You were also probably disappointed when THQ announced that the release had been pushed back a month, from February 2011 to March. Sadly, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to take on the invading armies of North Korea here in our own backyards and parking lots. But to soften the blow, THQ has released a new trailer showcasing the multiplayer component of the game.
The trailer gives us quite a bit to think about over the next few months. Unfortunately, the first thing a lot of fans are going to notice is the graphics. The visuals do not appear to be on par with the giant multiplayer elephant in the room, Modern Warfare 2. Not to mention, with Black Ops looming large over the genre, many gamers may take one look at the Homefront graphics – and decide the title is not worth their time.
This is one of the sad truths of the FPS of late: if you come up with a great idea for a game, innovate like you’ve never innovated before, and produce a fantastic new experience that looks slightly worse than a Call of Duty title, odds are few people will make the switch.
Take a look at the Homefront multiplayer trailer:
The visuals might not be breathtaking, but it’s important to keep in mind that, according to THQ, this trailer was created entirely in-engine, with live footage of 32 gamers playing simultaneously. Obviously not the optimal setting to showcase graphical fidelity – or take a break from the pre-rendered footage we get from most-other trailers. That’s not to say there’s nothing impressive to see here, especially how much is happening in the game world – helicopters, tanks, missiles, grenades, bullets. If a little more computing power is used to keep that insanity running smooth – instead of providing smooth animations, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. Hopefully the weaknesses are only cosmetic, and not lag-inducing.
At this point, it’s almost impossible for any military shooter to beat CoD at its own game, so maybe Kaos is just the first in a line of developers who will decide to make their games better where they can, and not waste resources where they’re already outgunned (and outperformed). It won’t be easy, with the Black Ops currency system, and gambling game modes, it may be a hard year for any other shooter vying for players dollars (and time).
However, just because Homefront is the underdog doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with being excited for the game’s campaign – which seeks to bring real emotion and believable character motivation to a genre that has been more focused on gun selection and character customization than narrative. To me, the most-memorable moments in Modern Warfare 2 took place amidst a cluster of suburban homes. The Homefront campaign is still expected to take that feeling to the next level.
The multiplayer looks to add a little more chaos to the mix, and I know I’m not alone in thinking that a chance to jump in on the ground floor of a multiplayer shooter is a welcome change. It’s too late for me to survive in CoD, so I need a fresh start.
Let’s hope the next Homefront footage looks a little better – or else March present a rough reality check for Kaos Studios.