Homeworld 2 Remastered - Bad Cake Mix

Homeworld 2 Remastered - Bad Cake Mix

Homeworld 2 delivered gorgeous graphics and big changes to the gameplay established by its predecessor. The big question though is whether or not those changes are good ones.

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The thing about Homeworld 2's story is that its just a mass of names. They never make you care about any of the things the names represent, they just give you more names. I don't even remember what the plot was.
Something about hyperdrive cores.... Really you have to make me care about who that Sajuuk fellow is or what the hell the precursors were.

Compare saay the Kadeshi in Homeworld 1. Step one you establish who they are. They speak in religious tones and sound like they are verging on reasonable by not killing you immediately. Step two, you establish what they do, by having them swarm you with bijillions of fighter craft and rotating ion beams of death. Step three you complicate it, by suggesting they might be realted to the Kushan.
That is why I remeber them vividly, while forgetting evreything about homeworld 2's cavalcade of names.

That being said, I still think Cataclysm was the only Homeworld game with a coherent narrative.
Sure Homeworld 1 was a journey, but it really never felt like a continous story.
If you reshuffled half of the missions nobody would notice, they're just episodes in a sitcom.

Cataclysm on the other hand was how the miners became badass.
With every mission fleet command becomes more sure of it self, takes less shit from the other kiths and bolts on a new beast slaying tool to the commandship. You see the character of the ship evolving.
Where at the start command identifies itself as a mining ship and is the Navy's bitch, by the end command identifies itself as a warship and is actually putting pressure on the Bentusi.

Perhaps I simply didn't put enough effort to "git gud" at Homeworld 1, but I liked the squadron-mechanic from HW2 better. It gave you a better chance to save your fighters during a battle. And the lack of the missile destroyer meant fighters and corvettes could actually survive around capitial ships. In fact, they're needed to protect against the enemy's strikecraft.

The paper-mache frigates, on the other hand, were a downgrade. They could NOT survive near capital ships, and they weren't all that effective against smaller ships, especially the vagyr ones.

And I'm with you on the story. It's a bummer. The hyperspace cores were suddenly magical bullshit, though it's never clear what's so special about them since all frigates and capitals can hyperspace fine without them. The prophecies were dumb. And then there's that hillarious mission where the bad guy goes through a portal and you have to defeat his rear guard before they blow up the portal. That portal lead to the MacGuffin that all the war and propecies were about... and the bad guy started the whole war because he knew he needed all 3 cores... he had one... you had the other two... If you'd have let his troops blow up the gate, he'd have been fucked. (Oh, and of course you make it through, kick his ass, and get your hands on the MacGuffin anyway, which is good because the bad guy pulls a planet-bombardment ships that can't be damaged in any way except by the MacGuffin right out of his ass.

Yeah, could've stood a few rewrites. Cataclysm's story was kinda corny, but a lot better.

I hate to say it, but if they've taken out all that pesky micro-management I might actually be able to finish the game.

Don't get me wrong, I love to have the most detailed control over my army as possible, but what I don't like is the constant need to micro-manage my armies and economy on multiple fronts.

Yes, I kinda suck at RTSes - the number I've actually seen through to the end is very small, including such titles as Earth 2140, Dawn of War and Maelstrom. That being said, Homeworld was one of those games I always wanted to get into but could never click with (also mainly because it was so damned slow to get anywhere, especially compared to other space RTSes like Conquest: Frontier Wars or Haegemonia).

Arguably the changes may make the game worse, but if they also make it more accessible it might finally be worth my while to try it out again.

I'm working through the first remastered game right now(after having played the original way back in the day) and will play through catacylsm and 2 soon enough. I did play homeworld 2 as well, so from what I can remember...

My opinion of 2 wasn't as harsh as this review, though I do agree that it's harder(sometimes insanely so) and the plot is confusing. I get they wanted it to be more of a conventional war game against a superior, agressive enemy that required unconventional tactics. However, the prophecy thing addition is...wierd. Especially the retcon about there only being three hyperspace cores and they're special somehow. Which doesn't make sense that the exiles would have one, and even more so that the first game showed that any ship of sufficient size could hyperspace(pretty much frigate size or larger). The manual for the first game specifically says they copied that hyperspace core from the ruined ship found in the Kharak desert, as the original was 4000 years old at that point and unusable.

Of course, who didn't enjoy spamming salvage corvettes to steal enemy capital ships from under their noses? In HW2, the Marine frigates are actually just useless, and die incredibly quickly. It feels like a loss.

I did like HW2, just not as much as 1. I am looking forward to playing that copy of catacylsm I've had in my library forever.

StewShearer:
Homeworld 2 Remastered - Bad Cake Mix

Homeworld 2 delivered gorgeous graphics and big changes to the gameplay established by its predecessor. The big question though is whether or not those changes are good ones.

Read Full Article

nitpicky grammar fighter incoming "them as you aw fit."

That said Homeworld Cataclysm next week? You actually have the original? Looked it up on Amazon and it's freakin expensive nowadays.

$30 (with shipping) is freakin' expensive?

Huh, someone is playing the actual campaign and not aaaaaaall the mods?

Well at least the Fighter Squadrons actually work in Homeworld 2 remastered. If you try to put Homeworld 1 Remastered fighters into a Strike group they lose all coherency the minute they engage the enemy. It used to be you could put a squadron of defenders set to guard a capital ship using the sphere formation, and the would actually form a bubble around the ship. Now they just blob up and die.

Also, what's with the complaint about scripted sequences? That's pretty much the entirety of Homeworld 1. They never change their tactics and only engage you properly after the right trigger is hit. Is that any different than what happens in HW2?

At least the Vaygr bring some asymmetrical warfare to the mix, rather than the carbon copy ships of the Taiidan and Kushan. Multiplayer is way more fun in HW2 because of this asymmetry.

Pyrian:
$30 (with shipping) is freakin' expensive?

WTF? Could've sworn it was $100+. Is my mind getting that old?

Soviet Heavy:
It used to be you could put a squadron of defenders set to guard a capital ship using the sphere formation, and the would actually form a bubble around the ship. Now they just blob up and die.

As opposed to forming a sphere and dying? ;) Defenders were pretty powerful for a little while, but they got nerfed in a patch. I never really understood why. As is... They're pretty darn useless, formation or no.

Xan Krieger:

Pyrian:
$30 (with shipping) is freakin' expensive?

WTF? Could've sworn it was $100+. Is my mind getting that old?

Probably you were looking at unopened boxes? Those start much higher.

Pyrian:

Soviet Heavy:
It used to be you could put a squadron of defenders set to guard a capital ship using the sphere formation, and the would actually form a bubble around the ship. Now they just blob up and die.

As opposed to forming a sphere and dying? ;) Defenders were pretty powerful for a little while, but they got nerfed in a patch. I never really understood why. As is... They're pretty darn useless, formation or no.

Yeah, I know a couple people lament how fighters are near useless but frankly, that's pretty much how I saw them when I played the game way back when. I felt the game got much easier once you get access to decent capital ships, starting with the Ion Frigate and it just gets easier from there. Not to mention you can steal capital ships pretty easily(provided they aren't anti-fighter ships) by rushing them with salvage corvettes.

Even before that, I favored corvettes over interceptors for survivability.

Dalisclock:

Pyrian:

Soviet Heavy:
It used to be you could put a squadron of defenders set to guard a capital ship using the sphere formation, and the would actually form a bubble around the ship. Now they just blob up and die.

As opposed to forming a sphere and dying? ;) Defenders were pretty powerful for a little while, but they got nerfed in a patch. I never really understood why. As is... They're pretty darn useless, formation or no.

Yeah, I know a couple people lament how fighters are near useless but frankly, that's pretty much how I saw them when I played the game way back when. I felt the game got much easier once you get access to decent capital ships, starting with the Ion Frigate and it just gets easier from there. Not to mention you can steal capital ships pretty easily(provided they aren't anti-fighter ships) by rushing them with salvage corvettes.

Even before that, I favored corvettes over interceptors for survivability.

Homeworld 1 was a mess in terms of balance. Once you got frigates, never make any fighter ever again, except for maybe a scout or two. All you need is capital and super capital ships and a lot of salvage ships. Hell, if you're good enough with salvage ships, you would never have to build anything but more salvage ships ever again. Don't destroy the enemy army; just take it for yourself. Best part is that you can exceed your unit limit by capturing ships, so you could have an army of 8 heavy cruisers and just effortlessly roll over anything.

I have to say, I'm not sure how ships seeking their natural advantage is a bad or even disappointing thing. I for one don't particularly enjoy having to babysit my units particularly when certain tactical choices should be obvious.

I greatly preferred the changes they made with HW2. I didn't find its story any less of a mess (though both HW and HW2 weren't nearly as interesting as Cataclysm in that department) and to me, the combat flowed way better. Frigates in HW2 were made out of paper though, that's for sure, but this simply led to the need to protect them better. I found timing what groups of ships attacked when is HUGE in HW2. Those frigates arrive just a few seconds too early and they'll get eaten. They arrive too late and your battlecruiser gets eaten. The mission where you have to take on battlecruiser spam is handily finished if you can master the timing aspect. Hell, that's what makes me love the game, knowing what to throw against who and when plays a pivotal role. To me, that's much more interesting than micro-managing fighters.

I haven't purchased my copy of the remastered editions of HW and HW2 yet, but the biggest problem I remember with Homeworld 2 was how it would up the difficulty curve for your next level based on how many ships you survived the previous level with. Homeworld made me get better by making me care how well I survived each mission. Do well and I would be better prepared for the next level. Get by just by the skin of my teeth, and I might want to go back and try again or risk being hamstrung going forward. Homeworld 2 took that idea and made it do kegstands. Do well? Fine, I'll add tons of extra frigates and fighters to the next level. Barely survive? Well, your enemies will just come with their standard amount of ships.

From what I've read, fan-made patches would fix that algorithm, but I haven't yet seen a note about whether or not it was resolved in the remastered edition.

 

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