Homeworld 3 review: Gracefully carries on the legacy of the franchise

Making Homeworld 3 must have been an immense challenge, so hats off to Blackbird Interactive.

Not only did it have to live up to the legacy of the first two Homeworld games and satisfy RTS veterans, but it also had to refine the old formula and give players a reason to return. Luckily for fans, Homeworld 3 does both.

Familiar combat, polished 

Units flying and fighting in frozen area
Combat is easy, but only if you’re playing easy mode. Image via Blackbird Interactive

Let’s start with the part of Homeworld 3 you’re most interested in—combat. It’s quite similar to previous Homeworld games and other sci-fi RTS titles. You construct buildings, control units, and gather resources in a fully 3D space. Homeworld 3 has a steep learning curve, but it tries its best to teach you its mechanics at a steady pace. 

If you start with easy mode, you can rush objectives without consequences, but the game gets drastically harder from normal difficulty onward. You must strategically spread out your units, plan how to use your resources, and use cover to dodge incoming fire. Each mission is unique: You’ll navigate an asteroid field in one and battle overwhelming hordes of enemy spacecraft in another. There are plenty of units to coordinate, which might initially feel overwhelming.

I recommend starting with the single-player tutorial and campaign, which introduce all the core mechanics and keybinds. You’ll likely still get confused, but that’s part of the learning process.

Homeworld 3 further explores the already-established universe

Even though I didn’t play the first two games in the franchise, Homeworld 3’s story sucked me in. The game follows Fleet Command Imogen S’Jet, protégé of the series’ previous protagonist, Karan, who aims to find the missing Khar-Sajuuk mothership, which vanished after trying to find the source of the Anomaly, a spreading mysterious and unstable region of space. Imogen and Isaac (Intel) set out to uncover the truth behind the ship’s disappearance and stop the Anomaly from spreading—while uncovering the truth about Karan’s disappearance, too.

The story is quite straightforward to follow, even if you don’t know the characters. I loved the storytelling, especially the lengthy cinematics that gave me a break from strategizing. Yet I couldn’t help but feel I was missing a piece of the puzzle by not knowing the lore from the previous games. If you haven’t played Homeworld and Homeworld 2, you’ll miss important narrative context that would enhance the experience.

But even without knowing the lore, I had a lot of fun. In Homeworld 3, your goal is to travel through space and help Imogen S’Jet discover the truth behind the events of Homeworld 2. You must help manage the forces and skillfully plan out the usage of your resources. You’ll find yourself in many sticky situations as you repair the Mothership, defend it, and help it traverse a sea of asteroids. Luckily for players, you have Isaac by your side, a helpful character who guides you through the process. Missions become increasingly demanding as you progress, as you have to remember all the lessons Isaac teaches you, but you also unlock new units to take advantage of. 

A worthy successor

Mothership surrounded by units and flying among asteroids
A tale worth playing through. Image via Blackbird Interactive

Homeworld 3 gracefully carries on the franchise’s legacy with strategic combat, an intricate story that respects the original lore, and a wide variety of missions you can easily replay and never get bored of. 

I won’t lie—you’ll encounter some bugs here and there, but they probably won’t break the game or your immersion. The developer is open and receptive to feedback and plans to continue polishing the game in upcoming patches.

Homeworld 3 will arrive almost 21 years after the previous installment, Homeworld 2, and after you plunge into this deep space strategy, you’ll soon realize it was worth the wait. It comes with a hefty price of $59.99 but has the potential to become the Baldur’s Gate 3 of RTS in 2024 and a must-play for all PC gamers.



  • Exciting and challenging combat
  • Variety of game modes
  • Respects the Homeworld franchise
  • Simple, yet intriguing story


  • A steep learning curve, especially for new players

A copy of this game was provided by Gearbox for review. Reviewed on PC.

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