Homefront Review: This Is Not Where The Heart Is

Homefront depicts a nation where America has finally been occupied, and the fight for freedom wears thin. While war concepts and military occupation in video games is nothing new, there is a level of action Homefront does provide through unique settings which works well to set it apart from a few mediocre titles in the same genre. Hoping to take Call of Duty’s crown on multiplayer action adventure, Homefront aims to achieve something which sends the masses crying for freedom and justice and feeling the intensity of foreign relations. THQ and Kaos Studios’ story of domination promised a lot of tense emotional sequences and setpieces during development, with scenery that people would surely remember. Instead, after a short campaign and an overly simple multiplayer aspect, there is a clear lack of balance and gameplay refinement that is seen in most titles hoping to please the modern First-Person Shooter (FPS) crowd. Homefront instead leaves people crying for more and better instead of freedom, and instead makes people wish there was another studio that occupied development.

The short campaign summarizes 15 years of civil unrest, sprouting primarily due to the gas shortages. As gas lowered, North Korea expanded into a newer age of leadership and prosperity. Constant real wartime clippings reveal a harsh fate for the United States, and definitely come off as convincing in terms of plausibility. While Homefront takes certain scenes and puts a shocking twist to them, the rest of the game stales the sequences and makes them less memorable. There are more than apparent flaws in the storytelling aspect in terms of the acting and the voice direction explaining certain narrative sequences, while the storyline progression itself suffers more than enough in terms of pacing. Homefront does try to represent an aspect of reality where the repugnance of war is depicted, but the storyline largely fails to attract in its plot points and continuation throughout the game.

The gameplay of Homefront is pedestrian at best due to the lack of true variety and action along with scripted sequences that completely dull the momentum of the title. Towards the middle of the game, things do heat up in terms of the action and stealth gameplay, but the high stakes with a small group of men against supposedly intelligent and smart enemies that occupied the Unites States is a flaw in itself.  Homefront’s shooter mechanics are standard, and unfortunately nothing really sets this game apart from the rest in terms of anything new or exciting to be added. Weapons are as usual very important in video games, especially First-Person Shooters, and Homefront has quite a great deal of ammunition to allow players to fight an onslaught of enemies. Weapon variety itself is decent enough, but with a gameplay structure that is too linear and storytelling that is morbidly unentertaining, it all gets shadowed. The short campaign ends rather on a questionable note, and instead of actually giving you a full vision only gives you a glimpse of the future, which seems undeveloped rather than an actual storyline direction.

Homefront offers two multiplayer modes. Homefront features standard modes that revolve around Domination or Team Deathmatch, but within every match there are 32 players. Class customization is rather flexible and done generally well but there are no options to further customize avatars, which is a shame. Perks seem tacked on, but follow a standard already established by Call of Duty fame, and seems to be the standard in almost every FPS these days.  game features all of the standard modes revolving around either capturing territories or killing enemy teams, but with the added benefit of support for up to 32 players. Although class customization options are vast, the choices for personalizing your avatar are all but nonexistent. Battle points make up a sort of killstreak system, but the rigidity of the actual flow and ebb of the shooting mechanic that holds back the single-player campaign hold back multiplayer naturally.

Homefront is a title which showed a lot of promise and something THQ and Kaos Studios promised would be a title that would edge the confines of every player’s heart in a future vision of a lost and dilapidated United States as we know it. Wistfully, there is not a lot of content to keep Homefront from gaining the territory and reclaiming the freedom it seeks.

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