A recent game I played, Homefront
portrays a near-future world in which North Korea invades the United
States. While there are good things about this PS3 game, in the end, I
sold my game to Amazon for a $35 in-store credit. Ya takes ya
chances... What follows is the review I posted on Amazon (slightly
edited for clarity).
I’m 58, and have played about all the COD (Call of Duty) games,
Battlefield 2, MOH (the latest Medal of Honor), and others. I can get
through these games but will never be as good as some teen boy at
either the single or multiplayer options. It took me about 8 hours to
get through the single player, but partially because I missed a game
assist (more on this later).
I was drawn to the game because of its theme of fighting for freedom.
There is a bit of this, but I guess even the “shocking” scenes [of
executions and mass graves] didn't seem all that shocking in today’s
jaded era. I liked the overall story and some of the realities of
fighting a guerilla-style war: citizens who just want to get along
[with the enemy]; others who take advantage of the war for their own
benefit; screw-ups that happen [friendly-fire]... I wish there was more
development of these elements. I didn’t feel much of anything for the
characters. Even at the end of MOH, I felt a bit when the wounded
soldier died. Not so much here. Pity.
The graphics: the backgrounds seemed detailed enough to me, overall,
but were certainly stylistically different than other such recent
games. Sometimes the character animation seemed lacking: feet that
didn't really “touch” the ground, odd ticks, etc. Too often the
characters seemed pasted in rather than integral to the background. (Cf
to Battlefield 3’s
latest videos for the opposite effect.)
There were parts of the game I enjoyed quite a bit. Other parts had me yelling at the TV in frustration.
SPOILERS: Problem areas: auto-lock on too often “stuck” on enemies not
close to the actual one I was trying to shoot; word hints (enter church
or whatever) sometimes obscured the enemies, making it difficult to see
them even on a 46 inch HD LED screen, leading to unnecessary deaths;
save points that required redoing too many tasks (suffered by other
games: how about a save point after accomplishing each difficult goal
rather than endless repetition?); enemies that were unrealistically
great shots/too lethal to me; too many on-screen hints at some points,
not enough at others; rocket emplacements that required an unholy
number of hits to be destroyed; walking upright through fields to avoid
being seen by enemies but fields with almost no cover (cf COD game
crawling through the grass to avoid being spotted by nearby enemies).
In one annoying (a glitch?) sequence, we were in a Target-type store.
My character was supposed to “follow” another, but the other guy just
kept running back and forth — not doing anything, not shooting, nothing
— back and forth like a chicken with its head cut off. He would not
advance. Not until my character moved forward did the story/game start
again. The first couple of times I did that, I was immediately
slaughtered. Eventually, I got past that sequence, but my “leader”
still engaged in a lot of pointless running around. I was really happy
when we finally left that stupid store...
SPOILERS: Re: hints: in one sequence, the passengers have to exit a
helicopter your character is flying at ground level and enter three
fuel trucks on the move. (Don't ask...) It took me a long while to
figure out what to do to get the characters to exit the chopper and
enter the trucks. A simple “use square button” at the start of the
sequence would have saved me a lot of time. Another issue that made me
redo sequences with RPGs and missiles far too many times was not
realizing I was supposed to use “countermeasures” then. I had to figure
out how to get through the sequences by simply dodging and weaving (not
easy when you’re being fired upon from four different directions).
Again, a simple “use X button” hint would have reminded me of what I
glimpsed in the manual but did not remember during the play. (I went
back after finishing the game and used the countermeasures: much easier
the second time around.)
I liked some of the gun play; liked shooting a sniper rifle; thought
some of the story was good; thought the characters had potential,
though my character was a near-total cipher.
I played a few rounds of the multiplayer. (I play COD:BOps [Black Ops]
and Uncharted 2 online; mostly enjoy those.) A bit frustrating. Again,
hot shots (almost literally) who killed me with a couple shots, while
my multiple rounds accomplished little. Fun. Not. The maps and graphics
seemed okay but with certainly a different feel from COD. Maybe the
maps are too big; seemed too empty. Also, I can sort of appreciate the
high angle start above the map when you regenerate (to give you an
overview of what's happening) then the zoom when you “land,” but this
seems to slow things down too much as does the requirement before every
rebirth to select your weapons. I prefer COD where the game gives you
the same load-outs throughout a battle unless you request in-game to
switch on the next respawn. I doubt I’ll play much multiplayer here. (I
didn’t notice any lag, but then, I didn’t get on until 1:00 a.m.,
I’ll give the game 3 stars, but would prefer 3 1/2. Can’t quite rate it
a 4. I paid $40 for this after a $20 credit for buying an earlier game
from Amazon. I think I would have been more upset if I’d paid the full
The game has its moments. It could have been better.
(from Don’t Get Me Started!