Moby ID: 51190

Windows version

Great game concept in the vein of "Red Dawn" that misses in the execution.

The Good
The story concept and a lot of the presentation are top notch. The back story is well thought out, supported by both great writing and a writer on staff who was a former CIA analyst who helped them flesh out the geopolitics of the back story.

The micro level of the writing works too: painting a dystopian, bleak future where America slips from the mighty superpower, and a rising, newly unified Korea invades. Life under Korean occupation is tough, and they create an immerse world around this idea.

The Bad
The gameplay is bland and standard. That's not bad, but this is a game that clearly got some love in the writing department, so why skimp on refining the way it handles?

While the story is good, the direction is poor. To understand what I mean, take a game like Half-Life 2, for instance - when you transition from one scene to another and something big happens, the developers take a lot of care to make sure you'll see it. They put it right at the exit of the building you just exited, or put it somewhere where you'd have to try very hard not to see it. This gives you the feeling of control, and ensures that you don't miss the cool set pieces. For instance, seeing the Citadel move, or watching as Dog takes on the Striders.

Contrast that to Homefront... there are all kinds of awesome things that you hear about happening because your allies talk about them on the radio. But some of them I don't even know if you can see. Without spoiling it, let me just say that during the Golden Gate Bridge level, all the chatter on the radio sounds like the kind of stuff you'd want the player to see. I never saw any of it. Maybe because it didn't happen during breaks in the action, maybe I was in the wrong place, or looking the wrong way. Either way, sloppy design.

The Bottom Line
If you've ever seen Red Dawn, you know the idea. Only replace Russians and Cubans with a newly unified Korea. They rise to power as we decline, and invade, then occupy much of the U.S. You are a resistance fighter.

by William Richards (2) on January 28th, 2012

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