Homefront Review

Homefront Review

With the first-person shooter genre becoming rather saturated, developers have adopted different ways to make their title stand out. Some focus on gameplay mechanics, while otherwise focus on content. Homefront though, decided that story was the way it could differentiate itself and as such, the campaign is as hard hitting as it probably could be.

Written by John Milius, who co-wrote Apocalypse Now and wrote Red Dawn, Homefront focusses on a fictional invasion by the Korean People's Army. Following the death of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Il, his son, Kim Jong-Un manages to unite North and South Korea, while tacking a grip over most of Eastern Asia. Increasing the might as both a military force and a financial one, they capitalise on the unrest in the United States of America, which has been brought on by a surge in the price of oil.

The game takes place after all this happens though. The Greater Korean Republic has invaded, and occupied, the United States of America, and you take control of a rescued pilot who is now part of the Resistance in Montrose, Colorado. As you play through, you'll see how America is struggling to cope with the occupation, with some residents just trying to survive, while others have outcast themselves and created their own society where everyone is the enemy.

The premise is quite similar to Red Dawn, but it's a breath of fresh air to find a game in this genre that has taken its story so seriously. It's not a situation you'd want to impose on anybody, and despite the characters still being a bit faceless, it's not them that the story is ultimately about - it's about the generic American citizen, just trying to find some food.

Gameplay is very similar to games of a similar ilk. You can carry two weapons at any time, alongside a knife, and the best way to kill enemies is by capping them in the head. People have become rather attuned to this, and in many ways, it's starting to get a bit bland.

Homefront tackles this in an interesting way though. While most games will give you almost infinite ammunition, allowing you to keep using your favourite gun until it forcibly makes you switch, Homefront takes a different route. Ammunition is plentiful, but very rarely for the gun you're actually using. You might have 2-3 clips of ammunition when you start a passage of play, and with a machine gun, this can be depleted rather quickly if you aren't conservative. In order to continue on with the fight, you'll have to scavenge from downed enemies, whose guns again will only have limited supplies of ammo.

It's a great mechanic, because not only does it tie-in with the story, it also forces you to be versatile. You might start off with a traditional American rifle, which you're comfortable with, but it won't be long until you're forced to trade this for a Korean gun. Not only this, but the Koreans use guns that they're comfortable with, so even if you find a gun with the same model as your own, there's no guarantee that it will have the same scope. Many times, you'll be trading for a gun that's completely different to your own. Although the developers do try to give you a bit of a helping hand, you rarely ever have to use the weapons they "subtly" leave lying around.


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