Homefront Review (SP)
How the war was won in record time
Xbox 360 Played to completion on easy difficulty
The world has spun out of control. The US is now under the control of the Unified Korean nation. Taken down by an EMP from a "peaceful" Korean sattelite. You are Robert Jacobs, a military pilot eeking out an existence in occupied Colorado. You are soon thrust into the resistance, a ragtag group of ordinary citizens attempting to fight and take back their land. The fighting is inevitable, but is at an excercise in futility?
Homefront doesn't start in typical FPS fashion. Your first minutes with the game are spent riding a bus down the street of a broken and beaten america, viewing the many attrocities of local occupation. You will see beatings, children wrested from their parents, and outright executions. Of course this destiny is not meant for you, as you are soon rescued by the local resitance cell and are put on the run from the Korean army. Your an intergal part of their plan, the army needs fuel and your going to get it for them.
Once your done with the depressing opening you are handed a gun and the game begins in earnest. The gameplay itself seems like a slightly less polished Call of Duty. The controls will be immediately familiar to anybody who has played a recent FPS, RT to shoot, LT to aim down sight and RS to melee. Guns are your typical mix of assult rifles and sniper rifles with the obligatory shotgun and pistol. Although the shooting feels a bit loose the guns themselves are satisfying and varied enough to keep you from getting bored. The one thing that stood out as immensely fun and satisfying is targeting for your atonomous vehicle Goliath. Many times over the course of the campaign you will gain control of the missile targeting for Goliath. I can't tell you how fun it is to set the targeter on a group of soldiers and watching your vehicles roll up and and shoot a missle directly at them. It is definetly the most satisfying aspect of Homefronts gameplay and really makes the game interesting and helps vary up the shooting.
The story will take you on a trip to undermine Korean authority on the West Coast of the United States. You and your group of resistance members are on the hunt for jet fuel to supply the army stationed in California. In order to remain spoiler free I won't point out any specific setpieces but I can say with certainty they are excellent and will keep you going through the story at a good pace. One moment in particular Really put me on edge and as I watched it I honestly felt a uneasy, which I believe is a good feeling to get from a game. It was honestly shocking and I can't believe Fox news did'nt take that moment and run with it.
Graphically, Homefront seems slightly mediocre in 2011. The games looks good but the overall texturing reminds me of a game that might have come out in 2008. The art style really makes up for it though as the enviorments capture suburban America perfectly, everything is laid out realistically. It doesn't feel like these enviorments are made for a game. Charecter design is fairly good as there are only 4 main charecters and they all feel disticnct and are backed by solid voice acting.
With solid gameplay and a fairly unique and touching storyline, Homefront slices out a niche in the FPS market. The ony thing that holds this game back from being top tier is it's length. Clocking in a just over 4 hours the campaign is far to short and the gameplay isn't good enough to make up for it. Even if you bump up the difficulty and scour the landscape for the games collectible newspapers, I doubt you could get more then 6 or 7 hours out of it.
Homefront is a game of the edge of greatness. Unfortunately the games length holds it back and plummets the games value proposition. Keep in mind that there is a full multiplayer which I didn't play but as a purely single player game it is just out of reach from the "short but sweet" section of games. If your into multiplayer this might be a game worth picking up. If you are looking for a good single player shooter then I would suggest either a rental or waiting for the game to drop to the sub tweny dollar range.