The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

StarCraft II's expansion pack, Heart of the Swarm, is already out in some parts of the world, and it's launching tomorrow in North America. To celebrate, let's take the opportunity to examine more than 20 years' worth of real-time strategy history in today's Show Us gallery, and see how much the genre has evolved visually. Since the StarCraft games are set in Earth's 25th century, we're focusing only on RTS games in sci-fi settings.


Herzog Zwei (1990)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty (1992)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Command & Conquer (1995)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

KKnD (1997)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Total Annihilation (1997)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

StarCraft: Brood War (1998)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Machines (1999)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Earth 2150 (2000)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Dark Reign 2 (2000)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War (2004)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Star Wars: Empire at War (2006)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Halo Wars (2009)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Supreme Commander 2 (2010)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013)

The Visual Evolution of Sci-Fi Real-Time Strategy Games

Were there any real-time strategy games that blew your mind when they came out? Any great-looking unreleased ones you're really looking forward to? Show us in the comments below with visual support.

sources: Avtoandlevan's LP, RTSGuru, Renegade Forums, Acantophis3rd's LP, Total Annihilation Wiki, TeamLiquid.net, NostalgicGames, DawnOfWarGame.com, LucasArts, HaloWars.com, SupremeCommander2.com, StarCraft Facebook