Homeworld's Cutscenes Now In HD, Look...OK

Homeworld's Cutscenes Now In HD, Look...OK

Relic's space strategy game Homeworld, one of the all-time greats, is getting a long-overdue remake so that it runs properly on modern PCs. Which means aside from prettier spaceships and asteroids, we're also getting prettier cutscenes.

Most of this clip below is marketing fluff designed as a PAX panel, but in the opening section you get to see a few bits of the game's new remastered introduction, laid out next to footage of the original.

This intro, and the game's cutscenes, remain some of my all-time favourites. They're a triumph of art design over technology, relying on little more than 2D images that scale, which even in 2001 - already an age of 3D cinematics and live-action footage - was considered "primitive". Though only in a technological sense; they pack more universe and mood into their sequences than many other games could manage with a packed-in encyclopedia.

As for Gearbox's work here, I...like it. Mostly. I appreciate the retention of the 2D design. But part of the charm of the original was the rough pencilwork that made the world seem like it was leaping off the pages of a dreamy high schooler's notepad. The lines replacing them seem a little too clean.

Thankfully, for those not into the changes, Homeworld HD includes the original versions of both the first and second game, so anyone new to the series can see things as they were.


Comments

    I completely agree. I loved the aesthetic of the original - the sketched design gave it an amazing, unique feel. This looks far too much like renders that they're attempting to make look like a sketch. Surely just emulating the original would have been less work? It doesn't look terrible, true, but I can't help but feel that it's missing a lot of the magic of the original.

    I doubt they'll have the same book-like manual with the remastered one as well - that manual was one of the best, in my opinion. So much rich backstory and wonderful art.

    nice, this is 1000x better than what they did with baldurs gate enhanced edition where they made the cutscenes worse.

      Unfortunately, the issue with the BG:EE was that BioWare has misplaced a lot of the HD art assets. The original plan was to make it a HD version with better animations, textures, etc, etc. But when Overhaul games started looking at what resources BioWare had given them and what the code of the engine was like, they realised that option was not going to happen so they renegotiated with Atari to make an "Enhanced Edition" instead. Those guys did a good job with the hand they were given.

      and made the rest of the game look significantly better. The latest update for BGEE (1.3) improved the night lighting around areas. Who cares about the cutscenes (especially considering they look like crap anyways) when the rest of the game looks a lot better.

    I'm torn between having a (mostly irrational) dislike for HD remakes and a curiosity for them, particularly franchises I loved like this one. I wonder if when the time comes I'll fork out for it or just whip my old discs out and see if the original works fine on Win7 and modern hardware without much fuss (e.g. the likes of Securom preventing me from playing)?

    "Homeworld HD includes the original versions of both the first and second game, so anyone new to the series can see things as they were."

    That's all I wanted to hear. Ideally, Gearbox would get the originals running on new systems and go a clean release instead of releasing their rendition of the game.

      Nah. I've fired it up recently. If they're going to re-release, they might as well give it a new coat of paint while it's there. I wanna see what they can do with that puppy.

    Awh. Yeah, I really did dig the pencil-art aesthetic. This looks more like they rendered some 3D objects instead of sharpening up and increasing the resolution on the original art. That's a shame. Still. Can't hurt to give it a chance. FOR NOSTALGIA!

    (Edit: Pretty happy with the talkytalk part at the end, though.)

    Last edited 02/09/14 9:52 pm

    Original style was a lot better creating a more artful game.

    I feel like the old version is allowed to look a tad stilted because it's stylised as balls.

    As it stands, the not-quite-right lighting, the fact that the background looks like a mediocre render, and whatever else that I'm not picking up consciously in the new version irks me.

    That said, I'm not going to complain too loudly. I first played Homeworld in 2008 or so, and while it didn't look its age, it still looked old by then.

    Wonder if they actually opened pre-orders for the special edition yet. They opened US orders for the one with the ship months ago, but I haven't seen or heard word of international orders opening up -_-

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