Homefront Review – Killing Virtual Commies for Old Glory

I’ve been waiting eagerly for style="font-style: italic;">Homefront,
the first person shooter developed by Kaos Studios and published by
THQ, to come out for several reasons. First, the storyline written by
John Milius ( href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078788/"> style="font-style: italic;">Apocalypse Now,
href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082198/"> style="font-style: italic;">Conan the Barbarian,
href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073906/"> style="font-style: italic;">The Wind and the Lion,
href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068762/"> style="font-style: italic;">Jeremiah Johnson,
the href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384766/"> style="font-style: italic;">Rome
tv series, and href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087985/"> style="font-style: italic;">Red Dawn)
is incredibly intriguing. It is the year 2027 and over the last 13
years, America declined in power while North Korea rose in strength and
forcibly annexed pretty much the entire Pacific Rim. The Greater Korean
Republic has attacked the United States and now occupies this
once-proud country. The gamer plays as a pivotal member of the
Resistance, who is fighting to expel the commie horde from the good
ol’ USA.

The second reason is that I remember the Cold War and grew up during
it. I was born in 1970 and remember vividly of the US facing the Soviet
Union during the 1980s while the threat of nuclear armageddon hovered
over everybody’s heads. Games or movies that ask the
“what if?” questions of what could happen if the
USA lost or if total war broke out have always fascinated me. Plus,
I’m a huge fan of first person shooters since I first played
the shareware version of style="font-style: italic;">Doom.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/98049"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 600px; height: 304px;"

The face of the enemy.

To that end, style="font-style: italic;">Homefront
depicts the foreign occupation of America and the player is cast in the
role of freedom fighter. Will Truth, Justice, and the American Way
prevail or will the commie hordes be victorious?

For clarification purposes, this game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.


is rated M for Mature and in intended for audiences 17 and older. The
game has Blood, Strong Language, and Violence.

Gameplay - 70 / 100

On the whole, the gameplay for style="font-style: italic;">Homefront
is pretty average for a shooter. The layout of the controls is similar
to other games in the genre. You are armed with two weapons and have
the ability to carry some grenades and other special items. During your
missions, you can swap out weapons with the weapons dropped from killed

There are a total of seven chapters in style="font-style: italic;">Homefront,
broken into a number of missions. The missions are rather linear in
nature and don’t allow for a great deal of flexibility. While
you do have companions with you, they are useless. Once you pop your
head up, you will become target number one from enemy soldiers. Like in
other shooters, there are times when you can control a vehicle, such as
a helicopter or armored unit.

While the gameplay is linear and unremarkable, I found that the
missions were varied and fun to play. The biggest flaw with the game is
that the single player campaign is incredibly short. Most hardcore
gamers can finish the campaign in five hours. This is way too short for
an AAA title and incredibly disappointing.

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Your companions will provide
zero cover while you try to remote-control this vehicle.

On the plus side, the storyline of the game is incredibly compelling.
You will be hooked into the world setting from the very beginning. If
you’re an American, you will definitely feel the emotional
impact of fighting for the Resistance against the Korean invaders. You
will undergo missions that will take you through forced labor camps,
you’ll see Korean soldiers executing civilians and dumping
them into mass graves, and you’ll deal with unscrupulous
outlaws that will kill you just as quickly as they would kill the
Korean occupiers. The whole spectrum of human behavior will be
displayed for you from those who want to help you, American civilians
who just want to be left alone and have accepted the occupation, and
those who actively collaborate with the enemy.

On the whole, I give the gameplay a C+ rating. While the gameplay is
your standard shooter fare and brings nothing new to the table, the
storyline is incredible and helps elevate the game. I would give the
story an A+, but the linear nature of the missions and the incredibly
short single player campaign lower the score considerably.

Graphics - 70 / 100

The graphics for style="font-style: italic;">Homefront
are on the average of shooters that are a year or two old. The graphics
are well done depicting the destroyed suburbia and rural farmlands of
America, but they are not cutting edge. They do help draw you into the
world of an occupied America, but don’t expect anything

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What do burning commies smell
like in the morning? They smell like...victory.

Sound - 87 / 100

The sound in the game is extremely well done. The voice acting is very
good and doesn’t distract you from the setting. Combat is
fast and furious with the whine of bullets flying past you, the rumble
of a tank closing in on your position, the shouts and cries of the
enemy soldiers, and hearing the jet engines of a fighter coming towards
you is not a happy thing. On the whole, the sounds do immerse you into
the game experience.

Multiplayer - 87 / 100

While the single player campaign’s gameplay is limited, the
multiplayer aspect of style="font-style: italic;">Homefront
is vastly improved. Multiplayer is a blast with a couple of exceptions.
There are two basic multiplayer modes (team deathmatch and
take-and-hold objectives). There is a third mode, but that really just
combines the two normal modes and adds a commander option.

In multiplayer, you choose from a number of specs you wish to spawn as
(sniper, assault, etc) which arms you differently and provides
different upgrade options. You gain both xp and battle points as you
play. Xp levels you and stay with you, while battle points only last
for the match. You can spend battle points for some upgrades, such as a
flak jacket, or you can buy different drones or a vehicle. Drones can
act as spotters pointing out all enemy locations to your team or they
can launch attacks. Vehicles can range from humvees to helicopters to

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Helicopter equals winning.

The maps for multiplayer are nice and large, giving you plenty of room
to maneuver or hide once you find that awesome sniper position. Unlike
single player, there is no one set path to follow.

The only negatives that I have for multiplayer is that there is only
the two modes of play and the fact that you can’t customize
your appearance. There is no real story for multiplayer, just American
soldiers versus Korean soldiers. Of course, who looks for plotlines for
multiplayer? Just get out there and kill, kill, kill!

Value - 50 / 100

The value of style="font-style: italic;">Homefront
is a mixed bag. The multiplayer is fun and you’ll spend a lot
of time playing it. However, the single player campaign is woefully
short. For a game that costs $60, there isn’t a great deal to
recommend it for that price. While I love the storyline, the gameplay
isn’t anything that you haven’t seen in another
shooter. I would recommend that gamers wait until the price goes down a
bit before buying. I would be much happier buying this game for $35 or

Lasting Appeal - 70 / 100

While the price is currently high, the game does have some lasting
appeal. While I don’t foresee myself going through the single
player campaign again and again, the multiplayer aspect of the game is
fun and addicting. I expect to be playing team deathmatch for a long
time to come. There is word that there are two content downloads coming
that add new single-player experiences, but I cannot judge those until
I see the price and how much gameplay they add.

href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/98051"> style="border: 0px solid ; width: 600px; height: 304px;"

A rare oasis of calm. It won't
last long...

Pros and Cons


  • Incredibly great storyline
    that will draw you in
  • Multiplayer is extremely fun
    to play


  • Linear gameplay
  • Extremely short single
    player campaign
  • Typical shooter gameplay and
    features – there’s nothing new here


On the whole, style="font-style: italic;">Homefront
is an average shooter with typical gameplay and average graphics. The
game’s strong point is the story, which sucks you in and
doesn’t let you go which makes the abrupt ending of the game
that much harder to bear. The multiplayer aspect of the game is
incredibly fun and I have a blast getting sniped by whippersnappers 20
years younger than me. I would recommend giving the game a try once the
price drops. It’s a solid game, but not a cutting edge one to
justify the current price. Plus, who can say no to wiping out commie

Overall 69/100 - Okay


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