Jay's Internet Log

Tag: Grand Theft Auto

Initial Impressions – Homefront (Multiplayer)

by on Mar.16, 2011, under Gaming, General

At this time last week, I was not planning on buying Homefront. At PAX East I was able to play a short demo, and because it didn’t suck, I decided to buy the game. I somewhat regret my purchase. Now it should be known that I have only played the multiplayer aspect of the game, so all impressions here are from that game mode.

Multiplayer is fun if and when you can get into a lobby. I notice less lag than what I see in the Call of Duty games, possibly due to this game having dedicated servers, but I really don’t know. The problem however, is actually finding a room to play in with your friends. It works most of the time by yourself, but it crawls to a halt as soon as you add a friend to the room.

There are two game modes; one a Team Deathmatch mode, and the other a Domination type mode. There is a third mode that combines the two, and then there is Battle Commander mode, which is just an overlay on top of the first three. Confused yet? Battle Commander mode is actually pretty cool. If you are doing well with your killstreak, you become wanted, and you get a star. Keep going and you add more stars. It reminds me of the legal system implemented in the Grand Theft Auto series. Upon earning more stars, a few things happen. First, the enemy gets a yellow circle on the map showing your approximate location. Secondly, you get perks such as a tad bit more armor, or a sweeping UAV that shows enemy locations. It’s one of the nicer touches to the game in my opinion, though some of my friends abhor it. I also like how you have to buy your drones and vehicles each round with points that you’ve gathered. Some of the vehicles can also be upgraded, which is nice.

This morning I decided to start a list of issues that I’ve seen with this game in my ~5 hours of playing, most of which were spent sitting in a lobby that goes nowhere. These are all just observations where the game seems broken to me. Overall, when I am about to get into a match, I generally do have fun with it.

Issues:

  • A quick read through the game manual revealed at least five grammar or sentence structure mistakes. I don’t know if it was proof-read or not.
  • Hitting the Back button makes your character stop moving whatsoever. This is a huge hindrance. Hitting the Back button shows the room’s scoreboard, but you can only do it when you’re alive, and all of your movements stop while looking at it. You can’t check the score after you’ve been shot and killed. You have to respawn, then check the score while you’re completely vulnerable.
  • Speaking of vulnerability, it seems that if you call in an airstrike, but someone kills you during it, you’ll lose your airstrike and die. I’ve had it happen to me twice already, once in an airstrike, and the other in an expensive helicopter. I was not pleased. The game should allow you to continue your airstrike or give it back to you.
  • There is no Tactical button layout. This is just a personal one. I like clicking the right stick and crouching instead of knifing. I think it should be standard for shooters by now, but again this is just a personal complaint.
  • Matchmaking is completely broken.
  • Sniping is insanely overpowered. The handful of maps are mostly geared towards sniping, and the game makes it so easy that a lot of people snipe. You die in one or two shots from a sniper rifle. They have little to no sway, and you don’t have to hold down a button to hold your breath. It’s amazingly easy and annoying when you are up against a full team of snipers.
  • Why do I have to confirm if I want to veto the map? Just let me veto it with a single button press.
  • Parties don’t stay together when they back out. This kind of goes along with my matchmaking statement.
  • When a room says 16/16, it is not Joinable.
  • When I see that a friend is in a room with 22/24 players, I shouldn’t ever see the following message: “There are not enough available slots in this game session.”
  • You have to hold the X button to enter a vehicle. The game just says “Hold to enter vehicle”
  • Do I have to select my hard drive EVERY time I start the game? The answer should be no, but unfortunately, it isn’t.

I am giving this game a shot, but I don’t think it can hold up to the bigger FPS titles. I am really looking forward to seeing what Crysis 2 will bring to the table next week.

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