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Homefront

Homefront

Homefront

Homefront is a first-person shooter video game developed by Kaos Studios and published by THQ. Players are members of a resistance movement fighting against a near-future foreign military occupation of the United States. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 15, 2011 in North America, March 17, 2011 in Australia, March 18, 2011 in Europe, and April 14, 2011 in Japan.

Homefront Plot

In 2027, two years after Korean occupation begins, Robert Jacobs, a former U.S. Marine Corps combat helicopter pilot, is awakened in his apartment in Montrose, Colorado and ordered to a re-education camp in Alaska. Jacobs sees that the Korean troops have seized control of the town, taking potentially valuable residents into custody and executing resistors. However, the bus carrying Jacobs is ambushed by American resistance fighters Connor and Rianna, who lead him to Oasis, a resistance hideout founded by local state patrolman Boone Karlson. Boone, Connor, and Rianna are aware of Jacobs's background as a pilot and recruit him to help recover fuel for the scattered U.S. military forces. Boone initiates the operation with himself, Jacobs, Connor (a former Marine from North Carolina), Rianna (a hunting expert from Colorado), and Hopper (a Korean-American technical expert from Oakland, California).

They plan to steal several tracking beacons from a school used as a labor exchange facility, with the help of their "inside man" Arnie. These beacons are to be placed on fuel trucks so they can be tracked and hijacked. However, Arnie betrays the team in order to protect his children, forcing the team to kill him and eliminate all forces in the camp. They discover a mass grave in the school's baseball field and narrowly escape Korean reinforcements by hiding among the bodies.

The rebels continue attacks on the KPA, assaulting an occupied discount warehouse store, where Jacobs, Connor, and Rianna succeed in locating the trucks and planting a beacon on one of them. They return to Oasis, only to find that Boone and all of the base's inhabitants have been discovered and killed by Korean troops. They also discovers that the KAF are attacking a nearby town beyond the wall, as payback for the raid the night before. The group narrowly escape with other Colorado resistance fighters by breaching the walls enclosing the town.

The team has the information that a suitable helicopter is located in a survivalist encampment in Utah. As the residents of the camp are violent towards Koreans and Americans alike, the team infiltrates the camp and manages to steal the helicopter. They pursue and hijack the fuel convoy. With Jacobs providing air support, the team continues their trip to San Francisco, where they deliver their jet fuel to aid the remnants of the U.S. military there.

The U.S. Armed Forces begin their West Coast counter-offensive by trying to retake San Francisco. They launch an assault from Marin County that succeeds in retaking most of the Golden Gate Bridge with ground personnel, anti-aircraft guns, and fighter aircraft, as the U.S. Navy reinforcements arrive. Nearing the San Francisco side of the bridge, the Americans find themselves outgunned by a massive KPA armor column. Although the ground forces have captured and reprogrammed the KPA ground-based air defenses, attaining air superiority for the U.S. Air Force, the American aircraft cannot identify where to strike due to the smoke, debris and confusion. Realizing that they are at a critical turning point, Connor lights a flare and advances on foot towards the enemy convoy and orders an air strike onto his own position, sacrificing himself to ensure that American ground forces can retake the city.

The news of the successful operation is reported by British and European media, with the Bay Area counter-attack proving to be a major turning point in America's guerrilla war against the GKR occupation. With San Francisco taken, many of the West Coast cities were taken into American hands and the military launches a counter-offensive to take back the occupied states with the American Resistances joining the cause, intending to reunite the U.S and to eradicate the KPA from the American grounds. With the managing success of the U.S. military against the KPA, the EU Defense Council schedules an emergency meeting, declare war on North Korea, and start planning on launching an offensive to eradicate the KPA from the United States.

Reception
Homefront was met with mixed to positive reviews across all platforms. Some critics praised the atmosphere and story, while others panned those same aspects, along with the short length of the single-player campaign. However, the multiplayer aspect of Homefront was generally well received. Review aggregator GameRankings generated a score of 71.70% for the Xbox 360 version, 69.33% for the PlayStation 3 version and 68.89% for the Microsoft Windows version. Review aggregator Metacritic generated a score of 70 out of 100 across all platforms.

Play praised Kaos studios for the different campaign mode and multiplayer, but criticized most other things. IGN praised the setting and presentation, while criticizing the short campaign. GameSpot praised some memorable moments and the well crafted multiplayer, however it criticized the short length and that it felt too familiar compared to other first person shooters. According to GameZone, "with a few tweaks and a fresher coat of paint, Homefront would have been outstanding, far outshining either of those titles. As is, itís still worth a playthrough, and the quality multiplayer makes an excellent alternative to your current, aging FPS of choice."

THQ stated first-day sales in North America reached 375,000 copies sold. THQ announced an estimated 1 million copies across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific markets have been sold. As of 3 May 2011 it had shipped 2.6 million units to retail since launch.

Controversies

Advertising for Homefront has simulated a declaration of war in mainstream websites and media, creating confusion amongst many non-gamers. The nature and timing of the advertising created concern in the wake of the ROKS Cheonan sinking and the North Korean artillery strike on Yeonpyeong Island, causing mainstream media coverage of the advertising campaign. THQ has denied that the game was developed to piggyback off the tensions on the Korean peninsula, saying that "Homefront is a work of speculative fiction, set in the year 2027. Recent real-world events on the Korean peninsula are obviously tragic and, like everyone, we hope for a swift and peaceful resolution."

For sales of Homefront to Japan, the game has been censored by removing all references to North Korea including pictures of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. They are replaced by references to "A Certain Country to the North" (北の某国?) and the "Northern Leader" (北の指導者?). Spike, the game's Japanese/Asian publisher, justified the censors because they said to "use their real names would have been 'malicious' to an 'existing person' and an 'existing country.'"

THQ released 10,000 balloons near San Francisco as a publicity stunt during the Game Developers Conference, angering local environmentalists after balloons fell into San Francisco Bay.


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