Review by Emperor of Japan

Reviewed: 06/06/02 | Updated: 06/06/02

The Best RTS Game to Hit the PC

Just when you think that Sierra has reached their high point, they come out with one of the best PC games ever to grace the computer. Although not everything in this game is perfect, Cataclysm offers enough to make even the most battle-hardened RTS vet squeal with glee once the game begins.

Gameplay
10/10

The gameplay in Cataclysm is about as good as it can get. Those who mastered the Homeworld setup and gameplay will be pleased to know that there have been no drastic changes, and there is even an option in the game that lets you change the setup so it's the style it was in Homeworld. The 3-D movement is much different than most RTS games, and it allows for great strategy and unique planning. All the ships are different, and the research process has been completely changed. Instead of building research ships, you build modules that research different categories (i.e. weapons, fighter drives, etc.). Although it may seem like a bad idea, it actually seems more effective than the old Research Ships process. So, too, has the Harvester/Salvaging/Repairer method. All three things have been packed into one ship, the Worker, a very effective ship. It costs much less than buying a Salvage Corvette, a Repair Corvette, and a Resource Collector like you had to do in Homeworld. There have also been a few bad changes. One of the most noticeable is that hyperspacing costs much more than it did in Homeworld. Instead of hyperspacing, you can use ''Slipgates'' that will transport your ship(s) to another Slipgate. There are several problems with this, though, and one is that the smaller the gate, the closer you'll travel. Also, your ships take a while to go through one and come out the other, as opposed to hyperspacing, when all of your capital ships entered and exited all at once. Through Slipgates, each of your ships goes through single file, offering much less of a chance for a massive surprise attack. Despite all these changes, Cataclysm maintains wonderful gameplay.

Graphics
8/10

The graphics are the exact same as those in Homeworld - good, but not great. This is good for those that have an older system, but for those that have a newer, up-to-date system, not as appealing. The game lacks texture, and in big battles with a lot of ships, gets incredibly choppy. Even outside of battle, the game will get a bit choppy, but it's bearable. The ships are of beautiful design, and even though there are a lot of ''jaggies,'' it's not too bad.

Storyline
11/10

This game has, hands down, THE best storyline ever for a PC game (unless you count FFVII). It continues beautifully from where Homeworld left off, introducing both a new Kiith and a new threat, which makes the game much more interesting. I won't ruin it for you, but I must say that the Beast is way cooler than the Taidan from Homeworld. The Taidanii are in it also, but as the game progresses, they don't become the big threat that they are made out to be in the beginning. Okay, I've said enough, but to wrap this part up, the storyline is better than Homeworld's.

Music/SFX
9/10

Not much different than those of Homeworld. They add a certain level of suspense to the game, the music in the background is kind of mysterious and soft. The SFX are top-notch, and hearing the gun blasts and whooshing of the ships is rather cool. The music during the credits disappointed me, because I so enjoyed the song by Yes in Homeworld. All it is in this game is a soft beat...not something fun to listen to. And, while I'm on the subject of the credits, the sketches in Cataclysm aren't nearly as cool as the ones in Homeworld.

Replay
9/10

Although, in my opinion, the skirmishes in Cataclysm weren't as fun as those in Homeworld, they are still fun to play. The single player campaign demands replay, even if you've already gone through it once. The story is just so intriguing and fun to hear again and again...Also, the multiplayer, over the internet, is cool, just like in most other RTS games.

Overall
10/10 (Note: not an average)

This is a must-have for any and all RTS fans, as well as anyone who played and enjoyed Homeworld. The storyline, graphics, and gameplay are worth the $20.00 they charge for it. Another good thing is that Cataclysm is a seperate game, which means you don't need Homeworld to play it, though it is recomended to fully understand and appreciate the complex but amusing story in this wonderful game.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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