Homefront: What you need to know

An overview of this exciting new shooter

The first thing to know about Homefront is that this isn't Call Of Duty. With every COD selling millions each year and completely out-performing every other shooter, you'd better be bringing something completely different to the table to stand in the same genre.

No, if you're looking for comparisons, Homefront is more like Half-Life 2. It's a story-lead shooter, an FPS where the world tells a story while the action ebbs and flows with pockets of carnage punctuated by peaceful scenes that remind you why you're squeezing the trigger in the first place.

Set in the year 2027, Homefront presents you with a nightmare scenario. Korea isn't threatening to nuke the US or assassinate the President - they've invaded, and America has pretty much rolled over.

How could they possibly pull something off like that? Kaos have created an entire history that runs from present day right up to the start of Homefront explaining in how this could happen.

You play as part of the resistance, recruited because you know how to fly a helicopter - a skill invaluable to the guerrillas opposing the Korean oppression. The opening level, which eventually sees you being freed by the resistance, showcases how a post-invasion USA might look.

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Men and women are herded into camps, families are executed on the street and children cry over the bodies of their murdered parents. It makes Modern Warfare 2's No Russian level look like a Disney film. Well, almost.

However, the complete devotion to setting a scene doesn't end with a pre-scripted bus-ride through the opening level. What makes Homefront so unique is that the level of detail - the meticulous planning of how this world would be - is continued throughout the game.

With all the scenario building, however, it would be easy for Kaos to lose sight of exactly what this game is about: shooting. It is, after all, an FPS.

The action we've played is solid run-and- gun stuff, with two particularly smart aspects. First off, the scenarios you find yourself in are very memorable. Sure, we've all played hundreds of siege shoot-outs before but how many were in a suburban home?

How many saw you crouched behind a sofa, shooting wave after wave of bad guys, while a mother clutches her crying baby in the corner of the room and screams at you to get out of her house? Not many...

Secondly, Kaos have nailed the pacing. While COD batters you with relentless twitch-shoot corridors of action, Homefront simmers before boiling over.

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There are moments of calm in between the intense violence, helping you avoid the battle fatigue that sets in when you're blasting for five-hours nonstop.

That, and the time spent among fellow characters who aren't continually shooting and swearing at each other, turns this into a proper story game rather than a six-hour firework display.

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