A big day for the free and open source Warzone 2100 as the team have officially released Warzone 2100 4.0, which brings in some modern enhancements to their rendering including Vulkan API support.
Not much is different to the previous articles covering the pre-release Beta versions, although a number of bug fixes have been coded in since we last covered in. For people holding off on playing again until it's considered stable - now is the best time to enjoy a classic RTS. With new rendering hooked up you can switch between different options in the video menu. You can stick to OpenGL or switch to Vulkan now for even better performance in a number of cases. It also bumps up to OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 but the previous OpenGL 3.0+ Core Profile (default) and OpenGL 2.1 Compatibility Profile is still there.
Some of what else is new includes:
- New "Factions" for multiplayer / skirmish
- Higher-res terrain textures, backdrops
- New Music Manager, + AlexTheDacian's new soundtrack album
- Support for "script-generated" / "random" maps (and two new built-in maps that take advantage of this: 6p-Entropy and 10p-Waterloop)
- Scrollable room chat, and many other UI / widget improvements
- Updated / smarter AI bots (Bonecrusher, Cobra)
- New "headless" mode (for --autogame, --autohost, --skirmish)
- JS API enhancements, + a new "Script Debugger"
- Removal of Qt as a dependency, + a new embedded JS engine: QuickJS
- Quality-of-Life / smoothness improvements
- Hundreds of bug fixes
Such an awesome experience you need to play through. I have very fond memories of playing this in my youth, amusingly I had it on the original PlayStation so to see it live its best life thanks to the original team open sourcing it - I couldn't be happier. I do wish more developers would be more forward-thinking and open up their older games. Let them all live on!