A ground-based RTS prequel to the classic Homeworld games. Assemble your fleet and lead them to victory on the shifting sands of Kharak in this compelling strategy game for PC from Blackbird Interactive.
User reviews:
Recent:
Mostly Positive (132 reviews) - 79% of the 132 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,943 reviews) - 80% of the 1,943 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jan 20, 2016

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June 21

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Now Available For Mac!

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is now available for Mac! Play the Campaign or online Multiplayer with enemies on both PC and Mac.

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is a ground-based RTS prequel to the classic Homeworld games. Assemble your fleet and lead them to victory on the shifting sands of Kharak in this compelling strategy game for PC from Blackbird Interactive.

32 comments Read more

June 16

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak Update Rolling Out June 16th, 2016

General

- Added Polish Language Support
- Minor Fixes to Shift login

35 comments Read more

About This Game

HOMEWORLD: DESERTS OF KHARAK

A ground-based RTS prequel to the classic Homeworld games. Assemble your fleet and lead them to victory on the shifting sands of Kharak in this compelling strategy game. Crafted by Blackbird Interactive, a studio founded by veterans of Homeworld and Company of Heroes, Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak takes players to the deserts of Kharak where danger lurks over every dune.

EXPERIENCE AN ORIGIN STORY
In Deserts of Kharak’s campaign, an anomaly is discovered deep in the southern desert. An expedition is sent, but the story is not that simple. Discover the story of Rachel S'jet as she leads her people on a quest to find their destiny in an exciting campaign.

HEAVY DUTY HARDWARE
Take control of fleets of land and air vehicles – from nimble light attack vehicles to massive heavyweight cruisers – built to conquer the desert.

MASSIVE ENVIRONMENTS
Fight your way across massive dune seas, deep craters, and hostile canyons in sprawling maps – all in unprecedented fidelity and scale.

TACTICAL COMBAT
Position your fleet to take advantage of the high ground or create ambushes across dune lines in terrestrial combat. Attack your enemies’ resource operations, or assault their military head-on.

STRATEGIC DECISIONS
Meaningful choices in resource management, fleet composition, and technology research directly impact your chances of survival.

ONLINE MULTIPLAYER
Compete online solo or with friends in a variety of game modes, including ranked play, to rise through the ranks and become the most powerful Fleet Captain on Kharak.


Before you can find your Homeworld, you must first unlock the secrets of the desert.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10
    • Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 (3.1 GHz) / AMD A10 5800k (3.8 GHz)
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GT 440 (1024 MB) / Radeon HD 4890 (1024 MB)
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit)
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-950 (3.0 GHz) / AMD FX-4300 (3.8 GHz)
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 770 (2048 MB) / Radeon HD 7770 (1024 MB)
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.10.5 (Yosemite)
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-3470S
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GT 640M
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OSX 10.11 (El Capitan)
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-4570
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GT 755M
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Mostly Positive (132 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,943 reviews)
Recently Posted
Veskern
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
Neat little addition to venerable and beloved series.
Even without space battles it still is Homeworld at the very core, somewhere mixed with elements of classic RTS games like Dune or CnC, and including pretty excellent storyline on top of everything.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Panzerman105
( 15.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 29
I recommend getting the game when its on sale. The campaign story is great, especially if you liked the homeworld series. I felt the UI and way you command your units was okay... I felt the homeworld control scheme worked better in 3D space and not as well on the ground. I found it difficult to position units facing the direction I wanted with the way the terrain works. I also found it really hard to see the terrain layout without constantly whipping the camera around which sometimes caused me to lose sight of what was going on and die. I thought using fighters from your carrier was super fun and satisfying, but the way you launch them from the carrier is weird (I wish you could put them on a hotkey instead of constantly having to go back to the carrier UI). The game is fun, but I felt frustrated with many of the UI and control elements.

Overall, the campaign is great, but the game does not reach the level of excellence of the original series.
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Jayhawk11
( 14.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28
You can definitely tell that this a homeworld game. It has outstanding graphics, textures, terrain, audio, and most importantly story line. If you were a fan of the original homeworld games this game won't let you down. The small, detailed audio really baffled me as I was going through the campaign. There were certain elements that were added that were good ideas but weren't developed enough such as the high height advantages, it was a good ideas but hard to get you units lined up on the higher terrain. The story was also very intriguing as it connected very well as a backstory to homeworld 1 and 2, but the ending of it was kinda... ehhh... So overall, I don't think this game is worth 50 dollars(I spent 25 during the summer sale) but if you were a homeworld 1 and 2 fan for the campaign then I would definitely recommend buying it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Gozzle
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: July 28
It's like Command and Conquer 4, if EA hadn't ballsed it up.
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gaughan182
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
get this
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Demon PonyRider
( 13.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
It really feels like a homeworld game, I really like the art style and It plays ok but there is where the good points ends.
I really enjoyed it untill the end, it felt like"you defeated the enemy, you're done, bye" Way too short campaign, 13 missions played all in a couple of evenings. Lack lustering ending, not even a proper end cut scene. In the end I was like "this is it!?" Not worth the price they are asking.
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Kocoff
( 20.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
This game is great. If you were a fan of the franchises that came out before you love this. The desert feel is not as close as the ones in space, but it still gives that vibes of constant hopelessness and solitude you get from teh game. The game is relatively fluid, and but there are not enough varieties of units. Also the game is fast paced, it you jump right into the action.

great game.
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doccae
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
BUY: maybe for 10$ or below

PROS:
- Nice Graphics
- Good Athmosphere

CONS:
- Low Depth of Game
- Few Units
- not even close to Homeworld's tactical challenge
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mdwyer
( 11.9 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
If you're more than 30 years old, you've played this game before. It was called Earth 20_0 or Ground Control. The latter being a better example, and it is difficult to tease out the difference between the two. There's a mobile base, one sort of special 'champion' unit, and an enemy that tosses mobs after you from time to time, interrupting your resource gathering. The easily-fooled scripted events make an appearance, too. Everything's here, from the terrible pathfinding and crushing unit limits. Its place in the Homeworld history seems a little misplaced, too; the novelty of a third dimension gets crushed down to just a sense of high-ground versus low-ground.

To be fair, that aspect of the game -- line of fire and line of sight -- is very well done, and units will tell you with very clear graphics what is blocking their fire and what you could move to get around that.

While I'm enjoying the game, the primary feeling I keep having is that I've seen this before. I've played this game before. Really, the only reason I have to recommend this game is that I cannot think of anything else like it that came out this decade. It's not a great game, but it scratches and itch that's been ignored for a long, long time.

Despite the fact that there's nothing really new, here, there's nothing really wrong with the formula that needs help. It is keeping me entertained, and that's pretty much what it is supposed to do. There's no way this is a $60 game, but $30 seems about right.
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LocalMemeDealer
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 24
i have played homeworld 2 and it was an amazing game! Cant say the same for this one becouse i cant even play it. i try launching the game but it wont work. out of the 100 times ive tried to play it only actully worked once. I think the main reason i cant play is becouse i have an IMac but still im ♥♥♥♥♥♥ that i payed for a game i cant even play. Mac users do not buy this game
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
44 of 66 people (67%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
I don't usually write reviews, but this game disappointed me so much I couldn't help it.

So let's get right to it.

Campaign: The only thing positive I have to say about the campaign is that I liked the art style and feel of the cutscenes. They are a mix of the lineart Homeworld cutscenes and A Scanner Darkly. Very imaginative and unique.

The rest of the campaign is trash. The voice acting is atrocious. Whoever voiced Rachel sounds bored, even when finding the most amazing technologies ever seen by man. The writing is just bad and gave me no feel for the characters or the mission itself. Actually, when the game ended, I wasn't even expecting it. It was a bland.."that's it?". Not even Homeworld 2 was this bad.

Music: Probably the best part of the game.

Gameplay: Ohhh boy. This is not Homeworld guys. This is generic ground RTS. You have the standard rock paper scissors gameplay, your airstrikes, and some abilities. That's it. Unit variety is nonexistent. The game is about unit positioning and "the high ground" but everything moves so slow the battles are usually over before you manage a move command. Then there's the fact that there are no unit formations whatsoever. So, pray tell, what's the point? The entire mechanic seems half ♥♥♥♥♥ and incompleted.

And it's buggy. Holy ♥♥♥♥ is it buggy. I had my carrier launched into the stratosphere because it couldn't fit a path not once, not twice, but thrice. To see a billion ton piece of metal flipping through the air is comical and rage inducing. Units that clip through the ground, never to be seen again, dunes that sometimes block shots but sometimes let them inexplicably through. What the hell is this?

I didn't get to play the multiplayer part. I'm just to disappointed to try it. Forget it.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
love the new approach, the sci fi realism is Awesome!, but Still it feels shorts in content.
wait for sale before you buy it with full price
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
+ Great, Homeworld atmosphere
+ Beautifull graphics, sand dunes, desert, great soundtrack, cool units, cool combat
+ ok story

- small number of units
- only 13 SP missions (although I needed 15 hours on normal to complete them)
- its easy, not challenging (on normal), AI is weak
- full price is not worth it (50% discounted is just right)

I really enjoyed it, hope we get a sequel or another game in this sand universe.
Good job Blackbird! :)
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
Excellent RTS with a distinct Homeworld feel, and while the campaign only has 13 missions they are all very good and require different strategies, the story is excellent and has the distinct Homeworld mythos. Multiplayer is nice and the community is friendly and welcoming. If you enjoy Homeworld games this is worth getting for your collection, if you are into RTS but with a very detailed single player story line and beautiful visuals then this may peek your interests, if none of the above maybe check out when on sale, thumbs up!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
If you loved the Homeworld series, Deserts of Kharak is totally worth it, and here's why:

First of all, a little backstory: the Homeworld IP was tossed around various companies for almost a decade, before ending in a bid between Blackbird (ex Homeworld devs) and Gearbox, the latter winning the auction. This led to the Remastered edition, on which Blackbird helped Gearbox quite a bit, especially with assets. In the meanwhile, Blackbird was working on Hardware: Shipbreakers, an independent title, designed to be F2P. Gearbox eventually asked them if they'd want to rebrand it as Homeworld, and Blackbird agreed. Why did I waste one paragraph writing this? Because Deserts of Kharak is NOT a well-planned, heavily-financed AAA game. It is a haphazardly put together welcome surprise package, somewhat as a replacement for Cataclysm Remastered, not driven by profit but passion. So, in my opinion, most of the shortcomings mentioned in the other reviews can be forgiven/overlooked.

Deserts of Kharak faithfully reproduces MANY themes in the original saga, such as an expedition to explore the past (immediately followed by total disaster), that determines the future; fleet balancing (that some consider the rock-paper-scissor design, but pretty much all CCGs, MOBAs, Arena Shooters, etc. are identically balanced); stellar, beautiful music; emphasis on micromanagement and rewarding effort; and a gripping, tight back-story that segways neatly into the intro to Homeworld 1. There isn't much you can do with a fixed ending, and Deserts of Kharak sprinkles enough suspense, thrill, even drama, throughout the journey to keep you engaged.

DoH brings terrain-based tactical combat to the table as new gameplay, and while it works, it's not as game-changing as you'd like it to be. If you used 3D space to lay out ambushes in Homeworld, you can totally use sand dunes to achieve the same effect in DoH. Like Catacylsm, you have one very mobile carrier instead of a big mothership, which is now upgradable and quite capable of holding its own in combat, provided you shunt power to the right drives. You do NOT automatically collect resources at the end of missions, which fits the "nomads on the run" motif, IMO. Besides, unlike HW, resources aren't scattered throughout the map, but concentrated inside shipwrecks that you find on the way: the process of shipbreaking and gathering resources is challenging, especially when under constant attack (an example of the "reward effort" mantra).

The game is a bit buggy, camera controls could be improved, cutscenes could be skippable, and a myriad of other minor issues that, in my opinion, have negligible impact on player experience. My harshest criticism against the game would be its pricing: it might have had more success in the $25 range. Deserts of Kharak is a well executed modern RTS (in a world dominated by MOBAs) that you should definitely try.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
It's good. Not great perhaps, it has a few too many issues for that, but certainly very good. Now before I go into detail, I would like to say that multiplayer is of absolutely no interest to me, so if that's what you're wanting to know about, this is going to be of little to no use for you.

With that in mind...

PROS:
-This really feels like a homeworld game. A few lulls, but otherwise very nicely paced, some truly grand battles, some littler ones, an unmistakeable art style and a truly wonderful soundtrack.
-Gameplay has a wonderfully frantic feel to it, like you're juggling ten different things at once, but in actuality is fairly easy to pull off, leaving you feeling like you genuinely accomplished something (also a genuinely homeworldy thing, Kadesh Nebula or Tenhauser Gate anyone?)
-Some nice continuity nods, notably to the introduction of Homeworld 1.
-Unit designs look good, tactical overlay as always helps you figure out what's going on and what's doing what.
-The interface is very responsive, and the transition between normal view and sensor manager view is very fluid and slick, making meaning that micro and macro level command flow together nicely.
-Voice acting and script are both perfect for the game.
-Nails the 'just-one-more-mission' attribute.
-In all, brilliant atmosphere, feels very good to play.

CONS:
-Storywise, it could really have done with a few more missions, the ending hits very suddenly, and there isn't that sort of visceral thrill about it that HW1 or Cataclysm had (or even really the feeling of grandeur their endings had). Perhaps an extra two or three between the penultimate mission and the final one would have helped, as would the final mission taking longer than twenty minutes.
-While I'm carping about the ending, the ending cutscene is the very definition of anticlimax, no nice discovery of ashiny black rock with a starchart on it, no real examination of what caused the ships that hyperspaced into the surface to do so, (anyone who's played the other homeworld games should know what I'm talking about there) just a quick bit of narration from our heroine about how all of karak is no united and how the future is bright, then roll credits.
-You can't remap the key bindings in game, you have to do it via a config file. And yet it has a listing of key bindings in the Options menu. *not impressed*
-Fairly limited selection of units, and it lacks the sort of 'here are your workhorses, here are your specialists' sort of structure that most HW games have, and it feels slightly lacking in mechanical depth as a result.
-This is further exacerbated by only having two factions in the singleplayer, unlike the rest of the series where in addition to varying objectives you also had to adapt to multiple different enemies. Several other reviews have criticsised the game as only having one type of strategy and mission objective, and while I wouldn't go that far, I think that having multiple different enemy factions to overcome would have made the game more varied.

THINGS TO BE AWARE OF, BUT WHICH AREN'T REALLY CONS OR PROS:
-More information about units in the building manager would have gone down well, rather than a bald 'this is what this is and what it's good against' which is all you get.
-This almost got into the cons list, but I figure I can't really blame BBI too much for it: Initially, the game would run fine for approx fifteen-twenty minutes but then freeze and crash out. Gearbox tech support were very helpful, and the issue was eventually solved by doing a complete clean install of my AMD graphics drivers. This not being the first time I've had to do this to get a game working stably, I'm not going to hold AMD's code monkeys not knowing how to program a decent update installer against the game, but it's definitely something I should mention. Once fixed however, it ran solid as a rock, a few minor graphical glitches but nothing to write home about.
-I feel like more could have been made of the carrier's systems upgrades (upgrades which are mostly cancelled out by the rising heat as you get deeper into the desert, which in turn could probably have been a plot point in itself) and definitely that more use of the carrier as a warship would have compensated for the lack of big, truly heavy duty battle units.

And that's about all I can think of for now.

To recap, it's good, worth buying, but it could be better.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
I love his game, it has so much character, the sound design is awesome, from the soundtrack to the voice coms of your units, this is how a game should be done, it has a VERY Battlestar galactica (New Series) feel to it albiet sand based.

UI is clean and uncluttered, unit control is simple and the tactical map is genius.

The storyline is also really engaging although again feels like the writers were lending a little of the BSG vibe, it only actually lasts around 12 hours but it was a great play through.

I'm playing it on max difficulty and at that level presents a decent challenge, to prevent it from being the cake walk some have suggested it to be, at least for my skill level.

If the idea of a great looking, great sounding RTS game with a unique setting and superb story sounds good to you, and bonus if you're a BSG fan grab this game, especially when on sale.

One of my favourite RTS.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 4
Absolutely fantastic game. Graphics are unreal. Storyline is very immersive. I sure hope they have some more campaingn add ons coming.Almost done with campaign and I can say this game is epic. I have pleyed almost every RTS to date since original Dune and this has to be one of the most well polished RTS games of all time. Cut scenes are gorgeous and done like original C&C style, and the soundtrack and sound effects are incredible. Controls are fantastic ans easy to learn. The air battles are as good as any RTS out there.
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6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
14 hrs of game play feels like 140 hrs, it's just that great. The final boss fight was intense and it's worth every penny of the on sale price. I don't think it's worth the original price for me, but for the discounted price, it's worth it. The unit upgrade system is good too, I just wish that I get a chance to fully upgrade but that's the appeal of this game -- I want to fully upgrade but I have to tactically do it because the pressure is real. I have to specialized on one unit else I'm done for. The story is interesting but the ending seemed rushed -- it's like there should be 20 chapters but they have to cut it to 13. In the end, I got what I paid for and I'm satisfied.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
28.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 9
Overall, a solid game whose flaws are more than made up for by excellent atmosphere and style. Gameplay is similar to Homeworld, mostly minus the Z axis*, and has not been made overly complicated, which personally I approve of.

* Some units benefit in terms of visibility (and damage?) from a height advantage.

+Great atmosphere; looks and sounds like a Homeworld game. Paul Ruskay is the composer of the music, as he was for the earlier Homeworld games.
+As far as science fiction goes, the story is plausible and interesting and does not contradict lore established by the earlier games (note: Deserts of Kharak is a prequel).
+Units gain bonuses if they see enough combat, giving some incentive to play optimally.
-AI is rudimentary and unchallenging, even on hardest (Classic) difficulty. Enemy attacks en masse happen only by chance or when scripted to.
-Blobs of units, self-repairing and requiring very little micromanagement, are a little too viable as a tactic.
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