See Homeworld Remastered At 5K Resolution

They should have sent – hey, no, don’t interrupt me with your obvious, tired pop culture quote. I was going to say they should have sent someone with a triple SLI setup and a 4K monitor. Instead they sent me, with a single graphics card and a 1440p monitor. Even so, I was able to get a preview build of the Homeworld Collection Remastered [official site] running at a preposterous beyond-4K 5120×2880 resolution, via the dynamic super resolution stuff in drivers*. Take a below. It is… well, yeah, maybe I do need that poet after all.


Let’s start with a video of Homeworld 2’s remastered introduction. This is running at 5120×2880, which is deemed ‘5K’, but downscaled to 2560×1440 because my encoding programs were grumbling about anything more than that. If I can render a higher res video for you later I will, but even so, this conveys the galactic enormity and clean, star-travelling lines of it all. Fullscreen, set the settings icon lower right to the highest you can, and bathe in it!

How about that, huh? Sorry about the jumpiness and frame rate, there’s only so much my poor single GPU PC can handle. Maybe I should start a Patreon: “buy Alec a 4K system and monitor so he can make short videos of old games at silly resolutions.” That’d be worth making everyone hate me and publicly call my integrity into question, right?

The screenshots throughout this post will expand to the full, ludicrous 5120×2880 versions (hosted via Flickr) if you click on them, by the way. There’s possibly some image compression, but still. BUT STILL. Edit – actually it links to a downscaled version, but if you click the ‘download’ button on the lower right you can grab the full-size originals.

So that’s the shinies covered to some extent, but I’m afraid I can’t tell you an awful lot about how the remastered version feels right now. The unfinished pre-release build I’ve been fiddling with wouldn’t run on ATI cards and I was only able to lay hands on GeForce (a 970, since you ask) yesterday. Gearbox tell me the bug will be fixed before the game’s public launch on February 25th, however, so fear not there, but yeah, I haven’t been able to put much time into this yet. I’ll do a follow-up piece if I can.

Early prodding and poking does, however, suggest that Homeworld Remastered doesn’t feel at all archaic, although it’s almost immediately more complicated, and even fiddly, than the standards we’ve come to expect from more contemporary RTSes, which tend towards the hyper-slick Blizzard model. This is, I think, still a game which is going to require time and patience. Which is exactly what we want, right?

Honestly though, for now I’m happy just to roll around in graphics porn. 16 years old and this feels like an epochal thing to happen on my monitor. Clearly I won’t play it at 6K, although 4k at max settings is coaxing at least 30fps out of my system pretty happily. The UI is pretty tiny at that scale – edit: apparently there is a size adjustment option I hadn’t spotted – so I might end up going back down to ‘just’ 1440p, but in any case, I am extremely happy with what my eyes are beholding. This is a very different offering from the remastering we saw in Grim Fandango and The Indigo Prophecy recently. It looks for the most part like a modern game, not an old one with some bits given a good scrub.

Gearbox’s line when talking about this – including in an interview which we’ll run here soon – is that they wanted Homeworld Remastered to look like we all remember Homeworld feeling at the time. To be honest, I think it may have exceeded that.

More on this soon. Homeworld Remastered Collection – containing both remastered games plus their original versions – is due for release on February 25th. Here’s a bonus Making Of dev diary for you:

* That’s what NVIDIA call it, but you get Virtual Super Resolution if you have an AMD card. In any case, it’s a driver settings tweak which means making a game run at a resolution higher than your monitor supports, then downscale so it fits your screen but still gives you a crisper, more detailed image. Obviously there’s a big performance hit, but running at 4K often negates the need for anti-aliasing because there are so many damned pixels in play, so the performance trade-offs can cancel each other out if you’re lucky.

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49 Comments

Top comments

  1. skink74 says:

    Yes flickr's UI has some clunkiness.
    Rather than downloading and having to open in something else you can get to the full size versions in the browser by clicking the down arrow icon and then choosing "View all sizes". On that page you can choose from all the sizes available inclduing the original at 5120 x 2880.
  1. FriendlyFire says:

    Early prodding and poking does, however, suggest that Homeworld Remastered doesn’t feel at all archaic, although it’s almost immediately more complicated, and even fiddly, than the standards we’ve come to expect from more contemporary RTSes, which tend towards the hyper-slick Blizzard model. This is, I think, still a game which is going to require time and patience. Which is exactly what we want, right?

    And yet, Homeworld includes some great quality of life UI features that haven’t found their way in any other game, like being able to box-target enemies and have your units intelligently pick which enemy they are strongest against in sequence.

    I’m really looking forward to this.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Such features are anathema to the artificially-inflated micro model that is the Blizzard model of RTS.

      • LionsPhil says:

        …that most others take after. :(

      • All is Well says:

        Are there any games with a good system for commanding units? My ideal would be something where you don’t have to individually order each “dumb” unit around the map and select specific targets for each and every one, but get to set objectives, dispositions and behaviors, general orders and such for smarter AI units to follow. Sort of like drawing up a plan, and then letting the AI execute it. I can only think of Distant Worlds and HoI 3 that sort of do this right now.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          I don’t really have an answer because I don’t know of games that work quite this way, but I’d probably look at either Supreme Commander or Company of Heroes. The former’s scope is so large you can’t micro units, so box selecting and attack ground works well. The unit AI’s not very smart though, particularly pathfinding, which hinders that somewhat. CoH is the reverse with far fewer units than a game like Starcraft, but where each unit is fairly smart in its own right. Infantry in particular will take cover when under fire, target units they are most able to damage, go prone when suppressed, etc. I still find CoH to be one of the most interesting RTS games available.

          • All is Well says:

            Huh, I remembered CoH as being pretty much standard in regards to unit command, but it’s been forever since I played it. Thanks for mentioning it!

          • Vandelay says:

            I’ve been playing a bit of Company of Heroes recently. Infantry is pretty good, but vehicles can be fiddly. Many a time you want your tank to keep its front facing the enemy and reverse, but it tries to turn around. Even infantry do not always go into cover, despite you clicking in it.

            It is good, but I wouldn’t say it was particular a great example.

          • WIbigdog says:

            Company of Heroes 2 addresses this pretty effectively, it has a hotkey/button for “reverse move”. Which is a good coincidence, since they have a free weekend now. If you haven’t tried CoH2 by now, it’s a good time, especially now with the SU, US and GER all playable, it feels a lot better than it did at launch.

        • liq3 says:

          Ultimate General: Gettysburg is pretty much this.

          I’ll also plug Zero-K (it uses the TA model) here, though it’s still pretty close to Blizzard RTS style. The big difference is most of the units will automatically micro for you, (e.g. skirmishers will auto-kite away from enemies, raiders will zig-zag to dodge arty). There’s also a bunch of a really nice UI features, like line-commands (e.g. select units, right click and hold, drag a line. Your units will now spread out evenly along said line with a move command. This works for pretty much every command). Those are the main two things. Well, also, factories have looping build orders, you only need 1 factory usually (more factories is just to get more unit options – you increase build speed with assisting workers)… Yeh, I think Zero-K’s UI is amazing. It really lets you focus on the strategy and micro.

        • DrollRemark says:

          The Wargame series seems pretty good for this, although I’ve barely scratched the surface with them. Very micro-free.

        • australopithecus says:

          Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance

          Community still active at

      • GiantPotato says:

        Yes! Box-selecting your targets for attack and special abilities. A dream of mine was always to be able to select 6 Ghosts (StarCraft) and then just box-draw an area to make them use lockdown on 6 different units. But alas, the RTS genre went a different direction and embraced UI limitations instead of overcoming them.

        Look, microing is fine. Some people are very good at it, and it takes skill and timing to do it right. But there’s an entirely different kind of RTS game out there which doesn’t even let you micro your units. You choose what to build, you tell your AIs when and where to attack, and that’s where the game is. My big hope is that the HW re-release spawns some kind of RTS built on this idea.

  2. Kaeoschassis says:

    It’s funny, I am literally seeing some stuff for the first time here. For example, I had no idea the first mothership had that almost wooden, “ark-like” quality to it. The textures in the first game just did not convey that to me. Say what you will, but I think there’s something very tangible to be gained from remastering an old game this way.

    Mostly though I am just ludicrously giddy. It’s not as if I’ll even be able to RUN the remastered version yet. It’s just so nice to see HW getting this kind of love. <3

  3. LordCrash says:

    Ahem, Alec, there is no company called “ATI” anymore. It’s AMD and AMD cards… ;)

  4. Cei says:

    I am so excited.

    Can’t play in 4K, mainly because I’m also on 1440p, but it will be glorious.

  5. Stevostin says:

    “The screenshots throughout this post will expand to the full, ludicrous 5120×2880 versions (hosted via Flickr) if you click on them, by the way.”

    Not here. It’s barely above 1080p.

    • fish99 says:

      Yeah I imagine when you screengrab using DSR it grabs the screen contents and not the high res render target.

    • Alec Meer says:

      That’s Flickr being a dick, sorry about that. But as I’ve edited in, you can download the original massive versions with the download button on lower-right.

      I have to go look after my over-excited toddler now, but I’ll look into a better solution tomorrow.

      • skink74 says:

        Yes flickr’s UI has some clunkiness.
        Rather than downloading and having to open in something else you can get to the full size versions in the browser by clicking the down arrow icon and then choosing “View all sizes”. On that page you can choose from all the sizes available inclduing the original at 5120 x 2880.

  6. Geebs says:

    Speaking of “Homeworld as you remembered it” – that’s video’s at pretty much the same frame rate my G5 with an X800 used to run HW2’s intro back in the day.

    • GiantPotato says:

      Ha, yep that video has a framerate that triggers my nostalgia as well. I think I had a Voodoo2 card at the time.

      • Premium User Badge

        Eleven says:

        I had a Voodoo Banshee, a great video card made better by sounding like it should be an awesome female punk band. It says something about this game that I can remember the video card that made it go.

  7. Lord_Mordja says:

    Kharak is burning.

  8. shiajun says:

    It’s a wonder of this world where now I have to worry if my 2012 computer will be able to run a game from 1998. Aaaah, technology.

  9. John O says:

    People use AA? I don’t use AA. FXAA at the most. I grew up on pixels so sharp they would turn your face into a bloody mess if you looked at them wrong. Dem kids these days.

    • frymaster says:

      I remember having to force AA and AF on to play homeworld semi-recently, mainly to try to compensate for the (by modern standards) low resolution textures. It made everything a bit smooshed, which actually worked quite well with the backgrounds

  10. Sakkura says:

    5120×2880 is 5K resolution. It’s pretty ludicrous at this point. There’s a Dell monitor for a couple thousand dollars, and an iMac, and… that’s about it for now.

  11. CookPassBabtridge says:

    The video looks beautiful.

    If you pause it ;)

  12. vorador says:

    My god it’s full of stars.

    I gifted myself a 4k monitor on Christmas, and i plan to make full use of it with this game. If i have to buy a new GPU, so be it.

  13. tehfish says:

    Damn you RPS, i was planning on waiting until a steam sale for this, but now you made me go buy it *shakefist*

    ;)

  14. David Bliff says:

    My only worry is that the multiplayer will feel a little stale. Homeworld 2 doesn’t have the biggest tech tree, and matches are generally pretty linear: in my experience it’s just a matter of teching up the fastest. But it could be that with an injection of new players (and 2 new races!), some new strategies will emerge. And of course I hope they’re also rebalancing the game anyway, as you’d hope with the introduction of 2 new races.

    Multiplayer is just an added bonus, in any case. I’m really looking forward to the campaigns more than anything.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      They’ve repeatedly said that they’ll support modding sometime post-launch so I’d expect the rebirth of the game to similarly affect the modding scene, so you’ll probably be able to infuse new life into the game through mods.

  15. Zenicetus says:

    I hope “remastered” means there is still a 4:3 ratio version for those of us with older monitors, and not a letterbox.

    A 4:3 ratio actually works well for strategy games, where the vertical dimension of the play area is just as important to see as the horizontal.

  16. RogerioFM says:

    This game is out of this World.

  17. Yargh says:

    I am cautiously hopeful that the amazing Homeworld 2 Complex mod can be made to work with this. What with one/some? of the mod’s people on the remastered team.

    • RogerioFM says:

      I’ve heard good things about the mod but what exactly does it change? The page on moddb says it overhauls the combat, but how so?

      • Ithaca says:

        Everything – it changes everything. I know that sounds incredibly unhelpful but, as anyone who has ever tried it can testify, it’s accurate. The Complex mod changes so much in the game that you actually have to forget at least 50% of what you learned by playing the base game. The day we have both a remastered HW2 and a Complex mod to go with it… I’m not leaving my computer for days.

        Since you asked specifically about combat I’ll try to be a little more helpful. Aside from the addition of multiple new units (with their own quirks to get used to in figuring out ‘Weak vs. Strong’) the most significant thing Complex does is regarding capital ships. Your Battlecruisers, for example, essentially ‘level up’ via. combat, with each level allowing you to build new modules. You have a limited number of module slots but multiple options for each. It’s been a few months since I last played so I’m not sure about specifics, but for any given slot you could be faced with a choice of building ion cannons, missile launchers, long-range anti-capital guns, anti-fighter turrets, or anti-corvette turrets. Your choice will affect how that specific ship performs in specific situations. I’ll say no more, since I’ve already gone on quite a bit, but if you ever have a few hours to spare it’s worth looking into.

        • SubRyan says:

          I think Gearbox hired, or at the very least worked with, the lead developer of the Complex mod.

          Complex Enhanced will be launched shortly after the Homeworld Remastered Collection is available. After that they are switching to Rebirth which is even more ambitious

  18. Dave L. says:

    Can you say anything about how the fighters and corvettes work in Homeworld 1 Remastered? Like when tactics are set to aggressive do they hold formation and shoot nonstop at their targets, like in Homeworld 1, or do they constantly do strafing runs like in Homeworld 2?

  19. scannerbarkly says:

    I’m interested in Homeworld Remastered, due to that first word in the title of the game. That said, no pre-orders. Had a brief chat about it with Randy Pritchard on Twitter when he was touting the pre-order discount…I told him that recent Gearbox history had made me a little shy, and better to pay 4 bucks extra than 35 bucks extra for a poor product. In fairness to him he seemed to at least appreciate my consumerist concerns.

    • frymaster says:

      That said, the fact that the only pre-order bonus is a modest discount (and not, say, exclusive DLC) is also encouraging

  20. Premium User Badge

    Eleven says:

    Looking at the screenshots, I don’t think Homeworld gets enough credit for how it transformed the depiction of space in modern media.

    It threw out the starkly-speckled flat black backdrop, which was more a failure of research and a lack of imagination on the part of the artist than an actual depiction of a realistic starfield, and instead went with Hubble inspired dust-filled cloudscapes full of depth and beauty. It really helped create a sense of epic volume, and it’s been interesting to watch so many other games mimic the style.

    Maybe it’s not realistic, it’s not what a naked eyeball would see, as the famous pictures of nebula that Homeworld’s style draws on are really recoloured composite infra-red images. But then, when you’re playing a game in the far flung future, why would you limit yourself to just the boring old visual spectrum?

  21. Anonymous says:

    they wanted Homeworld Remastered to look like we all remember Homeworld feeling at the time.

    Coincidentally I recently started a run back through Crimson Skies. I know how to get along with lesser and old graphics, but I was interested by my shocked reaction to CS specifically. The land’s OK, the planes are right but wow, these are not the dirigibles and skies I remember. I wonder if being so pretty and impressive at the time means it falls into the Uncanny Valley now. If so, Homeworld would definitely be in the same class.

  22. infusednz says:

    If you play in 4k and have resolution issues, there is a guide here link to forums.getrekt.com