“An Uphill Battle”: Homeworld 3 Reviews Divide Critics And Steam Users

“An Uphill Battle”: Homeworld 3 Reviews Divide Critics And Steam Users

Homeworld 3 reviews are in. The long wait for the next entry in one of the most storied and unique PC strategy titles of all time is finally coming to an end. Thankfully, most of the critics who’ve spent time with Blackbird’s revival seem to quite like it, even amid occasional complaints of rough edges. For Homeworld fans, hearing that Homeworld 3 has left a few critics feeling mystified will be music to their ears — this is a series that has always subverted real-time strategy tropes and done things its own way. HW3 appears to be no exception, even if the Steam reviews appear to be riven straight down the middle.

Interestingly, it doesn’t appear any Australian outlets were granted an early copy of Homeworld 3 for review, but plenty of Northern Hemisphere outlets were. Make of that what you will. Additionally, the Steam users who backed the game’s crowdfunding drive on Fig are weighing in with their takes as well. Let’s take a quick look at what the critics thought.

Update 14/5/24 1:16 PM AEST: We have an Australian review! You can find SkillUp’s video review here (Ralph thought it was fine, if a bit patchy and definitely way too easy. Great review from him as always.)

Homeworld 3 Reviews: What the critics thought

Inverse really loved the game, giving it a 9 out of 10: “Homeworld 3 is one of the most entrancing experiences I’ve had with a strategy game in years, and proof that the single-player RTS still has an important role to fill.”

While the IGN mothership wasn’t prepared to put a score on its review yet, IGN France was happy to award an 8 out of 10 (‘Tres Bon’): “An excellent space RTS like few others. A breathtaking campaign, polished single-player and multiplayer gameplay… With its content additions and future mods, Homeworld 3 could become the worthy heir to the mythical saga and a benchmark for the genre.”

Windows Central gave it four-stars, saying: “Homeworld 3 offers the experience of handling a full fleet with aplomb through tactical gameplay options that live up to and build on the systems of its predecessors. With gorgeous atmosphere and crisp audio design, it’s a game that asks big questions of its new cast of characters with some solid writing. Not every narrative decision lands, but Homeworld 3 stands on its own feet as a worthy new entry in the long-running franchise.”

Game Rant, another four-stars: “Homeworld 3 feels like a great return to form for this iconic RTS franchise. Diehard fans will love experiencing what comes next in this turbulent galaxy, while newcomers can use this as the perfect way to jump into the series for the first time. And even though some of the controls can be unintuitive and the camera needs a bit of work, the battles seem to be as exciting as ever. It really feels like Blackbird Interactive understood just what makes Homeworld and the RTS genre tick here, so hopefully there are plenty more adventures in store for the future.”

PC Gamer wasn’t as convinced, awarding it a 77-out-of-100: “Homeworld 3 takes some big swings, but while it’s a very good RTS, it never quite comes together in the same way as its predecessors.”

Games Radar felt similarly, awarding it 3.5 stars out of 5: “Homeworld‘s operatic space combat is as engrossing as ever in its third outing, although a weaker story and a slightly odd cover system dim the shine of its star.”

Homeworld 3 Reviews: How did Steam feel?

It’s a similar story over on Steam, where the game’s current user review average is Mixed. As ever, sorting through the Steam reviews to find real critique can be a bit of a journey. The most prominent review is negative and doesn’t even mention the game itself. The reviewer has 0.3 hours of playtime under their belt and spends the entire review complaining about Denuvo and data harvesting as though any of that is a new or unknown practice (it is certainly annoying, so I’m not entirely without sympathy).

So lets have a look through reviews from players with a bit more game time under their belts.

Sandremo (17.6 hours played) gave the game a Not Recommended, saying: “I do not recommend buying this game. It wears the name “Homeworld” it has the story, characters, sounds, graphics, and amazing looking maps FROM Homeworld but this game sadly is NOT homeworld [sic].”

Vigil (17.1 hours played) gave the game a Recommended, saying: “Overall, the game still has some rough edges, but it is much better than it was at the free demo a few months ago. The quality of life improvements over HW remastered are amazing. Heartily recommend it.”

Balassanne (27.6 hours played) rated it Not Recommended, saying: “Multiplayer is Real Time Spam not Strategy…. it’s a clickfest, you build all at once, resources are scattered all over the map and end up in 10 minutes maximum in 3 v 3, you fight motherships 2 minutes into the game because all maps are shoeboxes.”

Warpaws (10.9 hours played) gave it a Recommended (and a surprisingly thorough review based on their playtime), saying: “Homeworld 3 was always going to be a battle uphill. While made alongside some of the veterans of Relic, the war against nostalgia, expectations, and genuine scepticism was always going to be to it’s detriment. After putting 10 hours into the game, it gets a cautious recommendation from me, albeit with a few caveats.”

Image: Blackbird Interactive, Kotaku Australia

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