Review: 'Homefront' campaign falls short

AP News
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Posted: Mar 23, 2011 8:16 AM
Review: 'Homefront' campaign falls short

After playing my share of first-person shooters set on foreign soil, I was really looking forward to doing battle on some more familiar, albeit occupied, ground in "Homefront."

THQ's first-person shooter set in 2027 after a unified Korea attacks and invades the United States, does a great job on setting. I mean, how often do you get to fire a sniper rifle from the roof of a White Castle restaurant?

But its great back story and the ability to fight in American suburbs falls short of making up for a way-too-short single-player campaign. Fortunately, the game's rich multiplayer mode still makes it worth a look.

"Homefront" ($59.99, for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) begins by recapping the 16 years leading up to the Korean occupation. Seeing the attacks, the war atrocities and the detention of Americans makes the player want to grab a gun and help take America back, but your role in the resistance movement proves to be much more narrow _ and short.

In the single-player game, which took less than six hours to complete, you're tasked for a series of short missions that help the American resistance. Standard wartime game play is helped by little atmospheric touches such as a TigerDirect.com warehouse set ablaze and an abandoned Hooters restaurant, but the whole experience is over too quickly.

Speaking of game play, both single- and multiplayer have a "Call of Duty" feel. Controls deviate little from the typical first-person shooter set _ on the Xbox 360, right trigger to fire, left trigger to aim down the sight and right and left bumpers to throw grenades or other explosives.

I found myself drawn to multiplayer rather than replaying the campaign for achievement points.

"Homefront" features three multiplayer modes. Team Deathmatch is just like it sounds _ kill any enemies you find and rack up points. In Ground Control, two teams try to take control of and hold certain areas of the map. Battle Commander borrows from the other two modes but involves a leader dictating the missions.

Players earn Battle Points, which can be used during matches to buy new weapons, vehicles or embark on drone attacks and airstrikes. And being able to kill an enemy by flying an attack drone or helicopter or sneaking up on someone with a ground attack robot is a lot of fun.

"Homefront" is a decent game that dares to deviate in plot, if not too much with game play.

The story line was written by John Milius, who wrote the screenplays for "Apocalypse Now" and "Red Dawn." It would have been fun to participate in the interesting events that happen before your character begins his missions.

Three stars out of four.