Homefront may stir up controversy in America

Let’s face it, there are a lot of ‘war games’ out there, but there are few games about war. Most of the time, we find ourselves blasting away at uniformed enemies and... that's about it. But the developer of Homefront realizes that there’s a lot more to war than that… and that stands to make some people angry.

As Homefront is a depiction of a North Korean invasion of America, it may distress Americansin a way that’s both familiar and foreign to us, as put forth byour recent preview,andanotherpreview from Kotaku, whichgive us glimpses into the very un-ironic horrors of war. (No word yeton how Kim Jong-il feels about it.)

From the moment North Korean jackboots kick in your door and haul your sorry ass to the bus, you’ll be confronted with suffering. Not the detached glimpses you got from the opening credits of Modern Warfare 1, but in-your-face wailing, crying, and gnashing of teeth. You’ll see your fellow countrymen blasted to chunky red stains by execution squads as mothers plead with their children to turn away. You’ll watch families separated and herded into internment camps. You’ll see people simply standing in the streets, staring at nothing as bullets whiz past their heads.

Or maybe not. David Votypka, creative director for Homefront,told Kotakuthat he’s still "on the fence" about certain scenes within the game. However, Rex Dickson, lead level designer says, “Our goal is to make you feel emotion”. He goes on to say that this is a game for folks who are “tired of a shooting gallery.” In short, the Homefront team is trying to craft an experience that makes players want to pick up the rifle. As such, we are sure to see a story dedicated to accurately depicting the cost of war on the human psyche.

Renowned screenwriter, John Milius (Red Dawn, Apocalypse Now), has encouraged the team to avoid a ‘grandiose’ plot wherein the player might lead a new American army to repel the invaders, and instead create a plot that would be a story forgotten when the history of this fictional war is written.

The player will be taking the role of a resistance member seeking fuel to getfrom Colorado to California. As you gaze upon the smoking ruins of what was once your country, your experiences will affect your comrades as well. You will see members of the resistance argue about tactics – about how ‘noble’ or ‘realistic’ they should be; and you can count on old ‘political correctness’ being shown the door.

Of course this would be perfectly fine in a movie, but if we know ourknee-jerk-reaction medialike we think we do, THQ had best prepare itself for a bit of controversy. Does the emotional experience Homefront is trying to craft sound like something you’d like to support, or do you feel that it’s distracting and controversy baiting? Tell us in the comments.

Check outour previewfor more on the game's plot.

Nov 18, 2010

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