boxartBringing the fight to the U.S mainland certainly isn’t a new concept for our beloved first-person shooters, but none do it quite so well as Homefront. In this truly horrifying vision of a Korean occupied America, Kaos studios have given us a vividly inspired and very surreal view of what life would probably be like if this were to happen. You’d be visually scarred, lost and very pissed off, but above all; you’d want to set things right. This is what I felt when I played Homefront.

The campaign, thanks to the thoroughly developed setting (There’s even a Hooters. No gorgeous girls wearing tight tops though. Shame.) is truly immersive and equally engaging. The missions are very structured, and unlike most recent releases I felt the pacing was just right. The story itself is very well-defined and self-contained. You’re part of the Resistance fighting to liberate America, the U.S army is in disarray and in need of supplies to continue the effort against Korea. This is your role, and to be honest it wasn’t what I expected due to the scope of the overall story. Not that this is a bad thing.

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The voice acting is generally very good, with characters often delivering powerful dialogue which engages you into the story. However, some dialogue makes you cringe here and there and some of the accents are plain awful. The in-game sound effects such as explosions and weapon fire aren’t anything special but at the same time they’re not particularly bad. Like the voice acting, they’re hit and miss but on the whole they don’t deter from game-play at all. As for music, Homefront delivers. The main theme is pretty damn good, adding an extra layer of depth to an already immersive shooter.

There’s a decent arsenal to choose from in Homefront, ranging from your assault rifles to SMG’s. But it’s a first-person shooter; they’re bound to have an assortment of weapons for you to play with. But this is where Homefront stands out from the crowd. The weapons are great to use, with each one feeling truly unique, a definite thumbs up from me.

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With all that’s said, I had a blast playing through the campaign and even felt the need to go straight back in and go for the ‘Iron Man’ achievements (Complete each level without dying). But this is when I ran into several problems. First and foremost, grenade spamming can be absurd; especially on harder difficulties. Secondly, sometimes I’d die thanks an enemy shooting me through a wooden fence; strange, as this game doesn’t have bullet penetration.

The multi-player aspect of Homefront is nothing short of amazing. The different modes of play are your generic ‘Capture the Base’ and ‘Team-Deathmatch’. However, the brilliant map design and 32-player warfare sets this apart from the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield. The addition of ‘Battle-Points’ is very welcome. BP’s are essentially experience points you receive for killing the enemy or taking an objective and serve as a means to purchase weapons or vehicles to help alter the flow of the battle. One thing to note is that Battle-Points don’t carry over to your next game, so use them whenever you have them!

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Homefront’s other mode, ‘Battle-Commander’ is pretty amazing. Essentially, it plays the same as the other two modes but with a difference. Each team is assigned a commander who gives vague details of where the enemy are, with the aim of the game being to become a ‘Five-Star Threat’ and kill off any opposition/ capture the objective. How you become that threat is up to you. Now that you’re a five-star threat, you’ve got a pretty high bounty on your head. Stay alive, or you risk giving your pursuer a hefty amount of points! Good stuff.

The pretty diverse game mechanics that drive Homefront’s multiplayer make it feel all-to similar to FPS veterans, but the overall balance and depth of the multiplayer will make players keep coming back for more. The best part of Homefront though is the setting. It’s just plain immersive, I actually felt like I was a part of the Resistance. There are some fantastic set-pieces which are made all the more epic thanks to a great sound-track. I won’t lie, Homefront does leave a lot to be desired but it distinguishes itself from the plethora of shooters out there.

Title : Homefront
Format : Xbox 360 (Also PS3/ PC)
Developer : KAOS Studios
Publisher : THQ
Release Date : 03/15/11

[starreviewmulti id=1 tpl=20]