previewed on PC
Space strategy, with a twist
As the RTS genre becomes ever more saturated, publishers and developers continue to test the players' willingness to eat up another fantasy, historical, World War II, and Sci-Fi clone. The open space, however, remains one setting little discussed and explored (no pun intended). A situation like this is clearly unacceptable, and publisher DreamCatcher Interactive has teamed up with first-time developer Metamorf Studios to rectify this problem once and for all ? one game at a time. First revealed at this year's E3, Genesis Rising: The Universal Crusade comes after the zero-gravity heels of genre predecessors like Homeworld: Cataclysm and Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. But Genesis Rising promises more than to carry on the proud tradition of cool-sounding subtitles, it also seeks to bring new innovations to the genre.
Rare among space strategy games, Genesis Rising is based on a comic book of the same name. In game terms, this means that the game will come with a lengthy back story that will provide more than a good excuse to blow things up with a rainbow-colored light beam. The game is set in the very, very distant future, more precisely 3000 years after the crucifixion of a poor sap known as ?The Savior? ? possibly an illusion to Monty Python's Graham Chapman. In Genesis Rising's optimistic vision of the future, mankind have transcended all petty squabbling and pretences of political correctness, finally coming to terms with humanity's unquestionable supremacy. United under the Church of the Savior, mankind is now determined to take on the Homo Sapiens? burden and achieve universal domination.
More importantly, though, there will be plenty of big space ships and flashy lights in this future. But here Genesis Rising again throws us a twist: rather than mining asteroids, researching electric technologies and constructing metallic vessels, everything, possibly even the hamburgers, will be organic in nature. In this world, the hottest new gimmick is the ?Organid?, which are genetically engineered vessels that can grow and adapt into different forms. The main resource in the game is thus blood, the enabling technology is genetic research, and the ships are grown rather than built, which is sure to raise controversy amongst the anti-stem cell research folks. The skeptics may say that this is just throwing different names on same-old RTS concepts, but that is why you should never listen to the skeptics. What can be cooler than self-righteous Space Vampires? Not to mention that the prospect of shooting particle beams from giant meat-cannons is sure to get all space strategy fans hot and excited.
On the subject of Space Vampires and giant meat-cannons: the player will take on the role of one Captain Iconah (not confirmed to be a Space Vampire himself), who is dispatched to conquer the last heathen galaxy. Conveniently, this galaxy is also believed to contain the ?heart of the universe?, which aside from being something of a sacred relic to the Church-goers, also sounds like a whole lot of creamy, juicy blood. The fact that humans are the aggressor this time around, rather than the hapless victim of some green alien bugs, is just the frosting on the cake.