off, I would just like to thank the Head 2 Head team for having me
on board, and I hope I can help the group with my knowledge and opinions
of PC gaming.
is back again this year with another episode in the Homeworld universe,
Homeworld: Cataclysm. If you are an RTS fan and haven't heard of Homeworld,
I HIGHLY recommend you pick up this title as well as the original
game to fully understand the storyline. As Sierra has stated on their
webpage, Cataclysm is neither an add-on nor a sequel to Homeworld,
but simply another chapter in the game.
you aren't sure when Cataclysm takes place or what's going on with
the plot, here is a quick overview of it... The game begins roughly
15 years after the events of the original game and the remnants of
the Imperialist Taiidani and their Turanic Raider allies have been
growing in strength and harrying the Homeworlders (also known as "Hiigarians"
in the game, named after their home planet, Hiigara).
to throw some numbers at you: Cataclysm consists of 17 new single
player missions, 18 new ship designs, 25 new technologies, and approximately
459 hrs of action-packed-glued-to-your-monitor fun! New
Features you ask? A refined interface, customizable fleet colors,
fog of war, time-acceleration, a waypoint system and hyperspace slipgates-a
real slew of some new additions!
that we have all the basics covered, lets get our hands dirty and
look at this game from the inside out!
have the best video card around (TNT2Ultra) but I sure as hell know
good graphics when I see them. I really thought the designs of the
ships this time around were a lot nicer than last years. The texture
mapping is amazing and just the way the ships move and turn is fantastic;
especially your main ship, the command ship, when it moves you really
get a sense of its size and power as opposed to the smaller ships
like the Acolyte. I've always been a fan of space related games, and
Cataclysm is one of those games where I just want to pause the game
every level and just rotate the camera and just observe the environments
for hours and hours. It's simply breathtaking. Vibrant colors like
orange or purple stand out and in some cases overshadow the action
taking place. Sometimes while playing I would tell myself, "Oh no!
They blew up my Dreadnought….oh, but look at those stars in the background,
and those meteorites falling." *sigh*
of new effects are also implemented in Cataclysm. Effects such as
shockwave explosions (see screenshot below), holographic projection
effects, polygonal accurate collisions, shielding effects, repairing
effects, lens flares and dynamic Gouraud shading. So as you can see,
there are plenty of mind-blowing graphics in this game that can satisfy
anyone with a high-end video card. And truthfully, this game still
runs well on lower end cards like a TNT 2 ultra…it's no GeForce, but
it goes the show how resource friendly the game is. One thing I wish
they had done with Cataclysm is to make the cut-scenes in FMV (Full
MotionVideo) instead of using the in game graphics, but either way,
it still looks damn good.
thing that really drew my attention to Homeworld was the music. In
the original game all I wanted to do was listen to the very soothing
church-like music that was being played. In Cataclysm, Paul Ruskay
(the musician behind Homeworld) has created a totally new soundtrack
for the game, which is a lot darker and more gothic than the original;
yet it still kicks serious ass! As far as the sound goes in the game,
it's nothing less than spectacular. During a heavy battle scene, the
sound of the ships and the shooting is much like watching Star Wars;
however, it could get annoying for some people and I'm glad they have
the pseudo-realistic feature where if you zoom out of the dog-fighting,
the sound diminishes as well.
opinion, graphics and gameplay go hand in hand. It's really not fun
having great graphics but having crappy gameplay, it just turns me
and probably most people right off. If you haven't played Homeworld
before and are planning on playing Cataclysm, I suggest you direct
yourself towards the training before you even start playing. This
is not your ordinary move-your-mouse-and-click game. Most of the time
in Cataclysm you'll be looking at your keyboard than the screen because
there are TONS of options that can be used with the keyboard. And
believe it or not, it's a lot faster with your keyboard than your
mouse. You could choose to use your mouse but it gets annoying very
quickly when you have to right click and bring up the menu to do simple
commands like move. That's probably my only beef with the gameplay.
With games like Starcraft, Earth2150 and the C&C; series, I've become
used to having my mouse as the primary source for controlling theme,
and its difficult for me to switch to the keyboard for all the commands.
I played through the training missions twice and am slowly getting
used to the commands, but it's still difficult.
really hoping that there would be the ability to build other ships
that could create its own type of fighters. In other RTS game's like
Starcraft or C&C; series, you could build different buildings to do
different things; but in Cataclysm, you have one main ship, the command
ship, and all the building and researching is done from that single
ship. It's not a big deal but it certainly would've been a nice touch
to have different 'ship bases'.
know about you, but I will be playing this game for quite some time
until another space RTS similar to this comes out. I just love the
environments, the colors, and the ships in this game. It's really
smooth on my computer too, which is a bonus. With Earth2150, there
was tons of choppiness and slowdowns happening when lots of action
was taking place or playing multiplayer over a network, but not with
Cataclysm. Skirmish is always a lovely option to have when you're
bored and want to practise. As far as originality goes, there isn't
much difference between Cataclysm and the original Homeworld with
the exception of prettier graphics, better texture mapped ships, additional
gameplay features, and a lot more attention to detail. Basically its
Homeworld with a cherry on top, now that ain't bad, is it? Since Cataclysm
isn't an add-on or a sequel, it definitely does serve those who crave
for more space RTS action. So overall, it's a nice step in the series
and I hope Sierra continues to develop new ideas and features for
Homeworld in the future because it IS one of the most impressive and
innovative RTS games around.