Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gaming Tuesday- Homefront

Last time on Gaming Tuesday: I told you that I was fighting the urge to go get Homefront. That I'd just wait until I could pick it up used and on the cheap. Now on Gaming Tuesday:

I bought Homefront. It was a breakdown in my better judgment. I kept hearing about how awesome the multiplayer was and I just went to Gamestop and dropped the full price on it. This is as borderline as I've ever been on whether or not the game is worth it. I'm not going to do a review since it's already been out for a while, but I'll tell you what I think of the game. There will be no major spoilers, if you're worried.

I'll start with the single-player campaign. Simply put, it is below average. The story isn't horrible or even that crazy once you get over the premise, but it is by no means extraordinary. It succeeds in horrifying the player with the first cut scene. You see Americans being shipped to internment camps and most awfully parents being executed in front of their small child. They certainly didn't pull any punches when it came to setting the true horror of the setting.

The player finds a few more horrible scenes as he or she plays through the campaign. Those scenes go along with pretty typical first person shooter type objectives. You know, 'kill all the bad guys and get something' or 'take out something at a certain point,' the status quo. The game play mechanics are identical to Call of Duty, so one won't struggle with the controls in all likelihood.

It sounds fine, but this game was not done very well technically. The graphics are terrible for a game in 2011. There are frame-rate issues caused simply by having your character turn to the side. There is no bullet penetration, which is just annoying. The controls aren't actually sluggish. In fact there as close to Call of Duty 1:1 as I've played, but they end up looking sluggish due to the choppy frame-rate at times.

The thing that is worst about the campaign is how fucking short it is. A game like Homefront, with such a unique story, should not have a campaign that is only five hours. A longer campaign would allow the story to develop more naturally and would just be better. A Call of Duty 4 length campaign would've suited this game very well. It should have been longer, more exciting and should have built to a fantastic crescendo*.

The single player was definitely a big let down in Homefront. There's not even a cool secondary single player game mode. The best props I can give to that aspect of the game is that the collectibles are really cool.

It is then surprising that out of that Single Player came the Multiplayer that Homefront has. I would've thought the focus of a game like Homefront would be single player. It would've been a way for this game to stand out from Call of Duty, whose last two single player campaigns have been lacking. However, that is clearly not how THQ and Chaos went about it. Their focus was obviously multiplayer and they ended up doing very well at it.

The most notable thing about Homefront's multiplayer is the absence of Killstreaks. They are replaced by an in-game currency system called, "Battle Points." You earn these points through getting kills, capturing objectives, taking out enemy vehicles and a few other things. This relieves the stress of getting to your Killstreak reward and thus makes it a much less stressful FPS. You don't have to worry about getting the streaks that you need in Call of Duty, but can focus on getting as many kills as quickly as possible for you to my your reward.

The Killstreaks themselves are pretty cool. You can get into armor or a helicopter. You can use your points to buy recon for your team. This sounds like it would get annoying, but it isn't that awful as it is pretty well balanced. Another cool thing is that a lot of these rewards have a second seat that a teammate can spawn into, which ends up benefiting both players.

Also this game had dedicated servers. Dedicated servers give me a boner.

There certainly are some flaws in the multiplayer. The hitbox is too small. It is really hectic and hard to really get into a good flow since there are so many players on the map. It's not uncommon to get repeatedly fucked by tanks and helicopters. Spawns aren't that brilliant even though they give a bird's eye view.

I really know that Multiplayer is good, because I'm terrible at Homefront, but I still enjoy playing it. I can think of few games I can say that I can actually enjoy while doing terrible, but this is one of them.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*If I had told you how the game ends, it would sound a lot cooler than it actually was.

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