Homefront - when Korea invades the US, you fight back

IT’S 2027, a unified Korea has invaded the US and you’ve been given the task of liberating America from its new overlords.

Name: Homefront

Publisher: THQ

Price: �49.99

Format: Xbox 360 (also PS3, PC)

Age rating: 18+

IT’S 2027, a unified Korea has invaded the US and you’ve been given the task of liberating America from its new overlords. That, in a nutshell, is the narrative hook behind Homefront, a first-person shooter that sees you joining a group of resistance fighters.

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If you can ignore the inherent silliness of it all, what you’re really looking at is a re-imagining of cheesy 80s action flick Red Dawn, except the invaders originate from the Korean peninsular instead of Soviet Russia and you take on the role of Robert Jacobs, a former pilot, in place of Patrick Swayze.

After an intro movie recounts the invasion – making improbable events look frighteningly plausible – it’s the start of the game proper. Answering the door to a couple of Korean thugs, you’re thrown on a bus and driven through a dilapidated American town. Here, you get your first glimpse of the occupation, including one harrowing scene where a young child watches helplessly as both his parents are executed.

The solo campaign is powerful stuff, filled with scripted events that will live long in the memory, as you travel from Colorado to the Pacific Coast for a climactic showdown. Firefights are never less than challenging, especially as your fellow freedom fighters are inexperienced and make mistakes. It’s all a far cry from the Tier 1 operatives found in Medal Of Honour or Call Of Duty’s supersoldiers, and all the better for it.

Take the game online and you’ll be instantly familiar with most of the modes on offer. Maps are well designed and the team-based carnage is fast and frantic. Battle Points accumulate for almost everything you do and these can be spent on a range of perks, including rocket launchers, airstrikes, tanks and helicopters. Another innovation is the Battle Commander, an AI general who keeps tabs on which players are doing the most damage and then flags them up to the enemy, effectively placing a bounty on their heads.

Overall, Homefront is a credible new shooter. Its eight-hour campaign is a bit short, but packed with some unforgettable moments, while online multiplayer offer a pleasing mix of weapons, vehicles and orchestrated chaos.

Score: 4/5 stars

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