Mar 302011
 
Authors: Ian Hopkins

“Homefront” is another run of the mill first-person shooting game that had so much potential to be an exciting, fresh game series.

Unfortunately, that was all ruined by the developer’s greed for a quick buck.

Ultimately, it feels like a full featured, demo quality game not worth the $60 price tag. The graphics are cheap and blocky, the music and sound effects are nothing to write home about, the controls are sluggish and unrefined, and the only redeeming quality of the gameplay is the incredibly unrealistic story.

The commercials for “Homefront” made the game look like an intense, alternate reality that was set in a beautifully rendered 2027, in which the Koreas united and took over Japan and were conquering America.

However, as soon as the cut scene explaining the back story is over, everything falls apart and looks like something straight from 2007.

The Koreans must have been wearing some magic armor because they blend in with the background and picking them out against the backdrop is very difficult. When I was lucky enough to get a kill, the same blood explosion came out in an awkward, chunky mess.

One more thing, don’t get too close to any of the buildings, doors, cars or enemies because the textures look like they came straight from the underpowered Wii game system. Plus, “Homefront” consistently has frame rate slowdowns.

It makes me sad when a game’s best quality is the music selection.

It was a collection of rock-inspired, war tracks with the best part coming in the final mission where you take off in a Scout helicopter. They hearken back to the days of Vietnam and play “Time Has Come Today” by the Chambers Brothers. It would have been more amazing if it was the stereotypical ‘Nam song “Fortunate Son” by Credence Clearwater Revival, though.

It was troublesome that the sound effects were rough and had an unpolished sound. Most of the guns sounded exactly the same. I’m not in the military or a gun aficionado, but I know a Beretta M9 doesn’t sound like a quieter M16.

Your character, Robert Jacobs, controls like a turtle.

Accurately aiming is difficult because the aiming system feels like it was made for a four-direction pad instead of the much more fluid, full range of motion control sticks that comes standard nowadays.

Throughout the game I would aim to shoot my Korean foes, but the crosshairs would jerk around and I would just miss continually. It was a huge waste of ammo –– something of which is oddly scarce in “Homefront.”

This game is a very bland shooter.

It wants to be like “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” but is more like “Modern Warfare’s” ugly stepsister nobody wants to talk to. But, when you do talk to her, you find out she has a great personality.

Overall, “Homefront” is a game that is only worth a rental. It’s short, not very fun and would have benefited from another six months of development. If you need to buy a copy, wait until you can get it used –– it won’t be long before people trade them in.

Game reviewer Ian Hopkins can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

Graphics: 2.5 stars out of 5
Sound: 3 stars out of 5
Controls: 2 stars out of 5
Gameplay: 2.5 star out of 5
Overall: 2.5 stars out of 5
Systems: X-Box 360 and PlayStation 3
Replay Value: Low

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