Homefront Exclusive Impressions - E3 First Look

We get the jump on this near-future first-person shooter that takes place just after America has been invaded.

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There's a global financial crisis. And a global energy crisis. What if these international issues led to a worst-case scenario? How about the conquering and subjugation of America by North Korean armies? That's the premise of Homefront, the new first-person shooter from developer Kaos Studios and publisher THQ. The game takes place about 20 years in the future, in a war-torn America that has been devastated by the invasion. In the game, you'll play as a single soldier who joins a ragtag resistance army in the desperate fight to survive. And we've got the first details.

Kaos Studios' Erin Daly suggests that Homefront will stand out from the many other first-person shooters out there with at least three key features: first, its locations, which will primarily be devastated versions of familiar American locales. The game will begin in the state of Colorado, which is currently known for its beautiful Rocky Mountain vistas, but will, like the rest of America, be a smoldering ruin in Homefront and take on what Kaos hopes will be an "alien" look. Over the course of the game, you'll eventually head west and end up fighting along the Pacific Coast in a series of escalating battles. That'll be the second key feature that Daly suggests Homefront will offer: fast-paced action with no breaks and no cinematic cutscenes. All dialogue and story events will happen in real time, like in the Half-Life series. And finally, the third feature that Kaos hopes will set the game apart will be its "toys"--specifically, future-tech weapons and vehicles that, though only in experimental stages today, will be fully realized and usable in the game.

The demonstration that we watched took place in an area that Daly suggests contains elements from the beginning of the game, but may not be the actual first level. Our character awoke to see a pair of resistance soldiers standing over him, shocked that we had survived and mentioning something about our character being on "the list." We arose and followed the leader as he led us through the shantytown, which was built around an abandoned Colorado suburb. Rickety windmills had been cobbled together to generate electricity, sapling trees were growing out of old paint buckets, and a mother was carrying her crying baby into a house. The resistance leader mentioned that this particular location had been a good one; crops had grown well this season, but the group had to remain on the move or risk getting attacked. We followed the leader through the suburb, entering what appeared to be the resistance colony's military headquarters, which amounted to a weapons cache in a living room. The resistance leader passed us a new weapon, the ACR (adaptive combat rifle), a smarter, faster version of the standard-issue M4 Carbine assault rifle used by the Armed Forces today.

Homefront will offer explosive close-quarters battles in a beaten and battered future America.

Just moments after we picked up and equipped the rifle, the town came under attack by enemy soldiers that had apparently discovered the location. The enemy troops came in hard and fast, ferried in by Humvee-like transports and immediately staking out cover behind their vehicles and even perching on rooftops. The resistance leader directed us to lend cover to the handful of battle-ready soldiers to get across the street to the town's main weapon dump, which also contained the controller for Goliath--a heavy-duty, experimental unmanned armored vehicle that the resistance leader referred to as "the only exit strategy." We took a breath and then leaped out of the building with the rest of the soldiers, blasting at enemy troops that our squadmates helpfully called out for us. An enemy soldier with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher was perched on the roof of a building across the street; we took him down and grabbed his fallen weapon, as directed by the shouted orders of the resistance leader and a brief onscreen mission prompt. As soon as we scooped up the weapon, we trained it on an enemy transport that was headed straight for us, blasted it, and narrowly dodged the flaming wreck as its momentum carried it past us until it exploded in a spectacular blaze. As Daly later explained, this was one of many dramatic set-piece moments planned for the game, but these events won't be scripted to happen exactly the same way each time.

We finally tumbled into the house across the street, hastily grabbing a few ammo cartridges and the controller for the Goliath. The heavily armored vehicle came crashing through the wall, but with our controller, we were able to paint enemy vehicles as Goliath's next target through a hole in the wall, and with targets acquired, the unmanned vehicle crashed right back through that opposite wall to go after our foes. With Goliath providing cover, we were in a much more advantageous position to move back into battle and attack the invaders head-on. We bobbed and weaved through cover, stopping and popping at enemy soldiers as they continued to arrive in waves. Just when it seemed like we might have been turning the tide of battle, an enemy bomber in the sky launched an air-to-ground missile that blasted Goliath sky-high, bringing our demonstration to an explosive end.

The experimental unmanned Goliath armor will be just one of the futuristic toys you'll get to play with.

Although cover will be a very important part of Homefront, there won't be any kind of cumbersome "snap-to" system that forces you to acquire cover. Instead, in keeping with the game's focus on nonstop action, you'll simply need to run up behind, or duck behind, anything that can keep you safe. As it turns out, the game will actually have several suburban battles like the one we witnessed. The manicured hedges and parked SUVs of your local suburb might not seem like the first place you'd think of for ferocious close-quarters gun battles, but surprisingly, it seems to work quite well. Then again, not all of the battles will take place in the 'burbs, and not all of them will be fought alone. During the course of the game, you'll join up with a total of four computer-controlled companions as a makeshift fireteam that will call targets for you and provide covering fire to help you get from point A to point B. And Homefront will also have a "very big" multiplayer component, though at present, Kaos is keeping quiet about the details. Keep an eye on GameSpot for further updates on this explosive new game.

Discussion

206 comments
Pieleanu65
Pieleanu65

LOLLLLLLLLLLLLL ONLY 32 PLAYERS HEY GUYS BATTLEFIELD3 HAS 64!!!!! THATS THE GAME

Pieleanu65
Pieleanu65

HI GAMERS HERE IS: [xTz] PIELEANU !!! DO NOT EXPECT MUCH FROM THIS GAME the best and only one are the EA and DICE they did a lot for our fun during the time...the rest are a bunch of MF WHO WANTS ONLY OUR MONEY ...THEY OFFER US ONLY STUPID GAMES FOR EXAMPLE: CODBLACKOPS, OPERATION FLLASCHPOINT2, ARM2,COD4,,,, EA&DICE made the revolution ingame BRAVOOO VIVA EA and DICE!!!!! BATTLEFIELD FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Tennesseeotaku
Tennesseeotaku

Okay let's see if I've got this straight. A starving nation with a population of less than 25 million and a 1970's military invades and occupies a superpower with a population of 300 million plus. Is that right? Kaos studios thinks we're all a bunch of idiots to lay out such an idiotic premise.

Phool86
Phool86

Modern Warfare 2 rip off much?

Zebal
Zebal

If nothing else, I can admire the artistic merit in play in Homefront. I'm struggling to make up my mind whether the game itself looks original, but I doubt I'd be as cynical if it was a book about war that was too similar to other books about war, if it described war as loud and scary and full of guys shooting at each other.

peanut-butter
peanut-butter

It doesn't look all that enticing, I'm sorry but our demographic can only take so many modern shooters based off of an American soldier who soaks up bullets and kills thousands of people.

dejavuman22
dejavuman22

Could be interesting...assuming they don't screw it up. 0_o

Kaim91
Kaim91

Meh. The trailer reminded me a lot of the MW2 single player.

XHuLio13
XHuLio13

another game with some bad-ass american guy killing chinese/korean/japanese/russian soldiers,in this case korean

hitman6actual
hitman6actual

@sonicsidewinder I hope not but from that little bit of gameplay, it really looks like it.

termadoyle
termadoyle

looks ok. I just hope they do a good job on the singleplayer because that's all that matter to me.

Crypto6969
Crypto6969

Looks good, added to my wish list. If you want to play a similar but classic game, try Freedom Fighters by EA. New York City has been invaded by Russians. It's great.

Hellknite190
Hellknite190

i like the idea of large, mostly-unscripted set pieces. Co-op would be very cool in this game too.

chevydriver1123
chevydriver1123

Sounds good but with the huge let down that Frontlines was, I'm going to be more skeptical about this game until I hear and see more.

alexnollent
alexnollent

looks like another American Glory game

houdeany
houdeany

mattisgod01, tank_builder, just for arguments sake,(hypothetically) i do not believe that N.Korea would invade the US without allies, so it would be N.Korea+Allies. I don't know the politics involved with N.Korea, China, etc.. But surely, there would be some kind of agreement that would make this scenario possible.

duxter1
duxter1

similar plot to freedom fighters, linear story and good mp = cod games

tank_builder
tank_builder

mattisgod01, I'm not sure that your post was early enough to have the nuke tested and the announcement of a test for long ranged missiles by N. Korea, but you are right, in the USA a resistance movement would just have to reach to their bedside and get organized. Again, China is a more probable candidate, but N. Korea isn't a bad choice either.

gedbyz
gedbyz

Do you canadiens actually use hosehead as an insult. I heard a Bob and Doug Mckenzie CD. They are awesome and canadien and they say "ah take off you hosehead".

swsimmons
swsimmons

Joemama, you really need to get out more and stop playin so many games. Your perception of Canada is slightly off, try learning reality and pull your head out of your pc. You should also tune up your grammar before degrading other people, as I could be just like you, (laugh at your grammar skills) and make derogatory comments about it, but its not in me.

Joemama246
Joemama246

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

mattisgod01
mattisgod01

Also, The game is set in the year 2030 roughly, Alot can change in 20 years. Sure America is powerful now but that can easily change in 20 years. If the plot revolves around the USA going bankrupt and the government and military collapsing then Who knows, It happened to the Soviet Union. But Either way, N.Korea is ridiculous. They have a Population of about 20 million and for them to invade a country the size and population of America Is not possible no matter how much they progress in 20 years(not to mention every American has enough weapons to invade a small country in their closet). And for those people who say that its just a game and it doesn't matter, well i say you're idiots. Story and Plot is one of the biggest parts of making a good game and the common responses here prove that the plot is damaging the games image.. I'm not saying it will be a bad game because of this but i think it wont do the game any favors.

mattisgod01
mattisgod01

China would have been a better plot, North Korea isn't exactly progressing at the moment

tomcrole
tomcrole

yer gamehog5 america sure showed Nk how they would "gang bang" them in the vitnam war.................

gamehog5
gamehog5

same lol I'm a Canadian and it's not like i love the states or anything. it's just a silly premise they wouldn't even have to resort to nukes they would just mop the floor with them with their SUPERIOR military, not to mention all the crazy rambo patriots lol

007espionage
007espionage

lol im canadian and i could see it happen hahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa jk jk youd just nuke them

gamehog5
gamehog5

looks like i could be a good shooter. but the idea if north Korea invading the USA is completely stupid feasibility is important in games, helps build immersion GOW is set on another planet so anything goes. as for this it's set in our world and i don't care what anyone thinks NK will NEVER NEVER EVER, pose a threat to the USA in terms of invasion, never period. (and im not a patriotic amercan if your wondering) it's one of the most impoverished countries in the world run by a dictatorship, if they tried the states and their allies would gangbang them stupid. the story SHOULD be about nk fighting off American occupation but we can't have that now can we hehehe might piss people off lol

blaze11987
blaze11987

since when did feasability ever matter when it comes to games? i did'nt hear anyone crowing about feasability when GoW appeared with its underground mutants and 10 story tall creatures but now that theres a game that portrays the USA as being all but invincible, it's slated for being 'unrealistic'. Don't worry, im sure America wins the day when the credits roll. Guage a game on the quality of the game, not the idea, and at least wait until it's half way finished before you rip it apart.

kris002
kris002

HEY PEOPLE! think that you are forgetting something..... this is ONLY A GAME. besides.... alot can change in 20 years, who are you to say this could never happen? Would love to rant at you some more but this is hardly the place. Looks pretty cool, lots of fiery explosions!!! =P Only wish that you could play as a Korean.....

John-Smiths
John-Smiths

The game sounds alright, but I can imagine it's just a linear game, with a weak story. The premise of a North Korean invasion of the US sounds uterrly rediculous, no matter the story background, why would whatever affected the US not affect NK?.

allotheabove123
allotheabove123

Its a game really people so what if the USA gets invaded by korea.

Tennesseeotaku
Tennesseeotaku

Oh wait I have an even better premise for a game! The natives of Yap island, launch and amphibious invasion of Bolivia! That's about as plausible as this. This is not about plausibility, this is about conditioning the youth of American for attacking North Korea with this 'Red Dawn' type propaganda. Who is financing this company 'The PAC' folks?

Zensword
Zensword

Looks interesting! I'll keep an eye for this game.

8smokes
8smokes

Interesting. This will never happen for real though, because America is the best country in the world.

simonsworld
simonsworld

Elvis481 you are a visionery of all times, salute you sir (elvis isnt dead....)

Elvis481
Elvis481

Looks interesting... but yeah the whole N. Korea thing is kinda far fetched, I think the newly formed rogue state of Microsoft, led by the evil General Gates, taking over the world would be a more likely and plausible scenario for invading the U.S.

simonsworld
simonsworld

looks intresting, some slick visuals for a start this could be a surprise hit.

toad1956
toad1956

This looks very cool can not wait to see more.

toad1956
toad1956

This looks very cool can not wait to see more.

spawnholio
spawnholio

Why is everyone here so precious? Who cares if it's feasible or not for N.Korea to invade the US. It's a GAME folks!!! A GAME!!! And none of you have even played it yet!!! To judge this game on its premise after seeing some screen shots and hearing GS's first impressions is ridiculous. I hope it's a great game, if not.... too bad.

Loosifur
Loosifur

I mean, I guess any premise to sell games, but it's not exactly overflowing with feasibility, is it? North Korea would have to work on the whole famine thing pretty hard in order to support an army large enough to occupy California, much less the entire United States. China, on the other hand...

Mac11_Fanboy
Mac11_Fanboy

Where were all the patriotic rednecks when this happened? US loses to Korea? This game surely won't sell well.........

capitancahonas
capitancahonas

Hah! I will probably rent this one first, or check it out on my "friends" banned machine. We are in serious danger of running out of bad guys though, I too miss the rooskies (whatever happened to the sth Africans!-damned do gooders..), -but the reality of global political opinion dictates that the worlds current "bad" guys are the Americans!-Obama effect aside- So how about a game based on the more likely event of a Yank (with us sneaky Limey's tagging along for the ride/oil) led invasion of N.Korea or Iran.. It won't happen, even if it was the best game in the world, because the large (and largely patriotic) American market wouldn't buy it...thinks..there must be an Iranian games developer out there ready to go on this lol

rpgnutt
rpgnutt

if u watch cnn you will c why this could be a reality.im not saying it would happen,but whats going on today with america stoping nuclear arms deals going on in north korea.i think its just crazy that i seen this on cnn and then im reading about a game about north korea invading us thats kinda spooky.anyway the game looks ok the gameplay sounds like a never ending fight for survival i guess ill keep a lookout.