Homefront is a game set in the not so distant future, with gas shortages, food shortages and Korea taking over the United States of America as well as other parts of the world. This casts you in the role of Jacobs, a pilot that gets caught up in the resistance against the Korean occupiers. This has you fighting through a few unique scenarios with a lot of action going on and plenty of things exploding. There is plenty of dialogue while making your way through the missions and you learn what you need to know as you go along, the story does not assume you know anything which is great because you are never left wondering why you need to do something. On your first play through there will be some great moments and a few events you may have to replay because they will catch you off guard. The meat of this game is however in the online with a lot to offer in the multiplayer department.
The graphics in this game at first don’t seem that great, especially after playing Call of Duty: Black Ops but that’s just the first impression, in fact this game looks gorgeous. The reason at first it doesn’t seem so great is because it doesn’t have a wet look to it like a lot of new games do, and what we have become accustomed to. The level of detail is amazing, everywhere you look has been thought of. The reason it looks so dingy at first is because the world is dingy, and decapitated, houses haven’t been lived in and trash is everywhere because the world is abandoned in a lot of parts of the world. The first playable level has the most issues, but after that everything keeps looking better and better. The main issue in the first level is draw distance in a few parts but doesn’t seem to occur later on in the game even though the areas become larger. The lighting in this game is spectacular, with a day and night cycle so natural that you don’t even notice it until the sky is blue, of course this is all scripted but still looks great. Fighting with the sun in front of you is much harder then when the sun is at your back and spotlights do make it harder to see, but can be shot out in most cases. The amount of AI opponents as well as teammate is very high, and makes for great battles that never feel barren without any hiccups. Online the world still looks great, but there is a bit less detail however the open spaces are enormous with no draw distance problems.
The gameplay of this game is great, it sticks with a tested formula and doesn’t mess it up. The controls are the standard bunch with aiming done by pressing left trigger and shooting with the right. Only complaint I have is there is a very limited amount of button layout and none of them have pressing the right stick to crouch, and the B button to melee but if you played any Call of Duty and are familiar with the default controls then you will have no issues with this. The AI in this game is good, and does not get in your way or just stand there and do nothing. Luckily your partners can’t die but if they take enough damage they will go down for a brief moment. Best of all they will yell out enemy positions for those harder to spot enemies that you may miss and when they yell out a key target you will also get a marker on the enemy, a very visible marker. There do seem to be infinite spawn enemies but I am not completely sure because it doesn’t feel like infinite spawn does in other games, so while playing it never seemed to be too many men on the screen at once. If there is infinite spawn then it there are enough gaps in between spawns that you can move forward without much worry even on the hardest difficulty but make sure you clear the people behind you of you will get shot in the butt. One thing that did bother me in this game was invisible walls, there aren’t many of them but they do exist. These usually happen in areas the developer thought you wouldn’t go to or in one case to not get in the way of the story, it’s not a huge issue but exists nonetheless. There are a few real world stores and products scattered in the world and that really adds to the game since you can relate much better to ‘White Castle’ then ‘Burger Place’ and gives it more of a realistic feel.
The sound design of the game is well done, with music and dialogue being done well. The music has a tendency to start low and get louder as the action progresses until the battle is over and dies down again. The voice acting is great with characters definitely having prior experience. This really helps set the tone especially if there is urgency in their voice. The sound design is definitely something nobody will have a problem with in this game.
The online is where a bulk of this game takes place. The maps are huge and there is a lot of variety. While playing I felt like I was playing a battlefield game with a lot of action going on and a lot of vehicles. There are a few game modes with the ground control option allowing for 32 player online games as well as the standard deathmatch. During ground control players fight for 3 control points and once one team wins then the action moves to a new part of the map. This keeps the action fresh and gives the loosing team a chance to come back in the second half. The best part is that for every kill or helpful action you get Battle points which are an in game currency. Based on how many points you have and your setup you can use these points to buy vehicles, aircraft, drones and special weapons. This keeps the action going and very intense, this also gives all players the ability to save up for those good vehicles and not have to wait around certain areas for them to spawn. One drawback to this is if one team isn’t playing well, and the other team has a lot of points and vehicles then there could be a slaughter, thankfully the points are good only for the round so at the start of a new round everyone is back on equal grounds. This is a much better idea then the kill-streak system of other games because it rewards you for positive actions opposed to camping one spot and just getting kills while your team is losing. There is also a Battle Command mode where the standard game types apply but with a twist. The twist is that players that are doing good get highlighted for bonus points so it adds a level of challenge to a sniper, a tank driver or someone in a helicopter. This does not give the exact position away, just a general area but it does make it more challenging for that player to keep surviving.
Overall this is a great game with a very fun online component and a very deep albeit short campaign. On normal you can get through the campaign in about 5 hours, there are achievements and trophies for playing it through in particular ways and the story is very engaging, it’s not just tacked on. This is a game meant to be played online and it shows, with great maps and an excellent battle system. This is finally a game that rewards players for playing as a competent teammate rather than just trying to get the largest score all alone. This makes the battles feel more organized because people will actually stick together and cover each other. I recommend this game to any fan of first person shooters, for the offline and the online experience, especially fans of the battlefield games for the PC. So grab your copy, resist the Koreans and then jump online to show off your skills.