What Did Homefront have to offer?
Marching into the first-person shooter landscape on March 15 is Homefront. It is a Kaos Studios production being published under THQ. It will be available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Homefront is somewhat divided into two separate games. The single player is a story driven battle for America. The multiplayer aspect will be more of big battle skirmishes complete with vehicles. Let’s take a look at each component.
The single player story takes place in 2027 America. The game’s tag line states, “Home is where the heart (war) is.” That is exactly what takes place. The unified, nuclear armed Korean Peoples Army has invaded the United States. If the story sounds somewhat familiar, just think Red Dawn. John Milius who wrote Red Dawn and Apocalypse Now is the writer of the single player story. The story could be said to be a little like Red Dawn. You play as civilians who fight back against a trained, professional army. The Koreans have high tech weapons and numbers to fight back the rebellion, but you will press on for your freedom.
The pacing of the single player story is not the hyper-active, driven scenes of most shooters nowadays. Kaos Studios took a page from the Half-Life how to book and followed its pacing. There will be great epic battles, but there will be time between to slow down, catch your breath, and relate to the story. There are times when the story becomes very dark. During an interview with Major Nelson, Rex Dixon, lead level designer, said that at times the story will be “very moving and some moments will be emotionally disturbing.” The story of Homefront does not hold back on the atrocities of war. Dixon also said that Americans feel almost untouchable, like it could not happen on our soil.
Another part of the story is the design of the game. The graphics are beautiful for war. The backdrops are the imagining of the typical US cities and towns that have been deserted for years. An interesting thing about the backgrounds is that they will include real world companies. The crew at Kaos was excited to bring the real world into the game to help create the perfect atmosphere.
With all that the single player draws from, the multiplayer had to be different. Multiplayer just would not work if one side was weak, untrained civilians versus soldiers with high tech weaponry. So, the developers created a story that takes place before the US armies are scattered and decimated. It will be vehicle based, large scale warfare. The most interesting part of the multiplayer will be the battle points system that it uses. Each time that you have a kill, assist, or other action during the match, you will earn battle points. These battle points are what you will use to purchase weapons, extra abilities, or even vehicles. You can purchases small abilities like rockets for a relatively low price, or you can save your points for serious fire power like an Apache helicopter.
The game play for Homefront is reminiscent to Kaos’ first game Frontlines: Fuel of War. The multiplayer section has a full arsenal of weapons and vehicles. The vehicles include: Humvees, Abrams tanks, Apache helicopters, and drones (both recon and assault). Since there is major cost associated with the vehicles, the developers tried to make the shelf life a little longer for them. Helicopters have flares for homing missiles, and tanks have an extra layer of armor. After the first layers of defense are taken out, it will be up to the driver to keep it going.
All in all Homefront is another shooter in a saturated market. It will probably not be the Call of Duty killer that EA keeps trying to develop. THQ has a different way of publishing. THQ’s new logo and company branding pushes the idea to be original, creative, and powerful. Homefront delivers on the new image.