Whether you’re familiar with the Homeworld franchise or a sci-fi fanatic looking to get into a new universe full of wonder and danger, Homeworld 3 is looking like one of the most interesting big releases coming next year. This third instalment arrives more than 20 years after Homeworld 2 (2003), but hot on the heels of the Homeworld remastered collection (2015) and Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak (2016), a prequel developed by Blackbird Interactive, who’s now in charge of the threequel. Here’s everything we’ve learned about it so far.
While the first two games are all about space travel, exploration, and battles, Deserts of Kharak took us to the desert planet of Kharak 106 years before the events of the original Homeworld, expanding on the history of the Kushan before they took to the stars. In the first Homeworld, Kharak is destroyed by the Taiidan Empire in retaliation for creating hyperspace jump technology. The Kushan survivors then journey with a mothership and its surrounding fleet to reclaim their ancient homeworld of Hiigara from the Taiidan. In the second game, however, the Kushan – now Hiigaran again after defeating the Taiidan – must face a new enemy called the Vaygr as the stakes are raised even higher.
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Homeworld 3 release date
Homeworld 3 is set to release in February 2024, but Gearbox has yet to share the day fans will be able to jump back into one of gaming’s most famous sci-fi universes.
The original plan was to release Homeworld 3 during Q4 2022, but in June 2022, the game’s first delay – to the first half of 2023 – was jointly announced by Gearbox and Blackbird Interactive to avoid development crunch. A second delay would arrive in May 2023, marking February 2024 as the game’s new release window.
Homeworld 3 platforms
Much like the previous Homeworld games, Homeworld 3 is releasing exclusively on PC (Windows).
It remains to be seen if Gearbox will explore porting the game to macOS or modern consoles. Its predecessors eventually made it to Apple’s operating system, so there’s hope.
Homeworld 3 trailers
Homeworld 3’s marketing machine has been working for a few years now, so there are five major trailers available and worth watching so far. Scroll down if you’re interested in watching (or rewatching) them to feel the hype.
On August 30, 2019, the long-anticipated threequel was announced with an evocative teaser. Watch it below:
More than two years later, on December 10, 2021, we got a first look at the game in motion with a meaty two-minute gameplay trailer. Check it out here:
The following preview arrived during Gamescom Opening Night Live 2022, on August 23. It focused on the Kesura Oasis and the dangerous Kalan Raiders. Watch it here:
More recently, on August 22, 2023, we learned more about Homeworld 3’s story and where the galaxy-spanning quest is taking players next. Experience the intense story trailer here:
On top of the story trailer, Gearbox also shared on August 25 a new gameplay trailer focusing on the War Games co-op mode that had been teased in the past. Learn about this new way to play Homeworld with the breezy but informative preview here:
Homeworld 3 plot & setting
Following the events of Homeworld 2, which ended with Kushan neuroscientist and Fleet Command Karan S’jet winning in the fight against the Vaygr, the galaxy entered the “Age of S’jet,” an era of galactic trade and development facilitated by the opening of an ancient hyperspace gate network.
This golden age, however, appears to have reached its end after the disappearance of Karan while she was opening gates at the edge of the galaxy. Her vanishing has been followed by the appearance of a mysterious scourge known as “The Anomaly,” which has spread across the galaxy and darkened entire star systems.
With the mighty Karan S’jet little more than a myth roughly 100 years later, it’s up to Imogen S’jet, her successor, to dispatch a fleet in hope of understanding and defeating the greatest enemy the galaxy has ever faced.
Homeworld 3 genre & gameplay
Like its two main predecessors, Homeworld 3 is a 3D real-time strategy game set in space. Blackbird Interactive explored a variety of options when they looked at maybe upgrading the formula, but ultimately decided to focus on the campaign mode and solo gameplay. However, the threequel does pack a hefty secondary mode with roguelike elements called War Games, which can be played either solo or as three-player co-op.
Some of the new major gameplay features are huge megaliths and trenches: giant space structures that add the option of coverage and new strategies for small ships. If we look closer at the gameplay trailers released so far, we can also spot details that suggest low-atmospheric battles might be prominent this time around.
When it comes to classic ships and other spacecraft, small fighters, frigates, and cruisers are returning for sure, with corvettes, destroyers, and carriers seemingly being included too. For the most part, we’re getting all of the space goodies the Homeworld games are known for, and the devs appear to be saving some behemoth-sized surprises for later as well.
Homeworld 3 Collector’s Edition
If you’ve got the extra money and love the Homeworld series, you might want to take a look at Homeworld 3’s Collector’s Edition. It’ll set you back $174.99/£169.99 and contains many physical goodies, including true-to-scale ship models and a premium lithograph, among other things. It also includes the base game, the year one pass, and other digital content.
Read the full list of what’s included inside this beast of a Collector’s Edition below:
- The Mothership, Khar-Kushan (14 inches/35.6 cm)
- Hiigaran Destroyer (3 inches/7.6 cm)
- Hiigaran Torpedo Frigate (1.8 inches/4.5 cm)
- Hiigaran Scouts (1.2 inches/3 cm)
- Lithograph (18 x 24 inches/30 x 40 cm)
- Deck of WW2-inspired playing cards
- Homeworld 3 keychain
- Base game
- Year one pass (post-launch content)
- Ship decals
- Multiplayer name colors