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Homefront - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: THQ
  • Genre:Shooter
  • Developer: Kaos Studios
  • Release Date:Mar 15, 2011
  • # of Players:1 player, 32 online
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood, Strong Language, Violence)
  • Platforms:
Game Description: Homefront is a controversial game ten years following the economic collapse of the United States. North Korea has set in place an occupational force where you join the resistance and reclaim your homeland.
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E3 2010: Homefront Preview
http://www.g4tv.com/games/pc/62272/homefront/articles/71038/e3-2010-homefront-preview/
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Article_71038

E3 2010: Homefront Preview

By Harold Goldberg - Posted Jun 11, 2010

What We Already Know:

At the Director’s Guild Theater in Manhattan more than 50 members of the mostly European gaming press listened to THQ’s vice president of core games Danny Bilson pose this weird scenario. What would happen if North Korea invaded the U.S. in 2027? Poor, isolated, embargoed-to-the-max North Korea? Such is the seemingly unbelievable trope within New York-based Kaos Studios’ Homefront, a first-person shooter which will be released early next year.

 

What We're Seeing Now:

In a brief interview, Kaos design director David Votypka said that Bilson brought to the project one of the finest storytellers from the film industry, Apocalyspe Now writer John Milius. Milius fleshed out the story, cut-scenes and scenarios that the studio has been working on for three years now. “He sees how games have progressed since he worked on Medal of Honor: European Assault. And he likes what he sees.” Right now, the result seems to be a human drama within a tightly-produced FPS that moves forward with the varied human emotion of Heavy Rain or Red Dead Redemption.

But there’s still that pesky suspension of disbelief. How could North Korea bring a country as influential and powerful as the U.S. to its knees? At first blush, that’s about as implausible as a game like this causing an international crisis between the U.S. and North Korea. To explain the story, THQ’s consultant and Southeast Asian expert Tae Kim was brought onstage and a slideshow commenced.

Homefront

Here’s how Kim explained the great rise of the small communist country. First, North Korea, through Kim Jong Il’s charismatic son, convinces the South to become one united Korea again in the name of peace. Strengthened by a more agile armed force, Korea annexes Japan. Soon, much of Southeast Asia becomes part of the Korean empire. As the fictional scenario progresses, a satellite-enabled electromagnetic pulse disables communication for much of the United States.

Using a classic Trojan Horse ploy, massive cargo ships supposedly bearing tens of thousands of U.S. nationals -- long imprisoned throughout Southeast Asia -- arrive on the West Coast. As the ships are embraced with open arms on these shores, out march the Koreans to take over San Francisco. To make matters worse, the U.S. is felled by a massive flu epidemic which kills millions, so much so that the population in 2027 is less than it is today.

Homefront

There's every reason to be skeptical of the logic behind these events. Thankfully, the proof was in the pudding. When chapter two of the single-player game was demoed, there were three important moments that led me to believe their scenario wasn’t as far-fetched as it first sounded.

In Homefront you meet a macho character somewhat like Sarge in Halo. Yes, you wonder if you’re in for another clichéd melodrama where story isn’t important -- especially when he spews the worn-out “Failure is not an option.” But there’s a hint that there’s more depth to him in the coming chapters. And when you see the stalwart Rianna, who starts out as a tough military gal, completely break down during the fog of war, you feel you’re meeting characters that you might not be able to easily stereotype. 

Another reason this world could work is that there’s a subplot off the grid, in a small, dingy home and yard. A dusty pinwheel weakly spins in the breeze. A cranky, paranoid cuss believes you plan to steal his goats. Two innocent kids sleep fitfully by the fireplace.

Homefront

Plus, the raging fire in a Lumber Liquidators and Hooters parking lot due to a massive phosphorous weapon is a scene of awesome terror. You believe in the danger of this blaze in the same way you believe the fire upon the black water outside of the downed plane at the beginning of BioShock. Here’s where shooting makes sense, not just to up your score and finish the level, but to protect yourself and your friends. In other words, there’s an emotional need here beyond the yearning to see who’s going to shoot at you next.

How do you know this will work? You don’t -- yet. What game companies do that film and music companies don’t often do is to tease you mercilessly with snippets along the way during the production cycle. If you saw the Homefront demo at E3 last year, you thought this game might be something. And if you saw the demo at the Director’s Guild Theater, you would be more confident in saying the game looks great and just might play very nicely. One nice detail was with the weapons, in that they might not always work perfectly when picked up. To give the weapons a real-world feel, a scope atop a long-used gun might have a crack in it, for instance.

Homefront

Even though Kaos’ demo was unplayable by the press, there is something about the plot setup that sticks with you. When you see those ragamuffins in sleeping bags snuggling by the fire, you just know there’s going to be an engaging mission where you have to protect their lives. Even more important than the single-player campaign is multiplayer, which was notably absent from the event. That’s another significant snippet to be divulged later. All Votypka would say is, “There is a very fractured U.S. government and military in the year 2027. That’s explored in the multiplayer games.”

So there are some big "ifs." If, once you get your hands on Homefront, the gameplay is tight and the characters and shooting feel real, and if they can make the multiplayer aspect equally engaging and human as the single-player game, THQ just might have themselves a winner. The Call of Duty space is one that’s saturated with games, but THQ certainly believes in Homefront as one of their biggest releases for next year -- and perhaps beyond. They’re already planning downloadable content and a sequel.

Harold Goldberg is writing All Your Base Are Belong To Us, How 50 Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture, for Random House, due out in February, 2011.

Comments are Closed

  • spartan_24_KTL

    omg man if this happend we would already seen what could happen
    kind like Red Dawn a little

    Posted: June 16, 2010 1:12 PM
    spartan_24_KTL
  • hotrod 127

    i like the idea of the u.s gitting invaded it kind of puts a twist on things

    Posted: June 14, 2010 8:59 PM
    hotrod+127
  • fnoperi

    looks very good. im looking to forward to see the gameplay trailer

    Posted: June 14, 2010 6:42 PM
    fnoperi
  • seiresj

    You know those saying it's just a game and the plot doesn't have to make sense despite the writer saying *this* could happen in real life? Yeah, this game was made for you delusional idiots.

    It's like North Korea's wet dream-no, probably even better. Hilarious and sad that someone actually gets paid to right this crap.

    Posted: June 14, 2010 12:49 PM
    seiresj
  • vanphelan

    As far as the storyline goes, last time I checked there was no such thing as zombies and yet here I am in game after game shooting, burning and chopping them. Hell this one time they were even nazi zombies! Talk about historical accuracy!!!! Holy poop I sure am glad that Mario and Luigi's shenanigans always made perfect sense. I for one jump down into giant sewage tubes all the time. Oh, but not the ones with the those big toothy flowers that spit fire in them. Someone should really talk to health and safety about those.

    Posted: June 14, 2010 8:34 AM
    vanphelan
  • anubite1

    This doesn't make any sense politically. Even if we allow that the US can become so "inert" that they "abandon" Japan (as if Japan really needs our protection to defend against NK) �how the _ can Korea take out China? How do you explain that hole? Or Europe? You know, Europe might seem as less "imperialistic" but that's only because they aren't a Hegemon. But I could definitely see them capitalizing on America moving out. They would not want to see Japan get conquered, even if we were to pretend that Japan couldn't do anything.

    The only way NK could do anything is if all the other world powers around suddenly vanished. Even the combined African forces could probably take out what measly army NK has amassed.

    This story was written by a ignorant hack. At least study politics if you're going to concoct some kind of war story. It's really not that hard. Also, this smells and even LOOKS like MW2's story (not that MW2's story was very original).

    Unimpressed.

    Posted: June 14, 2010 6:35 AM
    anubite1
  • Fantasy Heart63

    great trailer but the pics look alike moderwarfare2? weard?

    Posted: June 14, 2010 6:26 AM
    Fantasy+Heart63
  • HELLGAS

    Hahaha! I'm a sucker for those types of historical timeline videos that are exactly like that one. This looks interesting. The story appears to be fresh and let's hope we can say the same about the gameplay.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 10:44 PM
    HELLGAS
  • ForgottenRotten

    This trailer to me was actually pretty scary.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 10:11 PM
    ForgottenRotten
  • Angel-94

    Whats with attacking America all of a sudden? People need to stop copying each other. I dont like the idea, specialy since its a dumb one. It doesn't make sense, and its like the US people want to see their own destruction..

    Posted: June 13, 2010 7:10 PM
    Angel-94
  • MartiansfromUranus

    Those dang Koreans!

    Did you know the Korean war never actually ended? America still has troops in Korea in case South Korea decides to stop the cease-fire they have had in effect for........the last 40 years.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 3:23 PM
    MartiansfromUranus
  • Darkleaderomega

    it doesn't matter if the storyline is unrealistic or not, so long as there is one! hell, i don't see people nagging on Halo for being unrealistic.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 3:22 PM
    Darkleaderomega
  • ASS-ASS-IN

    Angry Lesbian!

    Posted: June 13, 2010 1:34 PM
  • NICEPIE

    I like how this game is shaping up to be. Sure it's a highly unlikely scenario, but that's what makes FPS's unique, not only a good story, but one that really makes you think "What if?" I am disappointed in the trailer, however. I want to see some gameplay; I guess we'll have to wait until E3.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 12:37 PM
    NICEPIE
  • DragonLord1123

    I am really looking forward to seeing more. THQ has not been one of the companies I go to for games, but this could change that.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 12:00 PM
  • Creoleman

    Well, they gone and done it. Again. Created the most implausible scenario known to man and made a game around it. Isn't reality scary enough? I'm beginning to believe that gaming companies hire writers from The National Enquirer and other fish wrap rags to write the premises for their games. Their headlines practically scream about scenarios like this all the time, predicting gloom and doom for us Americans.

    I'm predicting that this game will enjoy a brief burst of popularity, in Asia, where they view us with disdain already and then it will become a $1 bargain bin special at GameStop. North Korea will even make a feature length movie about it, starring whoever is the big star in the country and it will be a buddy comedy and rake in lots of cash for them.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 11:12 AM
  • Creoleman

    Well, they gone and done it. Again. Created the most implausible scenario known to man and made a game around it. Isn't reality scary enough? I'm beginning to believe that gaming companies hire writers from The National Enquirer and other fish wrap rags to write the premises for their games. Their headlines practically scream about scenarios like this all the time, predicting gloom and doom for us Americans.

    I'm predicting that this game will enjoy a brief burst of popularity, in Asia, where they view us with disdain already and then it will become a $1 bargain bin special at GameStop. North Korea will even make a feature length movie about it, starring whoever is the big star in the country and it will be a buddy comedy and rake in lots of cash for them.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 11:04 AM
  • Wandrecanada

    Wow I thought that MW2's scenario was ridiculous. Seriously though, if you're going to try and make a "realistic" military shooter why would you use such a crazy scenario. I mean why not China? It's been the most viable country as an up and coming threat for years. Not only would China not allow NK to take over Japan but the US itself wouldn't just roll over there.

    I know there's this whole "let's take the fight to the US" push because it seems to make the Americans all scared in a xenophobic way. Why don't you just hire someone who can craft a story that draws people in without having to resort to "The Russians are Coming" scenarios. Seriously have you seen that film? People didn't watch that film based on it's artistic strength I can tell you that.

    Posted: June 13, 2010 8:21 AM
    Wandrecanada
  • ELJOKER27

    This game is pretty crazy just wat is happening right now!!
    Sooner or later this is gonna happen!! WWIII

    Posted: June 13, 2010 2:25 AM
    ELJOKER27
  • Cathartic Denoument

    HOLY SIHT..
    ..That trailer was siiiiick!
    ----------
    Though, regardless of the supposed economic collapse ("demise of the U.S. dollar" & "civil unrest"), "loss of Asian Allies", & "flu epidemic", I don't think the U.S. (AND the REST of the world/the U.N.) would've allowed North Korea's/Greater Korean Republic/Federation to go unchecked like that [and even if they couldn't do anything about their missiles, we wouldn't just roll over like that].
    We would've entered a THIRD World War, before this story's premise would ever take hold.
    Plus, the U.S. still has Nukes, soo..yeahhh..there's THAT.
    The weakest, most implausible link in the story's premise, is that the U.S. would just pull out & turn tail SO EASILY. If anything, the U.S. would've sent MORE forces in, and generously use tactical air strikes.
    The story only works under the premise that the U.S. (& other annexed countries) would just roll over for the GKR/GKF so easily (despite the economic collapse & other adversities).
    We would've taken care of them long before the economy would collapse..and even THEN, we'd still PWN their @$$3$.
    ----------
    BTW..Game Developers..
    ..STOP GIVING OTHER HOSTILE COUNTRIES IDEAS!!!
    [No doubt this trailer/game will make it's way to North Korea..]

    Posted: June 12, 2010 7:24 PM
    Cathartic+Denoument
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