Home Editorial Hardware: Blackbird’s pseudo-Homeworld game prepares for beta

If you were lucky enough to have experienced the grandeur, depth, and gravitas of the original Homeworld real time strategy games, you know that the series’ longstanding absence is a major loss for players who overlooked it.

And while the void of info about Homeworld 3 (or even the rights to the franchise) has been a source of frustration for series fans, they finally have something to look forward to with Blackbird Interactive’s upcoming strategy game, Hardware. It may not be a proper sequel to relic’s old masterpieces, but the first trailer sets the tone for Homeworld-level magnificence.

If the art, music, and cryptic melancholy of Hardware’s trailer seem familiar, it shouldn’t surprise you that Blackbird Interactive’s staff is helmed by ex-Relic creative directors and coders. The game, which is centered on the Long March Industries space mining company,  pits players against one another in a cash-grab for interstellar relics on a deserted wasteland planet. The orbital gold mine’s uncanny resemblance to Homeworld’s colony planet Kharak (see video below) could be a cooincidence, or it could be a not-so-subtle hint at what transpired after the Higaraans left their desert world to discover their people’s origins.

While little is known about the actual gameplay, Blackbird’s website has put an emphasis on “merging AAA and casual gaming” and “high quality free-to-play platform-agnostic content.” These comments, along with remarks made to Gamasutra a year ago, indicate that Hardward will most likely be a multiplatform, app-driven experience that will allow players to manage their fleets (armies? battalions?) from any number of devices, even from Facebook. If so, this title could revolutionize the overlap between casual and hardcore players in a manner similar  to the interaction between EVE Online and Dust 514.

If you’re as excited as I am over the prospect of a story-rich strategy adventure, sign up for the Hardware closed beta now. Or, if you’re not sold on the whole shebang, you really should watch the original Homeworld introduction right now.



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