2027: America is an occupied nation, crushed under the iron fist of communist Korea. But amid the chaos and repression, an underground resistance movement is fighting back for Uncle Sam and in Homefront you play its latest recruit.
And with a script written by John Milius, the director of Red Dawn – the cult '80s film about US teenagers who fight a Soviet occupation – Homefront promised to be an enjoyable, if jingoistic, first-person shooter. A Call of Duty for the Tea Party movement, if you like.
It's an apt comparison, because Homefront borrows a lot from Activision’s blockbuster series from the corridor-like levels and down-the-sights gun play to the inclusion of vehicle levels to add variety.
But while Call of Duty’s cinematic flair turned even the most clichéd levels into memorable experiences, Homefront feels like a straight-to-DVD production.
Its attempts to convey the horror of occupation are ham-fisted. Suffering children are shoved before you to show how evil the invaders are, but it’s done in a manner so unsubtle that it just highlights the game’s lack of emotional punch.
Even the discovery of a mass grave is lost in the rush to the next gunfight. It’s like an atrocity sightseeing tour: "Look a mass grave! Let’s get moving!"
And despite some decent battles, none of it matches Call of Duty’s feisty energy. The visuals are functional rather than stunning and the Koreans little more than unthinking targets waiting to be shot. And with only one difficulty level they won’t be getting smarter anytime soon.
The multiplayer modes are Homefront’s best feature, mixing infantry and vehicles in fast-paced battles for territory. But it’s nothing that Battlefield and, yes, Call of Duty haven’t done better before, although it does show that beneath the clumsy storytelling and bland levels Homefront is a solid if unadventurous shooter.