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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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3 / 5
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    (89 Ratings)
    3.6 / 5
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Homefront Multiplayer Preview: Meet the Battle Commander
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Article_73389

Homefront Multiplayer Preview: Meet the Battle Commander

By Christopher Monfette - Posted Jan 21, 2011

Regardless of whether fiction mirrors life or life mirrors fiction, there’s no denying that the story of THQ’s upcoming FPS, Homefront, feels eerily predictive. As U.S. tensions with North Korea continue to escalate, writer John Milius’ vision of an America invaded by Korean forces in the wake of a massive EMP attack seems no further from fact than from fantasy. So while we recently played through the opening level of the single-player campaign, as well as several hours of the multiplayer, I tried my best to imagine which of the burning suburban homes might have been mine in my youth, or might someday be my own in the future.

While our time with the single-player was limited, we can definitively say that the game starts with a virtual bang as you’re rousted from your safe house by enemy forces and tossed aboard a prison bus toward your eventual demise. As you make your way through the familiar, everyday streets, watching the chaos of the Korean armada trampling the remains of Middle-America, small tragedies and somber scenes of destruction immerse you, at the very least, in the title’s effective sense of atmosphere. When all goes to hell, however, and the bus is attacked by American freedom forces, you quickly become a part of the underground militia movement and the game begins in proper.
 


 

The core gameplay mechanics, however, and the forward momentum through a destroyed housing settlement feels like fairly generic shooter material, highly reminiscent of the “Wildcats” mission in Modern Warfare. THQ ensures us that while this aspect of the game has been most heavily publicized, the scope of the entire narrative is considerably larger, taking the player through a wide array of dynamic environments. That said, there’s little in the short chapter we played that felt noticeably different than other games designed within the Call of Duty mold.

That sameness extends to the essentials of the multiplayer experience, but developer Kaos has been careful to add a number of elements to make the mode feel simultaneously familiar and distinctly unique. This includes the addition of Battlepoints, the equivalent of accumulated experience that can rather be used to call in vehicles and equipment per round. So the awesome-inspiring destruction at your disposal is ultimately mitigated by your resourcefulness early in the battle. Can you turn your basic two-weapon loadout into a bloodbath of Battlepoints, earning more and more points the more dynamic your achievements – i.e. taking out an enemy tank or helicopter versus a quick kill or assist.

At 32-players per battle, by the time the match reaches its zenith, enemy-seeking drones, tanks, choppers, airstrikes, exploding RV’s (a craw stuck in Kaos’ jaw after Black Ops) and some bad-ass hand-held weaponry should make the battlefield into a pulse-pounding conflict. And don’t horde your points, folks. As the saying goes, you can’t take ‘em with you.
 


 

Of course, we’ve seen all this before in our in-depth Homefront multiplayer coverage, but new to this particular go-around with the title was the innovative Battle Commander system. Members of each team will receive orders from their unit’s A.I.-controlled Battle Commander to complete specific challenges for additional bonuses. For example, you may be given orders to take out a specific target, or hold a particular portion of the field for a given amount of time. As you execute these mini-missions throughout the overall deathmatch, consequently rising through the ranks to become an incredibly effective five-star soldier, the opponent’s Commander may order them to find and kill you. Attempting to stay alive at this point, as the enemy turns their collective sights on your for rewards of their own, is truly a harrowing experience.

The Battle Commander system isn’t exactly a game-changer, but it does heighten the tension in some remarkable ways, and coupled with the Battlepoints system, no single match we played ever felt static. Nothing ever flatlined. The action continually escalated to the point where the early portions of most matches seemed almost boring in comparison. But when the multiplayer really starts firing on all cylinders, it works, and the familiarity of the CoD-esque design actually helped us to focus on the heightening tension rather than some new complex series of controls.

This early on, it’s fair to say that Homefront isn’t going to redefine either the single or the multiplayer FPS experience. But it is shaping up to be well worth your attention as the release approaches. With a bit more refinement, it’s possible to see this title the way that THQ sees it – as the first chapter in a continuing franchise – perhaps not to compete directly with the Halo’s and Call of Duty’s of the world, but to support our bloodlust and tide gamers over between mega-blockbuster releases.

 

Comments are Closed

  • PiP BoY 3.0.o.1

    this game looks great. can't wait to get. but why are all fps games always compared to cod. the cod games are okay. but i hated mw2. black ops was....hmmmm.......it was okay as a game. i think call of duty modern warfare was the best cod game. modern warfare 2 was an epic fail but i will say it had a fun multiplayer. so i think every body should stop comparing fps games with the cod games.

    Posted: February 3, 2011 12:51 PM
    PiP+BoY+3.0.o.1
  • klh32

    I loved Frontlines fuel of war even though alott of people said it sucked, i am really looking forward to this game i have it reserved, and im gunna be playing it the day it comes out...

    Posted: January 30, 2011 10:33 AM
    klh32
  • EvilDeadDave

    I'm excited for this game. I've ben a fan of the battlefield series since 1942 came out and this games is reminence to that game. CoD is a huge hit becuase most console gamers are wham bam thank you maam gamers, they want everything big and bad and made easy for them. I have fallen into console gaming ever since my pc died years ago and the only interent i can get in the country is my Sprint Mifi which gives me one bar in my games. PC games are way better when it comes to FPS, and games like the original MoH, Battlefield 1943,2, and Rainbow Six games are a true testiment of a great shooter. i Remember alos that most clans for those PC games require that you be 18 yrs or older to join, which could be a reason those games felt supperior, there wasn't some 11 yr old screaming racist remarks in your ear and unless you were on ventrillo or Team Speak which was private, you just typed to everyone. I hope that oneday console gaming can reach the same level of dignity that comes from PC games. Maybe to play online games for now on you should be required to upload a copy of your photo id and have to be 18 or older to play online unless it is a rated T game.

    Posted: January 24, 2011 9:40 AM
  • gamegod375

    I'm interested in this game but I probably won't be a day one player

    Posted: January 22, 2011 5:07 PM
    gamegod375
  • CLFresh

    I'll give this a chance. I'm guessing anything will be better online than the turd that is Black Ops. I haven't played it in over 3 weeks and not missing it at all. Uncharted 2 online is definitely my favorite online shooter to date.

    Posted: January 22, 2011 6:50 AM
    CLFresh
  • Ryupyroa

    Every view years, a first person shooter happens to revolutionize the way shooter are made and the way we play them. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare just happened to be that revolutionary shooter, that's why everything is compared to it. Until a shooter jumps as much as Call of Duty 4 did from its predecessor, people will always compare things to it. The Call of Duty franchise is now moving forward at a steady pace, learning from mistakes, nothing has really jumped past its abilities in terms of sales and gameplay. (There is a LOT of other shooters that CAN'T be compared to Modern Warfare simply because they're too different, those I'm not including as part of this argument.)

    Now, with that said. THQ has yes, come up with a creative story, but with it being so similar in many ways, not ALL ways, to Call of Duty, there's no way not to compare.

    THQ looks like they're are making quite a good game though, not worth buying day one however. They made it clear its going to be supported heavily on the 360, so it looks like it'll be a buy for that console, rent for PS3.

    Posted: January 21, 2011 12:47 PM
    Ryupyroa
  • Cloudgunho

    How about this i know COd is popular but please stop using a reference to it in nearly every Paragraph. Because having guns is not a sure COD style game

    Posted: January 21, 2011 12:06 PM
    Cloudgunho
  • solomon318

    Why are all FPS games compared to Call of Duty...sure COD has done it before(and will do it again...over and over) but noone ever talks about the games that did it before COD. How about from now on when reviewing a FPS lets leave all COD comparisons out...its getting tiresome.

    Posted: January 21, 2011 11:33 AM
  • OneEyedJohnny

    So there is not going to be a MP beta or demo? Did nobody mention the possibility during the interview?

    Posted: January 21, 2011 11:31 AM
    OneEyedJohnny
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