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The Ups and Downs of Homeworld

Getting players to look up is notoriously hard. The best which most video games actually manage to accomplish is getting them to look down. Think about the towers in Breath of the Wild or the latest Assassin’s Creed. Remember marking those waypoints, objectives, and collectibles? These adventure games were at least able to find some use for the z-axis in their gameplay mechanics, but this really isn’t the norm across genres. There’s one in particular which continues to resist verticality: RTS. How many real-time strategy games can you name which make use of a truly 3D environment? The majority consist of one or more planar gameplay surfaces. Rise of Nations, Age of Mythology, and Supreme Commander immediately spring to mind. Empire at War even featured starships, but never took advantage of the movement affordances provided by outer space. The only real-time strategy game to fully embrace verticality was released back in 1999: Homeworld.


The developer behind Homeworld, Relic, release…

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