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Friday, July 22, 2011

Homefront Review - PS3

The overall story in Homefront is the US have been invaded by Korea and you are the resistance fighting back against the occupation and holocaust of the entire nation. The story is fairly refreshing in the scene that it's not just another war game with all out combat everywhere. Not to say that it's not action packed but it's not your typical urban or desert warfare game. You move threw the city and outlying areas acting with reason(most of the time) and not just gunning everything down that you see.
There are four members of your main group counting you. You were chosen for your piloting ability although there is not that much flying in the game, it's mostly about gorilla warfare. Although they have names they really weren't defined as characters with a lot of personality, so I won't go through a break down of who they are.

If you are the type of shooter that likes your controls a certain way you maybe somewhat happy when you venture into the options menu of Homefront. The game offers 3 different layouts for the thumb sticks, 2 different button layouts and of course inverted options.
While I was pleased with most of the button layout in the default setting I just found the crouch button to be somewhat awkward. I am the type of shooter that likes to aim down the sights, transition targets, pop up, shoot and down but it's not really possible to do fluidly in this game since you have to take your right thumb off the stick to press circle.
On the plus side for many the game does feature the prone although I don't find myself using it often in campaign mode but it does have it's advantages in multiplayer.

Campaign mode can accommodate a player new to shooters all the way up to the most hard core players. There are 4 difficulty settings Easy, Normal, Hard and Gorilla.
I played the campaign on Normal, the difficulty is fairly easy but not so easy that it was boring. I finished the campaign in about 4 hours. In the beginning I honestly wasn't that into it, it just seemed like just another shooter. As the story unfolded though I found myself pulled in like a good movie. So much so that when it was over I was little disappoint. Mainly for the open ending but I suspect this was done for the possibility of a sequel. If you enjoy campaigns or just don't like multiplayer(yes some don't) then I would recommend playing on Hard just to extend your game play. It is worth playing the whole campaign.
The story of Homefront starts in the city but before it's over you will see pits full of dead civilians, destroyed suburban neighborhoods, people being herded into prison camps, resistance camps and crazy survivalist compounds.
During the campaign you get to pilot helicopters, operate the mounted machine gun on a Humvee and designate targets for “Goliath” which is just a bad ass unmanned vehicle of destruction. While the focus of the game is definitely not about vehicle combat the touch of vehicle missions were nicely implemented.
While on foot you will get to use just about every weapon available in multiplayer(Assault rifles, SMG's, LMG's, Sniper rifles and of course your trusty sidearm) this includes scoped and unscoped weapons that you will be able to pick up after kill the enemy.

Well the first thing to point out here is that if you did not buy Homefront NEW you'll be in for an unpleasant surprise. There is a battle code included with the new games that is good for one game. This battle code allows you to increase your multiplayer rank above 5. Basically, if you buy Homefront used or rent it get ready to pay for a battle code or not unlock new weapons and accessories.

Now onto the good news, there is a nice variety of weapons at your disposal and as is common in most shooter you have a primary rifle and a side arm. All weapons are fairly devastating and extremely customizable. You can unlock a multitude of scopes, camo covers and miscellaneous upgrades like silencers and such. In multiplayer you earn BP(Battle Points) for killing enemies, kill streaks and achieving objectives. BP intern becomes currency allowing you to purchase weapons and vehicles during the match. Spawning in your own vehicle, using a RPG, UAV, remote controlled robot or helicopter all cost BP. You can however ride in a teammates vehicle as the gunner at no cost.
You are also given a good amount of choices in classes to play as they are Assault, SMG, Heavy, Sniper, Tactical and Explosive. Most of them are pretty self explanatory Assault starts you with an unscoped assault rifle, SMG gives you the sub machine gun, Heavy is the equivalent of Support in a lot of games you get a machine gun, Sniper gives you yup a sniper rifle, Tactical give you an assault rifle with a scope and the Explosive class it comes with a machine gun as well but it's purpose is to destroy vehicles.
I quickly became fond of scoped weapons as iron sights just didn't give me a good bead on the enemy at any distance but at relatively close distance iron sights do the job. The only mode I played before I realized my rank was locked was Ground Control which is more or less capture the flag. You are given 3 way points you need to secure and hold as many as you can. The more you have the faster the teams bar fills the first team to fill the bar twice wins.

Graphics over all are just okay if you play Battlefield Bad Company 2 or Killzone 3 you won't be impressed but it's not terrible. Everything is just somewhat grungy, not to be confused with the intentional bleak look of your surroundings. It's almost as though its one step from a polished finished product. Personally, I would like to have seen a step up but it doesn't ruin the game for me.
The splash screens as you go from mission to mission in the campaign mode are actually fairly visually interesting and I was actually quite fond of “The Voice of Freedom”, which is a resistance pirate radio station playing while the next mission is loading.

Overall for a shooter the story is pretty original. On Normal difficulty the game is fairly easy so you might want to bump it up if you think yourself a hardcore shooter. If you play the campaign all the way through I think you will be pleased until you realize it's over. The multiplayer in this game is pretty good so if you bought it new or are willing to buy the Battle Code I think this game could be entertaining for months.

7.5 out of 10

  • Original concept/story
  • Good variety in weapons
  • Multiple environments
  • Huge list of unlocks in multiplayer
  • Well thought out campaign mode
  • Standing, Crouched, Prone

  • Campaign mode locked up 4 times on me, I had no problems with multiplayer
  • The graphics are not anything special
  • Battle Code

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