The Visual Evolution Of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

StarCraft II‘s expansion pack, Heart of the Swarm, is already out in some parts of the world, and it’s launching tomorrow in North America. To celebrate, let’s take the opportunity to examine more than 20 years’ worth of real-time strategy history and see how much the genre has evolved visually. Since the StarCraft games are set in Earth’s 25th century, we’re focusing only on RTS games in sci-fi settings.

Herzog Zwei (1990)

Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty (1992)

Command & Conquer (1995)

KKnD (1997)

Total Annihilation (1997)

StarCraft: Brood War (1998)

Machines (1999)

Earth 2150 (2000)

Dark Reign 2 (2000)

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War (2004)

Star Wars: Empire at War (2006)

Halo Wars (2009)

Supreme Commander 2 (2010)

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013)

Were there any real-time strategy games that blew your mind when they came out? Any great-looking unreleased ones you’re really looking forward to? Tell us in the comments below.

Sources: Avtoandlevan’s LP, RTSGuru, Renegade Forums, Acantophis3rd’s LP, Total Annihilation Wiki,, NostalgicGames,, LucasArts,,, StarCraft Facebook

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