So here we are in 2012. Last year was an explosion of excitement when it came to the FPS genre and the shooting game genre as a whole.
The short list isnt really a short list when you sit down and look at it. Gears of war 3, Battlefield 3, Modern warfare 3, Killzone 3, ( there where a lot of 3’s in 2011)Crysis 2, Homefront…….wait what!?!?!?
WOW you mean there was a FPS game released last year that wasnt a sequel of an established franchise? Did I miss something?!?!
Well I didn’t but I guarantee most of you did.
See how I snuck that in there without stating it in the article title. Homefront is/was an original IP from an unknown studio who only created another game on XBOX that also went unnoticed by many of todays gamers and guess what…?
Both where amazing games. I wont get into a long discussion over KOAS studios previous effort ” Frontlines” here because Homefront is what we are talking about today, and boy oh boy do we need to talk about it.
Homefront has been called a lot of things by people who have been exposed to its unique feeling gameplay and while a lot of people may have been turned off by its short and sweet campaign story I think the multi player is what this game was built to impress with.
The short and sweet of it is basically a BF3/MW3 sandwich…with a little special sauce on the side.
What you have is a military FPS that at a quick glance looks like the Modern Warfare games but is layered with a tremendous size and feel that the Battlefield series of games are known for.
Homefront is big team battles. Infantry combat blends in with tank,Jeep, Armored carriers, Helicopters and even drone warfare.
Maps are huge in size but broken down into manageable sections via the games unique game mode ;”Ground Control”. Smaller engagements are given a playlist of smaller maps when you select Team Deathmatch as your prefered game type. No matter how you play Homefront the game’s maps are suitable.
The game uses a dated Unreal game engine and pushes it to its limit with theatres of war that handle up to 32 players without breaking a sweat( Dedicated servers for the win!). Graphically the game shows gaps in its presentation in some areas but in others it truly shines ( quite literally in its lighting department). environments are detailed and believable but in you slow down for to long you’ll most certainly see gaps in its presentation.
That said, its okay because Homefront is not trying to bring you state of the art graphics. In fact it does exactly what it set out to do according to the publishers. It is a excellent alternative to the tried and true AAA games you have been playing and its the start of an incredible franchise!
Homefront is the fast food of FPS games. It looks great on a billboard and in pictures but when you get it in your hands you can see it for what it is, however it tastes damn good and you can’t get enough of it!
Dont presume it’s a cookie cutter game however. Homefront in fact brings so many new ideas t o the table that Modern Warfare 3 blatantly ripped them off when it released a year after Homefront.
The core game mechanic in Homefront is its Battle Point system or ‘”BP’s”
Battle Points are earned by capturing objectives and or getting kills. Getting revenge kills and even dying will also see you earn some BP’s. In fact if you are contributing to your team’s success in a positive manner your bound to get some of this tasty currency.
Once you start acquiring BP’s in-game you can actually spend them on the fly for various items ranging from drones to rocket launchers, flak vests, and vehicles.
Vehicles in Homefront is handled differently than most games of this type. When you start each match off there are no sounds of booming cannons or helicopters whirring around overhead. Thats because no one has accumulated enough Battle Points to purchase them ( everything in Homefront has a BP cost attached to it). As the game escalates you will start seeing these things popping up on the map and that’s when making decision about how to spend your points comes into play. It becomes a save or spend mentality. Do you save your points to get yourself a Apache attack chopper or do you spend them on a RPG to take out that take that’s sitting in front of you?
Homefront gives you a nice catalogue of items to go shopping for and you can build yourself various loadouts to accommodate items you want to buy in the middle of battle( each load out can slot two ” purchasable items”)
The gameplay in Homefront is what seals the deal for me. You have the fast paced arcadey feel that MW2/3 is known for and a graphical look that’s is almost identical. Guns are super balanced with only 12 different weapons to choose from in total making your arsenal tight and balanced.
You create your own class based on the loadout you create and you even have a “perk” system called “skills” that is a carbon copy of MW2/3 except the actual skills themselves are balanced and don’t tip the scales like COD does.Homefront holds up under stress and doesn’t crack under pressure. The game is tuned and it shows.
The size of the games shoves it squarely in Battlefields sights and this is where it will draw most of its unfavourable comparisons.
This game is not beautiful and does not have an engine even close to what Frostbite 2 can produce. The landscapes are big and detailed but lack physics. Fences can’t be shot through and buildings dont crumble when you hit em with a RPG ( although the rag doll effects on the bodies trump anything Call of Duty can produce).
Homefront knows this and doesn’t try to apologize by ” half assing it”. The fast paced combat and building intensity create a unique flavour all of its own and even one that Battlefield 3 itself can’t match. You will not fall asleep playing a game of Homefront ( come on admit it…Conquest in BF3 can drag on..)
If you havent played Homefront yet , you are doing yourself a disservice. The game was slammed in official reviews and pretty much got buried by the time Q4 rolled around but the fact that the game is still being played by a ton of players and that the servers are bustling with them is a testament to its strengths. The game still runs its dedicated servers and once you start playing you don’t want to put it down.
Look me up on XBL ( EVO Knight) and Ill run you through the basics and get you up to speed in no time. I have pretty much stopped playing Battlefield 3 in favour of Homefront.
Everytime I play a match and click ” Buy” with my Battle points and hear that little ” ca ching” as I pull out my rocket launcher to blast an unsuspecting tank I smile….” My happy meal just came with a big toy…what did yours come with?”
Dwayne” EVO Knight” Morash