THQ aims to make you fear for your home with its intense PlayStation 3 first person shooter, Homefront.
Destroyed land. Economic unrest. A broken country. Welcome to the United States of America in 2027. Land of the free, no more. Homefront drops you into a futuristic landscape where despair drips from every piece of wreckage left by the brutal assault of the Korean People's Army.
This world has you waking up to a shattered US, where a nuclear armed and united Korea has invaded. An occupied America has been abandoned by its allies and is now a police state, with a small resistance movement the only form of desperate opposition. An opposition which you're now part of...
This is your Homefront
Fans of movies such as Red Dawn will be right at home with this tense scenario, especially as the film's writer and director, John Milius, has also penned Homefront's story. With Hollywood talent helping to bring life to this first person shooter of survival, you must take up arms and fight through a harrowing and war-torn environment that once was your home.
It's this conflict of civilians against a well armed and trained militia which Homefront developer Kaos Studios wants to explore. Your battle takes you through bloodied family homes, a crashed civilian plane, schools now turned into detention centres, abandoned shopping centres and other places that are familiar to everyday Western life.
Immersion is key to Homefront's vast single player mode. And the developer is keen that you play through it in a flowing and cinematic way rather than simply using cutscenes to illustrate the story. With everything once familiar now alien, Kaos dares you to experience this world first-hand.
In an effort to drive home the more down-to-earth feel of the game, Kaos also wants you to feel the impact and consequences of the violence you're entrenched in. While using weapons such as M4 assault rifles, light machine guns and sniper rifles in high impact action, you'll also be forced to use them in morally challenging situations such as ending the suffering of some of your hated military opponents during a heated conflict, and this promises to throw up some strained decision making for players.
Bringing your friends home
Homefront isn't just a riveting single player experience. There's a massive online multiplayer mode to enjoy as well, launching you onto a stage of epic warfare for up to 32 players. In contrast to the more considered single player mode, Homefront's multiplayer options are all about blending a more bombastic Hollywood style with real life sensibilities.
"We looked at a lot of the big war movies like Black Hawk Down and Generation Kill," says multiplayer designer Brian Holinka. "We also looked at a lot of stock footage, and stuff recorded from troops using their video cameras. So on one hand we look for that Hollywood angle and tone you see in movies like Transformers, but also the real life stuff as well."
Locked and loaded within its movie style scale and authentic inspiration, Homefront has two main aims in its sights - being fast paced, yet also accessible for anyone. "A lot of other games have these big maps and sometimes feel more like adventure games because of the long distance you have to travel to actually get to the fight," explains Holinka. "What we wanted to do was capture that really big world and massive scope, but get you to the action quicker. Doing that and striking a balance with a ton of content was a real challenge."
This difficulty is overcome by several solutions. The first is Homefront's clever use of objectives which keep you moving around the map and offering a new focus as the battle progresses so you're not always travelling to the same point to get to the action. The second is the game's range of vehicles that you can hop into, such as tanks, Apache attack helicopters and Humvees. And then there's the innovative battle points system.
Battle points are earned by completing objectives, helping teammates and killing opponents. You then use these points to buy weapons, vehicles and other goodies such as remote control drones and air strikes. It's a great incentive for teamwork and also means vehicles can be introduced to the game quicker to speed up transport and action.
The system also helps balance the game - if you're getting killed a lot you'll earn discounts on the more expensive purchases or receive some battle points to make sure you don't get left too far behind other players.
Home is where the war is
With the ability to customise your equipment and weapons, the mixture of environments for varied styles of play and the strategy afforded by battle points, Homefront's multiplayer is shaping up to be just as explosive as its single player.
The fight for freedom is on, and it's coming straight to your home. You won't have far to travel for more on Homefront - just keep reading au.playstation.com and visit PlayStation.Blog.
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