Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sins of a Homeworld

As I was starting to play Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity on my Personal Computer yesterday, my mind went back to the great classic Homeworld 2. What triggered that reaction wasn't the similarity of gameplay but instead, I just found that Sins lacks any real visual punch. I remember being blown away by the vastness of space and its inhabitants that was portrayed in Homeworld 2. Things feel a bit empty in Sins even though both games technically are doing the same thing when it comes to creating a sense of galactic scale. So I decided to reinstall Homeworld 2 to check out how it would hold up today. I ran both games in 1920 x 1080 resolution and after playing back and forth between the two games, the winner is clear.

The graphics in Sins feel a bit too clean, too sterile...

The gas cloud formations in Homeworld 2 are still as mesmerizing as ever.

Let me put it this way: If Homeworld 2 was just released this year, it could get away with its graphical presentation and technology. Bear in mind that this game was released in 2003 and close to 7 years later, the 3D engine that supports it is still extremely competent. The game surely looks better than a vast majority of titles found on the PlayStation 3 or the X-Box 360, especially during the space battles. All the structures and objects still look very modern with nary a sign of the typical blocky polygons that are usually seen in dated 3D models. The light trails from the ships are still some of the best in the business. If there is any flaw to this game's graphics is that if you do zoom in too close on all of the objects, you will notice some low resolution textures here and there but they are not as bad as those found in Mass Effect 2 - remarkable, isn't it?

This is not to say that the graphics in Sins are bad. It's just that the game could have been a little prettier, especially after I have just finished looking at Homeworld 2 again. Sins does have more things happening on-screen and it's impressive how far you can pull away the camera to look at the galaxy as a whole compared to the limitation of that found in Homeworld 2. I just wish Sins is a better looking because from what I have played of it so far, it is definitely building up to be the best 4x strategy game I have ever played.

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