Homeworld: Cataclysm re-emerges as Emergence

Homeworld: Cataclysm, the standalone expansion to Relic’s splendid spacefaring strategy game, has popped up on GOG after years of not being sold anywhere. Though the original Homeworld and its sequel were rereleased and remastered in 2015, playing Cataclysm has been the preserve of pirates and that ‘physical media’ rabble. No more! Homeworld: Cataclysm can be yours for £7, though it is now renamed Homeworld: Emergence because Blizzard have since swiped the “Cataclysm” trademark for that World of Warcraft expansion.

Cataclysm wasn’t made by Relic but rather Barking Dog Studios, who went on to make Bully and become Rockstar Vancouver then, er, be shut down and merged into Rockstar Toronto.

How come Gearbox didn’t fancy up Cataclysm when they remastered Homeworlds 1 and 2? Because they didn’t know where/if anyone had its source code.

“It really comes down to finding the original source code,” Gearbox’s Brian Martel told The Escapist in 2015. “If somebody out there has it, we would take it and make sure we at least released the classic version.”

This release hasn’t been fancied up but hey, it is at least available.

Homeworld: Emergence will usually cost £7.79 on GOG but a launch discount brings it to £6.99. GOG have also started selling the planetbound spin-off Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, bopping up it for £10.19 right now. The Homeworld Remastered Collection is on sale too, down to £9.19. While Remastered and Deserts are both on Steam too and on sale there as well, Homeworld: Emergence is only on GOG right now.

35 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    Nice bluff, Alice, but we all know that’s the “blue midget” mining shuttle from Babylon Galactica.

  2. TechnicalBen says:

    Nice! I actually like this game… though it’s tone and story were rather grimdark!

    Oh, and That ship is totally not from Homeworld, looks like it is from Starlancer to me.

    • Azhrarn says:

      That’s an Archangel Dreadnought actually, and it’s certainly something you can build in Homeworld: Cataclysm (Emergence).

      Based on similar technology to the Acolyte fighter chassis you have, both inspired by Bentusi hull designs (the curved aft hull specifically).
      It’s all explained in the campaign.

  3. Arathain says:

    It’s a really interesting game, in that it’s very much a horror movies in space as an RTS. It works, too. The mission where you uncover the threat is shocking and unsettling (that screaming…).

    I like the idea of a mining vessel frantically adapting itself to warfare against an unconventional enemy.

    • Canadave says:

      That’s probably one of my all-time favourite missions\levels in a game. The head scientist begging you to jettison the lower decks has stuck with me for years, and then there’s being attacked by your own ships for the first time, and just escaping to hyperspace after the Beast captures a heavy cruiser. It’s not a hard mission to pass or anything, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t atmospheric.

    • Premium User Badge

      BlueTemplar says:

      Yeah, or take this other mission :
      “Battling the Bentusi and the Value of Death in RTS Games”:
      link to escapistmagazine.com
      (2 pages)

    • ThornEel says:

      Yeah, not only did it horror well, but it also works as an adventure story: you start off as a poor, weak but resourseful mining ship caught in bigger conflicts. Then you go through worse and worse hardships, frantically trying to survive and fix things, until you manage to Save the World (from what you unwittingly released).

      And while horror moments sticks (that Beast howl…), so do the many badass moments.
      “Hello, did you see our former science ship?”
      “Yes, it is around there, hunting down our carrier armadas”
      “Great, now we can capture it in order lay a trap to the Beast Mothership itself”
      “… uh, are you really a mining ship?”
      “Well, didn’t stop us when we punched those Bentusi star gods in the face because they wanted to flee the Beast.”(*)

      (*)The tone may be a bit more serious in the game itself

    • Frosty_2.0 says:

      Yes, those scenes & story had some real impact and felt really well done and, like Homeworld, all without (or barely) seeing a character’s face or expression.

      At the time, I thought the way the Bentusi reacted & their dialogue was distractingly off-character though, but worked for Cataclysm as a kind-of stand alone story.

  4. tehfish says:

    Squee!

    I really liked this one, especially the whole slow upgrade of the mothership from a lightly defended mining ship to a battleship thing as the game progressed.

    Now fingers crossed for a future HD remake :)

  5. Premium User Badge

    BlueTemplar says:

    Here’s a podcast with some of the original Cataclysm (sorry “Emergence”) devs giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse to the original development of that game and the history of Barking Dog Studios :
    link to youtube.com

    There was one particular claim that has made for some discussion on the Gearbox forums :
    link to forums.gearboxsoftware.com

  6. ThornEel says:

    If they ever do a remake, I wonder if they will change that very definitely pre-9/11 Martyr-class Chameleon kamikaze ship (which even has a bomb research associated so they do extra damage upon impact)

    • Premium User Badge

      tigerfort says:

      Because no-one had ever conducted suicide attacks before 2001, especially not using vehicles. It certainly isn’t as though the word “Kamikaze” was invented by the Japanese navy in WW2 as a name for their purpose-designed suicide attack planes. Nope, sirree.
      [/sarcasm]

  7. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Better news than anything else I’ve heard during these times of sales and E3 shows.

  8. somnolentsurfer says:

    I’ve never played it, but this trademark thing is garbage. Firstly, referred to in context, there’s no way anyone could mistake Homeworld: Cataclysm and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm for the same game. Secondly, prior art.

    • Premium User Badge

      tigerfort says:

      Prior art is a thing in patent law, not trademarks. But otherwise: yes, it’s garbage, but only in the sense that much trademark law is garbage – consider the bonkers history of disputes between Apple Records and Apple Computers. (Which is largely famous because both sides were very well funded, so it went on and on. In most such disputes, one side has far more money than the other, and the poorer party essentially has a choice between submitting and going bankrupt.)

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      Didn’t someone do a Kickstarter a few years back to remaster an obscure ’80s PC game called Portal, without changing the name? Weird that Cataclysm should cause a problem when it’s only a subtitle.

      • malkav11 says:

        Yes. (I backed it, it didn’t succeed either of the two times they tried). But they were very specifically pitching it as “Rob Swigart’s Portal (1986) Reborn”. Not much room for confusion there, other than people probably never having heard of the original game.

  9. Ejia says:

    My favorite thing to do in Cataclysm is switch to first-person camera on am Acolyte, dig out my non-functional joystick, and pretend I was piloting the thing myself.

  10. jonfitt says:

    That’s a good price on Deserts of Kharak too. I really enjoyed that campaign. I would recommend it to anyone who liked Homeworld.

  11. Frosty_2.0 says:

    Since hearing that Cataclysm wasn’t getting the remaster treatment, my Number One wish for the Homeworld Franchise has been for Homeworld 3 to be a remake/reboot of Cataclysm (with some interaction & gameplay between the Somtaaw and Karan/Hiigaran fleet at large)!

    Great game with the horror elements and sense of progression & adaptation.

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