posted 3/15/2011 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: 360
One of the things we like to do at Gaming Nexus every year is to crank out a list of the top games that we are each looking forward in the coming year. It’s one of those things that falls into the category of easy game journalism as it’s something that readers like (lists are highly digestable and fodder for debate), and they are easy to crank out so it’s kind of a win-win

I bring this up because Homefront would have been at the top of my list for 2011. John and I first saw the game doing our circuit of the THQ booth at E3 in 2009. The game’s frantic action, cinematic feel, and Half Life 2 feel put the game instantly on my radar. The fact that the game was built by Kaos Studios, the folks behind the Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942 and Frontlines: Fuel of War, only deepened my interest in the game.

Set in 2027, Homefront takes place in a bleak America that is now occupied by a unified communist Korea. I know that’s a bit of a stretch for a country that has issues just launching satellites but the game does a decent job of explaining how the country came to power. I’m still not sure I bought everything they were selling about how the occupation came to being but if you take that leap of faith you’ll be able to enjoy one of the more interesting FPS games in recent memory.

The game starts with your character Walker, waking up in a room with no memory of his past. Once awake he’s captured by a roving band of Korean soldiers and forced onto a bus bound for a detention camp. On the bus Walker is driven down the street and gets to watch as the Korean soldiers do horrific things to the local populace. I won’t ruin the specifics but there’s a “WTF, did I really just see that” about three minutes into the game.

You’re not a prisoner for long, as the local guerrilla group smashes into the bus carrying you and helps you get away. Upon escaping you  learn that you were rescued by the Montrose, Colorado resistance. It turns out they need a pilot to help them complete a mission that will deal a major blow against the Koreans, and you’re the only pilot in the area. Thus you’ll spend the next six to seven hours of game time helping them to complete their mission and try to learn what’s going on.

Walker isn’t much of a chatty guy as he doesn’t speak during the entire game. Think Gordon Freeman with a set of pilot wings instead of a wall full of diplomas. Instead the plot is espoused through your compatriots from Colorado. The main characters you’ll deal with are Connor Mason, the headstrong commando who tends to think with his emotions and not his brain, Boone, the leader of the resistance who appears fleetingly in the game, Rianna, the stealthy member of your team who balances out Connor a bit, and rounding out the group is Hooper, the tech specialist and Korean American who is there to remind you that not all Koreans are bad. It’s a interesting mix of crew and they do a fairly good job of moving you along the through the story as well as serving as immortal meat shields when you run into heavier clumps of enemies. Seriously, in my play through, Hopper processed more hot metal than a Pennsylvania steel mill.
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