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Xbox 360 Game Review



Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £49.99
4 005209 144018
Age Restrictions: 15+
Available 18 March 2011

The year is 2027, and 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. To make matters worse, 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 centres, and shopping malls shelter armoured attack vehicles. A once-free people are now prisoners... or collaborators... or revolutionaries...

Homefront is a futuristic first person shooter (FPS) that thrusts you into the year 2027 where America is occupied by Korean forces.

The single player mode is where this game is really let down. There are so many annoying aspects - which should have been ironed out with all FPS by now - that it's difficult to know where to start. Firstly the "story" aspect is a little dull. The filmic style doesn't really impress (we've seen better on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - which this game attempts to emulate) and it breaks up the game play to the point of being annoying. For example when you are led to the hidden colony you can walk around and talk to the residents. But there's no real point as they say nothing of interest and you learn nothing that forwards the story. The sound is also all over the place (even if you customise it) to the point where you can hardly hear what the other characters are saying.

Then there's the AI. This is a little hit and miss. Even on the hardest setting your enemy ranges from blind to super accurate and occasionally will appear out of thin air. It won't take you long to finish the game even on the hardest difficulty, due to the story mode being so incredibly short. Playing through on the normal difficulty you'll finish in a few hours. However to unlock achievements you can play again on the hardest setting (there are also achievements that can be earned by completing levels without dying).

Your environment is also quite bland. You can't destroy it like you can on the majority of FPS and should a grenade be thrown towards you don't think of moving towards it as you can't pick it up and throw it back. In addition getting away from them is hard because you don't move that quickly when you do try and run away.

However, most people pick up FPS shooters for the online multiplayer experience. And here Homefront succeeds incredibly well. It's a little like a cross between Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

Anyone who has played FPS like Call of Duty: Black Ops recently will be pleased to hear that the matches are much fairer - with the outcome of every single match always being a close run thing. I've stopped playing Black Ops because it just seemed to be incredibly one-sided - basically whichever team manages to camp or receive a lucky care package, romp away to victory. With Homefront it's almost impossible to camp and those pesky snipers only get a few kills before they're hunted down.

In the game you receive money every time you kill an opponent or perform any other team helping activities. Earn enough currency and you unlock your special weapons or the ability to bring out one of your vehicles. The currency is only available to spend in that game, so you're better off spending while you can.

As you progress through the levels new weapons, attachments, vehicles and abilities are unlocked. Finding the right combination for your game playing is a case of trying everything. For example I found the Parrot spy drone - which allows you to target your enemy so your team can pick them off (you get money for spotting them and additional money if one of your team kills them) - really useful, but I wasn't so keen on the helicopter drone which fires missiles; mainly because it's not overly easy to kill your target.

One annoying thing is that when you buy this game you are also given a code which you have to input. This allows you to progress past rank 5 online. So if you are in a family where several of you are going to want to play this online then each additional member of your family is going to have to buy the DLC that unlocks the ranking system. Why this has been included is anyone's guess - and is the only real problem I had with the online play.

If you're buying this mainly for the single player campaign then don't even bother - there are way better examples out there. However, if you're looking for an entertaining online multiplayer experience then you'll have a blast with this.


Darren Rea

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