War brings out the worst in us all. This valuable morsel of information from one of Homefront’s leading characters sets the tone for the latest shooter from developer Kaos Studios (Frontlines: Fuel of War). In the near (fictitious) future, a highly violent and unified Korea has forcefully taken control of an economically broken United States. The invasion has obviously not been a pleasant one and throughout the game players will be visually assaulted by the atrocities of war. Parents are brutally shot down in front of a weeping child while hundreds of dead bodies are shoveled into a baseball stadium like cattle. It’s a stark reminder that War indeed brings out the worst in us all.
Homefront’s plot could have been a memorable one considering its setting but sadly Kaos never truly capitalize on the concept. Like I mentioned earlier, you’ll witness some truly horrific stuff, but these moments are far and few between. Still I’d say the game’s setting is certainly is a welcome change from unnamed grunt saves entire country.
Answering the Call of Duty
While Homefront strives to be different on the plot front, gameplay is nothing but a mish mash of older, successfully shooters like Call of Duty and Half Life 2. This makes the game feel like yet another generic shooter you’ve probably played a million times before. You move from Point A to B, rescue someone, get ambushed, kill a ton of bad dudes, blow stuff up and then save the day. The Call of Duty series is just as guilty as Homefront when it comes to clichéd gameplay but they know how to mask their lack of innovation with flair.
This is something Homefront lacks. For some reason your character feels like he weighs at least 250 kilos, so controlling him feels like you’re controlling a tank. Weapon selection is mediocre, they sound like pea shooters and level design is also painfully generic. Once again this feels like wasted potential when you consider the game’s setting. Throughout the campaign you’ll also be accompanied by your squad that is as useless as an umbrella in the Africa. They will just stand there, take cover, fire at the air killing some birds in the process and that’s about it. Expecting any sort of valuable back up from them is stupidity on your part. On the normal difficulty, the game isn’t tough, so it resorts to continuously throwing ambushes at you in which enemies – I kid you not – just materialize from thin air. So much for immersion.
The game starts off painfully slow but picks up a bit after the second mission and just as you’re thinking, “Hey, this game isn’t too bad”, it ends. Just like that. In three and a half hours. And even if Homefront had the best campaign on the planet, 3.5 hours is just too short for any game.
The aftermath of a revolution
Once you’re done with the campaign, you could wander into the game’s online component, which honestly felt a bit underwhelming. Developer Kaos had been touting this game’s MP since a while now and frankly speaking, there’s nothing you haven’t seen before. I admit I wasn’t able to put in a good amount of hours before I got this review out but what I saw didn’t blow my socks off. You have your standard game modes where you kill enemies, and earn points to buy better gear.
While all that is fine and dandy, Homefront’s maps have been designed in such a way that they encourage sniping. Nearly every game I played was populated majorly by snipers making life miserable for regular infantry folk. And since maps are huge, life can end for you real fast from any corner of the map. Another sore point for PC gamers will be finding well populated servers. But these are teething problems faced by even the biggest games, so maybe Homefront will get its act together in the coming months as well.
War brings out the worse in us all
Unfortunately, Homefront can do nothing about its painfully short length or average single player campaign. If Kaos has capitalized on their setting and backed it up with some truly heart wrenching gameplay, we could have had a game that could very well hold its own against other shooters from this genre. But as it stands Homefront is nothing but an average shooter that brings nothing new to the table. Consider it only if you’re a multiplayer junkie.
CPU: Intel i7 920
Motherboard: Republic Of Gamers X58 extreme III
RAM: Corsair Dominator GTX 1600
Cabinet: CM 690 II Advanced
PSU: CM 1000w silent pro
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Keyboard: Razer Lycosa
Headphones: Razer Carcharias
Monitor: BenQ E2420HD series
Published Date: Mar 21, 2011 09:32 am | Updated Date: Mar 21, 2011 09:32 am