Homefront is the brand new futuristic first person shooter from Kaos Studios and THQ. With the two halves of Korea united, they managed to shatter the American army and thus the occupation of America began. Homefront puts the player in a leading position, in the resistance, against the Korean army. As players try to take back America, will Homefront be successful or will the occupation of other first person shooters remain?
Let’s find out kick-off the HOTs and NOTs.
The gameplay is fun, fast and varied enough that it is a refreshing FPS title. Firefights are sometimes small but they all seem rather intense, due to the mechanics. The gameplay is split nicely between many different things, from directing a Goliath tank to sniping from churches bell tower. While the gameplay does often change, it still manages to remain rather flowing from one event to another seamlessly so the action never ceases. Both on and off-line Homefront manages to mix the gameplay of vehicles and infantry well. On the whole the gameplay is one of the most solid and best parts of Homefront, while many will argue about graphics, having good gameplay is key.
The story somehow manages to stay relatively serious while are having a craziness added in to the mix. The narrative is compelling enough that the characters all have their own personality and you really do start to care about them and the cause. Vehicle segments such as the Goliath tank that player’s control helps break up gameplay. It’s a nice way to keep it feeling fresh as well as remaining along the storyline path; also it adds lots of explosions which are always nice to see.
One of the most interesting things about the campaign, is that it does make you think, what if this happened in real life? Also not trying to give any spoilers away but the way the game ends, does leave the story open for a sequel, which is certainly good news.
I wasn’t instantly wowed by Homefront’s multiplayer but after a few games, the feeling of just one more match was certainly there. Homefront manages to seamlessly mix gameplay of both vehicles and infantry very well due to the Battle Point system. When spawning vehicles battle points are used, this means players might not be up to use things such as hellfire missiles, UAVs or flak jackets.
Homefront also has a nice way of doing perks. Rather than the typical set perks slots the developers have decided to go for a points-based perks system. Players are given a limit of points for their load out and then individual perks have amount of points that it uses. This means that some players go for only having two great perks instead of four okay perks. Overall a balanced and fun multiplayer experience to be had by all.
Weapon Variety And Balance
The weapons in the game all have their own unique feel. They all have nice and realistic sounds to go along with them; the sights and scopes also are all certainly very different. Players will quite quickly find their favourite few while in the campaign and then will try and pick it up as often as possible. While of course players will have their favourites they are all well balanced; some do less damage but are more accurate etc. Obviously players who find this on the storyline and will want to take the same gun over into Multiplayer, but naturally they will have to unlock the majority of the weapons and sights.
Each gun has its own recoil and some of them especially the LMG weapons that players will really have to work against the recoil, which is a nice touch. It’s a good feature as it means players can’t just fire forever in one straight line, instead they’ll have to balance their bullets versus the recoil. This makes the online certainly a lot more fair and makes a campaign slightly trickier.
The game offers an unusual balance with classes. Snipers will have to take the time finding a spot, then lining up a shot, where as SMG and Assault classes will spend a lot less time waiting around. It’s a good mix between the standard that has been set by Battlefield Bad Company and Call of Duty titles.
Homefront has a few small problems, which could be overlooked but do need to be mentioned. This are things such trying to climb a ladder before the man the player is supposed to follow, the game just doesn’t allow the player to move forward until the AI has caught up.
While the graphics aren’t awful, to compete with the big titles in the genre they needed to have been upped. Not only are they not amazing but there is some rather obvious texture popping at times. As mentioned Homefront does have solid gameplay and it really does seem that they focused on that but it’s just little things like this that mean the game doesn’t feel quite polished enough.
While it is a minor animation it is so bad it needs to be highlighted. Mostly animations are nice and slick especially things like reloading but the grenade throwing animation just looks ridiculous. When a player throws a grenade it seems the player is almost batting it away with his hand, rather than actually throwing it. W have no idea how from the animation any grenades have any whatsoever but you can still send it going for a fair distance.
While the majority of the gameplay is strong, unfortunately it’s let down on numerous occasions by glitches. Although they have been slightly improved by a patch (and hopefully more patches will come), a few glitches remain. They range from small things such as not being able to walk through a rocky area due to invisible walls, all the way to spawning and only being able to move and knife. This was the worst of the glitches I’ve seen in Homefront: I was unable to throw grenades of any kind or shoot my main weapon. While these do detract from the experience, the rest is so fun that it doesn’t majorly dampen the experience, as players will just respawn and the glitches are solved. This being said it will be a much better game when it’s been sorted out.
As the developers of Homefront have already admitted the Homefront campaign is slightly short. While playing on the hardest difficulty you can still get a decent amount of time out of the campaign if you just want to play on normal you won’t get much time out of. When playing on normal it won’t be taxing and you will be able to complete it comfortably in about 4 to 6 hours. Despite the fact that most games these days never seem to have absurdly long campaign, 4 to 6 hours is just too short.
Overall Homefront is certainly a decent first person shooter. While the storyline is short it’s also great fun, so can be played through a number of times. The game does have a few issues fortunately some of these are already being addressed by patches; it would have been nice to see most of these already sorted out but as long as chaos studios continues to solve the problems the game will continue to be a solid title. I don’t think Homefront quite manages to be an amazing FPS, but does manage to be good enough to warrant a sequel that could quite possibly be a major contender in the first person shooter genre.
[Editor’s Note: Homefront was reviewed on the PlayStation 3 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]