So I’ve been keeping my eye out on homefront. It looks like it could be a mix of battlefield and COD style gameplay, which could be really cool. It’s also made by Kaos Studios, who once - when they were a team of unpaid modders - created the greatest multiplayer game of all time, BF1942:Desert Combat - but who have since not done much of anything good. Well, I hear Frontlines: Fuel of War was a decent game but I wouldn’t know - it was DOA on the PC when it was released without dedicated servers.

The story is stupid (The Koreas unite and 20 years later nuke and invade America). All America-invasion stories are stupid and ridiculously implausible (in fact John Millius, writer of Red Dawn, was consulted for the story). But it does provide an excuse to have battles take place in walmart parking lots, so that can be cool aesthetically.

They shipped out development of the PC version to Digital Extremes (UT multiplayer design), which I always feel mixed about. On one hand I’d rather not have the original dev do the PC version if they’re going to half-ass it, but on the other hand outside companies doing ports generally has a pretty mixed history. At least they’re adding a fair amount of stuff - dx11 support, vehicle interiors, dedi servers, etc.

This preview makes it sound interesting with being able to spend team-helping battle points as a reward for accomplishing things in games instead of calling in COD-style killstreak rewards exclusively. You can also gain the points by doing useful stuff other than killing the enemy team. And if you’re really successful, the computer will automatically start giving enemies missions to kill you (which will reward them). Sounds like it could be interesting.

The game heavily features helicopters, which would normally excite me because the helicopters in Desert Combat were by far the best helicopter implementation in a multiplayer combat game ever. They were challenging and fun to fly - most people could barely keep them in the air, but if you were good with them you could do all sorts of cool stuff that real pilots could do. But I’m pretty convinced that these will be super dumbed down easy to fly console helicopters where the skill bar is set so low that you can’t really fail in them but you can’t really have fun with them either.

I normally wouldn’t consider paying $50 for a game (there are maybe 2 games a year I’d even consider at full price, if that) but if you preorder on steam you get a free copy of metro 2033 - and a TF2 promo hat. Which sounds unimportant, but people in TF2 are Very Serious about hats, and the ones that are rare end up having real value - so you can resell them for real money to offset the cost of the game (or over time they increase in value - if you pre-ordered Sam & Max Season 3, you’d get a max head promo hat which you could now sell for $120. Yeah, weird. The homefront hat won’t be that rare though, but it may be able to offset some of the cost)

So with the prospect of what might be a fun game, a discount from reselling the promo items, and a free metro 2033 on top, I may just grab it. But I hate preordering games - what a massive dissapointment if it turns out to suck. What do you guys think of what you’ve heard about it?

Hmm, from here:

I’m not sure a multiplayer game like this has ever had a pick-your-own-realism/difficulty setting like that before. It sounds interesting. Maybe it means that I could have my difficult but awesome DC style flight model back - I’d pay out the ass to have that kind of fun in a game again.

I’m a little torn. It seems like it could be cool conceptually.

From a single player perspective, I might be talked into it. While I tend to find modern warfare style games tediously repetitive, some of the features described might be worthwhile. My main concern is that many FPS campaigns are overly short, like Bulletstorm (less than 6 hours).

From a multiplayer perspective, I have absolutely no interest. It’s another game designed around a reward system in order to advance your character and unlock advancements. Frankly, I find the entire system unbalancing and un-enjoyable. I know a lot of people like it, but I don’t. Which is one of the reasons I’ve been playing more and more co-op fps games over the past 5 years.

I have some time to consider it. Shogun Total War 2 is coming out the same day, which means Homefront is a distant second. Maybe I’ll wait for a steam sale or some better reviews to give me a feel for length and enjoyability of the SP campaign. To be honest, I had Dragon Age 2 ahead of it too, but I’ve been told there are issues with that game that make me glad I held off pre-ordering it.

I don’t know why anyone would buy a game at full price for the single player, honestly. I mean, if you buy it at Christmas for $10-15 and experience the same campaign, what have you lost?

Multiplayer, on the other hand, has a life seperate from the single player game which may make an early purchase desirable. You get to learn with the rest of the community, you play the game when it’s at it’s most popular and with the most active community, etc. But if it’s just a 5-10 hour single player campaign that interests you I don’t know why you’d even consider it at this price.

I’m not sure if the multiplayer has persistent unlocks over time that make you better - I’m kinda iffy about that too depending on how it’s done. The in-game battle points that let you buy vehicles and stuff aren’t persistent and reset from match to match I think.

So it has unlocks for skill points that persist between games, but some kind of a currency system to buy things in the singular match, kinda like CounterStrike?

Yeah, small arms and accessories from persistent ranks and vehicles/special weapons from the CS-like match-specific points. Unlike CS, there isn’t a buying period though. It’s whenever you want.

Yeah, I guess that’s the case, since one of the preorder weapons is an unlock for something you get a few levels later.

The battle points system seems interesting. I guess if you accomplish so many objectives you can call in a helicopter or tank or other sorts of things. Radar scans, that sort of thing maybe? But the objectives aren’t strictly kill based - you can get points for spotting people or capturing objectives or taking out specific members of the other team that are causing the most damage, etc.

In theory I like it a lot. It’s a better vehicle spawn system than in the BF games where you just simply have a vehicle respawn at a certain point in the map and whoever gets there first gets it - which leads to the silly situations where you’ll have 5 guys camping for a vehicle that can only hold 2 people. But it’s more meaningful than killstreak rewards in call of duty since you’re not just camping some corner to make sure your kill streak continues - you get points for accomplishing non-kill objectives, and I’m hoping some of things you can buy will be more team-oriented than the COD killstreaks.

Edit: Just noticed the post above. Any idea of this game will be any good Palooka?

I may be getting this or Battlefield 3, so I’m interested to hear about how this game compares to them, and also how it compares to Call of Duty/Halo/etc.

Battlefield 3 is by far the safer bet to be good (also with a higher ceiling of awesomeness). I’m pretty excited about it since I guess bc2 sold really well on the PC so they’re making it as a cutting edge PC game first and then crippling it down for consoles instead of going for a multiplatform crippled game all around, but it’d be sorely dissapointing if it wasn’t better than those other games you mentioned. DICE is a bigger dev with a much longer track record and seems to have the right idea with BF3.

I played the demo for Bad Company 2 and was pretty underwhelmed by it. How does that rank amongst these games?

Hard for me to say because I don’t like it too much even though it seems to have all the elements of a good game. Something is just off about it. It’s definitely better than the last 3 COD games, but will probably pale in comparison with battlefield 3 because it’s much smaller scale with fewer vehicles and smaller maps and less everything really.

I really don’t know. On paper, it looks like it has pretty much every feature you could want in a shooter, especially a PC shooter. The whole checklist is there, except maybe an HLTV-like service. That’s hardly a deal breaker though. Everything I read about or interview I listen to reveals more interesting features or smart approaches. I like the CS-style battlepoints. I like how when you’re on a kill streak you get mini-buffs but you’re marked as a target to the other game, but not in a wallhack kind of way. You’re just a danger zone on the minimap. That’s cool I think.

It’s going to be about the details and whether or not people embrace it. Bad Company 2 is a really solid game. Even Codblops isn’t terrible. If Homefront is plagued by a bunch of rough edges, it’s going to die fast. If the weapon balance and call-in balance is awful, that’ll kill it. It’s on UE3, so it’s going to feel worse that CoD’s idtech3 gameplay. That’s no good.

This game is coming out at a bad time for me anyway. My 8800 SLI exploded back in December and after three months of getting more dead 8800s from the RMA, I gave up and looked at a Sandy Bridge system. Then BF3, Skyrim, Diablo 3, etc were all slated for the end of the year so I said I’d wait until then to upgrade so I could crush those games and got a 5450 to get things running in the meantime. As good as Homefront looks, it probably isn’t game + video card good. So I’m passing either way.

There isn’t really a choice between Homefront and BF3. The games are like eight months apart.

After looking at some BF3 info, if DICE doesn’t introduce some massively retarded game breaking feature, Battlefield 3 is not only going to stomp the shit out of homefront in every way but probably everything else, too. On PC at least - it’s a full blown PC game, actually using 2011 hardware.

But they don’t necesarily have to be direct competitors since they’ll be quite far apart.

A bunch of AAA shooters coming out this year and the only one I’m confident will be good is Red Orchestra 2. But BF3 looks really fucking exciting. I mean look at it - and then imagine those environments with fully destructable terrain, jets, modding it out to 256 players, etc.

Anyway, nothing I’ve read/seen has made homefront not seem interesting, so I’ll probably end up grabbing it.

Here is the first portion of the single-player, until it gets pulled. Not really a game you buy for SP though.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the Max’s Head phenomenon will ever happen again, simply because everyone EXPECTS the pre-order bonuses to skyrocket. It could be worth a lot or it could be another Lumbricus Lid.

With that said, I admit I have no idea how Bill’s Hat is so damn valuable (relatively). There are zillions of those floating around.

That automated rocket launching vehicle seems crazy overpowered and kinda boring to use, I hope that’s not involved in multiplayer.

Well, for one thing, you convinced me to get BF3 when it comes out.

What the hell, I went ahead and preordered it. I feel silly spending $50 on a game - well, two games actually - considering I already have about a billion I need to play more. But I’m taking a shot that this might be great, and for multiplayer driven games it’s always cool to get in on day 1 and learn with the community. If not, I guess I can’t feel too bad for giving some money to the guys who gave me the great desert combat for free, and THQ is one of the publishers that doesn’t seem like pure evil.

One thing I know will drive me nuts is that the game has almost no recoil, even less than the silly COD recoil. At that point you might as well be using lasers or something instead of bullets. My only hope is that they’ll balance the PC controls differently and give the guns more recoils, since for some reason all the preview videos are from consoles.

This is actually the first time I’ve preordered a game in… I don’t know how long. Lots of years. I normally wouldn’t take the risk, but metro 2033 and a silly but valuable hat was enough of a preorder package to sway me. You can actually get the same bundle (homefront+2033) on direct2drive for $40 using their spring sale 20% off coupon. No hat in that case.

Today’s the day!

From my facebook: Just played a couple of minutes of Homefront (stupid school) and I’m liking what I see so far. Haven’t really seen much of the gameplay but the atmosphere and attention to detail is amazing.

I was pissed off at Korea in the little bit of the single player I played. Didn’t think the whole alternate future thing would strike a cord, but it did. Very Hal-Life 2-ish in terms of mood/setting.

Hopefully we can get some multi-player going tonight.