I played through Homefront’s single player yesterday and it took me about five hours to get through it – just about an hour or so over Kane & Lynch 2’s four.
But get this. VG247 has a few quotes from Kaos GM, David Votypka, who has said:
““I think going forward we’d certainly work on extending it a few hours, but going past the 10-hour mark and doing a category-leader multiplayer game… you just have to balance your development resources there. I think the main thing is do people feel that they got enjoyment out of the single-player campaign and enough of it? So we’ll see how it comes out and what the gaming audience has to say about it.”
Translation: we don’t have a lot of people, so we need to focus on what we do best – multiplayer.
I don’t think I’m the only one to think that Homefront’s main campaign was trash. Aside from substituting China with North Korea because THQ didn’t want to lose access to a potential market and production facilities, you can tell that the whole idea just felt crammed into the design. Because that’s apparently what they were told China might do. Just look at what happened with Google.
You could probably blame it on being speculative fiction in that “anything goes”, but even there, you have to get the audience to swallow enough of the fiction to believe that it could happen and Homefront doesn’t quite do that. A messianic North Korean leader uniting South Korea? I suppose it’s possible if all I knew about the either country came from video games.
In any case, playing through Homefront’s SP campaign felt like a throwback to the nineties when the only cover you had was in running behind a crate and kneeling there. Or going prone which you can at least do here. Prone is great. The rest of the gameplay not so much unless you love nostalgia – or if cover systems have ruined any other FPS that doesn’t use one for you.
I think Votypka is taking it the wrong way. We’re not expecting Homefront to be Bioshock, even though that might be incredibly awesome to fight Adam infused North Korean soldiers. But we at least expect the single player to be more than the throwaway event that Homefront made it out to be.
At least it does the occupation-terror stuff eerily well featuring scenes that will make you wonder just how far these guys would go. Those are poignant enough on their own. It’s the rest of the game, the graphics and the gameplay, that don’t help to sell any of it. If there is any ‘balance’ to be talked about here, it’s in making sure that both the gameplay and the story at least try to hit as many marks as the other.