Onlive Version: Meh, with a side of Frustration
I have Homefront for the Onlive service and have been playing it with my micro-console on my TV. I will approach this review from the Onlive perspective as well as from the overall gameplay perspective.
OnliveThis game has been heavily promoted over the past several months for all of the consoles and it is my understanding from the press from Onlive, they have been working closely with the developer to get it to work well on the system. Performance wise the game works pretty well on the Onlive service and it suffers more from is PC foundation than the Onlive service itself. The version of the game that is running on Onlive is the PC version. This is regardless of whether you are running it on the micro-console or your PC. Visually I have to say I am slightly disappointed in the game. It certainly has an Xbox feel to it, but from the promises that Onlive promotes, I was expecting a much better looking game.
On the whole the Onlive service performs very well. The biggest test of the Onlive service is an FPS and the lag in the controller and I am happy to say that it is minimal. There are some slight controller frustrations however. First off, the system does not save your controller configurations so every time I have to launch the game I have to re-setup my controller button layout. There are also some slight conversion problems where keys that are mapped to a QWERTY keyboard don't have assignments on the controller. Multi-player is where the game shares some strengths and the Onlive system again performs fairly well. There is some imbalance to those who are using a keyboard and mouse to a controller and the online mode appears to be missing some of the maps of its console counterparts. Those are promised to be released in a near update though.
Overall though the Onlive system works well and it is the game itself that has some issues.
GameNow for the game itself. Unfortunately I will be repeating what most of the other reviewers have said about the game. Conceptually the story could be grand and the idea of fighting in the suburbs is incredibly appealing. We all loved it in Modern Warfare 2 and its prospect here is just not fully realized. Mechanically the game is basically a COD rip off in function and you see that everywhere in the multi-player. It just simply is not as polished of a game though. Firefights become frustrating at times because of poor level design and the snapping to enemies is not as crisp. One incredibly frustrating moment in the game occurred where I had to fend off some enemies and advance on a catwalk. With almost no cover and enemies pouring out of doorways I was overwhelmed and spent a good 20-30 minutes battling this sequence.
Stylistically the game has a decent look, but I was not as impressed as I had hoped I would be being this late in the cycle. Overall the game is just average all around with a lot of miss opportunities. The gun play is everything you have seen before as are all of th weapons. Story wise, you don't know much about what is going on around you or why you are doing what you are doing. You are simply moving forward on a set path because it is a game, not because the story is driving it. I was hoping that the story would give this allure that I was playing a bigger part in an uprising, but throughout the entire game I felt like a pawn being told what to do.
This of this basically as just a grade B COD clone. If you are looking for a COD style fix, then you can have a little bit of fun here in the single player, but you are not going to be replacing the multi-player of your favorite shooter with this here.