Homefront Limited Edition Xbox 360
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Homefront Limited Edition Product Details
Released on 16/03/2011
The year is 2027. The world as we know it is unraveling after fifteen years of economic meltdown and widespread global conflict over dwindling natural resources.
A once proud America has fallen, her infrastructure shattered and military in disarray. Crippled by a devastating EMP strike, the USA is powerless to resist the ever expanding occupation of a savage, nuclear armed Greater Korean Republic.
Abandoned by her former allies, the United States is a bleak landscape of walled towns and abandoned suburbs. This is a police state where high school stadiums have become detention centers, and shopping malls shelter armored attack vehicles. A once-free people are now prisoners… or collaborators… or revolutionaries.
Join the Resistance, stand united and fight for freedom against an overwhelming military force in Homefront’s gripping single player campaign penned by John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Red Dawn). Stand alongside a cast of memorable characters as an emotional plot unfolds in this terrifyingly plausible near-future world. Experience visceral, cinematic first-person shooter action as you fight your way across Occupied USA using guerrilla tactics, and commandeer military vehicles and advanced drone technology to defeat the enemy.
Multiplayer brings epic warfare to the online arena as infantry, tanks, attack helicopters and combat drones battle across huge, open battlefields. A rich feature set offering layers of tactical depth combined with a game-changing innovation in the multiplayer space will set a new benchmark in online warfare.
Homefront for Xbox 360 Features:
- Discover a terrifyingly plausible near-future world – the familiar has become alien in this nightmare vision of Occupied USA.
- Fight for a cause – join a cast of memorable characters as your resistance cell wages a guerrilla war against overwhelming military odds in the name of Freedom.
- Witness the human cost of war – a gripping story from the pen of John Milius is told through immersive, interactive 1st person cut scenes.
- Experience explosive FPS gameplay – battle through a dynamic mix of infantry and vehicle combat in a gripping single player campaign boasting intense, memorable set pieces.
- Take the battle online – experience large scale multiplayer action like never before in epic infantry and vehicle warfare.
Here's what the press are saying about Homefront:
"We've seen a couple of the later levels in action and we can certainly vouch for the fact that the high degree of immersion, intensity and cinematic flair is pretty much a constant" - PlayGamer
"It's a very good sign to us if we’re genuinely disappointed to be handing back the pad at the end of a session" - PlayGamer
"The main meat of Homefront's gameplay is the gunplay - an interesting amalgamation of scavenger hunt and black ops" - Official Xbox Magazine
"Homefront's calling card is mobile gadgets armed to the teeth - Bond for the war-torn generation" - Official Xbox Magazine
Home is where the WAR is, apparently
The world is running out of oil, there's lots of sabre-rattling on the Korean peninsula, and by taking out your friends online you increase your rank and gain new perks. The world of Homefront, it turns out, isn't so different to the world around us today.
THQ - once more commonly associated with film licences and wrestling games - is coming after a slice of the modern combat genre dominated by Call of Duty, and Homefront is careful not to confuse or alienate the people it courts.
Recall of Duty
Yet that's not to say that the game isn't bold or experimental - in fact, it has just as many brave ideas packed into its slick campaign and expansive multiplayer component as last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops.
There is also the added bonus that the story has been helped along by award-winning film-writer and self-proclaimed "zen anarchist" John Milius, so it may actually make sense, and is at least unlikely to repeat Black Ops' approach of doing a clever plot twist then ramming it down your throat 14 times in a row with successive cut-scenes.
In the near future, according to the campaign, Korea is united under the control of the North and has invaded and occupied the USA, which is somewhat down on its luck (unless of course this is what Obama had in mind when he promised change).
You take up the role of an ordinary US citizen thrown into extraordinary circumstances as part of a ragtag resistance movement. Stifled and terrified communities cling desperately to the last vestiges of defiance even as tanks roll through their streets and their doom or total servitude seems inevitable.
Half-Life of Honor
If it all sounds a bit Half-Life 2, that's quite deliberate - and the storytelling methods used by developer Kaos Studios owe a lot to the granddaddy of science-fiction first-person shooters.
For instance, in one scene a child is forced to watch as his parents are gunned down - but you are not forced to watch this horrible event take place, and instead you see the child's reaction. It's an unsubtle tug on your heartstrings, but it's done with more subtlety than, say, Modern Warfare 2's airport massacre. Remember, no rubbish.
The action itself though, when guns start blazing, is closer to Medal of Honor than Call of Duty. You still find yourself ducking over iron sights close-ups and moving through beautifully ramshackle environments while set-pieces unfold around you (and in a nice touch they do unfold around you - the events adapt based on your position in the environment rather than requiring you to stand in a certain position).
But it feels more military and there are more toys - like drones, both in the sky and on the ground, which are the legacy of Kaos Studios' last outing, Frontlines: Fuel of War.
A new battlefield
In multiplayer, the drones really come to the fore. Modes like team deathmatch and Ground Control (think capture-and-hold but with changing objectives) are initially dominated by the buzz and whir of flying death machines overhead and rumbling vehicles on the ground.
Players can use the game's rather clever Battle Points currency, awarded for kills and positive actions, to buy single-use drones, which they can remote-control while hiding behind a bush or rock. For them, the game becomes a question of racking up as many low-value kills as possible before someone picks them off; for the molested parties on the ground it becomes a case of hunting down the vulnerable operator and taking him out.
Command and conquer
Another neat trick is called Battle Commander. Rather than simply leaving players to their own devices and hoping they complete any shared objectives, Battle Commander doles out specific tasks relevant to the ongoing battle.
For example, if an enemy sniper is on a hot streak, players on the other side may receive instructions to locate and take him out, along with rough coordinates for his location. Completing basic Battle Commander missions gives you access to more difficult ones, and the rewards pile on the harder they get - while you also become a bigger prize for any prowling opposition players.
Plus of course there are numerous perks and loadout options to consider, and the more serious business of pilotable vehicles, including helicopters. Don't worry if you found such things overwhelming in Battlefield: Bad Company 2, however, because Kaos has set itself the goal of making Homefront's vehicles easy to pick up and enjoy, and the results so far suggest they have been successful.
World at War
Whether Homefront itself will wrest a decent chunk of the modern combat genre away from the likes of Battlefield, Call of Duty and Medal of Honor is another question. The game is certainly advancing onto crowded terrain. But while it would be disingenuous to suggest that the game is startlingly different to its contemporaries, it's definitely offering a different slant on a common idea, and the innovations and inspirations here suggest the result may well be worth investigating - and a few hours playing the game seems to confirm it's looking pretty special.
Steady on, guys. THQ's ambitious shooter Homefront hasn't even hit shelves yet - it's out next week - but Kaos Studios, the team behind it, is already hoping to make a sequel.
It's all part of the plan, according to Kaos' creative director David Votypka. "We've been talking about it for quite a while," he said to Eurogamer this week. "THQ and Kaos have always looked at it as a franchise. Assuming it does well, that's certainly the plan - to move on to future Homefront products."
What would a sequel look like? Homefront is a cinematic FPS that pits you and a small team of resistance fighters against the forces of a unified Korea who are invading the US. Votypka said all sequels would continue on the theme of "fighting for things that are dear to you."
He also teased an entirely new development, but wouldn't say any more about it. "I can't talk too much about it," he said, "but I will say that in Homefront we have some great in-game storytelling moments and we have our combat moments. I'd like to add a third gameplay layer to that. A really gameplay centric layer. I'll leave it at that." What can he mean?
Homefront hits the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on the 18th March.
The war comes home
If you've been playing FPS games for any amount of time, you'll have already charged through countless villages, favelas and bombed-out town squares. So much so that it's easy to forget what the scenery means. Homefront aims to remind you of what war feels like from the other side of the fence, setting its tale of guerilla reprisals and urban resistance in a nightmare near-future where a unified Korea has conquered most of Asia and has now established itself as an occupying force in the United States. Even for UK players, the sight of pitched battles in burger joints, shopping mall car parks and school playing fields gives the action an uneasy feeling.
Better dead than Red
You play as a former Marine, about to be conscripted into the Korean forces against your will. Just when all hope seems lost, you're sprung by the local resistance fighters and dragged into a desperate battle for freedom. Retaliation takes a back seat to survival, however, as you're consistently outmanned and outgunned by enemy forces. This sense of idealistic heroism grinding against hopeless reality gives Homefront a melancholy feel that the swaggering military might of Call of Duty simply can't offer.
That's not to say that Homefront doesn't look to the market leader for its inspiration though. Battles tend to be short and ferocious, or tucked up inside high concept plot theatrics, such as picking off enemies as white phosphorous shells rain down. The first-person perspective is also used to demand your attention whenever possible, from a grim opening bus ride through occupied territory to falling off the Golden Gate Bridge. With no cut-scenes to distance you from what's happening, the game certainly rubs your nose in the horror of the invasion.
Brief and bloody
It's not a game that will keep the solo player busy for very long, however. Boasting just six stages, plus a brief introductory section, it's entirely possible to polish the whole story off in one extended evening session. The tightly scripted confines of the story don't leave much room for you to attempt different approaches to a fight, and enemy AI isn't the most challenging in the genre either. Still, there are 60+ newspaper headlines to collect for the completionists out there, and the general sense of spectacle in fighting invading forces on US soil is certainly impressive.
Graphically, Homefront does everything that is expected of the FPS, though at times it does a great job of grabbing the attention. Your arrival at a Korean work camp is one such moment, as you climb some steps to find a sea of shacks and makeshift tents stretching before you. Sadly that's offset by some slightly generic NPC models and a few rougher edges than you'd expect to find in CoD and co.
The war at large
Of course, as with any first-person shooter these days, the single-player game is really just a pile of breadsticks compared to the all-you-can-eat buffet of multiplayer. And in terms of online action, Homefront certainly offers the goods.
Homefront's maps are open and spacious, allowing for vehicle play, sniping and old-fashioned gunfights, and the usual combat classes await you, ranging from all-rounder Assault types to heavy weapons and sniper load-outs. It's all customisable though, using the game's Battle Points system. You advance through ranks by earning XP, as you'd expect, but deploying the more advanced weapons and gadgets requires the Battle Point currency, gained by performing well on the battlefield. Every class starts with at least something fun to play with - an RPG launcher, for instance, or a remote combat drone - so even new players can use decent equipment if they play well on a match-by-match basis.
Command and conquer
There's also Battle Commander, a game modifier which automatically alerts enemy players to your position if you're on a successful streak. The better you play, the more players will be ordered to take you down, and the more Battle Points they'll be given for ending your rampage. When other FPS games reward kill streaks with even more benefits, making it easy for dominant players to stay in play, this reversal makes Homefront more balanced for rookies while ensuring that the top players need to stay at the top of their game to stay alive.
The two halves of Homefront make for a curious package. The single-player is based around an interesting idea and is fun while it lasts, but it's over a little too soon for our liking. The multiplayer is far more worthwhile, however, with a few fresh concepts and some rather decent maps to battle it out on. Online is where Homefront really earns your dedication.
It won't win over new converts who've steered clear of military shooters, and certain frag-hard fans may baulk at the idea of leaving their chosen genre fave, but for everyone else Homefront offers a fun alternative to the likes of Battlefield and Black Ops.
Our Rating: 7.0
+ Compelling premise.
+ Good use of vehicles.
+ Decent multiplayer.
- Short and easy single player campaign.
- Graphically underwhelming.
- Call of Duty and Battlefield fans may find the experience very familiar.