Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak tells its origin story in January

The Homeworld Remastered Collection released earlier this year. Now join Blackbird Interactive and Gearbox Software as they tell a special origin story in January.

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Sometimes, you can go home again. Blackbird Interactive and Gearbox Software are ready to take old-school RTS fans back to their roots with the upcoming prequel to the classic Homeworld. Today, they announced that Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak will be ready for a January release on PC.

Deserts of Kharak takes players to the barren desert of Kharak, the source of a strange anomaly. Chief science officer Rachel S'jet and a team put togehter by the Coalition of the Norther Kiithid seeks to investigate, while being wary of the fact that they're in enemy-controlled territory. The story should resonate with fans of the first two Homeworld games, as some of the original creators have reunited for this project and this story.

Players will find elements of the original Homeworld games, with light attack vehicles and massive cruisers at the forefront of their arsenal, while infantry can utilize high ground and the desert terrain to their advantage. Strategy will factor in between missions, with resource management essential to survival. Players can pick the game up alone or with friends in online multiplayer.

Deserts of Kharak follows up on the Homeworld Remastered Collection released earlier this year. The big prequel is set to release on PC on January 20.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 16, 2015 11:43 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak tells its origin story in January

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      December 16, 2015 11:43 AM

      Is this what Shipbreakers became?

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      December 16, 2015 12:02 PM

      Holy shit. This keeps looking more and more amazing. And we get it in January?! UNFFFFF

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      December 16, 2015 12:12 PM

      This looks as much like a spiritual successor to Ground Control as it does Homeworld. Not that I'm complaining! UNF!

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      December 16, 2015 12:23 PM

      YES.

      Terrain. Terrain is awesome for gameplay.

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        December 16, 2015 12:33 PM

        If GB approached you to turn ES into a HW game, would you say yes?

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      December 16, 2015 12:25 PM

      Oh yes.

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      December 16, 2015 12:29 PM

      Homeworld: Fury Road

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        December 16, 2015 12:32 PM

        I'm ok with this!

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        December 16, 2015 12:38 PM

        dude, do not trigger nerdgasms during office hours, not cool

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      December 16, 2015 12:34 PM

      Makes sense it takes place in 1110, making the game start with the first expedition(s) to search what the the radar satellite accidentally found four years prior.

      Guess it just ended up being a bit less of a peaceful expedition into the great desert, so much as an every Kith for themselves kind of deal. Which makes sense, as they didn't unify until 1155.

      All that time between there would be a race to dig for tech and ancient truths about themselves.

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        December 16, 2015 12:39 PM

        For reference, see pages 3-5, starting with The Discovery of Khar-Toba: http://elucidovia.com/posterity/HomeworldHistoricalandTechnicalBriefing.pdf

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        December 16, 2015 2:37 PM

        I hope they bring back the same narrator for the cinematics.

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          December 16, 2015 3:04 PM

          Shit. They can't, Campbell Lane died in January of 2014. I seriously doubt there was enough time between the deal being struck to... Damn.

          I think Michael Sunczyk, aka Fleet Intelligence is still around though.

          And since the Fleet Commander is Rachel S'Jet, I wouldn't be shocked if they had Heidi Ernest back to play her great great great great great great great great great great grandmother 295 years prior.

          That really sucks about Lane though.

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      December 16, 2015 12:36 PM

      This and xcom 2 within a couple weeks of each other is fucking awesome and shitty at the same time. CANT FUCKING WAIT

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      December 16, 2015 12:37 PM

      What is the gameplay? Is this like Starcraft/C&C where you build and protect bases with your built units?

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        December 16, 2015 12:38 PM

        RTS would be my guess since that’s what all the other homeworld games are.

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          December 16, 2015 12:40 PM

          I have been really enjoying the stylistic presentation, but if all along this is just another build a base, build a barracks, upgrade your forge, pump out units, type of game...then I wonder if the game has legs beyond a slick looking but mostly-stock RTS

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            December 16, 2015 12:42 PM

            It is an RTS yes, however it's not yet fully clear how construction is managed. You have a fully mobile desert fleet based around a primary carrier + command and control unit.

            The focus of the game seems to be maintaining control over dig sites, at least long enough to extract artifacts.

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              December 16, 2015 12:44 PM

              I would guess it could be similar to the old homeworld games, but instead of a mother ship, you have a mobile aircraft carrier.

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                December 16, 2015 12:46 PM

                It wouldn't shock me if there's some limited construction capability while on mission, but at least the early stuff looked more like you took everything you were going to have into the mission and worked with that.

                Though that was 3-4 years ago, so...

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                  December 16, 2015 1:10 PM

                  More like Myth? Or some of the single player missions in Warcraft/Starcraft where you don't build bases? To be honest with you, I would enjoy that more. I feel like there is more to explore with that kind of game that hasn't been done before

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                    December 16, 2015 1:20 PM

                    Yeah, I think it will be more like Myth, Company of Heroes, or Dawn of War II.

                    I would be pretty shocked if there was base building in this game unless there was an off-mission base that you launch from.

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                      December 16, 2015 1:23 PM

                      I assume that carrier in all the shots acts like your mobile build site.

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                        December 16, 2015 1:27 PM

                        Yeah, it also could be a full featured mobile construction facility. It's tough to know for sure without confirmation, because the structure and setting would support it going a few different ways.

                        Regardless, I'm really excited.

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              December 16, 2015 12:45 PM

              Mobile bases sounds interesting. I suppose that's what Homeworld brought too, in addition to their pseudo-3D combat. I hope they have more up their sleeves. I know the RTS genre has been slowly phased out in favor of MOBAs and it's a bit thin, but I still keep wishing they would explore more interesting ideas than the usual RTS formula.

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                December 16, 2015 12:46 PM

                My favorite style is the Company of heroes style. Really forces you to be aggressive and not just sit back and amass units.

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                  December 16, 2015 12:50 PM

                  Yeah, I presume the relics (sorry) provide a similar push to the player as did Strategic Points in Company of Heroes and Dawn of War 2.

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                  December 16, 2015 1:23 PM

                  That was the best thing that CoH brought to the table: it made low-to-medium-skill games actually interesting, rather than being "turtle for 30 minutes then one big fight wins it" like all RTS matches were at every LAN party I went to ever

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                    December 16, 2015 1:25 PM

                    I thought the armor mechanics were pretty cool. I don’t rememeber them being used in any other game before that. (armor heaviest on front, light on sides, almost none on back)

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                      December 16, 2015 1:50 PM

                      I wish more RTS games were heavily built around mechanics like that.

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                        December 16, 2015 1:54 PM

                        Not to mention the fact that a machine gun couldn’t do any damage to a tank in CoH. I hate when swordsmen can destroy tanks in other RTS games. Just ruins it for me.

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                          December 16, 2015 2:41 PM

                          Hell yeah. My favorite game growing up was Close Combat. I wish there were more realistic military RTS games like that

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                      December 16, 2015 2:02 PM

                      CoH was like a faster paced Close Combat series games from Atomic Games. Tanks all had heavy armor up front but a well placed AT rocket in the rear would cripple it. That game was more unforgiving though because units had morale and could become combat ineffective if they lost their leaders or heavy artillery shakes them up.

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                        December 16, 2015 2:49 PM

                        The morale was so cool. I suppose it was mostly just annoying to most gamers though, since very few games ever chose to use any system like that ever again

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                      December 16, 2015 2:03 PM

                      Also Close Combat 3 was the best version of the game, I loved 2 as well but 3 improved the gameplay a lot. It was cool playing as the Russians in CC3 and being in a big retreat for most of the early game.

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        December 16, 2015 12:39 PM

        Please god don't be a MOBA

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      December 16, 2015 12:41 PM

      Holy shit. January?

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      December 16, 2015 12:46 PM

      OHH YESH!!!

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      December 16, 2015 1:03 PM

      Also, it looks like if you preorder it on steam you get the Homeworld Remasteedr collection for free or if you already own it, you get a 20% discount.

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      December 16, 2015 1:07 PM

      The map makes me think it's open-worldy or pseudo-open-wordly.

      UNF

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      December 16, 2015 1:37 PM

      yeah this is pushing all the right buttons

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      December 16, 2015 1:38 PM

      Surprise release date! Love it when that happens although this games has been out there for a while.

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        December 16, 2015 2:04 PM

        The team was tasked to help with Homeworld Remastered which likely ate into this game's release window.