E3 2009: Homefront
Players: 1+ Player Game | Genre: First Person Shooter
THQ in 2009 is turning out to be one of the top studios at this years show with some of the most impressive games at the show, two of which are in the running for Best in Show. Having one of the most popular booths for a 3rd party developer THQ is earning high marks for its upcoming list of triple "A" titles, and when allowed a special live demo of Warhammer 4000 right off the bat, I couldn't imagine how they could even top it... but thats exactly what THQ did.
Homefront's story takes place in a future 20 years from now in an America thats seen better days. What little natural resources the world has left sparked wars all over the planet, and this leads to the resulting conflict with China, unfortunately for the Americans it doesn't end well. The country is completely occupied by a standing army, turning the tables if you will on modern day Iraq. And like modern times, thats a very hard thing to do, and as a member of the resistance fighters its up to you to take your country back.
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. Second is a complete fast and evolving gameplay/storyline that feels much more off rails then Modern Warfare. And finally, the third feature that Kaos is thinking 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 live demo, running on stock Xbox360's opens in a converted suburban neighborhood thats the base of operations for the American resistance thats fighting back the ocupation. Just walking around the camp feels amazing. The level of detail, from the backyard gardens, to the temporary building of refugee life really shows somebody has been doing there homework. Once meeting the resistance leader things quickly turn ugly when the camp is spotted and attacked by the military. Your directed 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." By Laser painting fortified targets the Goliath's heavy weapons will track on and quickly take out just about anything. Personally the even bigger WOW factor is that the US Army is currently developing the Goliath today. 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.
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. Just when it seemed like we might have been turning the tide of battle, an enemy UAV in the sky launched an air-to-ground missile that blasted Goliath sky-high, bringing our demonstration to an explosive end.
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. 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.
Currently THQ is being tight lipped on most other details, and even a release date is TBA. Keep coming to CVGames.com for the inside info on what I feel, is worth being in this years top 5!