Homefront Review

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War in the USA


Homefront isn’t afraid of throwing players headfirst into its conflict. Within the opening moments you’ll bear witness to members of the public being herded along like cattle by occupying North Korean forces; their faces stuffed within bags at gunpoint and shoved into cages; crying children watching in horror as their parents are mercilessly shot. It’s a relentless onslaught of unnerving imagery which proves as successful at motivating the ensuing firefight as it does justifying it.

Homefront’s setting, however barmy, proves its strongest aspect: a bleak vision of the near-future where North Korea has invaded America, with small pockets of resistance struggling to fight the oppression. The charred remains of the suburbs act as a suitably diverse environment to exchange bullets across, as you jump through empty houses, crouch behind overturned cars and blast through deserted supermarkets. The increasingly impressive selection of real-world locations makes for a unique backdrop, which culminates in a stunning climax on top of one of America’s most famous landmarks.

There’s no doubt that Homefront’s tone is ruthlessly visceral; what it lacks is that big boy polish to back the ideas, ultimately preventing it from sitting atop the first-person pile. Beyond the massive spectacle there is an average shooter popping up from cover and showing its (rather dated) face, proving little more than adept at punctuating the bang bang with various action staples. It succeeds, mainly, through maintaining breathless pace; throwing players through adrenaline-rush set-pieces in its short (around five hour) campaign.

The multiplayer proves better still, doling out an extensive frag-fest that contains a massive amount of customisation, along with a healthy selection of weapons and vehicles. Visually, it can’t compete with CoD or Battlefield but the nifty reliance on accumulating points as a team rather than boosting the individuals XP makes for a winning formula, proving promising for future installments to refine.

It’s a brief, and at times, emotionally-charged campaign, with a well-rounded multiplayer experience to boot - but even without the latter’s lasting appeal, Homefront will linger long in the mind after the credits have rolled.