E3 Preview: Homefront (Xbox 360)

We received a gameplay demonstration in the THQ booth today for Kaos’ latest first person shooter called Homefront. Without doubt you’ve seen the trailer by now about Korea merging into a United Korea and gaining more and more control in the Pacific. The high concept behind the game is what actually would happen if the US became occupied by hostile forces. Foreign occupations can often be seen on the tv, but what would it really be like if an enemy fell into yours? We get to see two five-minute long excerpts from the game. In all honesty, the trailer didn’t do the game any good. This gameplay is so much better.

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The first part starts off with you awaking in a ruined room, which appears to be used both as a barracks and a classroom. Looking out the window leaves a grim feeling, showing a nearby city; destroyed and desolate. The atmosphere is set. As we get to see more of the room, first thing we notice is a lot – a lot – of detail. Not only texture-wise, but a lot of objects are subtly placed throughout the room, and nothing feels out of place. Just outside, you are welcomed by a number of inhabitants of a small community, enclosed within a number of buildings, fences and camouflage nets. They live in constant danger from the Koreans. Again here, a lot of detail and objects placed throughout the map – and somehow it still runs smooth.Apparently, one of the villagers found you in a wreckage – I believe in a helicopter – and brought you back to the hide-out. Of course things turn bad at some point, and you will take on the role of a soldier in their civilian resistance. We are being told that a lot of time and work has been spent into creating a dramatic experience, and part of that is the creating a personal relation with some of the characters.

The second part of the demo we’re being show is more action based, and shows us a battle near a lumber store. A van rushes in through a gate on the left, attracting pretty much all hostiles from the area. Of course the van was a trap, and a cluster missile homes in on the van and puts the whole place on fire. The gameplay is very intense and cinematic, and reminds me of that in Modern Warfare 2. Of course, they looked closely at what Infinity Ward did and pretty much succeeded in pulling it off. The rest of the demo features a battle in the midst of the burning lumber, putting stress on making sure that your friendlies are following. There is a support vehicle, the Goliath, that appears to be the source for those cluster missiles. Oh, and did I mention this game will have a multiplayer too?
All in all, a very impressive demonstration of Homefront, and personally a great way to kick off E3.