"Homefront" tries to craft an expansive, historical "What if?" scenario. But the new game ends up delivering "Oh ... not again!" game play.
The first-person shooter from Kaos Studios and THQ expands on current tensions with North Korea, but delves into a future where North and South Korea unify and ultimately occupy the United States in 2027.
You play as Robert Jacobs, a former pilot who is thrown in with a band of rebels intent on fighting to regain control of America.
The depiction of a brutalized and beaten-down Colorado city is very well done. In the game, the Korean forces have erected a wall around the city and the remaining homes and businesses look as if they have been under siege for quite some time.
It is hard to find an oasis in the bleak surroundings and the scene accurately portrays a sense of doom that plagues a nation after a wartime loss.
But The Resistance remembers the old glory of the USA and wants to do what it can to bring it back.
Game play is straightforward, first-person shooter action -- with a massive emphasis on shooting. There is very little stealth or strategy involved as the game progresses along a pretty strict linear path -- giving players few choices as they move from one virtual shooting gallery to the next.
Weapons are the automatic rifles, machine guns, sniper rifles, pistols and grenades that are typical for the genre. Ammo is scarce early in the game but seems to become easier to find as the story moves forward.
The characters who initially rescue Jacobs and assist him throughout the missions border on stereotypical, with very little personality other than what's needed to move the game from point A to point B.
There is the strong but calm leader, who ends up getting killed during a cut scene. There is the overbearing foul-mouth who just wants to attack at nearly every chance.
There is a female nonplayer character who is good at stealth and is really the only character who exhibits any emotion other than anger. And there is a character of Korean descent that is great at fixing the tech, but is the target of racial hatred.
None of the characters really connect on any level. Even when they die, it doesn't really evoke any empathy from the player and just feels like another video-game casualty.
More 'Homefront' shoots for 'What if?' but achieves 'Not again!'