4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Red Dawn for a New Generation,
This review is from: Homefront - PC (Video Game)
I grew up during the Cold War, so I get a bit nostalgic in an odd sort of way for things that remind me of those days - beit movies, books, or, in the case of Homefront, a game. I loved Red Dawn, the film, and I can't help but think of it when playing this game. Replace the Soviets and Cubans with the North Koreans and you've pretty much got the same concept: you play as part of a guerrilla resistance trying to take back America from the "Commies." Surprisingly, the concept pays off.
The graphics seem a bit sub-par. They tried to go for the gritty, post-catastrophe type environment that one would expect to see if the US were to ever be invaded. Think Fallout - but not as good. For the most part, it does a decent job of this. You frequently see scenes of suburbia transformed into squalor and the cities are overrun with NK military, occupying and controlling the local population and rooting out resistance cells.
There are some fairly creative levels in the game. I don't want to give it away, but you're not always running through ruined American suburbia - although that primarily is the location.
The game is very gritty. Why is it that Hollywood seems to be in love with bloodless PG-13 films with neutered violence, but the gaming industry packs it in!?!? Hollywood should take a cue from the gaming industry, which now makes more money than they do! There are scenes of genocide and war crimes in the game, which really push forward the plot. And the game is balanced, too; it shows some pretty graphic displays of brutality on both sides of the conflict, creating a more realistic portrayal of what probably would happen.
One odd thing is that the game seems rushed in its pacing. Let me explain: early on the story telling is much more robust. The characters interact and explain things to you that pull you into the story. The in-game cut scenes are more elaborate. As the game progresses, this doesn't seem to be the case. But maybe that was by design to: 1) pull you into the story and then 2) ditch the story telling for more run and gun fun. I don't know, but it seemed pretty noticeable, and I think it's a negative. This also creates a problem with the main character. You never really know much about him - other than he's a pilot. The storytelling is so rushed that you never truly feel for any of the characters, but for this to happen to the main character - the one you play throughout the game - is pretty unforgivable. The shortness of the game makes the end seem anti-climactic. When it ended, I thought, "Is this the end?" I really didn't know. Without giving away the plot, I kind of find it funny that game would end on such a note. The end wasn't really a battle over anything of any significance.
I can't imagine the replay value is very great. I didn't have the time to play the multi-player portion. I usually just play the single-player part anyway to follow the story. So I can't really comment on the multi-player.
Ad placement in the game is pretty funny. It's not intrusive and over-the-top, but you can't help but laugh when you think that these companies paid money to have they names slapped all over the signs in the game. With that said, I do actually like to see things like this because it makes the game more immersive.
Looking at the reviews, I really don't get the most negative reviews of this game. Most games aren't COD or MOH. Those games are amazing and often far ahead of the competition. The game is fun. I've spent time doing less fun things on the computer. :) Yeah, the game requires Steam. I don't like DRM, but what can I say that hasn't already been said? There are far more intrusive DRM schemes than Steam. My biggest complain is that Steam kills re-sale. But of course, that is exactly what they want: to end the second-hand market, requiring people to purchase a brand new copy each and every time. The gaming industry isn't the only one trying to pull this off. Good luck on that one! Don't want to pay full price, but want to play it? Wait a few months and the price of the new game will plummet and you can buy it for $10-$20. I do it all the time. Another criticism that I've seen here is that the enemy is NK, and not China, for instance. I'm sure everyone here can figure that one out. Big companies don't want to offend our (US) biggest trade partner, so naturally, why not pick on NK - not that I have a problem with using either as an antagonist. There was a film remake of Red Dawn supposedly coming out that did the very same thing: switch the enemies from the Chinese to the NKs. Whatever... I guess that's their decision, even if most people view it as "selling out." In the end, if you don't like the stories, vote with your wallet and don't support the people that produce works that you believe compromises true artistic freedom - either the gaming industry or Hollywood.
In the end, I though the game was a lot of fun- albeit short fun. I loved the plot, and it made me feel like I was playing "Red Dawn." At least it didn't rehash the same WWII storyline. It tried something new, and you've got to give them credit for that.
1. Cool updated "Red Dawn"-esque plot
2. Some fun variations on the FPS - including vehicles and drone strikes
3. Pretty descent AI - although there were some enemies with godlike abilities to just "sense" where you were located without spotting you. I don't like that. :)
1. Very short game. I didn't time myself, but I'm guessing between 6 to 8 hours.
2. Silly console-type save system. Seriously, what the Hell is it with limiting saves?
3. Some of the weapons seem too similar
4. Weak story telling when it comes to the main character.