James Ireland On March - 17 - 2011
There is something about Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops that both games leave a void in the online experience we were really looking for. Black Ops in general is devoid of any real strategy regardless of whether you are playing the most team based objectives, a large reason for that was the size of it’s maps and that the dotted respawning left you open at all angles for an attack - so it was essential to keep moving consistently. Bad Company 2′s Ground War equivalent didn’t make sense spawning your characters to where one of your team mates are providing he’s alive. Bad Company 2 was prone to spawn campers at the default respawn spots, so that’s two games that despite offering (or not) offering a decent work together experience - there was always something sorely lacking.

Enter Homefront. Homefront offers the team play experience, something that has been sorely lacking since Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Working as a team during play becomes instrumental to success and whether you are the KPA or the U.S Military you’ll come across various challenges in how you approach your play. We’ve never played a multiplayer experience where we’ve consistently had to shift and change the way we play the game in order to be successful and win matches. We would use any tactics from a co-ordinated attack with a heavy pack of fighters together, flank attacking and even stealth attacking moving building to building and scouting the area before deploying an onslaught attack. Because Chaos Studios hasn’t given us a gazillion game modes it has meant that servers are packed and that there is never any game mode suffering from lack of play - more time has been spent nailing down the three game modes and it’s variants.

So - you’ll have the standard TDM which is in any FPS, due to the variety and craft in the map designs this game mode actually feels as though you can run strategic battle plans with it. The highlight is Ground War, there asre three zones of which you must control and the longer you stay in control the more points you gain. Once you hit certain points target the game will end. It’s ground war where the team play really comes into effect, whether it’s splitting up forces to attack certain zones, checking your team mates inventory to see what they can spawn or even having one of your guys dedicated as recon flying around in an AR-Drone. These game modes run at 24 and 32 player match equivalents though there is a skirmish mode which cycles through TDM and Ground Control on a much smaller level of players. As I write this Kaos Studios I don’t believe were quite prepared for how many units they have sold for this game so they are bringing in mode dedicated servers to the fold to keep up with the demand. Yes, I said dedicated servers - that means less lag and more frag baby! The third game mode is Battle Commander. It takes the TDM and Ground War modes and throws in an AI-controlled commander that will set up special missions and place bounties on players during a multiplayer match. This feels paticularly satisfying when vying for killing a bounty target and for doing so you are rewarded with Battle Points accordingly.

Battle Points are the equivalent of XP however there is a major difference. Levelling up ranks are tied to killstreaks and match wins. Battle Points are tied specifically for completing kills, assists and completing objectives and can only be spent in the current match. These points do not carry over to the next match but can be used in the same match to buy certain weapons you have unlocked in the game. There are two slots where you can live purchase additional equipment for battle and then you obviously have access to the Armory too. There is usually a power weapon and something smaller like a UAV plane or RPG. The power slots can be airstrikes, helicopter drones or tank drones and depending on how much BP you have on the respawn you can also buy vehicles to spawn in (or spawn in other peoples vehicles) to start the new battle engagement in. So you can imagine the sheer wealth of gameplay opportunity is on offer.

Just switching back to the Battle Commander game mode variation again, Battle Commander is a consistently changing game mode. Players can use kill streaks to earn ability boosts and gain an advantage in battle. When facing an opponent who is on a streak of his or her own, players can earn Battle Points by hunting down those players and ending their streak. Players in Battle Commander missions always start at a base level of 1-star. Once a player gets closer to becoming a 5-star, the A.I commander will assign more of human players HUD to go after the player on the streak to end it once and for all. Remember, there are perks for gaining these stars so it’s pretty addictive trying to get to the 5 star level. For instance at 5 stars Wallhack is available.

If you happen to want to system link this game you can play up to 16-players on the system link. Levelling up on Homefront stars off fast initially, ranking up to level 5 can sometimes take less than an hour and that’s probably because of the THQ pass requiring people to enter the battle code to rank up furter (an attempt at counter-acting pre-owned game sales). As you progress from around Level 9 onwards the ranking up system slows down to keep you addicted. Something that Black Ops perhaps overlooked was that you could prestige rather quickly. As an experience Homefront is one of the best I have ever played on this generation of consoles, it blows both Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Call of Duty’s: Black Ops out of the water and that’s even without matching up to either game graphically. Admittedly there are less customisation options in Homefront that Black Ops gives but Black Ops cannot offer the same level of team work experience so it doesn’t really fall into the equation.

You still are able to unlock camo for your guns and the weaponry on offer is pretty varied, a good amount of machine guns, SMG’s, snipers and explosive weapons are available - not to mention the copius amount of vehicles, drones and unmanned devices which can be used to decimate your opponent. All of a sudden an RC-XD seems rather boring. It’s the maps that really shine for me, each map is extremely different from the other, the variety in landform, building structure and access to Ground War locations creates for a real visceral experience which requires planning and teamwork if you are ever going to win consistently. Maps range from country barns, a decimated town, a cliff top area with two high rise points and an section of abandoned highway which has been torn with bombs just to name a few. As we write this we’re already in contact with KAOS for birds-eye view shots of the maps so we can start doing some strategy coverage for this game.

The game keeps a handy tab of your challenges and also ranks you upon your global leaderboard and the lobby system is easy to use and connect to enabling you to go with your party from game to game without issue. Graphically the game is one the weakest points, whilst not bad they do not match the visual polish of many other FPS games out there but as stated earlier what it lacks in polish is made up for it’s engaging form of combat. Homefront’s multiplayer will blow your bollocks off, it is that good! We really hope that KAOS make some affordable MAP packs to keep the game fresh throughout it’s lifecycle and hopefully we may see one more additional game mode, which is something along with the graphics that prevented this game from getting a perfect 10. Worried about spawn campers? They also will have it coming to them, idlers also get kicked! Get your frag fingers ready!

Review

ProsCons
Team worked defined, amazing maps, excellent battle points systemLacking graphically, needs more game modes
Rating
90%

Categories: Feature, Xbox 360 Reviews
  • Joker

    bad company 2 is still better. graphics kind of ruin the experience in homefront. I know it shouldn’t matter but i struggle playing a game that looks as though it belonged on the ps2.

  • Happy NOT!

    Game sucks!! Servers weren’t there when they started. Codes don’t always work to get to play. Game freezes and if there are multiple people with X-Box live profiles in your home each has to buy the Battle code to be able to play- RIP OFF!!!!!

  • JohnnyBravo

    DUDE this game rocks. Much better than Black ops. Now there is a game that failed. Graphics is not the issue. Graphics is much better than black ops and it runs smoother.

  • yourmom

    Well hte Xbox and PS3 is starting to age now. They do suck anyways. I always say FPS belong on the PC. Check @ killzone 3. now that’s also a game that would’ve been better on the pc.

  • Guest

    @the reviewer
    With your first paragraph, you probably pissed off almost everyone who played Bad Company 2 or Black Ops. To say that a game has no strategy, because of the way the spawn system works, is just ridiculous. Try keeping your reviews neutral!

  • Fuck your /b/itches

    DUDE this game sucks. Much worse than BATTLEFIELD BAD COMPANY 2. Now there is a game that DIDN’T HAVE TO RELY ON SHITTY, PRE-LAUNCH REVIEWS TO GET SALES. Graphics is not the issue, BUT THE SHITTY GAMEPLAY, TERRIBLE SINGLEPLAYER, AND THE FACT THAT HOMEFRONT’S METACRITIC REVIEW SCORES DROPPED BY 20% ONCE THE GAME WAS ACTUALLY RELEASED MIGHT BE THE ISSUE. Graphics are much worse than BATTLEFIELD BAD COMPANY 2 and it lags MORE.

    BFBC2>MW2>BFBC1>Homefront>Drinking Semen>Black Ops

    Being better than black ops doesn’t count for shit. That’s like bragging that Mexico is a great country because it isn’t as bad as Somalia. Fuck Mexico.

    Also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnhF1QAEZjU&feature=related

  • Really?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feB7Oc8rw1o&feature=related

    That’s all you’re pretty much saying.

    Honestly though, you have no class whatsoever. Just because someone has a different opinion than you does NOT gives you the right to verbally abuse them, no matter how much CAPS you can use. People like you are the reason gaming is still viewed as a childish and juvenille hobby as opposed to the art form that it is. The people from Extra Credits (before they joined The Escapist) made a brilliant video on the subject of non-gamer’s views of gamers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeqVeRknD5k&feature=related

    UMAD CAUSE IM STYLIN ON YOU. Sorry couldn’t resist (can’t have everyone being all serious about the perception vs. the reality of most gamers), anyway the actual video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bMLrA_0O5I&feature=related

    ” We as a medium need to stand up to adversity from the various anti-game media sources and show the world that gaming IS an art form, as respectable as film and literature.” One of the truest quotes ever.

    GET TIME WASTED ON FAGGOTS. UMAD BRAH, YOU MAD CAUSE IM THE SAME PERSON IM REPLYING TO AND THAT I’VE BEEN STYLING ON YOU FOR THE PAST 5 MINUTES. U MAD BRAH. U JELLY CAUSE YOU CAN’T STYLE ON ME. U MAD CAUSE YOU JUST GOT TROLLED. YOU MAD CAUSE YOU CAN’T TROLL ME BACK THROUGH MY FLAMESHIELD. L-O-L U MAD CAUSE YOU MAD I CAN SEE, CAUSE YOUR LOOKING PRETTY HEATED UP FROM WHAT I CAN SEE! C’mon bitches, FEED THE TROLL, I’m HUNGRY. OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM

  • povrick

    hmm well i’m just not feeling it. Not a whole lot of teamwork in having tonnes of snipers sitting in building half a km away taking potshots until they have enough points for a heli. The game would be superb but for snipers

  • Mr_Tayto

    Agree with the above. MP has potential, but isn’t as slick in terms of gameplay or matchmaking as BC2. Graphics in MP are pathetic, I thought my tv was knacked, but the resolution rules out engaging infantry at anything like range. Prone was a terrible idea - campers in every bush. Rent, do not buy n

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