Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blog Banter #9: The Timeless Appeal of Homeworld

Welcome to the latest installment of Blog Banter, the monthly blogging extravaganza created by bs angel and coordinated by Game Couch. Blog Banter involves our cozy community of enthusiastic gaming bloggers, a common topic, and a week to post articles pertaining to said topic. The results are quite entertaining and can range from deep insight to ROFLMAO. Any questions about Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's topic comes from the lovely and talented Lou Lantos of Lou Chou Loves You.

Are there any video games that possess a timeless appeal? Games that, despite constant advances in technology, retain a game engine or narrative that will forever be relevant. If so, why?

It's almost 10 years old, does not have an intro CG movie, ran on a Pentium II with a measly 32Mb of RAM & a 4Mb PCI video card, and by today's standard it's ancient video game history. But still, Homeworld has, and always will, have that special place, that everlasting appeal to those of us lucky enough to have gone home, to Hiigara.

As I prepared my notes for this banter, as I yet again played a mission in this award winning space RTS, I couldn't put my finger on that one reason why this game has had such an impact on me, that a almost a decade later it will still pull me in for a few hours of fun and immersion.

Could it be the opening sequence? A set of simple flash-like grey & white animations that tells a story of legend, prophecy and promise. The soothing voice of the narrator, the appeal of a peoples struggle to reclaim their place amongst the stars? Or maybe it's the music. That brilliant piece of Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei, the choral version of his Adagio for Strings?

Or maybe the actual gameplay? That innate perception that you, the player, are truly controlling the lives and fate of the last few survivor of a civilization?

I still couldn't make up my mind. I'm still too emotionally attached to the game. Homeworld was the first game (the only one come to think of it) that touched me on an emotional level.

I won't argue or try to convince you that this game is the best game ever made. What I will tell you is that a decade-old game, with sub-par graphic standards as compared to today's, can still give me goose bumps and get me to play for hours. To you the developers out there, you ask, "Can games be emotionally charged and touch players in ways other art forms can?", I say yes. Some have already. It's up to you to start giving us games that reach out in ways Homeworld has for some of us.

Related links:


Anonymous said...

Lol, I never played that game before, but I do love Adiago For Strings!

Trance/Ambient/Techno music is my favorite!! :)

Bahamut said...

The Homeworld series was truly EPIC in scale and story. It's really the only time I've ever had fun playing an RTS, and EVE Online definitely owes a lot of its style to Homeworld's concepts.

Some of the cooler ships from Homeworld would have a good home in EVE.

Anonymous said...

If I'm remembering right, I couldn't run Homeworld when it came out and I didn't pick it up after I upgraded. D'oh.

CrazyKinux said...

@silvercube - Than you should give it a try, or at least take a look at Homeworld 2.

@PsycheDiver - Oh how true your words resonate with me sir. HW was the beginning of my quest to find the best space game world. And EVE is that world for me!

@Terry - Then was are you waiting for? Now's the time to get both Homeworld and Homeworld 2!

Pegleg Punk said...

Regretfully, I somehow missed Homeworld. I will have to rectify that, as HW looks to be a very entertaining game.

One of my all time favorites was a title from the Total War series- Rome Total War.
The soundtrack, the epic battles and wars made this game one of my all-time favorites. "Legion" trait anyone?

mbp said...

Thank you for reminding me CK. Yes Homeworld (especially the original one) is a masterpiece of gaming awesomeness. I too have replayed the game recently and it has lost none of its power. I particularly empathise with your description of "emotional attachment" to the game. Remember the Garden of Kadesh? Surely one of the most atmospheric gamings sequences every.

Anonymous said...

Games that capture your heart as well as your hands are a rare commodity in our current climate of gaming. For some reason I find more of a rapport with narratives from older titles than I do a majority of the most recent. I've never played Home World, but it sounds like a great experience.

Thank you for calling me lovely and talented, by the way! lol.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. In fact you inspired me to reinstall Homeworld and have another spin through it. It didn't get much further than that though as my CD has somehow been damaged in the years since purchase.

Who said CD's are forever?

Binary Soul said...

Homeworld was an absolutely epic series, at the time it seemed like there was nothing else like it. I still have it but unfortunately it feels to easy any more to really play

Anonymous said...

I miss Homeworld, although I didn't really play it much until Homeworld 2.

All is not lost. Lovers of Homeworld have something to look forward to, although I'll leave it all up to you to follow its development, if it's still being maintained.

CK, this ones for you '-)

Homeworld to Eve Mod

CrazyKinux said...

@Dk - I noticed a similar problem with my Halo 3 DVD yesterday. A small crack appeared on the interior edge. It hasn't spread yet, but may/will eventually. Not good at all!

@Melissa - Thanks for the link. I remember reading about it in a past EON issue, and thought it had gone the way of the dodo. Looks like it'll be a really long term project. Who knows when it'll be out!