Home is where the War is

So I just finished Homefront, and man is it short. Honestly, I walked away feeling like the game was a great TV show and a fairly moderate FPS experience. That's not to say that I didn't like it, I just miss the visceral shooting in F.E.A.R.

Some interesting comparisons took place in my mind while playing the game though. No one can claim the graphics look cutting edge, and honestly I don't mind that. The game looks (at least on PC) like a slightly better Half Life 2 Episode 2, which is a compliment. One thing I think Kaos was really smart in doing is releasing Homefront before Crysis 2 to avoid the comparison. Honestly, I can't think of another FPS that is being released here in the next few weeks, so Crysis 2 can crush some PC's and sell some video cards. The next thing even on my mind after Crysis 2 is Portal 2, and honestly that's for a totally different crowd/reason.

Homefront, however really attempts to draw you in early with the whole American invasion story and subrbia feel. For me, it works for the environment (as I hated seeing the places trashed), but not for the people. Primarily your teammates are there to point out targets, and stop you from going forward, since you can't go out of order (read, the game physically makes you pick up the rear in everything.) This of course has the side effect, of not endearing you to them, and they have a nasty habit of making you go solo to clear out an area to eventually cover them.

Surprisingly though, the game goes for post invasion America, but not post-Apocalypse, instead opting for an interpretation of America after a great Depression/military disbanding and a Korea that has overtaken Asia as THE superpower of the East. It's all not very believable, but plays out with the drama of a television show you wouldn't mind watching and discussing which parts couldn't happen.

I haven't played the multiplayer yet, so I really can't comment on the games strengths and weaknesses or the ability to get in a game. I hear it's bad for console owners, but I also know that the two versions were developed by two different studios.

Ultimately, I enjoyed my time in Homefront. If you were able to do something along a pre-order where you received Metro 2033, then you definintely got the best deal. I can't say I can recommend it as a game at the $60 price point, but I can say once it hits about $30 or so it's definitely worth the run through, or if you're only looking for a decent time waster, rent it (can you still rent games) and shoot for the achievements in Solo. The game, like so many others requires you to have the online code to log in on consoles to play so be warned if you only buy used.

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