Last Month, THQ invited Console Monster to the exclusive first look at the multiplayer mode for their upcoming first person shooter, Homefront. Set in the 2020s, the unification of North and South Korea has created problems for the rest of the world, as the reformed country has declared war against the USA. In 2025 San Francisco was lost and two years later the US Army has fallen to the newly established Unified Korea, leaving America fighting with what little army they have left on their own land. We weren’t shown any single player content so this is as much as I can tell you about that but I have plenty to talk about in regards to multiplayer!
THQ and Kaos Studies wanted to create a first person shooter like no other before it by having fast paced, large scaled warfare in an evolving battlefield, where the player must make on the fly strategic choices. These are some very bold ideas and after listening to the presentation I was trying to think how they could fit it all in to one game, but I was pleasantly surprised as we were taken to another room filled with Xbox 360s. We started off by playing a small map called Cul-de-sac which didn’t have any vehicles, but demonstrated what combat would be like in tight corridors and with restricted spawn points.
Before entering the map you choose a loadout, much like other games on the market today, and the choices we had were pre made using assault rifles, shotguns and other close range weapons. When you spawn you are able to see where a few enemies are as the camera zooms from the sky to your position, this is nice as it gives you a direction to head off to in the beginning. Your main objective is to secure three marked areas on the map which, once secured, start accumulating points. When you fill the score bar up you win a round and it’s the first team to win two rounds who triumphs. Although two rounds doesn’t sound like a lot, it can take quite a while to get your bar full as the areas only take a few second to take over if a bunch of your team are stood in the vicinity. The other factor that makes the rounds last longer is that the areas often change location, so at one point you will be fighting in the north of the map and then all the areas may move to the south, which means finding new places to hide and having to take them over all over again. This was the only mode we were shown on the day but after playing some 16 versus 16 matches I can safely say I wasn’t getting bored.
Apart from the usual guns, grenades and melee attacks you use to take out your enemies with, you also have drones which come in a few flavours. When you use your drone, you leave control of you character and start controlling the drone so, it’s probably best you to make sure you hide yourself well. I managed to test out the air drone, which is like a mini helicopter, and allows you to find any cheeky players hiding on rooftops. I also tried the ground drone, which seemed to take a few more hits compared to the air drone and fired off rockets – awesome!
The second map we played was called Farm and it was a much bigger compared to Cul-de-sac. It allowed us to start using some long range weapons, such as the sniper rifle, and provided access to vehicles. Now, some of you are probably thinking this game doesn’t seem that different to any other first person shooter that I’ve played, so this would be a good time to explain the major difference; Homefront allows a player to save up battle points while fighting. Whenever you kill someone, get an assist or kill a number of enemies with a particular weapon,n you gain Battle Points or BP. When you have gained enough BP you are able to buy some of the more fun in the game, such as the drones I described earlier. It also allows you to purchase vehicles when you spawn and the ones we got to test were a jeep, tank and helicopter. They do cost a lot of BP but give you a major advantage over the enemy, so it’s worth spending the points on them. That’s not to say the enemy can’t take you out, as you are able to purchase weapons, such as a bazooka, on the fly to eliminate any rich cruisers.
Graphically the game wasn’t up to scratch but there is a very good reason for this: we were playing the pre-alpha version, so the game can be excused for being a little untidy and the same can be said for some of the bugs that appeared like delayed spawning. With only being able to play for a few hours and no single player action, I don’t have much else to tell you guys but it was great to play a first person shooter that did feel a lot different from the usual suspects. Look out for Homefront when it’s released sometime next year!