Review by Das_Regal
"Good story, short campaign, fun multiplayer, and few glaring flaws here and there."
Story - 8/10
While the game's story is technically good, after the introduction the quality drops considerably. It's a lot like other members of the FPS genre in that you never really understand what the big picture of your actions is or why you're doing it. Even looking back from a place of knowledge after finishing the game's campaign, I still don't get the overarching goal that the protagonists were trying to achieve. It feels like they came up with exciting scenarios that they wanted the player to experience then built a storyline to tie them all together. The problem with this is that while the moment to moment action is fairly engrossing, it's hard to make cohesive sense of the game's narrative.
That isn't to say that the game has a bad story however. Homefront excels when it comes to setting and immersion. Kaos Studios has done an incredible job at setting the tone. Your character's motivations for his actions are clear, deep, and emotional. The introduction to the game really does a great job of making everything else feel relevant.
Gameplay - 8/10
In single player, almost every familiar FPS mechanic is there and works exactly like it should. The only thing that's noticeably sub-par about the gameplay is that throwing grenades is terrible. There is no way to cook them and the animation is awful. Furthermore arc that the character throws them in is difficult to predict and control. I find grenades to be almost useless, and this problem carries over into multiplayer as well.
For multiplayer, FPS veterans expect a familiar, fine-tuned experience with typical shooting mechanics and decent level of balance. Every style of play works in this game, unlike recent releases like Black Ops where being a sniper simply isn't viable. Beyond choosing your load out in terms of perks, you also get to choose what you will buy using battle points that you earn by completing objectives and killing players during the game.
What Homefront does really well is give you a game-to-game incentive to do well (points can be spent on vehicles, special weapons, and stuff similar to killstreaks) as well as giving you the standard multiplayer unlock progression (via XP earned every match that we're accustomed to) that gives you more toys in the long run for sustained performance.
Sound - 6.5/10
The voice acting cuts off in odd places, the gun sounds are passable but nothing to write home about, and the music is heavily repeated. You'll hear the same background audio in singleplayer as you do in multiplayer matches and on the menu. The actual acting performances are done pretty well and I can't complain about the sound effects too much, but the battle effects certainly aren't above average for the genre.
Video - 7/10
The graphics really do have a dated feel to them when you compare them to Battlefield Bad Company 2 or Medal of Honor. They're about the same as Black Ops, but that doesn't really say much. The menus feel downright ugly and poorly designed.
Overall - 7.5/10
If you play Homefront for any reason on PC, play it for the multiplayer. The singleplayer is only 5 hours long, and you can't really rent PC games. What is offered by the game's multiplayer is very high quality however. The battle points system combines the best of Call of Duty with the best of Counter Strike. This game is really worth a try.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 03/21/11
Game Release: Homefront (US, 03/15/11)
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