• Homefront - Logo

    Another title that we were shown at the event was THQ’s upcoming shooter, Homefront. For those who still aren’t aware of what Homefront is all about, it is about the Greater Korean Federation invading the U.S. The tagline for the game is “Home is where the war is”. You will have to join the Resistance and fight for freedom against an overwhelming military force. An EMP blast fried all of the machines in the U.S. and with the military scattered everywhere the country’s defenses are ineffective. We got to see a little bit of both the single player and multiplayer campaigns as well as the all new feature that Kaos Studios unveiled at the event.

    The single player starts out with you in your apartment. The radio is blaring and you can look around to see how disheveled everything really is until you hear a knock at the door. You are eventually captured and thrown on a school bus that has been turned into a transport vehicle. You are on your way to a detention camp and as you look out the window you can see all of the atrocities that are taking place. After a few minutes a certain event takes place and you find yourself free and fighting alongside the resistance. You find yourself having to fight through suburbia going through houses, gas stations and even tree houses. Climbing up and using a child’s tree house really drove the point home of what was actually taking place with the KPA (Korean Public Army) roaming the streets below. One thing that I liked to do is toss a grenade out of the tree house and take out some enemy soldiers before they knew I was even there and then concentrate on quickly eliminating everyone else. As you progress through the level you are presented with different challenges and different situations which I don’t want to ruin here. Suffice it to say it does a great job of getting you in to the story and making you feel like you actually want to be a part of the resistance. Unfortunately we only got to see the opening chapter, however, it was a promising start to a game that I have been looking forward to for a long time.

    The other part of Homefront that we got to spend some time with was the multiplayer. This is where the bulk of our time was spent at the event. As far as the story is concerned, the Homefront multiplayer takes place right before the events of the single player campaign. This is also where you are going to come across a couple of nice innovations that Kaos Studios has brought to the table. The first one is the Battle Points system. The Battle Points system forces you to decide what kind of strategy you want to utilize throughout the game. As you perform certain actions during the game (such as taking out an opponent or capturing a checkpoint) you will acquire battle points. You will then have a decision to make on whether you want to use these points immediately or save them up so you can buy something more powerful. If you have an enemy tank barreling down on your position you can choose to use some battle points to immediately purchase a rocket launcher so that you can take out that tank. The items that you are able to purchase will depend on the class you picked at the beginning as well as your load out. Obviously, not every class will have a rocket launcher to purchase but they might have something just as useful. One of my favorites was unleashing a drone and being able to take out enemies from above. The caveat here is that you need to find a good place to hide while doing this because your character will be completely exposed. If you run up to an enemy and see them just standing there, chances are he is controlling a drone and if you take him out then you will take out his drone as well. Additionally, not all drones are used for offensive measures. There is another that I used where you could tag enemies, which would make it easier for your comrades to find them and take them out.

    When your character dies you have a choice to make. Depending on the map and the game type you can choose to rejoin the infantry or purchase a vehicle (such as a tank or a helicopter). One of the cool thing about Homefront is that you will immediately spawn into the vehicle. You don’t spawn next to it with a chance of getting sniped before you even enter the thing. If you choose a helicopter you spawn in the helicopter in the air. It helps keep the flow of the game going and helps to insure there aren’t many “down” moments.

    The new feature that Kaos revealed at this event was the Battle Commander. If you are playing in the Battle Commander mode the A.I. will be paying attention to what is going on, even more so than usual. If there is one person on a hot streak then the battle commander will step in. If I am on a five kill streak the battle commander will notice this and give me a mission to complete. The mission could be something like kill three other people and then when I do that I level up and go to the second round. There are a total of five rounds with each one being progressively harder. On the other team, the A.I. over there is also taking notice of my actions. Just as the A.I. on my side told me to take out three more people, the A.I. on the other team is sending one directly after me. His mission is to take me out before I can cause any more damage. As I level up, so does the defense. If I have gotten to round four of five then the A.I. on the other side might be sending three or four people after me instead of just one. Now, anyone can take me out at anytime. It is just there will be people who have the specific mission of ending my streak. This new battle commander mode helps keep everything competitive in the game and will force teams to work together if they want to win the round. The lone wolf mentality won’t cut it in these specific situations.

    It was also announced at this event that Xbox360 gamers will be getting an exclusive multiplayer map called “Suburbs”. This is a close quarters map that features only infantry and drones. It spans multiple game modes and supports 2-24 players at once. With this map players fight in a suburban neighborhood that has become a ghost town, it’s residents relocated to nearby labor camps. Another thing that people will be happy to hear about is that Homefront multiplayer will be running on dedicated servers. Additionally, Major Nelson was on hand to announce that Xbox360 gamers will get all Homefront downloadable content first as Microsoft was able to secure timed exclusivity for this content. This is certainly not the first time Microsoft has been proactive with upcoming titles securing similar deals with Bethesda for the Fallout series and Activision for the Call of Duty series. THQ likes to use the terminology “speculative fiction” when referring to Homefront. The story is certainly provocative and I can’t wait until I have the game home and I can see what happens next. Take a look at the trailers here, including the one that shows off the Xbox360 exclusive map, and tell us what you think about Homefront. Homefront is currently slated to be released for the Xbox360 and Playstation 3 on March 8, 2011.

    About The Author