Hands-on: HomeFront (Xbox 360)

I take a look at the multiplayer in what could be the next big FPS…

A few weeks ago, I got hands-on with 2 multiplayer maps for HomeFront, the upcoming FPS from Kaos Studios. With all the big franchises in the genre like Battlefield, Medal of Honor and Call of Duty, is there room for another?

HomeFront’s multiplayer is well thought out, despite what I saw being Alpha code…so its pretty early. Having said that, the gameplay is solid. The game can support 16 vs. 16 on some maps, one of which was Farm, a huge level where checkpoints had to be captured and held to gain points. The same applied to the Cul-de-Sac map but it was smaller in scale.

Everything you do in HomeFront gains you points that you can spend in-game on items like drones, rocket launchers and vehicles like helicopters and tanks. If you don’t spend the points in the match, you lose them forever…so you have to spend them when you have the opportunity, but some items are expensive and require a bit of saving. Weapons are powerful, perhaps a bit too powerful in some cases and there were definitely issues with hit detection, especially when I saw my many deaths being replayed from the perspective of my killer. But like I said earlier, its early code and all these things should be resolved by then.

The Cul-de-Sac map is set through a group of half-destroyed houses and is very close-quarters in terms of combat. I personally preferred this map to the large scale of Farm, but both are very well designed with the points you need to capture. There was a great competitive edge as we played a few matches on each map and it was also pretty addictive.

With more time to work on polishing it up, I have no doubt that HomeFront will be a sleeper hit for the FPS genre. Apparently its due out in March 2011, so that gives them more than enough time to balance the weapons and touch up the visuals to make it a must-have shooter.