Developer: Kaos Studios & Digital Extremes
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], Playstation 3 & PC
Release Date: March 15th, 2011
Genre: First Person Shooter
Price: Xbox & Playstation: $59.99 PC: $49.99
Rated: M for Mature (17+)
Homefront is completely different from the other war type games that have recently come out. Mostly because unlike Halo or Call of Duty, it isn’t part of a series but serves as a single game. The good thing about that is that it doesn’t have a lot to live up to and based on reviews of the game across the Internet, its a good thing. Despite the game being your basic first person shooter there are many things I like about Homefront and many things I don’t like.
Visually, Homefront reminds me of Call of Duty in that a lot of its maps deal with close quarter combat, involve a form of using objects as cover and its lighting can be extremely dark at times. The graphics aren’t really much to write home about, unless you’re a game like Battlefield 3, and usually won’t be a major selling point. The maps are well constructed all though sometimes they can be a pain in the ass with a lot of corners that enemies can hide in.
Gameplay in Homefront isn’t all that different from other first person shooters. The plot reminds me of the video game Devastation in that you have a rebellion leading a cause against the government and using specific weapons against them; not to mention they both have really bad voice acting. Devastation, despite having a low production cost, was the perfect jumping point for games like Homefront to come across that seem to be a merge between that game and modern games of our time like the Call of Duty Series.
What sticks out about Homefront is that it tells a story that engages the player and makes one want to fight. While playing the game I really felt as thought I was fighting for my country. The one thing that really sticks out is Goliath, an automated weapon that is kind of like an ATV with a giant rocket launcher attached to it. You can control it in the same way you control a auto-locked launcher. Goliath is used in just about every thing you do in the game which kind of takes away from the one to one gameplay and it can get really difficult to protect both yourself and Goliath in certain situations. But it is definitely fun to use Goliath for even the simplest of things.
In terms of difficulty, I found Homefront to be extremely hard. In the beginning the controls take a while to get used to. Homefront is different from other games in that here is no wave system, enemies continue to spawn until you push your way through to the objective. Your bot teammates, as usual, wont do the work for you and so many times you can run out of ammo or just die from all the shots coming from all different directions. Twice I got stuck on a section of the game because it was almost impossible to get away from enemy fire. First there is a chopper I had to gun down with Goliath that always aimed at me, and second was trying to take out an enemy RPG that was tucked in the corner of a building admit enemy fire from all around.
Homefront’s campaign was remarkably short for a game in its genre, however a large part of what Homefront is as a game is weighed on its multiplayer.
Online game play for Multiplayer reminds me very much of Call of Duty in that you have the ability to create different classes of weapons and the gameplay in it self is very similar to Call of Duty. That’s where the similarities end however as Homefront allows for varying gameplay more reminiscent of scenes from Battlefield Bad Company 2 than Call of Duty. The introductions of vehicles that you purchase using battle points earned in each individual game, as in once you leave that game the battle points are no longer available for use, that ranges from personal vehicles to tanks and choppers. Homefront also allows you to plan your movement by showing you a brief overview of the map and every player, including those on the opposite team, position in the map while you parachute in after each death. Certain maps are more close combat, while other maps have a medium range that allow sniper and enemy vehicles free range of the map. The controls, I have to say, are much smoother than a game like Call of Duty Black Ops which isn’t necessarily to say that the feel of the game is better because I happen to like the jerky movement of Black Ops, but Homefront is much smoother and it certainly helps to have that smoothness in game.
Homefront, to me, is a perfectly fun game that doesn’t seem any different than other games. So why is it getting such flack?
Criticisms of Homefront range from its short campaign, the previously mentioned bad voice acting but by far the biggest complaint, and one I agree with, is that there isn’t enough variety in gameplay.
Homefront’s multiplayer is perfectly fine and fun for a while, but the variety of gameplay is certainly missing. Tie that to the fact that if you, like many gamers, purchase your game used then you will not be able to fully play online. Without the “online pass” you are potentially purchasing a game that you may not play for long.
The online pass is certainly not something unique to Homefront either as more and more developers are beginning to use this system to combat money lost to used game purchases.
The Final Verdict:
As a cross between Battlefield Bad Company 2 and the lesser known game Devastation, Homefront’s campaign is fun yet difficult and it’s mutliplayer leaves a lot left to be desired. It does include many of the features we’ve come to expect from first person shooters and throws in its attempt to incorporate its own features and storyline. It’s similarities to games like Devastation don’t end with it’s bad acting, seemingly impossible sections of gameplay and non-differentiating mutliplayer experience, but they both seem to share the reality of a game with great possibilities that has fallen short of the mark.
Replay Ability: 7/10
Overall Rating: 4/10