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Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak review: A classic resurrected

Hayden Dingman | Jan. 20, 2016
We go hands-on to test whether 2003 translates to 2016.

Deserts of Kharak isn’t a perfect translation. Missions often rely on choke points, for instance—a foreign concept for Homeworld, given that in 3D space choke points don’t exist. And units don’t seem very durable, so the game feels on-the-whole a bit faster/deadlier than the originals. Some people will complain the story takes a loose approach to bits of the preexisting lore. Diehards will dissect the units in Deserts of Kharak and argue incessantly over the game’s minutiae. I’m sure we’ll see no end to balance tweaks for a while.

But as far as I’m concerned, Deserts of Kharak achieves its goal: It’s made me tentatively excited for a forthcoming Homeworld 3. By staying largely faithful to the aesthetic of the originals, by recreating the harsh lived-in realism of that universe and the do-or-die exodus and the vast scale of the classics, Deserts of Kharak manages to feel like a proper part of Homeworld canon—even though it’s set on the surface of a planet.

 

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