Homeworld 3 Could Add Cut HW2 Gameplay & Star Wars-Style Trench Runs

The new Homeworld 3 trailer, recently released by Blackbird Interactive, showcases the classic three-dimensional real-time strategy gameplay iconic to the Homeworld franchise, along with new game maps filled with massive, labyrinthine space ruins players can exploit for resources and maneuver around. The trailer footage of these “megastructure” set-pieces looks very similar to the visuals seen in the Homeworld 2 trailer released for E3 2001, centered around a “Dust Wars” scenario where space fleets fought over the wreckage of space stations from a vanished civilization; the implication is that the developers of Homeworld 3 drew heavy inspiration from design concepts and ideas Homeworld 2 developers weren’t able to implement in their final product.


The four Homeworld real-time strategy games published to date – Homeworld, Homeworld: Cataclysm, Homeworld 2, and the prequel Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak – have gameplay cycles that are generally slow and stately, letting players soak in the vastness of outer space (or the vastness of a desert, in the case of Deserts of Kharak). The narratives of these RTS titles are minimalistic yet epic, the tragedies and triumphs of a fleet journeying into the unknown narrated by the gruff voice of a Fleet Intelligence officer and the tranquil voice of a Fleet Command controller.

The viewpoint character in the Homeworld 3 gameplay trailer is Karan S’jet, a scientist who directly connected her mind to the control systems of the player character’s mothership, guiding the Kushan remnants to their ancestral planet in Homeworld 1, then leading the Hiigarans to victory against the Vagyr and re-activating an ancient Hyperspace gate network in Homeworld 2. Images of fighter craft and capital ships dancing and fighting among stellar ruins are interspersed with images of S’jet floating within a liquid breathing medium, twitching and wincing with every time a ship under her command is destroyed. This, plus, her bitter remarks near the end of the trailer, suggests the Hiigarans are fighting yet another war over who gets to control the Hyperspace gate network and the power it offers, a war perhaps less unambiguously noble than the conflicts of previous games.

Gameplay In The New Homeworld 3 Trailer

The footage in the Homeworld 3 trailer shows gameplay with the same basic template established by previous Homeworld games. Players start out with a long wedge of a mothership that can move around slowly and manufacture all but the largest spacecraft. By using specialized craft to harvest resources from asteroids, space dust, and space junk scattered around the three-dimensional space map, players can manufacture an increasingly large space fleet corresponding to the archetypes established by Star Wars games and the original Star Wars trilogy: tiny, fast, yet fragile space fighters and corvettes, larger frigates, and ponderously powerful capital ships vessels such as destroyers, carriers, and battlecruisers.

Homeworld 1 and 2 both had their levels with asteroids fields, space station fragments, and other space objects players could interact with; in general, though, these pieces of terrain were small in comparison to the large empty spaces player ships had to traverse. In contrast, Homeworld 3‘s concept art and game maps are much more cluttered with massive ruined “megastructures” that utterly dwarf the space vessels players can manufacture. Aside from visual spectacle, this gameplay feature will likely give players the chance to make more tactically interesting maneuvers such as defending chokepoints, hiding fleets behind concealing debris, using hyperspace jumps to slip past obstacles, or even manufacturing small craft capable of navigating tight corridors. One clip from the trailer (which can be viewed below) shows a squad of space fighters flying down a megastructure’s narrow corridors in what is likely a shoutout to the “Death Star Trench Run” sequence from the first Star Wars movie.

This isn’t the first time Homeworld game developers have referenced the “Death Star Trench Run.” A trailer released by Relic Entertainment in 2001 for E3 revealed gameplay footage of a prototype Homeworld 2 eerily similar to the gameplay revealed for the upcoming Homeworld 3. Both trailers show space fleets moving toward, through, and around a truly massive megastructure, using its bulk for cover, for concealment, and as an anchor to place turret vehicles.

Whether due to technology restrictions of the time or a finite development cycle, the final version of Homeworld 2 was ultimately closer in form to Homeworld 1 and didn’t implement “cluttered space ruins” on a large scale. The footage glimpsed for Homeworld 3 brings to life the ambitious “Dust Wars” gameplay developers of Homeworld 2 originally wanted to include in their game.

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Coleman Gailloreto (414 Articles Published)

A Chicago-based Writer, Author and freelance translator. Looking to prep his readers for the next renaissance or apocalypse, whichever comes first.

Write and publishes web fiction under the pseudonym Aldo Salt on Inkshares.com.

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