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Ashes Of The Singularity Looks Beautiful (And Expensive)

Supremest Commander?

Footage of the so-recently-announced-we've-not-yet-covered-it Ashes of the Singularity [official site] has emerged from GDC and gosh, does it look impressive.

Ashes of the Singularity is a forthcoming RTS from Oxide Games. It's apparently aiming to wow us in the same way that Supreme Commander did all the way back in 2007: with impressive scale and gorgeous sci-fi warporn.

Its extreme shininess is thanks to Oxide's own Nitrous engine, which seems quite happy to display hundreds of units on-screen at once. We're told that every shot fired operates based on "its own targeting solution and ballistics model". This level of complexity is, apparently, possible only thanks to Mantle and DirectX 12. It had to happen eventually, eh?

Here's a video courtesy of AMD, featuring Stardock's Brad Wardell and Oxide's Dan Baker talking through the game and its technology:

Obviously that video wants taking with a pinch of salt: AMD are clearly keen to promote Mantle. Let's be fair, though - all trailers are about promoting something, and when it looks this spectacular, I'm fine with that. Bear in mind that I can't begin to imagine how I could afford a 4K rig, and besides I know full well that I don't need one, but looking at Ashes of the Singularity in action I sure do want one.

How will it play? I haven't the foggiest. With that many units bouncing around I'd hope for a UI that facilitates sensible macro-management and leaves me able to enjoy the beautiful carnage every so often. A bit like Supreme Commander, but with all the potential tweaks and refinements I've compiled as a mental list over the past eight years.

Would you like to know more?

In terms of plot, Ashes is about post-Singularity humans having a big old ruck with Haalee, a super-AI thing, because apparently possessing godlike powers and knowledge doesn't stop you from acting like a bunch of greedy, petulant knobs who simply can't get along with anyone a bit different. Pssh.

As for the snazzy tech side, here's a second video, with Brad Wardell again. I think he shot it on a smartphone so it looks a bit daft, but if you want to know a bit more about how the game performs it might sate your techlust.

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Shaun Green avatar

Shaun Green


Writes music, book and film reviews at www.nostalgiaforinfinity.com. Writes about videogames at www.arcadianrhythms.com. Plays guitar in www.wrecktheplacefantastic.co.uk. Occasionally sleeps.