Platform: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC ( Reviewed ) MRSP: 59.99 ( Console ) 49.99 ( PC )
Developed By: Kaos Studios
Homefront puts you in the shoes of a member of the resistance movement fighting the Korean occupation of the United States of America by the now unified nation of Korea. The premise borrows allot from the cult classic movie Red Dawn which is appropriate as the game was written by the very same person who directed and co-wrote it. Being a big fan of the film I was quite excited for this game but does it live up to those expectations?
You will see some familiar locations while playing through the games campaign
The quick answer to that question is no it does not. Homefront's premise is definitely well thought out but that seems to be about as far as they got with it. The overarching plot of the game starts off well with good atmosphere but it never really amounts to much other then a bunch of firefights in suburban war torn areas. Characters are introduced who join you throughout the game but they are never really fleshed out leaving very little attachment to them as the game ends very quickly and anticlimactically. If your looking for a deep or moving story about the plight of a people and their country then you will not find it here you will however find plenty of product placement for things like White castle, Tigerdirect computers and Hooters.
Get used to ads like this.
What you will find is a first person shooter that plays it as safe as it can when it comes to mechanics. The gameplay borrows heavily from the Call of Duty franchise. You can aim down your sights, sprint shoot and stab your enemies at close range for quick kills and use a variaty of weapons with different attachments. Most of the game is you chasing around your AI controlled companions waiting for them to trigger events so you can progress but occasional it will change things up a bit by having you do things like control a robotic tanks targeting system, manning a turret or flying a helicopter but rarely does the game do anything better then similar titles of the genre. The controls themselves are solid however I found myself constantly dieing due to massive groups of charging enemies and cheap one hit kills from scripted scenes which grew frustrating as the games cheakpoint system is rather unforgiving.
Once in a while the shooting will be broken up by sequences like this one where you control an air strike
If that was all there was to the game then homefront would easily be one of my biggest disappointments of the year thankfully though the games multiplayer picks up allot of the slack from the single player campaign. The game plays like a splicing of Battlefield, Modern Warfare, and Counterstrike and somehow manages to make it work. You get expansive maps with the eventual ability to spawn vehicles like helicopters, apc's, and tanks as well as the carrot on a stick leveling system with customizable infantry abilities that act much like perks do in COD; however, you do not immediately get access to everything in your loadout. As you kill people or preform match objectives you gain battle points which you can use to activate your abilities and these points persist even if you die. This way of handling Homefront's version of kill-streaks has the effect of allowing players of lower skill levels to still be able to compete even though they can't score mass killstreaks as well as others. That is to say multiplayer does still have its problems. The map selection is currently not that varied and the match types bring nothing new to the table but it's fun overall and is easily the best part of the game itself.
As far as first person shooters go Homefront is definitely not the worst of the bunch but it does nothing to push the genre and utterly fails to deliver on its premise. The single player campaign is short and the story is an afterthought. This coupled with insulting amounts of in game advertising make it a bad purchase if your only interested in a single player experience; however, its interesting approach at multiplayer is worth checking out if you can get it at a discounted price and if your not already burnt out on multiplayer FPS games.
The Good: Interesting take on multiplayer.
The Bad: Missed opportunity on an interesting premise.
The Ugly: Waiting for your npc allies to catch up to you so that they may open your worst enemy THE COMMON DOOR!