Homefront isn't a game for the faint of heart. Within the first few minutes of the single player demo your character will get the privilege of being beaten, thrown into a prison bus, see a bunch of dissidents executed in the street and watch a boy cry as his parents are executed in front of him for no discernible reason. That's before you can do anything other than just look around. Yes, it's that sort of game.
There was only one single player level on display at THQ Gamers Week but we got some game time in with that before moving on to the multiplayer. Every time we get our hands on the title we're always impressed by the intensity of the gameplay. Moving from house to house in a tiny suburb, taking out enemy soldiers as you go, isn't your everyday experience in video games. When it culminates in an intense gunfight where you must protect a woman and her crying child from after accidently taking cover inside their home the intensity ratchets up more than just a bit.
When we got our hands on the Homefront multiplayer we were pleased to be able to check out the new modes that were on display. The most notable thing about this was the introduction of the Battle Commander. This AI General can assign missions to players who are doing well as well. For example a sniper on a kill streak will be tasked to continue his streak to a certain point. As you complete these missions you will be granted buffs to make you yet better at performing the tasks the commander assigns.
While you're trying to perform the mission that the AI commander has assigned to you the enemy Battle Commander will be assigning hunters to hunt you down. Killing your targets during these search and destroy missions will net you a lot of Battle Points, enabling you to level up quicker. But the better someone does the more hunters they will slowly acquire until the person has become quite the high priority target and has most of the enemy team chasing them down. This system really rewards those who do well but it also makes it quite a challenge for one person to just utterly dominate the battlefield without becoming quite a valuable piece of meat.
There were some issues with the game when we played it, most notable being a balance issue that presented itself. Putting it simply it's very easy to get horribly, horribly outpaced by good players. Since you can specialize yourself it's very easy to turn yourself into a walking tank or absolute beast when it comes to using drones. While this is really fulfilling as far as character advancement it's still a bit concerning how quickly someone
We're not sure how well the matchmaking system will work but we're guessing it works much better when there's a larger player base to find opponents. Let's just hope that said player base isn't inhibited by the online pass thing this game has going for it. Regardless, we at GamingExcellence will be eagerly looking forward to this games release when March finally rolls around. Also keep your eyes open for the DLC to drop on the Xbox 360 before coming to any other console, starting with the map Suburbia. It's exactly what it sounds like.