Homefront (Xbox 360) – Preview

Homefront was played on Xbox 360, in single player mode at the SFX Weekender, on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th February 2011

I had a little bit of hands on time with the single player mode of Homefront last weekend and thought I’d share some thoughts and pictures of my experience and some of the set pieces that I came across (the picture quality isn’t great unfortunately as I was gaming with one hand and taking pictures with the other)

The level in the demo see’s your character fighting, alongside allies Conner and Rianna, through a battle devastated town, with wrecked cars and boarded up houses and stores

In the first area I came to, you are told to take cover as a small patrol and a tank passes by (in a genius move on my first try, I threw a grenade in amongst the patrol, killing at least 4 of them instantly – unfortunately, this really annoyed the tank and it took swift revenge for its fallen comrades) Once it passes you can sneak across the road behind it

After a quick skirmish around the wing and body of a crashed airliner you come to the first set piece, where you are pinned down by an APC but you can quickly flank it and in the building above (where you will have taken out a machine gun post in the preceding battle) you find a small stash of C4 which can be tossed from the window onto the APC below

One thing I noted was that ammunition seemed to be in shorter supply than similar genre games and I found myself looting weapons from corpses frequently and having to use my pistol on a good few occasions

After this you fight through some your way through some more houses and shops on your way to meet up with police officer Boone and at this point I unlocked an achievement ‘Chronicler’ for 10gs, for picking up a newspaper clipping, which you could read and gave you a bit more insight into some of the events around the game

Towards the end of my time with the Homefront demo, after meeting up with Boone, the town comes under heavy attack and it’s here that you are given control of the ‘Goliath Assault Vehicle’ – a machine gun and missile laden remotely targeted armoured assault vehicle – which you control with the use of targeting binoculars, designating enemy vehicles and troops for the Goliath to go after

First thoughts..

Homefront is a looking to be a very solid, if not unique, game and although there was still the vibe of Kaos Studios’ previous game, Frontlines: Fuel of War, Homefront really does feel like Kaos have taken a big step forward and are really trying to push Homefront as a serious challenger to the juggernaut that is Call of Duty – certainly, the demo level was reminiscent of COD in many ways.

Sadly there was no multiplayer available on the day, as this is the jewel in COD crown that keeps it at the number 1 spot and to which all fps developers must aspire, but early indications are that Kaos are trying to both improve on some of the current crop of games such as Battlefield, with larger scale vehicle combat, but to also innovate with the new AI ‘Battle Commander’ which is hoped will help bring emergent gameplay by tracking every player in the game, In one example, if one player on the opposing team is playing exceptionally well, the AI commander will make him a priority target for your team to hunt down and kill

Homefront is due for release on 18th March 2011 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC

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