Alex Garden, president of Relic Entertainment, visited our offices last week to show us the latest version of Homeworld. Although Homeworld is Relic's first game, it garnered enormous buzz at last year's E3. Then, several months later, the buzz disappeared. Sierra and Relic have been strangely quiet for the past few months, perhaps so as not to steal Half-Life's thunder, but on his recent press tour, Alex showed that his game is indeed in full development and heading in the right direction.
The build we played is feature complete, with only a few graphics tweaks to be made. The engine still looks fantastic, with completely 3D space environments and spectacular special effects. What remains to be seen is the single-player component. Alex showed us several missions from the game's solo campaign, but cautioned that much of the single-player game is being reworked to provide more cinematic and story-driven gameplay. We were treated to a few in-game cutscenes, depicting your fleet's first encounter with both an enigmatic trader species and a band of ravenous pirates. In both cases, the cutscenes were beautifully produced by the game's engine. The direction of the cutscenes was still being played with, but they did do a good job of driving home plot points.
Sierra and Relic state that Homeworld should ship during the summer. Presumably, the next few months will be spent crafting and then refining the single-player game, as well as balancing units and multiplayer games.