Homeworld Cataclysm Review (Emergence)

Homeworld Cataclysm Review (Emergence)

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Homeworld gets a follow-up and it's kind  of a horror game, and a really great one.   In the last video I talked about how great  Homeworld is. The story is wonderful, it's full of  atmosphere, and just downright fun to play. However  there was another game that I only made brief   

mention of - that's because Cataclysm deserved its  own video and it's hard to fit into the other one.  For starters, at the time of this video it's  actually not part of the Remastered Collection.   There are some mods that *sort of* get the new  ships in, but no, this is still a standalone game.  So gently kiss the nice new visuals goodbye, we're  back in 2000. It also wasn't made by Relic like    1 and 2 were, but instead by Barking Dog  Studios. They later went on to develop Bully  

before being absorbed into the greater Rockstar  empire, so there's a strange path there - but for    our purposes the canon of Cataclysm was always  kind of questionable. At the time the executive   producer for 2 said the events "had occurred  but just weren't mentioned". Now knowing the events   of Cataclysm does make some aspects of 2 very  questionable, but that's for later. Gearbox is the  

current holder of the franchise. A few years back  its chief creative officer called Cataclysm "not   exactly canon" because once again, it doesn't neatly  line up with 2. I did go to the source on this   and yes the studio considers Cataclysm to be  fully canon. So 2 is now even messier than  

I thought. I mean . . . Oh well. You could buy the game for a while.  Then Blizzard higher ups did what they do best - putting their hands where they shouldn't - and they got the word Cataclysm trademarked.

No one could buy it for years until GOG re-released it as Homeworld Emergence.   It's the exact same game and if you really want  to, you can strip the coat of paint off the menu.   It'll run fine on modern machines but, this  is an adjustment coming from the remasters.   There's no special fan patch you need, this is  it. Now allegedly Gearbox did want to remaster  

this game as well, but the source code has been  lost. That would make the process difficult since   Cataclysm does have some strange new mechanics  in it. 2's engine had difficulties comprehending   single ships and formations. Cataclysm has  ships that fusion dance into bigger ones.   This would be a lot of work, and for a game  that's already a lesser known title, and in a   very small pond. I can get that, but man, even  as is this game is so worth talking about.   So all of that said let's see where  things picked up after the first game.

NARRATOR: "The war for Hiigara has left the galaxy in turmoil. The past 15 years have seen the birth of new   possibilities and the festering of old grudges. The  once dominant Taiidan Empire has fractured under   the strain of civil war. The new Taiidani Republic  tries to hold the old territories together,   while forces loyal to the old emperor lurk in  the new bandit kingdoms, waiting for their chance   to strike back." The mythical search for Hiigara is over, but now reality is setting in.   The burning of Kharak brought everybody together,  but like any great tragedy this was only temporary.  

The Kushan mothership, the most gameplay important  and iconic thing of the first game, is now parked in   orbit acting as a shipyard. The now Hiigaran people  are desperately trying to establish themselves.   Many of the old desert clans were destroyed  outright or merged into bigger ones. If you   read the first Homeworld manual, these are the  Kiiths that were mentioned there. Only a select few   powerful parties are calling the shots (as things  usually go). There's a lot of border securing to be   done with the Taiidani remnant, the raiders, and god  knows what else. It's that third one that's going   to be key in Cataclysm.

NARRATOR: "The war for homeworld is over now, but the galaxy remains a dangerous place."   We open up to a Hiigaran fleet fighting off a Taiidan incursion and the Taiidan are winning, so   the Hiigarans need a commander like you. But the  mothership has been turned into a shipyard so   you're not going to have that. What is your  big cool ship now? CAPTAIN: "Attention Carrier Veer-Rak,  this is Kiith Somtaaw mining vessel Kuun-Lan. We have  arrived in Sector 112 and request targeting data."  

This is your new mother ship - a mining barge.  A *Kiith Somtaaw* mining barge. They're mentioned   in the Homeworld 1 manual a single time by name  only. They were once a religious Kiith turned into   a mining one. Even before the burning they were  greatly insignificant. By the time of Cataclysm   they were almost absorbed into a larger clan. The Kuun-Lan command ship and mostly everything else  

they have is boxy and awkward. If Hiigara makes a new  technology these guys are basically last in line   for it. Your first mission is saving a Kiith fleet  from being wiped out by the Taiidan remnant. The   Kuun-Lan does have a capability to make some  warships for security reasons, but it's enough to   swing the battle in their favor. This could be Kiith Somtaaw's first step in getting more respect. VEER-RAK: "Nabaal would like to thank our brothers and sisters from Kiith Manaan, S'jet, and Kaalel for their aid in battle."   

Oh, you thought you were getting thanked? Your people  are dirty miners. [ __ ] you. It's amazing. This keeps the spirit of Homeworld's unknown universe  intact. You're not important enough to know the  

greater things at play. The crew of a lower caste  mining vessel understands galactic politics just   slightly better than you do here. Their first  few missions are just them acting as support   ships for a larger battle going on. They even end  up having to jettison their ore container to make   room for combat modules. They are a last-second,  expendable addition to the effort. During a fight   with Turanic Raiders they pick up an emergency  distress beacon. It's some kind of derelict object   and the Turanic Raiders are trying to grab  it too, and you just barely beat them out in   getting it. It is a strange object, so when the  battle is over the Kuun-Lan decides to call home.  

CAPTAIN: "Honored greetings Somtaaw Kiith-Sa. Did you receive our data regarding the anomalous artifact?"   KIITH-SA: "We have. Our researchers agree: the signal and  design matches nothing currently used by known   galactic races. Where is the pod now?"

Oh, I'm sure the Somtaaw leadership will also   have your best interests at heart. They have nothing to prove.   CAPTAIN: "We have brought it aboard now  and are securing it in the main hangar bay. What  should we do with it? We're . . . just a mining vessel.   We're not equipped to study anything like this."   

KIITH-SA: "We are transmitting design specs so that your manufacturing unit can construct a  science module." CAPTAIN: "Excuse me Kiith-Sa but . . . would it not be   easier to seek help from another Kiith? We are still  within hailing range of the Nabaal command carrier,   surely they would have the staff to-" KIITH-SA: "No. A find like this could lead to alien technology that surpasses   anything used by the other Kiiths. Somtaaw *needs* this advantage."   Even your own people are willing to  guinea pig you. This is beyond being in the uncool  table at school. This is like having the anime club   actively giving you swirlies sometimes too. You  do go through with their plan and learn that the  

beacon is over a million years old. The Progenitors  that Homeworld 2 makes a big deal about were   only about 10,000 years old, so this device is  unfathomably ancient to anyone. Deeper research of   the device proves to be a problem. CAPTAIN: "Research module - this is the bridge. We've got power fluctuations   in your area and the hangar bay. Are you running  any tests? RESEARCH: "Not that I know of bridge, let . . . let me check."

(distant screaming) CAPTAIN: "What was that? What's going on down there?  Fluctuations spreading to lower engine module."   RESEARCH: "Uh, don't know. Give me a second. We were  examining surface material from-"    CAPTAIN: "What is going on? Now we've got biohazard warnings going off  across the lower decks! What have you done?!"   RESEARCH: "Something is loose. It's- It's killing us! You've got to save the rest of the ship, jettison the lower deck!"

CAPTAIN: "Kharak forgive us . . . bridge to all stations,  emergency jettison protocols engaged!" RESEARCH:"CUT US LOOSE!" (screaming) Your mission is dealing with whatever the hell that is. Okay, let's talk visuals. The thing is we are living in a post remaster world. My eyes have already been spoiled, so compared to that   yeah, it looks terrible. I mean these ships are  moving at a PowerPoint framerate, so I'm gonna   skip the obvious and just focus on the art style.  When it comes to spacecraft the Somtaaw are vastly  

different than the ones from Kharak. They're  mainly beefy, boxy ships that have none of the   sleekness you've seen before. These are industrial  vessels like freighters or construction craft that   have just been repurposed for war. What used to be  a tug for massive orbital loads is now actively   ramming the enemy. Your deep space cargo haulers  are now acting as carriers. The ones that don't  

fit this mould can be down right bizarre looking or  resemble the Taiidan or the Bentusi. That's because   it *is* their technology. Without real Hiigaran support the Somtaaw have had to purchase store brand   replacements. Their game plan is a kitchen sink  fleet doctrine. We can't afford a gun frigate, but   we did find this weird design that lets our ship  look like an asteroid! But you know, that hologram   emitter takes a lot of power . . . we can't fit weapons  on there too . . . so it's going to be a one-way trip. It's like having an army of nothing but  Caterpillar construction vehicles and Soviet   World War 2 era tanks. It's stupid and incredibly  desperate, but there is a rule of cool to it.  It's a thrift store fleet that will have to save  the universe, and sometimes you do find some   helpful surprises. Now besides all the ships, you  have your space backdrops. Looking at this out  

of context, it just looks like a spaceship fight,  but Cataclysm goes an extra mile in trying to   generate THE TERROR OF SPACE in a way I haven't  seen other games do often. The fact it's an RTS game has a lot to do with that. Don't get me  wrong I'm not saying it's Silent Hill or that   you'll be lying in bed crying and [ __ ] because  of it, but the sound and visuals come together to   build this atmosphere of dread. (Golden Karan) CAPTAIN: "With the Clee-San and their science team lost, my engineers are . . .   are now analyzing the subversion entity  we have codenamed the Beast. The Beast seems to infect us with this particle beam  that layers the target with techno-organic   robots. Once these entities make contact with a  compatible surface, they begin to absorb material  

and infiltrate the target structure. When  they make contact with organic matter . . .   They use the mass to form a neural control network that . . .  Then takes control of the ship. Each Beast cell functions like a . . . a biomechanical virus. It's capable of using and subverting living cells   in much the same way that it . . . it subverts and  uses non-organic technology." That professional demeanor is still there in the voice acting, but everyone is terrified of the Beast. It's reinforced  

to you constantly, and combined with the music you  really feel how tiny your ship is against the void. CONVOY: "This is Republican convoy DX307. We  are under attack by unknown missiles.   We have lost our escort and are unarmed, please assist.   We are carrying thousands of colonists! Someone help us! Please help us!" Even the background being a smear can  contribute to how unsettling things look.  

The early campaign frequently has these  flashes of distant lightning. It's a tiny   hint of the absolute shitstorm you're in for.  The sensors menu is virtually unchanged from   the first game, but now there's a new kind of  menace to it. What the hell could be out there?

There are games that take advantage of that  aspect a lot stronger now, but man, it seems   that some of the strongest horror in games can  come from games that aren't labeled as that.   When you have a spaceship strategy game  it's hard to directly show the horror,   so instead you have these threatening maps  with tense music. You see the threat on a   more personal level in cut scenes, but still  shrouded in darkness. Then you have a game known   for its "professionals under stress" voice acting  absolutely losing their [ __ ]. CAPTAIN: "Stand-by Group 4."

(screaming) CONVOY: "We have hull breaches across  all decks! Something's come aboard . . . Help us! HELP UUSSSSS!!!" Homeworld has always had strong,  immersive radio chatter and now   it's being used against you. Your  thoughts on command are sometimes   interrupted by people being melted by  something you don't fully understand.

(chorus of screams) Yeah . . . back to building collectors. Wait a minute is that Enmity? Oh my god . . . The remaster for Homeworld 2 does have   some incredible backdrops. The game tries to look  like some kind of apocalypse too and I think it   succeeds in that. The issue is as much as I did  like those visuals, the threat was always vague.   That contributes to why it felt so hollow. I love  Makkan's character design, but up until the very end   I had no clue what he was up to. It's the end times,  for some reason.  

When the bottom of the Kuun-Lan appears to start bleeding and then gets careened off into space while you hear everyone screaming -   that establishes a threatening tone way better  than even the most ancient of prophecies.   The Beast is a nanomachine virus that breaks down  its crew into nerve endings to control spaceships   and that's the most basic way I can put it.  Rather than finding a thing, to find a thing, to do   *something*, the threat is established early  on. Cataclysm's campaign is trying to find   practical solutions to fight the Beast. This  thing looks extremely dangerous but we're   mainly just mechanical engineers, our next step  should be to try and contact biologists or other   experts to try and get a better grasp on it.  You see this happening and go "yeah this does   make sense". The Beast stays mysterious, but it's  also threatening because you know what it does.  

It'll mosey around the universe assimilating  life and machinery for reasons unknown.   It's a gruesome struggle but you're taking the  fight. Who knows what could have happened if the   raiders were the ones to unleash it. It's a great  sci-fi horror story on its own but it's also an  

excellent Homeworld sequel. It plays off of the  first game, while keeping a lot of the same themes.   I'll save all that for the spoilers section since  I do want to talk about the gameplay changes a bit.   Compared to the original I find it a lot smoother  to play now. Things the remaster lets you take for   granted like actually being able to attack ships  through the sensors menu weren't available until Cataclysm.  

There were better time speed up and  slow down abilities and things like quick dock   were actually added in Cataclysm and not Homeworld 2. Except it's way better here because it's a   choice. It removes tedium in some missions but in  others an enemy deathball might be heading your   way. You can try to let everyone make it, but if the  Beast is looking to pile drive you the emergency   jump option might be the only way out. This is  a rough decision because every ship counts now   more than ever. 2 having collectors acting as  resource harvesters, repair ships, and salvagers  

was something that Cataclysm started, but it's like  that here because it's a much more scaled down   game. There's a lot to reinforce this. In another  series first units now have veterancy - the more ass   they kick the bigger their foot gets. The stat  improvements make it worth keeping ships alive   even over just the resource cost. Then you have all  your new ship upgrades available. Some craft can  

apply these on their own, but others might have to  dock up if they weren't built with them. Fuel was   gone at this point, but abilities were made more  prominent. You can manually order fighters to shoot   off a missile salvo, but they'll have to re-dock to  resupply them. You have a much smaller fleet roster. 

You have strange additions like microship drones  that can attach to larger enemy craft and wreak   havoc. You're using deception, combining fighters  into corvettes and then separating them back out.   The kitchen sink fleet angle extends into actually  playing the game, you don't get big brawler ships   until later and not very many. Just to emphasize  the importance of each individual ship each   class now has its own voice actor. Besides just  adding more flavor and variety to the game, this  

feeds you more information when you start hearing  the Modern Warfare lobby screams over the radio.   You can tell both what ship class it is and how  they're doing. It makes 2 dropping this aspect   especially weird considering how much they built  off of Cataclysm. Having ship modules that could be   destroyed or damaged was kind of added here, but  2 would refine this idea to a degree that it   feels completely different. They might have wanted  to build off more, but 2 had a rough development.  

In Cataclysm's case it was just supposed to be an  expansion pack - it ended up that everything looked   so strong and promising that it was released as  a standalone game. That seemed like the right call   with just how differently it plays. The one thing  I don't like is just how much more of a process   capturing enemy ships is. Using your harvesters for  it feels awkward and it's a longer ordeal. At the   same time I get it, because on higher difficulties  especially, captured enemy ships can do a lot   better than your base stuff. These are ships made  for fighting compared to whatever the hell is   happening here. I don't have anything to add in the  gameplay front that I haven't said before, so that  

just leaves the story. Well once again Cataclysm  came with a gigantic manual. It even expands in   the lore behind the ships and that darker tone  continues. For example, when the frozen colonists   got to Hiigara a huge portion of them committed  suicide since they had lost everything at Kharak.  

Some of these sleepers crew the self-destructing  mimic ships. They've already given up hope and feel   like they have nothing to lose being made into a  weapon. Pretty [ __ ]ing grim. You never need to read   the manual to understand the story, but it does  help you understand the depths of just how bad   things are. There's a lot of details I want to get  into here so if you don't want spoilers - go to here:  

Okay, when we left off the Beast had awoken. BEAST: "Weeeeee liiiiiive." There's one group that's gotta know more. BENTUSI: " It has been forbidden to possess this information for some time, but after your intervention on our behalf we  feel compelled to share it with you." The Bentusi have always been the wise mentor. As a refresher (or for those who will never play it which is  

very sad) the Bentusi reveal the truth of your  people. Thousands of years ago the Hiigarans were   a massively powerful galactic empire. Their actions  were so brutal that when they did lose a war their   enemies called for their race to be completely  exterminated. Not every race agreed on this so a   compromise was made. The Hiigarans would be crammed aboard sublight transports and sent to the fringe  

of the galaxy. If they found a wasteland planet  to settle there then good for them and if not   tough [ __ ]. The journey took centuries and those  who survived were basically feral. When they did   reach Kharak they had to restart as a brand new  civilization. So when the mothership emerged and   the Taiidani honey barbecued the planet there  was a huge outcry. No one hated the Hiigarans more   than the Taiidani but none of them were actually  alive to witness the atrocities. The Bentusi, who   are bound inside their spacecraft, *do* live that  long. They personally suffered from the Hiigarans  

actions. Even after everything they move to  forgive. They recognize that a race of people isn't   inherently evil and that maybe confining them to  generations of prison, followed by generations of   a desert hellscape, followed by obliterating them the  second they try to step off it was a step too far.   They made a case for the Kushan people and  have a long-term perspective and wisdom   that no one else has. They're the best and most  trustworthy friend you have in the universe, so   of course you go to them to ask about the  Beast. They're already being attacked when   you get there, but they've got it under control.    

CAPTAIN: "Attention Bentusi trading station. You are not being attacked by normal pirate vessels. Do not  let them get close!" BENTUSI: "It does not matter what they are, only the man would attack the Unbound. Hostile  ships will be regrettably destroyed."    He's right too. Like, they're wiping the floor with them. Then one of the larger ships gets close.

BENTUSI: "A presence. We sense its hunger. Not infant race. Not Unbound. Something other. Something older. Something from Outside!" KING WILLIE: "The other side!" MIKE: "What're you talking about?" BENTUSI: "It tears at us. Rewriting song. Devouring memory. Turning our body against us . . . Binding us! This cannot be! We . . . will . . . NOT . . . be . . . BOUND!" Oh [ __ ], uh . . . what now?   All you can do is escort an allied carrier out of the situation. 

You can't begin to think of a long-term  plan now because holding off the Beast  is such a task. Just the act of being  too close to them leads to disaster Getting the carrier to safety is a journey in  itself. Traveling through a hostile dust cloud   filled with Taiidan Empire remnants. You do pull it  off and the carrier does thank you, but there is   some disrespect buried in there. You protected *them*  on the way out but they tell *you* to find somewhere   safe and we'll get the warrior Kiith to come handle  it. It may look polite, but it's a buried insult.  

The Kuun-Lan doesn't confront that, trying to  dig out a buried diss just makes you look dirty.   Luckily the science team who wasn't involved in  the dust bowl shootout has learned a bit more.   The original beacon came from an alien vessel  known as the Ragnarok.  I mean the Naggarok. They were exploring the universe a million years  ago when they too ran across the Beast.  

When they realized what it was, they tried to cut  off their communications and kill everything else   that might let the Beast out of the ship, but  that triggered an automatic distress beacon   to be launched - which is what the Kuun-Lan found.  As for the Naggarok it may be dead in the water   but it could be out there still. That's the next  logical thing to look for. You do get sidetracked   by the chaos this thing is unleashing. The Taiidani Republic (which are also Hiigaran allies) are also  

dealing with the threat, but they've been calling  it an imperialist bioweapon. Republican intel knew   it was present at an Imperial weapons lab, but  did not know it was not a Taiidani invention.   All of your battles are about buying time. You  could be a distraction for the sake of moving   spies around or just trying to hold off the Beast  a little bit longer. It's an oppressive campaign,   it seems like you can never catch a break. You  eventually find an ancient ship cannon inside   of a debris field. Could be a Progenitor one  or one from the old Hiigaran wars. You research  

it and attach it to the command ship while  mastering energy weapons. Things are looking   up and then an enemy Taiidani fleet warps in.  Kicked back down. But then the allied carrier   returns as promised and it's like "thank  god finally a break".    CAAL-SHTO: "This is the . . . Caal-Shto. We have arrivEd with rein-forcementsss from Hiigara . . . come to us." Ohhhh . . . damn it.

Also remember when the Kuun-Lan ejected the bottom part of the ship? That's alive now and growing. BEAST: "Weeee want . . . beeeeacon brain." The newly installed siege cannon is done just  in time. It has to be awkwardly aimed manually,   but I do land a perfect hit. The mystical cannon of the ancient ones doesn't do [ __ ] to them. I have to launch an emergency jump and many are  left behind. At this rate the Somtaaw might not  

have enough members for a chorus. Maybe the cannon  could be modified to work if we had an older Beast   sample, but that's back to finding the Naggarok,  but you're still getting sidetracked trying   to save others from being devoured. The Beast is  showing up with all kinds of different ships now   showing how far its reach has already gotten. The  fighting is kept relentless and the struggle feels  

more and more futile. It's made more and more clear  how dire the situation is, even when you get the   information to find the Naggarok it seems like  it's already too late. This all makes Blizzard trademarking "cataclysm" even more annoying. It's the perfect title for this. This is all very abridged down but the moment  to moment fighting really drills this into you.   Everyone is being eaten and there's no big  unity against it. You find the Naggarok just  

when things couldn't seem worse. RECON: "This is Recon 214 to command I have target in visual range. Kiith's blood, it's massive! The Imperials are all over it, what are they doing?  I don't believe it they're repairing the drives!"   Not only are the Imperials not helping, they're  *fixing* the death ship. Everyone skips fear into   just shock at how stupid this is.

RECON: "I don't believe it they're repairing the drives!"   It's like, of course the scout is laughing. This is insane. What are you doing over there?   CAPTAIN: "Come in Taiidan flagship. What are you doing? You can't release that ship  on the galaxy! Do you know what you're about to do?!"   THE BEAST: "Yessssss they know. For a million years we have been trapped in this ship, listening to electromagnetic chatter of your tiny self/worlds."

For their help the Beast will give the Taiidan Empire half the galaxy. When this first happened   I didn't know how to feel about it. I was already  iffy at the Beast actually talking, but this   deal seems remarkably stupid and one-sided. They  do address how obvious this is.   CAPTAIN: "That's madness! What happens when you finish devouring  your half of the galaxy?" irrelevant BEAST: "Irrelevant! How many thousands of your flickering lifespans will that take? Join us or be destroyed." Sure our descendants might be horribly  devoured but at least we'll be comfortable.  

Ally with the Beast and it's a pretty sweet ride  up until that point. It's even more frustrating   later when the Somtaaw directly confront them  on this. CAPTAIN: "How can you be helping this thing?" IMPERIAL: "What choice do we have Hiigaran? Your mad  quest shattered our Imperial Sphere . . .  took the life of our immortal emperor . . . whatever  we have been driven to now- is your fault. You . . .   Helping the Beast is the empire's final [ __ ]  you to the galaxy, but they won't own up to it. You do retrieve a sample, but the Naggarok escapes. The  siege cannon might be Bentusi, so maybe there are  

more out there. The good news is that there are, and  the bad is that they're escaping the galaxy. Things   are so bad that the Bentusi are entirely peacing  out of the situation. They are completely terrified   to the point the fleet decides to destroy their  escape route in hopes of convincing them. BENTUSI: "Cease your attacks or be destroyed. Do you not understand what has happened? We will not be bound!"  You don't need their warning and they meant it. The  Bentusi attack you and they rip your fleet apart.   All the resources, all the veteran ships, they  melt right through them. They're doing this to  

people who came to them for help. CAPTAIN: "You helped us to win our homeworld . . . you cannot run away now." BENTUSI: We aided the S'jet persona who was newly Unbound. You are not S'jet! Your bound bodies and   flicker lives make you blind to reality and now  we will all pay for your blindness!"    It's an unwinnable battle. You don't activate an ancient super weapon  to stop them, instead the captain convinces them.

BENTUSI: "You seek to trap us in a diseased galaxy. This cannot be. Desist and we will allow you  to leave. We . . . regret the loss of your memory."   CAPTAIN: "Regret!? We regret  the loss of the whole sand cursed galaxy!   Stop murdering us and help us kill the Beast!"  BENTUSI: "The devourer cannot be stopped ,we must flee   or even memory will die. We will not be bo-" CAPTAIN: "Yes, yes you will not be bound, whatever that means. Well guess what? *We* won't let you go! It doesn't matter how we  die, one ancient monster is as good as another." BENTUSI: "We . . . are . . . not . . . monsters."

CAPTAIN: "Aren't you? Look around! Look what you've done to our fleet!   All because we dared to get in your way. Look  at yourselves the aloof, the *mighty* Bentusi!   Slaughtering the people who asked for your help!  You're WORSE than the Beast! At least the Beast doesn't PRETEND TO BE RIGHTEOUS!" BENTUSI: "We fear . . . For the first time in countless orbits . . . we fear."

CAPTAIN: "Join the Kiith. We're not blind, just scared. As  scared as you. Now are you going to help us   or are we gonna have to ram this mining ship down  the throat of the first station that approaches?" BENTUSI: "That will not be necessary. We see our own madness reflected in yours. We will do what we can to help."  This scene will never be as famous as "Kharak  is burning", but it's my favorite in the series.  

You got to see the Bentusi get physically  overpowered, but it's a lot more seeing them   be so afraid that they lose their way. Homeworld  is all about going home and returning to where you   belong. Cataclysm seems like it's the opposite. This  is about the danger of not being able to confront   change. The Taiidan Empire want the glory days  back, even if that means being buddy buddy with   sentient cancer, but you know from Homeworld that  the empire was a terrible corrupt place. The glory   days weren't so glorious unless you were on the  top of a pile of misery. The Bentusi are wise and  

powerful, but as a race they haven't felt actually  threatened in thousands of years. Rather than face   the challenge, their first instinct is to run away.  They were smug when the Beast first showed up but   that evaporated faster than their ship did. To  their credit it would be a pretty horrible fate.   Because they're so integrated with their ships the  Beast wouldn't kill them on contact, instead they'd   be trapped inside their own bodies - virtually  being tortured for all of eternity while their   ship drifts throughout the universe. It's gruesome  enough that you can at least understand their fear.  

They do figure out that they shouldn't run away,  being comfortable with power made them shy away   from new challenges. Even the Beast is just an  endless stagnant thing, it's the same as it was a   million years ago and will do nothing but consume  until the stars burn out. The most impactful force   in the war and in the story is the group on the  very bottom of the bottom of the ladder. The Somtaaw  

go through absolute hell and sacrifice a lot, but  by rising to the occasion they have been improving.   Even though no one asked or even wanted them  to. Homeworld has these big grand moments,   the one in Cataclysm is pretty easy to miss.  Whenever you start a mission you hear something like this.  CAPTAIN: "Understood tactical. Attention Carrier  Veer-Rak, this is Kiith Somtaaw mining vessel Kuun-Lan."   CAPTAIN: Attention Kiith Manaan fleet. This is the Somtaaw mining vessel Kuun-Lan. Please come in."

When the Bentusi fix up the cannon and you warp in to face the Naggarok, you hear this instead: CAPTAIN: "Try to hold on Republican fleet. This is the Kiith Somtaaw Warship Kuun-Lan." They're a proper warship now and they [ __ ] earned it.   The final mission has you linking up with the  Taiidan Republic to use their new super weapon   against the Beast's mothership. However  the campaign is keeping up its theme of   burning lit cigarettes on your arm. Kojima's nanomachines have already captured the super weapon, 

the Republic fleet is in shambles, the Naggarok is  already there, and constant reinforcements are   coming from the Beast and the Taiidan Empire. This  can be a brutal final mission. Even catching the   Naggarok's a trial since it has some kind  of Jimmy Neutron bull[ __ ] frictionless drive.   It can outrun your fastest craft and sometimes  it'll straight up devour a unit off the map.

(screaming) It is an endurance of a final battle until  finally, *finally*, you catch a break. If you make it   through enough objectives the Bentusi show up and  transmit you a schematic for one of their fighters.   They are absurdly powerful and with  them you can send the Naggarok to Hel. (screaming) With their momentum significantly slowed, the other  Beast ships are hunted down and destroyed. A kind   of vaccine for the infection is developed and  while some pockets remain, the Beast never really   threatens the universe again. The Kiith Somtaaw are no  longer known as "the mining clan". They gain a huge   amount of respect on Hiigara and now their clan  is known as the beastslayers. After all you've  

been through, it's an incredibly satisfying ending.  It really is a great game, even with the graphics   blown away by the remaster, the audio pretty  compressed and crunchy, but the campaign stands   up as an amazing Homeworld sequel. You can even try  skirmish if you want to play *as* the Beast. This is   about where I would end things but I've gotta talk  about Homeworld 2. Cataclysm shows how different   things can be while still being a Homeworld game.  I mean you see the captain of the Kuun-Lan go   through an arc. Again, he's more representing his  people, but he's the strongest character in the  

series so far. I talked about this before but Karan S'jet isn't much of a character by herself. You   do get glimpses of what she's about - she allowed  herself to be entombed inside the mothership. They   make a point of saying she's the last to step on  the homeworld. She's clearly selfless and heroic   and you can assume she's a good person. The thing  is her arc is basically done; she got everyone home.  

She's a hero . . . until 2 drags her back out to  put her inside of mothership 2. If you played   Cataclysm before 2 it's way more disappointing.  Cataclysm has shown that it's such a rich universe   so you can play all kinds of stories in it. Hell  I'd be okay playing as a Taiidani or a Vaygr or  

something brand new. Instead 2 set up the Age of  S'jet. This seems to have seeped into the franchise   itself. I haven't talked about Deserts of Kharak yet, but it stars one of Karan's ancestors.   What little has been shown about Homeworld 3 is  centered around Karan once again. I guess after   2's ending you can't really ignore her. I guess  I'm hoping they do something interesting with her.   Her being the means to an end was how she worked  in Homeworld, but it's hard to get away with   that now that she's like this linchpin for the  series. Do something with her or else I'll wish  

I was playing a new nobody. Who knows, maybe she's  the new galactic tyrant. Now playing an underdog   against her could be interesting. Cataclysm has a  great story, but all the advances the Somtaaw made,   the Beast, everything - it's not around - not for  Homeworld 2. There's only a single Bentusi ship   left for some reason and the Somtaaw are mentioned  being against poking around in ancient ruins.   Any interesting follow-up has to make way for *the  prophecy*. The gameplay is fun, but the story is so  

disjointed that Cataclysm still feels like the  real Homeworld 2. So if you like the original   I would highly recommend Homeworld Emergence. I actually tried to get a sale for it, but I haven't   heard back so it might be in the pinned comment, it  might not. It's not nearly as shiny and desired as  

the remasters, so if it does go on sale you still  might want to pick it up. It might not ever get   the remaster treatment, but boy is it deserving of  it. That's it for now. Next time, Warhammer returns. "What do I think about the EVE Online x Doctor Who crossover?" Desperate. Your turn. "Thoughts on the Fromsoft Armored Core leak?" I haven't looked into it but I'd be happy to see more Armored Core.

I'll also be ready for a lot of annoying "It's Dark Souls  but Robots" thumbnails. "Halo Wars 1 & 2 when? Bonus tears for Halogen." There will be a Halo thing this year on the channel. I was very sad about HaloGen   and I don't know if that'll heal. It's a real shame  there's no build floating around.   "Is there a game I like that the general audience hates or vice versa?"    I would think most recently would be Cyberpunk. The rip down of it has been absolutely fair, it's still  a mess in a lot of ways, but there is a lot I like   about it. There won't be a video on it for quite a  while. 

"Will I return to Eastern Europe for The Void?" I don't know when but it is inevitable at this  point.   "What's the worst purchase I've made that I can't let go of?" Oh man . . . this is a hard one. Um I've  bought bad games like Aliens Colonial Marines but   had fun with them. I can't remember a brand new  game I bought full priced and hated. I'm careful  

about it now and as a kid I didn't get anything  over like 10 bucks. Oh! Empire Earth 3. That's the   one. In general though I once bought a really  shitty pressure cooker - that almost killed me   That might count, but I didn't spend a ton  on it. College days were deadly.

DALE GRIBBLE: "The Beast."

2022-01-22 08:47

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