Homefront's single-player campaign takes place in the year 2027, when much of the US has fallen into the grip of an occupying Korean force (North Korea previously invaded South Korea to create a communist super-state, while the poor Yanks are weakened from being, like, totally brassic). The multiplayer mode, by contrast, is set in the preceding years, when the US military is trying to see off the invaders.
There were two maps on display at THQ's recent showcase: Cul-de-sac was a 12-player (6-vs-6) effort set in a ruined suburban neighbourhood, while the larger Farm saw 16 troopers battling over a rural playground, encompassing a Church, plenty of greenery and – surprise surprise - a farm. The match type, Ground Control, was essentially a round-based variant of Domination - requiring each side to secure and hold three control points: Alpha, Bravo and Charlie. As usual, to capture a point you simply need to clean an area of foes, then wait for a countdown timer to elapse. It's a piece of cake, really; my friends in Soho often complain about the difficulty in securing Charlie, but I couldn't see what the fuss was about.
As you might expect, both maps offered a pleasing degree of verticality - an aspect that became increasingly important as flying drones (and in the case of Farm, helicopters) took to the skies. On first impressions, it seems that there's a variety of ways you can approach each fight. If you want to snipe, the maps offer plenty of good spots - but this tactic will become increasingly risky as flying machines start to pop up.
Obviously it's important to push forward and secure territory, but if you're doing this it's wise to send in a drone first. It's highly satisfying to spot a place where there's bound to be someone camping, and to then assume control of a mini-tank. When you're piloting a drone, whether on the ground or in the sky (the flying ones come in "killer" and "spy" flavours - although these aren't the technical names for them), the game adopts a different aesthetic, as if you're viewing the action through some form of remote camera. At times like these Homefront is quite reminiscent of Modern Warfare 2, although the pace of battle is generally slower, and closer to the likes of the Battlefield series. There is one notable speedy touch, however: there's no respawn timer, so when you die you're free to jump back into the fray immediately.
At this early stage there are still quite a few graphical hitches to the action, but there's a long way to go before the final code falls into our laps. This was the multiplayer reveal event, after all - and as proof of concept this demo did more than enough to convince me of the game's potential. Kaos have announced that it wants to be the Modern Warfare of large-scale ground battles - a ballsy statement of intent if I ever heard one. Still, there's nothing wrong with aiming high, and I'm certainly keen to see how the developers fare. Will they pull it off? Well, I'd commit to a prediction, but you know what they say: fools rush in…