I’ve absolutely nothing against 2001 war-pigs vs battle-bunnies strategy game S.W.I.N.E., but by the point we’re making HD versions of fair-to-middling RTSes about New Porkshire invading Carrotland, we’ve surely reached Peak Remake.
Here we are, though, scooping deeper and deeper into the barrel: S.W.I.N.E. HD Remaster is out this spring, prettier and modernised for our fancy 2019 tastes. I’ll admit, I’m curious about how a b-list turn-of-the-century real time tactics will feel in 2019 – I’ve returned to a few of the greats, but none of the ones that got left in a dusty filing cabinet at the very back of my mind.
The surprising thing about S.W.I.N.E. was not the porcine theme, but rather that it was actually a more standard-issue military wargame in practice – i.e. your units are comprised of tanks and artillery sorta thing, and the levels are in industrial complexes, deserts and army bases. It sells itself as a comedy animals game, but it’s very much a wargame (and one without base-building, at that).
While I remember S.W.I.N.E. adverts being briefly omnipresent, I don’t recall the game itself making too much of a splash in 2001, but maybe it quietly did well for itself with a different crowd while we were all off jabbering about Civ III, Empire Earth, Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge, Stronghold, Fallout Tactics, Commandos 2, Emperor: Battle For Dune, Tropico, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and Myth III. Blimey: the past really is a foreign country, eh?
Developers Kite Games (who were also behind the resurrection of the Sudden Strike series with Sudden Strike 4) say of the remastering that it “brings a new appearance and new content as well. Camera movements were modified (extended zoom range) and a more detailed battlefield was developed. Units also received a better texture and the vehicles’ undercarriages also move.”
There’s a Steam page with screenshots and more poorly-translated details here.
Oh, and if you’re confused by how few actual pigs there are and where the dearly-missed voice of Rik Mayall has gotten to, you’re probably thinking of Hogs Of War.