With all the First-Person Shooters out there, it becomes harder and harder to create one that can top the previous one. Hell, it’s hard just to make a shooter that is enjoyable with all the competition out there. In order to prove yourself in the world of FPS’s you must have something new and fresh about your game while still keeping the true essence that makes the game a First-Person Shooter. Homefront is a game that has done that, by breaking boundaries and going the extra distance to create something that from a gamers perspective has never been seen before. What is important is that what has never been seen before in an FPS is actually fun and functional. Now Homefront backs up their top notch first-person shooter with not just an online experiences never seen before but a single player campaign that is some that hits home and that can be taken literally.
Homefront’s story is one of the most compelling, intense, plausible and creative experiences ever. There have been many trailers, and promotions for the game making the statement that war is on our Homefront. But nothing really hits home when you actually see for yourself just how close to home this game hits. With the death of Korean leader Kim Jong Il, his son takes his united north and south Korea with U.S. gas prices at $20 a gallon and Japan surrendering, joining the Greater Korean Federation in 2017, things are changing drastically. The Korean Federation sends a message of their so called version of peace with they now in control of Hawaii and San Francisco, California and with all that has happened, the US government is weakened scattering the US Military creating utter chaos within America.. home to many. From the outside it looks as though America has fallen now being occupied by a Nuclear armed North Korean force but this is where the game really begins. With an ingenious story written by John Milius known for ‘Red Dawn’ as well as ‘Apocalypse Now’, the year is 2027 and this is where Homefront begins.
There are things in Homefront that you would never want to see in real life and I am talking they way the Nazi’s treated people. Parents being murdered at point blank range right in front of their child, but that is the reality of it and it is what drives the game itself. With the US Military in scrambles whether you are a US Soldier or not, you are on one of two sides. After the main story of Homefront is laid out in front of you, it is quite clear what side you are on, unless you are some sick communist. So now you are part of a resistance, a resistance that no matter what the cost, you will fight for what you believe in, regardless of the odds, because it is about heart.. it is about home. Depending on where you live you might have a different outlook on this game but no one can escape the realism of it and the fact that it could happen. I believe that is what makes Homefront such a good game, is that it could happen to you or anyone, anywhere at any time. There is not a lot I can say about the single player campaign without spoiling it because, part of what makes it so good are the surprises and the risks your resistance is willing to take to reclaim what they once called home. During the campaign you will use the Goliath a remote controlled super terrain tank that fires missles on your target. You will fly helicopters that are not on a rail system, fully controlled by you and by far the most easily controlled helicopter I have ever flown in a video game. The campaign is short at around 6 hours depending on the difficulty that you play it on which oddly enough cannot be changed in game, as it must be changed at the main menu in the options screen. Although the campaign is short, it makes up for it with it’s over the top action packed thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat almost feeling like you in a film. This is one first-person shooter that definitely takes advantage of you actually being in first person. One thing that I felt could use some work was how unresponsive the action/reload button was. You see you would have to be lined up perfectly to pick up a collectible(which there are 61 of) or climb a ladder and just to reload you must not be doing anything at all, but fortunately this small issue does not carry over into the multiplayer.
War is not pretty.
All the collectibles in the game are little notes that can range from anything but really don’t add much to the game. During the campaign you will eventually find your self at a well known land mark fighting a fight that seems impossible, but once that is proved wrong, I found myself at the end of a story that was so well written, I was in aw and could compare it to some of best film endings ever. The guns in the game have a unique look to them that make them look so real and detailed on top of the sound of them are extremely realistic. Nothing sounds like a BB gun and even the reload animations are impressive. You become to realize that there are not just to sides to the War as this is the real World War 3 and you will find people that are with in your beliefs but won’t fight with you as well as people that are against you but not on side of the Korean Federation. This is chaos, this is Anarchy.. this is Homefront.
The multiplayer in the game is really where the game thrives, with its new and innovative ways as well as its replay value. This is an online first-person experience that I have never had before. Now of course Homefront takes general ideas from other shooters, but that is the way all shooters work otherwise we would still be playing DooM. There are many, many perks in the games which some mimic perks from others games while others are completely new and unique. The list goes on as well, there are way too many perks for me to list them all here and the most I have seen ever and to balance the perks out, each perk has a number beside it and you can have as many perks as long as you don’t exceed 4, so I can have two perks equipped if both of their numbers are 2 each. Here are a few of them but no where near the total of them as these few are but a pinch of all the perks in game:
Tactical Reload(1): faster reload
Quickdraw(1): faster aim down sight
Drone Be Gone(1): faster drone speed
Straight from the Hip(2): reduced deviation from hip
Thick Skin(2): increased drone health
Utility Belt(2): extra special grenades
Gizzled(3): increased XP gains
Penny Pincher(2): equipped special weapons cost less
You are now a part of the Resistance.
In addition to a large amount of perks, you have a purchase slot 1 and purchase slot 2. In each of these slots you can put an RPG, Air Recon Drone, Recon Mini Tank Drone, a Hellfire Missile and more. But in an well made effort to balance the multiplayer these things cannot be used in the match until you gain enough points during that single match to use them. That is of course granted that you have unlocked those items to put in your purchase slots. The vehicles work the same way, you see there are no vehicles just sitting on the battlefield waiting for you to hop in. All vehicles are based on that same point system and once you have enough points, you can spawn in a vehicle such as a tank or a helicopter. Each vehicle has a different set amount of points you will need to gain in that match to spawn in it and the more points it costs the better the vehicle, then once you have spend those points you must start over in acquiring more points. You must also be a certain rank just to have vehicles and purchase slots unlocked as well. Luckily Homefront has a set of default classes that have these things equipped so no matter your level you will be able to take those purchase slot items for a test drive granted you can gain enough points in the match to use them. This is something that I have never seen in an online shooter before and really makes it fun and most importantly balanced. Of course aside from the default classes there are the customizable classes that you can create adding camouflages to weapons, that must be unlocked as well as your primary weapon, secondary weapon, weapon attachment, gadget slot(for grenades, EMP grenades etc.), your two purchase slots and your perks.
There are not many modes to play from right off the bat, which include ground control, team deathmatch and skirmish which switches between the two modes. In Ground Control there are three control points and once your team controls all three the opposing team is pushed back to another thre control points. It is like a mixture between ‘Domination’ from Call of Duty and ‘Rush’ from Bad Company all in one game mode. Once you reach level 7 or around there you unlock BC or Battle Commander Mode. This is not exactly a different mode but more like an alteration of the modes previously stated. You can play BC Team Deathmatch or BC Ground Control and it seems this mode is for the more experienced serious players. In any BC Mode once you get a 3 kill streak you are marked with a star on top of you head, but don’t worry as the other team can’t blatentley see that.. yet. The more kills you get with out dying the more of a threat you become to the other team with 5 stars being the highest. Once you are considered a threat which is as soon as you get that first 3 kill streak the other team may come looking for you, once you have 2 stars things start to get heavy as you are now the other team main priority to take out. The more stars you have the more the other team is notified of you general vicinity and that killing you is now their primary objective regardless of the mode you’re playing. Also if you have a high amount of stars you get bonuses catered to any vehicle/drone you are in at the time. Things get very heavy if you have five stars as you will literally have the entire opposing team honing in on you, so things get intense. Once again, something I have never seen in an online shooter that adds the the fun and greatness of this game.
In the action.
Along with all these awesome things in the games multiplayer, we also have challenges.. and a shit load of them too. There is an Achievement/Trophy for completing them all which is not an easy task. The challenges are divided into types including Rifles, LMG’s/SMG’s, Secondary Weapons, Special Weapons(Hellfire, RPG, etc.), Vehicles, Game Modes, Camo – Rifles, Camo – Machine Guns. These Challenges will reward with different things like scopes, weapons and much more, but only once the challenge is entirely complete. You can of course unlock a clantag for yourself early on and the leaderboards cover different categories of things such as Experience, Kills, Playtime as well as Score. The perk area is setup nicely titled ‘Infantry Abilities’ and they can be viewed all at once or perks that either take up 1, 2 or 3 points out of the 4 total you can have. So I can have 4 perks equipped if each one had a value of 1. There are many weapons, vehicles and other things that are in the campaign that you might not see in multiplayer such as the Goliath. Weapon attachments can range from 3 different types of ACOG Scopes, Holographic Scopes, Red Dot Sights, Silencers, EMP Launcher, Airburst Launcher, Grenade Launchers and even Shotgun Attachments. The multiplayer is largly based being able to have huge team battles, with the ability to invite 15 of your friends in a lobby to play a ranked match together things heat up with 32 players, but Homefront has done it right. I have played MAG before and Homefront is very different as you do not feel like there is too many enemies at any time while there is always action going on at all times somewhere. I would hate running around an entire Call of Duty map to find an enemy and then to only die. At the same time I also hate when an online shooter with many players in it, gave the opposing team the upper hand making it a feat just to spawn with so many people everywhere. Homefront has none of those aspects in it making it one amazing experience.
Homefront is an all around unique experience that tries to get a message through that is much deeper than the shooters out there today while making it a fun online game as well. You see some people might be shocked at some of the campaigns moments of raw uncensored brutality, but this is something that is real. Sitting there is shock is one thing but you have to take a step back and realize what is really going on, that these are real people you or someone else is killing. Throughout the campaign you might be forced to makes moral decisions but moral decisions are being made all around you in the game and in real life. You will see this battle taking place on US soil, on my Homefront, seeing a White Castle or a NOZ energy drink machine. Homefront really tries to break the mold of mindless killing in shooters and make the player realize that there are consequences for violence. Developer Kaos Studious and THQ really bring the War Home, literally putting yourself in the battle on your front. Will you sit back and watch and another World War happens ending in tragedy or will you rise up and make things right and show that bring war to our Homefront was a bad idea. I seriously believe that you will through enjoy if not be emotionally brought to life with this game and to add to that the online multiplayer is something new, while being balanced. Not a common thing these days, so any fan of shooters must try this game out but even if you are not, this game is something that will move you and you will surely not forget.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Emotionally moving campaign. New and unique kind of online multiplayer which is well balanced.
Short Campaign. Slightly less responsive action button to reload and pickup things in the single player only. No co-op.
Amazing campaign that deals with morals as well as the reality of war and the multiplayer just adds to the games greatness, with 32 player online capability inviting a new kind of first-person shooter into the world of gaming.
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