Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak lifts off on January 20

— 9:57 AM on December 17, 2015

Instead of sailing through the stars, giant spaceships will soon be landmarks of a vast desert world in in Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. Previously known as Homeworld: Shipbreakers (and before that, Hardware: Shipbreakers), this prequel for the Homeworld series is being developed by Blackbird Interactive, and it'll be published by Gearbox Software. Gearbox released this trailer along with its announcement, and it's so beautiful:

This game's January 20 launch date is approaching at warp speed. There's more good news beyond the short wait, too. Deserts of Kharak's free-to-play model is no more. Instead, the title will be a full retail release.

Blackbird Interactive is the brainchild of a number of ex-Relic employees that worked on the original Homeworld games. Back in October at Unite 2015, Blackbird gave a presentation on the procedural cinematography tool it's building for the game, plus details of how they're using the Unity engine to power it. That presentation exemplifies the care and attention to detail the studio is giving the first truly new entry to the franchise in over 12 years for me.

As another entry in one of my favorite franchises, I have high hopes for Deserts of Kharak. Homeworld was possibly the game that crystallized my PC hardware enthusiasm back in 2000, when I got the demo running on a Riva TNT2-powered computer at my high school.  After I saw it running smoothly at 1024x768, the upgrade bug took up permanent residence in my brain. Let's hope Kharak lives up to the high bar set by Homeworld Remastered.

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