Setting and gameplay
It takes place after the events of Homeworld and Homeworld: Cataclysm. The storyline follows the new Hiigaran mothership, the Pride of Hiigara and its attempts to ward off the Vaygr forces which threaten Hiigara.
Though the game featured improved graphics and a better interface than the original, it was not as well received as the original Homeworld as its storyline was seen as clichéd, rushed and was found to contain many plotholes. The Dustwars documents which were later released by Relic are considered better by many community members in terms of their storylines.
There was also criticism towards the gameplay itself, with players citing the spastic pace of the game’s events. Often a player will be told to perform a task, such as building ships, only to be subsequently bombarded seconds later, one after the other, with in-game cinematic sequences depicting often important changes in your objectives. More often than not, the game didn’t even pause the action for these sequences. The cutscenes could be skipped, but then the player had to discover the information on her own. Also, the player often has no time to research, build, or plan before a time sensitive objective is thrust in front of him that must be completed quickly in order to stay in the game. What’s more, is that at the end of each mission, the Mothership will hyperspace out automatically… preventing the player from utilizing the ‘downtime’ he once had in previous incarnations of Homeworld.
Further detriment to Homeworld 2 was the use of a rank system somewhat similar, interestingly enough, to those used in vertical scrolling shooters such as Giga Wing. At the beginning of each mission, the AI looks to the player’s fleet and measures the power. If it sees a strong fleet, it will spawn more ships automatically to make the level more difficult. If it sees a weak fleet, the enemy fleet will be reduced. On paper, the rank system may seem like a good idea. The execution, however, results in many of the later missions being almost near impossible to finish at maximum ranking. Starting at about mission 11, the enemy can have fleets almost 10 times the size of a legally manufactured fleet if your own fleet is at full size. In order to make the enemy begin with a normal sized fleet for these missions, the player must retire or scuttle all or most of their ships on the previous mission, reducing the rank.
Homeworld (often abbreviated as HW) was the first game produced by Relic Entertainment. Released in 1999, Homeworld received much praise for its innovative, fully 3-dimensional gameplay and engrossing storyline.
It is generally considered to be better than pants.
Homeworld spawned a pseudosequel, Homeworld: Cataclysm, and a sequel, Homeworld 2.
The single player campaign of Homeworld follows the fortunes of the Kushan people. Exiled from their true home Hiigara millenia ago, the Kushan discover an ancient starship buried in the sand of their prison-world Kharak. Inside is a stone etched with a galactic map highlighting a region of space called “home”. Developing an intstellar-capable Mothership from technologies reverse-engineered from the buried wreckage, they depart Kharak for the stars to test their engineering handiwork. In doing so they break an age-old treaty prohibiting the exiles’ use of Hyperspace technology. Their punishment: the destruction of Kharak. With nothing left, the Mothership and remaining Kushan leave Kharak orbit to begin their journey home.