Homeworld: Shipbreakers Clip Shows Big Battles

Shipbreakers

Homeworld is like that bestfriend who has drifted away over the years; these days you only chat by happenstance, and each time you’re left wondering why they never come around anymore.

This time, the upcoming Homeworld: Shipbreakers [official site] made a surprise showing at a conference for Unity developers in Boston last month. A video of the presentation only hit YouTube today, and given how difficult it is for anyone to keep things under wraps these days, that delay is nothing short of stunning.

The video itself is pretty technical, dipping into the specific Unity functions the team uses to give scenes and vehicles presence, but it starts with a great teaser and some gameplay clips. Most of it takes place on a Dune-esque desert world, but what’s there is unmistakably Homeworld. The series’ trademark sense of scale is out in force, with cameras sweeping from tight angles on individual units, to a color-coded political map of the planet-wide battlefield. Peppered with some gorgeous vistas of mass destruction and a clean UI to manage the chaos, and we’ve got all the ingredients for a great 4X title.

In case you’ve forgotten, the series has been in something of a limbo since 2000. A good chunk of the original team left to found a new studio, Blackbird Interactive.

Their first big project, Hardware: Shipbreakers, was intended to be something of a spiritual sequel to the Homeworld series. Borderlands developer Gearbox bought the rights in the midst of THQ’s collapse in 2013, and upgraded Hardware from “homage” to a genuine Homeworld sequel.

Welcome back friend, hopefully we can get drinks and catch up soon.

Thanks, Kotaku

22 Comments

  1. Hanban says:

    Kharak…

  2. kikito says:

    Does anyone know wether they have changed their stance about the “social and microtransactions” thing they had before? This is what worries me the most.

  3. Captain Deadlock says:

    Still totally baffled that they chose to go with a ground-based RTS. Take one of the most beloved space-based 3D RTSs of all time and flatten it into yet another ground war? Why can’t we have Homeworld 3? Disappoint.

    • Hanban says:

      Well, the game wasn’t planned to be a Homeworld game at all due to the rights issues. It was only after Gearbox acquired the IP and let BIB work on it that it became a part of the Homeworld universe.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Given the choice of “Let’s do Homeworld again, but a bit prettier” and “Let’s do something different – how about the best elements of Homeworld, but set on Arrakis?” I know which one I’d rather see.

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        Doing a non-Homeworld game inspired by the best parts of Homeworld is fine. Trying to shoehorn it into the Homeworld lore when it manifestly doesn’t fit is less so.

      • DailyFrankPeter says:

        The Dune vibe is strong in this one…

  4. Premium User Badge

    Jerodar says:

    Oooh looks like this will be on Kharak before Homeworld 1. They mentioned it was a prequel I saw a unit labeled s’jet in there real quick. Should be interesting :3

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      Homeworld: “The Hiigarans believed they were alone in a hostile universe until they discovered a vast and ancient ark buried beneath the desert sands of Kharak, its starmap pointing the way to their Homeworld, and its jump drive showing them how to get there.”

      Shipbreakers, apparently: “Kharak has a million kabillion starships just lying around, none of which appear to have starmaps or, somehow, jump drives, since the Hiigarans are still squabbling in the dirt instead of coming together to build a starship.”

      I don’t understand why people do this. What’s the value in attaching a popular license to something that ignores everything behind that license? I suspect the answer is that they know the majority of gamers never did care about anything beyond the name and a vague sense of atmosphere. :(

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        This was supposed to be a standalone, not a reply. Didn’t want to call anyone out specifically.

      • GepardenK says:

        He said it was a prequel to Homeworld 2. So this is probably on Kharak after the bombing, with people trying to exploit whatever ruins are left

        • Premium User Badge

          Phasma Felis says:

          After the bombing that incinerated Kharak’s atmosphere, explicitly wiping out all life? And they’re scavenging the remains of wrecked ships from the orbital battle that didn’t actually happen, because the genocide fleet had been and gone by the time the Mothership returned, leaving only a few strike craft to mop up?

          Yeah, that’s…Jesus, just let the world stand on its own. Don’t cynically shoehorn it into a popular setting just for a cash grab.

    • EhexT says:

      If it’s a prequel on Kharak then they’ve completely screwed up. It makes sense as a sequel on Kharak (now all desert and covered with shot down Taiidan from mission 3) or if it’s set on a different desert planet.

      As for the game, if they dropped their horrible F2P or social stuff and are just making a complete, no microtransaction, non facebook, buy it once-have it all game it could be awesome. Mechanically it looks like Ground Control but on a much much larger map – which is cool. The Ground Control style RTT needs more games, it’s such a shame that style stopped after World in Conflict.

      • GepardenK says:

        It’s most likely a “after the fact” of Kharak. You can see a Taiidan frigate there in the sand at 1:03

  5. minijedimaster says:

    This game is still alive? Holy crap. I remember the announcement back in the day and actually just checked the dev’s website a few weeks back remembering about it. But the Dev’s site was in shambles as was their facebook page. Half the site didn’t work, nothing updated in many many months. Figured it was a dead project.

  6. bit.bat says:

    Their art direction is still just incredible, what a talented team.

  7. Hunchentoot says:

    Me too, i’d check their website every couple of months, it’s a proper ghost town. I was one of the ones who signed up for the ‘kickstart’ about 3 years ago!? Paid £99 for ‘prospector’ access, then we all got a refund and an email saying they’d now found a backer and wouldn’t need the kickstart. They promised free copies of the game to the original backers when it does eventually get released. I think there were about 300 backers by that time, they were after 5000.