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Anyone else remember Dark Reign: The Future of War? Released back in 1997, it's a real classic and at the time it had some pretty favourable reviews too. The good news is that it's being rebuilt by fans using OpenRA.

OpenRA is the same game engine that revived classic Westwood RTS games like Command & Conquer,  Dune 2000 and Red Alert. It's highly versatile and open source, making it a good base to use to revive other classics too and this makes me happy.

Dark Reign is easily one of my all-time favourite RTS games, next to Total Annihilation. Both managed to spice things up nicely that other RTS games around the time weren't doing. Heck, I even wrote about Dark Reign here back in 2016 when trying it out in Wine (wow — has my opinion on Wine changed or what?). Just look at how gorgeous it was:

Click pictures to enlarge.

A colossal war between the Imperium and Freedom Guard is annihilating your world. To save your civilization, you must enter the heart of an empire at war. Command over 35 units with specific orders and deploy suicide bombers, hostage takers, saboteurs and more. Use precisely calculated battlegrounds to your strategic advantage and play against a highly responsive and unpredictable AI that detects and adjusts intelligently to your tactics. Vanquish the military powers to alter the destiny of a galaxy.

The official blurb

I had this OpenRA "mod" on my watch-list for a long time, hoping for the best but I wasn't aware that it was being actively developed. To the point that you can download an AppImage from the GitHub, download the demo content inside it and then get playing and it's really coming along nicely, although far from complete.

What do I hope with this article? Perhaps there's a few fellow Dark Reigns fans lurking that might like it, and perhaps some might help give it a push along with code so we can see another classic truly revived for modern audiences.

Pictured - Dark Reign in OpenRA.

Find the project on GitHub. It works with the demo assets but you'll likely need a full copy from GOG at some point.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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Geamandura Oct 28, 2022
I loved Dark reign but I absolutely super loved Dark colony.
MisterPaytwick Oct 29, 2022
Holy, that's a throwback.

I never played it, but I remember the cover and well, at home we did have SC/WC/C&C/C&C:RA (even warwind and others), but this cover from the magazines and shops...

Well, may have well try it now.
Liam Dawe Oct 29, 2022
Quoting: GeamanduraI loved Dark reign but I absolutely super loved Dark colony.
Oh yes, that was another absolute beaut back in the day, a great many hours played through on that. Very fond memories of it, wasn't really like anything else.
Liam Dawe Oct 29, 2022
Star Command: Revolution is another that I played a lot of back in the day, was such a golden age of RTS back then.
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