I don't like RTS games but I loved Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, and you can get it for free right now

I didn't have much hope for Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak. Homeworld is an epic, star-spanning tale of survival and triumph amidst the blackness and mystery of interstellar space; Deserts of Kharak, on the other hand, is locked into a single dusty world by the combined forces of gravity and insufficient technological advancement. How could that possibly compare?

You can imagine my surprise, then, when Deserts of Kharak turned out to be really good: We gave it a very rare 90% score in our review, calling it "a great tactical RTS with all the gorgeous aesthetics and atmosphere of the original series."

The point of all this buildup is that Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is now free for the week on the Epic Games Store, and it's not one to be missed. Even if you're not an RTS fan, it's worth your time: I am not an RTS fan, and Homeworld remains one of the most moving and memorable games I've ever played. For me, the mechanics are secondary: Homeworld is great because of its setting, its story, and its aesthetic. It's a remarkable story, remarkably well told.

"In spite of all the ways this could have gone horribly wrong, Deserts of Kharak succeeds on almost every count," we said in our review. "It's not only a terrific RTS that sets itself apart from the rest of the genre's recent games, but it's also an excellent Homeworld game that reinvents the series while also recapturing its magic."

Also, it's free right now, and honestly I don't think I should have to work this hard to sell you on a free game, but I am anyway because I really don't want you to miss this one. For the record, this is the first time Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak has been an Epic freebie, which makes it kind of a big deal too.

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak is free on the Epic Games Store until August 31—after that, the indie hit Cave Story+ will take its place.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.