Homefront was one of the titles on my Most Wanted list of late last year and with a heap of marketing around the release date I was really looking forward to the game.
For a start it had a great premise for the single player: that North and South Korea had united and invaded the USA, taking over the majority of the country. You would play as a member of the resistance, with the game set in a burnt out and occupied US.
The well documented opening scene packs a real punch and sets up proceedings brilliantly but from there on out every part of Homefront feels like a mis-step.
What could have been an involving and emotional title quickly descends into a heavy handed war drama that would be better suited to a late night TV movie. It’s a real shame because the story was the aspect I was most looking forward to in Homefront.
The game is very much in the vein of Call Of Duty, so you’ll be right at home if you’ve played that series. My main gripe gameplay wise was that half the time you had an onscreen prompt of who/what to follow but at other times it went to the opposite end of the spectrum and I was left wondering what I was actually supposed to be doing, until I lucked out by finding the right path.
The campaign is pretty short, between 3 and 4 hours – which puts it in the Kane and Lynch 2 bracket as one of the shortest campaigns around. Being completely honest it’s about the right length, as it may have dragged if it had gone on longer.
Homefront’s campaign is not terrible in my opinion, just disappointing. It looks like the game has sold well enough to earn it a sequel so hopefully they can build on this and improve it for the next game.
What turns out to be the games saving grace is the multiplayer. Pitched between Call Of Duty and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, it feels familiar but has enough tricks up it’s sleeve to bring you back to it.
For a start the Battle Points system feels fresh – essentially your actions during rounds earns you Battle Points which can then be used in-game instantly to give you equipment (depending on your class). So after killing a few opponents pressing up on the d-pad may give you a remote controlled drone, or pressing down may give you a rocket launcher etc.
You can also use your Battle Points to spawn in a vehicle rather than on foot when you die. All of this is a nice touch that brings another dimension to multiplayer.
The maps are well designed and while I found the weapons, in single player as well as multiplayer, to lack the weight and ‘feel’ of other titles they at least each feel different to one another.
I didn’t expect to enjoy the multiplayer as much as I did – mainly because while I enjoy COD online it’s not one of my FPS’s of choice. However I’ve already been drawn back to Homefront quite a few times so I suspect I’ll dip back in and put some more hours in!
I would say rent Homefront if you’re interested in the story, it’s worth playing through but I find it hard to recommend it due to it’s length, disappointing story and gameplay issues. Having said that if multiplayer is your bag then you’ll find plenty to get stuck into with Homefront and it feels different enough to other shooters to warrant some serious play.