PS3 Reviews: Homefront Review

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Homefront Review

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Graphics:

 

7.3

Gameplay:

 

7.6

Sound:

 

7.4

Control:

 

7.5

Replay Value:

 

7.0

Online Gameplay:

 

7.9

Overall Rating:       7.5

 

 

Publisher:

THQ

Developer:

Kaos Studios

Number Of Players:

1-32

Genre:

FPS

Here’s the thing about Homefront: it tries really, really, really hard to be something it doesn’t quite have the fortitude to be. It has the foundation; it has the correct vision; it has the ambition to be something great. It just doesn’t have the chops. Perhaps a fair analogy would be an amateur athlete that works like a dog, that hits the gym at 6 a.m. and is the first guy on the practice field, but just doesn’t have the raw talent to hit the big time. In that way, it’s actually a little depressing that Kaos Studios’ title didn’t succeed in leaping over a lofty bar, because I can appreciate drive and motivation. That all being said, while the end result isn’t enough to be considered “elite,” sometimes it feels as if the individual highlights are better than the overall production…kind of like the opposite of “better than the sum of its parts.” Certain things will stand out; I can promise you that.

Visually, this one surprised me a bit. The developers were able to correctly capture the dark, intimidating uncertainty of a military engagement on domestic soil. It’s something we Americans haven’t known since the Revolutionary War but in Homefront, we wage war with North Korea within U.S. boundaries, and that is a chilling proposition. It also requires a capable graphical presentation that doesn’t skimp on the detail and sharpness; that flings grit and dirt directly in our shocked and dismayed faces. For the most part, we do get a visual palette that succeeds in delivering an atmosphere and environment that hits to the very core and often leaves us breathless. Unfortunately, there are several technical mistakes; i.e., clipping and collision detection, and a few other minor issues that hinder the intense style. In short, it has its memorable moments without being impressive.

In terms of sound, a lot of the audio reminds me of a mix of Call of Duty and Medal of Honor, and much like the graphics, there are times when the sound stands out. During some of the more hectic campaign moments, the audio carries the day with crisp, explosive effects and a fair amount of decent – even great – music. As you continue to press forward through the campaign, the sound continues to shine, even if the balance falls through during certain segments. In a game loaded with distinct peaks and valleys, the sound follows the rollercoaster trend: at one time, a two-minute cut-scene is left ringing in your ears and your pulse quickens; the next, we downshift to generic action and sound effects that simply settle for “okay.” It’s as if they spent more time and effort on the technical elements at particular times, and while intriguing, it’s a little unsettling.

Homefront starts with a bang and never really lets up. That’s the good news. The bad news is it lets up all too soon when the game ends abruptly after the 6-hour mark. There’s little doubt that the emotional drama inherent in Kaos’ hard-hitting shooter allows the game to stand apart, because we’re often shocked at what we see. We sometimes even sit on the edge of our seats, preparing to wince and hoping we'll soon get our chance to administer some sweet justice. The pacing works out very well as we will build to important encounters featuring multiple allies and opponents, and the instant it’s over, we’re doing something very different; something slower that plays on the senses and nerves. Granted, the characters aren’t intricately drawn and you’ll forget most the minute you’re done with the campaign, but the impact is unquestionable. You will feel both frightened and powerful when on the battlefield and your luck can swing quickly and unexpectedly.

Despite what may be assumed based on the overall score, I want to make this clear: it’s fun because it really does try to separate itself from the sea of FPSs out there and while the taste it leaves in your mouth is bittersweet, the “sweet” parts are wholly satisfying. The control works just fine, every scene features an engaging environment with a compelling goal, and you always feel as if you have control over your own destiny. The only problem is that, as I said above, it doesn’t have the strength to see it through to the end- frankly, it just doesn’t finish what it starts. In the first two hours, I was going, “damn, this is pretty freakin’ cool,” but in the second half of the game, I started to lose interested and heard myself saying, “yeah…okay…and…?” It’s as if they started building a very appealing architectural structure and just slapped on something generic halfway through. "It would've been beautiful," you'll say...

The story falls off, the intensity falls off and in short, one finds the drama attempts to cover a straightforward and mostly unimpressive gameplay format. It’s a shooter. It’s a competent, reliable, fun shooter, to be sure, but it’s still just a shooter. It doesn’t do anything you haven’t seen before, it doesn’t implement any refreshing mechanics, and although the multiplayer is a highlight, there isn’t anything you won’t expect, either. There just aren’t enough modes when playing online, but at least the experience is familiar; I call that a plus because it’s easy to dive in and get started. You’ll earn experience, level up, buy new weapons and snag a few cool perks along the way, and I have to say, I did enjoy the map layouts. The remote-controlled stuff is way cool, too, and I’m hoping more FPSs will take advantage of the military drone in the future; it’s one of the most strategic and entertaining multiplayer features out there.

Then there are vehicles and plenty of chances to impress the hell out of your teammates. Also, you may have noticed that THQ mentioned those dedicated servers, so I’ll make sure to note them as a bonus in this review. It’s just that, whether you’re playing single-player or multiplayer online, you sort of get this slightly unsatisfied feeling. After you finished the short campaign, you’ll be recalling all the most intense moments with a gleam in your eye and a pounding heart, but you’ll also be inclined to feel slightly disappointed. It’s a complex disappointment, too: it’s not that you didn’t enjoy yourself and it’s not that there were a multitude of glaring flaws. It’s that Kaos set the bar very high, sprinted forward to leap over that bar, and looked great somewhere in mid-air. Then they nicked the bar and fell straight down. It’s weird.

Homefront isn’t a bad game and it does a lot of things right. And unlike other designers who are happy with the same ol’, same ‘ol, Kaos Studios strives to reach another level in regards to true human drama. At the start, you’re more than hopeful. When the eyebrow-raising moments roar onto the screen, you’ll be immersed. And even though the campaign ends too soon, you’ll jump into the familiar online multiplayer, frown briefly at the lack of options, and then once again begin to revel in a singular atmosphere. Unfortunately, you’ll always know that nothing else about the game is “singular” and where they reached for the stars, they didn’t get through the first layer of clouds. It’s one of those instances where if you go in with high expectations, you’re bound to be left feeling a tad empty, but if you’re more moderated in your anticipation, you’ll be better off. The campaign is worth playing; there’s no doubt about that.

But there are extenuating circumstances…

The Good: Hard-hitting campaign with several huge highlights. Great atmosphere and environment. Some nice music. Solid, responsive control. Multiplayer works well. Drama is well-scripted and implemented.

The Bad: It’s all over too quickly. Campaign ending feels abrupt and unsatisfactory. Lacking multiplayer options. Generic action.

The Ugly: “Wait…it’s over…?”

3/20/2011 Ben Dutka

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Comments (49 posts)

Nickjcal
Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 10:47:06 PM
Reply

Yea the ending was weird. Good place for a sequel though I suppose. They're gonna have to head east at some point.

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Lord carlos
Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 10:47:20 PM
Reply

i'll pass
i'm all fps'd out untill resistance 3 is released

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JMO_INDY
Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 10:49:15 PM
Reply

Not gonna lie but the video looked pretty damn cool, but still I'm not into playing as a rag tag group of people who occasionally gets a chance to be a badass. It seemed more like an opportunity for White Castle to get some promotions in than anything else.

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Nickjcal
Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 10:53:16 PM

The whole game your fighting and doing a bunch of missions. It's almost like Call of Duty shortned into a bunch of set pieces one after another. Not saying that's bad at all. The multiplayer is the most fun i've had this year. (Can't seem to get into killzones :( )

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 10:54:33 PM
Reply

Well written review! This may be the first time I read through the whole review of a game I have absolutely *no* interest in getting. Love the analogy with the amateur athlete, it kept me reading.
You're getting good at this, Ben. ;)

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Oxvial
Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 11:09:40 PM
Reply

*Playing Yakuza 4, stops*

Hmmmm...

*Returns to Yakuza 4*

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Kiryu
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 1:32:44 AM

Yes!

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Oxvial
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 12:18:06 PM

*Playing Yakuza 4, stops*

Akiyama is a very cool character, impresses me how many reviewers like the ign tard called him unlikable if Akiyama is that, 99.9% of gaming characters are more of a jerks.

And those people that thumbd me down...sure bought that generic-average quality-fps called Homefront.

*Returns to Yakuza 4*



Last edited by Oxvial on 3/21/2011 12:26:35 PM

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Kiryu
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 8:17:12 PM

I also like Saegima Taiga!

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Oxvial
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 @ 12:22:35 AM

I still don't hit that chapter, doing cardio 5 days of the week gives me less gametime.

But I'm enjoying the game a lot! MUCH more than Y3 in all aspects, Taiga was brutal on the demo I hope hes also charismatic like Kazuma and Akiyama.

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FM23
Sunday, March 20, 2011 @ 11:19:26 PM
Reply

Wow...this review actually reads more entertaining than most of your reviews which isn't a knock. I just felt it...lol. KZ3 was over way too quick in my eyes too and end abruptly with that cliffhanger. That should have been a knock on KZ3 even though KZ3 action is far from generic...QUALITY. Anyway, I might pick this up as a rental just to experience the SP, but KZ3 already satisfies my limited MP expectations...so yeah. Too bad the FPS genre is so satuartated. I might also just rent Resistance 3...FPS's aren't worth the money to me as I don't find myself playing MP that much. I play KZ3 here or there, but I usually turn it off because I'm annoyed rather than pooped out.

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Qubex
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 1:13:25 AM

"this review actually reads more entertaining than most of your reviews which isn't a knock" - what does that actually mean FM23, if it isn't a knock?

Admittedly, this review was very good, but personally, I have not not liked any of the reviews... I think Ben does a very good job compared to much of the rest of the gaming press...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy

Last edited by Qubex on 3/21/2011 1:13:48 AM

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kraygen
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 1:51:39 AM
Reply

Ben I have a question about the graphical rating. I haven't played homefront, I've only seen a few screen shots and some video's for the game.

On Black ops I've also only seen some screen shots and video's, but also played the demo.

From what I have seen, I'm just wondering what lead you to give black ops an 8.7 and Homefront only a 7.3.

I ask out of curiosity because, though my experience with the two games is limited, from all I've seen I would think the graphics on homefront are above and beyond black ops. So does it have to do with the clipping and other glitches you mentioned? Just looking to for some more info on it.

I have been interested in the story because even though I am not an fps fan, I like the idea behind this game.

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MadPowerBomber
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 5:29:07 AM

Homefront does look worse than Black Ops in my opinion. During my first hour of gameplay, I actually said to myself -- ha, and facebook -- that it looked like a poor man's Modern Warfare 2.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 10:11:34 AM

Yes, Homefront just isn't as technically sound as Black Ops. It really does sort of look like a poor man's CoD.

However, there are those bright spots I mentioned that rival just about anything...they're just few and far between.

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kraygen
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 2:11:50 PM

I see, well that is really sad then.

So here's another question, is the black ops demo a good representation of the graphics in the full game?

I'm wondering because the graphics were so bad, I have Cod classics, the downloadable psn game and it has better detail and textures than the black ops demo. I was appalled by what I saw in that demo, it was really bad. I literally have ps2 games with more detail and less fuzziness.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 2:13:22 AM
Reply

Sounds like a decent game, and that's all I ever thought that it would be. It has an interesting premise, but the idea that it plays almost exactly the same as every other shooter is a let-down to me. You say that you really get the feeling of fighting in America, and I'm curious as to how it compares to what was found in Resistance 2. Is one more generic than the other, or is one more immersive? Or are they on par with each other.
Peace.

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___________
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 2:42:18 AM
Reply

just one question.
why is it that every single review this games getting hounded for being too short, but then barley anyones hounded KZ3 for its short length.
double standards?

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leatherface
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 2:59:30 AM

just one question.
why is it that every single review this games getting hounded for being too short, but then barley anyones hounded Black Oops for its short length.
double standards?
fixed it for you.

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___________
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 8:22:27 AM

BO did not have a short length, took me 8 hours to finish.
in homefront and KZ3 standards thats a lifetime!
even MW and MW2 were longer then those!

O, and you forgot to mention how god dam awesome the guns sound in this game!
BFBC2 had the best weapon effects i have ever heard, DICE are famous for there sound effects, but this sounds even better!
most games have loud guns, but they dont echo, they dont have the deep punch, and theres no sound effects around you.
like KZ3, MW2, most shooters i play you cant hear bullets wizzing past and striking other materials, but in homefront your constantly surrounded by sounds of bullets striking concrete, metal, and echos.
best sounding game ever made!
graphics are not too bad either, sure there not going to give crysis 2 a run for its money, but you have to remember kaos studios and THQ are about a 10th of the size of crytek and EA, and thus have about a 10th of the budget!
for such a small no name studio they have done incredibly well!


Last edited by ___________ on 3/21/2011 8:26:14 AM

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slugga_status
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 10:05:04 AM

As mentioned in a previous subject. Time taken to beat a game depends on your difficulty. If length of a game is truly a complaint then play on a harder difficulty. KZ3 wasn't longer then KZ2 but seemed about right playing on Elite..

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Oxvial
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 12:22:24 PM

Homefront is just average blank line, so don't try to look at this too deep.

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alnemozac
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 8:00:52 PM

I must say in terms of length of the Story mode, homefront is short, but at the same time KZ 3 was about the same length of time, even on the hardest difficulty I managed KZ 3 in 4-5 hours. The main difference with KZ 3 over any other incredibly short FPS (MW 2 included) is that KZ 3's ending felt like an ending, sure it leaves things open for the next one but it wraps up the story that it was telling. Whereas Homefront just ended as quickly as it starts.
It is a sad trend with FPS that they all have such short stories. I enjoy MP but I think that a great story is still hugely important.

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Ultimate_Balla
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 3:23:41 AM
Reply

The leap for the skies and landing on the cloud sxxt was a pretty 'woah' moment ;)

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DazeOfWar
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 4:23:06 AM
Reply

Great review. This is pretty much what I would have given it. Hopefully it hits the sequel mark in sales so we can see an improved version with the continuing story.

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Clamedeus
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 4:39:26 AM
Reply

I can't wait to get Homefront, it looks like fun. I was looking at YouTube and watching my friend play and he was demolishing people, i like that you can get up and just use the helicopter and not have to worry about trying to figure out how to pilot it, although I'm still going to try to when i go and play BFBC2 again.

The helicopter in BFBC2 has a learning curve which i like, but I'm not going to turn my eye on Homefront.

I could see myself playing Homefront more than Black Ops, the only 2 things that i like about Black Ops though is the Theater Mode, and the Emblem System where you can put it on the preferred weapon of your choice.

I think Homefront and Socom 4 are going into my buy list. :D

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dillonthebunny
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 10:34:27 AM

make sure a patch for the fix comes out, seriously.

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Clamedeus
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 12:15:30 PM

What's the patch for is it for when you try to play with a friend? Because i heard it has a problem with joining friends.

Last edited by Clamedeus on 3/21/2011 12:17:40 PM

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Godslim
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 9:01:55 AM
Reply

i brought it today and played the singleplayer and wasnt that impressed tbh.......i like the gameplay and the guns feel great but the sp is a bit boring
mp is good fun tho

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zabak74
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 9:30:50 AM
Reply

Just one thing....ONLINE - 7.9 ?!?! Sorry, but did you even play Homefront online, because it's definitely better then that. I'm glad people don't listen to review and keep buying this game. Online is really fun.....that's what I have to say.
Finally game where weapons have recoil. That's probably why COD fans don't like, it actually take a skill to get a kill.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 10:10:23 AM

There aren't anywhere near enough modes. And only a couple variations. The options are just completely bare-bones compared to the competition...which, in the world of multiplayer shooters, is INSANELY stiff.

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CrusaderForever
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 10:19:31 AM
Reply

To bad the online portion is completely broken. I have had 16 freezes now and would have more but stopped playing MP. The freezes got worse after the Saturday night update. Also, if you play with someone you cannot get into each others game/lobby. The forums are on fire right now. I just returned it as I cannot support a fully paid beta. First Strike and KZ3 are keeping me very busy. Also, if Crysis 2 actually is good on the PS3 I will be picking that up as well. Not to mention I just completed the SP on Guerrilla/Hardest difficulty in 6 hours. Very disappointed in Kaos for fumbling this great opportunity away.

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dillonthebunny
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 10:29:47 AM
Reply

here is my diary review.

18/03/11 I buy HF.
I go straight in to online as I always do these days, why waste time on a short missions when I can fall back on it when the servers go down.
im in a game.. woohoo... meh, its a lil... hmmm. wtf? how can I travel faster in prone than I do crouched? got to Rank 4... cool! but I dont like buying weps on the fly!

...oh PS3 froze.

restart online play, oh ...am in lobby, waiting for 7 people to join. (this continues in to the night and freezes up on me another 3 times).


19/03/11

waiting in lobby for people to join and freezing up my ps3.. over and over again.

...I play single player.. I quite like it.

PS3 Froze (about 5 times and sat in lobby for many many attempts to get in to a game) ...I play BC2, happy bunny.

that night: I play one HF round with frostypants and he got ps3 froze so was out of the game, I finish mine (which I have to say was lots of fun!!) ..but then my ps3 froze, then the rest of the night my PS3 freezes every third attempt to get in to a lobby, and when it didnt freeze im "waiting for 5 people to join".


20/03/11
I go to work. I get back from work, and about 9pm I put HF on.. ps3 freezes, i restart the game, I wait in lobby.. it freezes, I restart the game.. wait in lobby... this continues for about 30 mins. I turn it off.


21/03/11

I return to shop take what ever trade in cash they offer me.. for the sanity of my PS3.. I cast it back in to the fire that it forged.

now, you may think this is a unique exp.. its not, its really really not. this game needs a patch like humans need oxygen, but you know what.. I figure that even it it was fixed, I felt so abused by THQ and KAOS, that i just didnt want it in my collection anymore.

Ive brought games in the past that have had poor reviews and loved them, but not one of them was as bad as this, again.. the idea, maps.. graphics were all fine, it was just the development that was wrong, and the sheer lack of testing.

this game was marketed as if it was a AAA game, yet the pure fundamentals of being able to play several games without you thinking that your PS3 is at any moment going to ylod on you is just inexcusable.

im going back to BC2, and will probably get Crysis 2.. im on the rebound, I need some FPS lovin.

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CrusaderForever
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 10:44:47 AM

Man, I couldn't have said better myself. Sounds exactly like my experience. I to feared greatly for my PS3's health. We are seriously doing the paid beta routine. They are in trouble big time. People are returning this game like it's going out of style. I won't look twice at Kaos' next game which I already know is going to be Homefront 2! LOL! Get Homefront 1 right first before you start talking sequel! Unbelievable short sighted devs.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 10:57:37 AM

This sounds pretty recent...I only had it freeze once when I was playing.

But if it's this bad now, I'm glad someone posted about it.

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CrusaderForever
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 11:14:45 AM

Yeah, it's not just in the MP either. I went to play the SP last night to trophy hunt and it locked up at the beginning screen that shows you how the game saves. I know after a game is released that the devs will take a vacation but I cannot believe they did considering how important this game is for them. Like you said the competition is INSANE.

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frostface
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 11:39:34 AM

Yes, Frostypants was not a happy bunny either when his system froze going into that game. Altogether, I've counted 5 freezes over about 3 or 4hrs of MP gameplay. And twice during the campaign. Frostypants loved the single player campaign, although I've absolutely no idea why.

Everything points to it being a terrible game, infact the first 20mins and I logged out feeling very underwelmed. Glad I decided to push on, actually managed to clear the game in one sitting (if we don't count the 20mins). Completely changed how I initially felt about the game.

The online has a lot of potential and I keep reminding myself that BF:BC2/MoH/KZ3/every CoD all have issues coming out the gate with the online. So I've decided to give the game a couple of weeks to sort itself out, if it doesn't it gets traded in. If they add more servers and it fixes the lag and partying up for a match, I can see myself having a blast with it.

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dillonthebunny
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 4:25:28 PM

yeah, I was going to wait til Thursday, but I hammer my PS3, Im on no.4 now, and i really dont want a perm YLOD, so I have it in my interests to look after it. call it paranoia, but the game had to go, plus it probably doesnt help that im the sort of person that if I have a game that Im not 100% happy with, then it has to be purged from my collection.

I think if its supported enough with patches and DLC, I might well pick this up again.

MAG turned itself around, so there is no excuse for this not to happen with Homefront

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BeezleDrop
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 11:43:37 AM
Reply

Homefront had a pretty decent SP Campaign. The worst part about it was how I finished it in 2 night. And it didn't feel like I played for very long. Homefront went wrong when they went with the industry >standard< Unreal Engine. My goodness that engine sucks.

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maxpontiac
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 12:23:36 PM
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As I expected, I sure I could get into it, but truth be told, I was never fully convinced.

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Alienange
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 12:37:40 PM
Reply

It looked rather promising and you know, part two might just be great, but for now I'm going to pass.

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PasteNuggs
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 1:08:49 PM

I suggest either renting or waiting until Homefront 2 is announced to play it. It should be plenty cheap by then

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just2skillf00l
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 2:04:19 PM

Alienange

That's the wisest thing anyone who hasn't bought the game can do right now. Unfortunately for me, I am too late.

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Lairfan
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 4:08:08 PM
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Well, looks like a good rental then. I'm disappointed that the campaign is truly that short. I don't buy games anymore that have that short of a campaign, no matter how badass they are.

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dillonthebunny
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 4:26:06 PM
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well worth a rental, after the patch.. pointless rental at the moment tho (imo).

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tlpn99
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 5:08:24 PM
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The SP freezes for me if im not connected online. Once online I turn it off again and continue on my SP way.

Bizare the way it wont let me play SP without being online and this was after the patch on Friday up till then it was working fine as I played SP first before jumping online.

My mate pointed out to me that it's posible something was put in the patch that wont let me play offline ie it has to be online to ensure it's a genuine copy and he thought pssibly all future games may do this. Never occured me to me that.

Anyhow im enjoying what I have played with it so far but luckily had no freezes as of yet apart from the SP one I mentioned and some comms stuff in the lobbys etc.

Last edited by tlpn99 on 3/21/2011 5:09:37 PM

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BikerSaint
Monday, March 21, 2011 @ 6:59:57 PM
Reply

Homefront Debuts at No.1 in U.K.
(and Dragon Age 2 is in the 2nd slot)

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/homefront-debuts-at-no1-in-uk/

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aguscerdo
Monday, April 11, 2011 @ 6:16:19 AM
Reply

nice review but in comparation to black ops u r giving to less to homefront in some things its better than black ops like multiplayer

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Pyramid
Friday, June 01, 2012 @ 2:39:16 PM
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As always im here writing after the whole world play the game.I read the review b4 playing but i found it more shorter than expected.I wanted out of this game was for the final boss to be Kim Jong-un but look like theres more to cum maybe Central or East side of the country. Used game,no code no online so buy it if u find it under $8

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