures and send effects. Together with the iconic radio messages and the familiar music, this is already being created here again Homeworld atmospherehow it should be. In addition to the familiar feeling, there are also new things to discover. The developers have integrated objects that were previously only seen in the background directly into the battlefields. Asteroid fields or the debris of huge ships upgrade the cards optically.

Homeworld 3: New trailer shows chic gameplay

However, these objects are not only used for visual design, but are part of one of the major gameplay innovations. The team speaks of “strategic terrain“. This means that the environment can now be used very intelligently for cover strategies. So, to prevent a fighter squadron from being wiped out by a more powerful frigate on approach, we now use floating debris to approach out of line of sight. The beauty of this is ” that the ships usually use the existing objects in the environment very intelligently. For example, we order our fighters to attack a frigate. As soon as our squadron has flown the first wave, they automatically maneuver themselves behind some debris for cover position there for the next wave of attacks.

Homeworld 3 in the Gamescom preview. (6)

Source: Gearbox

Even if we give a fleet an order to move to a certain place, the ships try to use as much cover as possible on the way there. In addition to objects that simply block the view, there are also larger structures in which we can even hide from enemy sensors. According to the developers, the idea behind the automatic use of the environment by our ships’ AI is to try to to minimize the necessary input of the player. This does not mean that you want to take the game out of the player’s hands. But unnecessary and small-scale clicking around should be avoided.

Homeworld 3 in the Gamescom preview. (1) [Quelle: Gearbox]

In our demo, we quickly notice that the player still has more than enough to do. During the second and third missions of the campaign, we can again deal with the commanding a fleet familiarize and the new cover mechanic try extensively. Totally without Tutorial being thrown into the action proves to be a bit problematic. Keeping an overview in three-dimensional space might be a challenge, especially for newcomers. The controls seemed a bit too complicated for us. So we had to hold down the right mouse button to move the camera. For a movement order to a ship we first press the right mouse button and then to confirm the left mouse button.

Homeworld 3 in the Gamescom preview.  (9)

Homeworld 3 in the Gamescom preview. (9)

Source: Gearbox

At the most problems however, prepared for us Targeting enemy ships, especially for the little hunters. In order to give our fleet the order to attack, we try to hit a mostly fairly small area with a right-click, which requires either tedious repositioning of the camera or millimeter work with the mouse. With moving targets, however, this is not so easy. In conversation with the developers, however, it quickly becomes clear that they are already aware of this problem and about different ones solutions thinks. A function is already integrated in the game with which we can simply drag a frame across the screen, which will give our ships an attack order against all enemies in this area.