Homefront from THQ is an “emotional shooter” on the single player side, and the multi-player is one of the most “multi” of the multi-player first person shooters allowing two teams of 16 to battle it out in a combination of “Domination” and “Tug of war” in what Homefront calls “Groundwar.”
Homefront takes place in this war-torn United States now occupied by the Korean People’s Army. You begin in a Colorado that more closely resembles World War II era Poland than a small Colorado town. The story line is supposed to make you feel attached to the people, and tie you in to the story, personally after hearing the whiny voices of the wusses I was supposed to protect, I was ready to side with the Koreans. Clearly in the next 15 years all the people in the US go soft and actually probably deserve to be taken over.
Fortunately you don’t have to play the single-player game to play the multi-player, and since that is where the action is, it’s what most people will want to be playing. The Multi-Player has a “Tribes 2″ feel — way too many people in too small of a space, all hoping to get a few lucky spam grenades off so they can upgrade to a vehicle. Much of the multi-player game is about getting enough kills to upgrade to a vehicle, so you can get more kills for a bigger vehicle, with your bigger vehicle you mow down people at a control point, and your team wins the round. If we were all adults, and all playing as squads, this could be a really enjoyable game, but most the time you end up driving a tank, with a gunner who doesn’t have a head set and doesn’t want to shoot the way you want to drive. The result is a game that is more chaos than sport. Completing the objectives helps the team some, but are mostly completed because it advances the individual. There is a definite enemy of my enemy is my friend feel, rather than a “go team” vibe.
When the game really gets going there can be 6 helicopters and 2 tanks on the field. At that point you spawn, burst in to flames and then spawn again, hoping that helicopter will be blown up while you wait.
At launch had scale issues. Too many people trying to play overwhelmed THQ’s servers. Disappointing considering that Homefront is one of the games that requires Multiplayer activation, meaning if you buy it used you will have to pay $10 to activate the multiplayer portion of the game. Since launch this has gotten better, but the game seems to have issues with Parties and other Multiplayer features.
Other games in the genre have had more chances to refine the experience, and likely Homefront 2 will be a great game with all the quirks worked out, but at this point it is still rough around the edges.