Homefront team inspired by Half-Life 2, wants game locations to feel more domestic to players

Friday, 19 November 2010 17:49 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Kaos Studios’ Rex Dickson has said the team behind Homefront owes a lot of its inspiration to Valve’s Half-Life 2.

Speaking with Keza MacDonald during her hands-on with the game, the lead level designer said players may even see some elements of HL2 in Homefront, due to this inspiration.

“Kaos Studios’ pedigree wasn’t in big narrative single-player campaigns – our territory has always been multiplayer,” said Dickson. “So when we decided that we wanted to make this kind of game, we looked at the past ten or twenty years of gaming and though, who’s done it the best? And we felt that nobody has done it better than Valve with Half-Life 2, so we used that as our model.

“A few of the themes that you’ll find carry over from HL2 into our game is the idea of an oppressed population, and also the main character not having a voice. I think the biggest one is never cutting the camera away from the player, or rarely doing that.”

Dickson also believes this will help set Homefront apart from other first-person shooters such as Call of Duty or Halo, along with bringing a more personal feel to the locations included in the game.

“If you look at the landscape now, it feels a lot to me like everybody is going after COD’s market share or Halo’s market share,” he said. “But for us, as gamers, instead of doing that, what we want to do is give the public something new, something different. With all these clone projects coming out, we think the market is actually desperate for someone to inject a new bit of creativity into the FPS formula, and bring something new to the market.

“If you look at other products, you see a lot of people do these iconic locations – the White House, New York City, places that are familiar to everybody, landmarks that you can easily find. But what we wanted to do was create environments that were familiar to a large amount of people. We wanted it to feel like people’s hometown. Whether you’re from Ohio or Kentucky or wherever it is you’re from, these towns look like your town, and that presents an element of  ‘That looks like my backyard, that looks like the school I went to.’

“It creates this unsettling environment, whereas a more iconic landmark like the Statue of Liberty would have a completely different context.”

Homefront is out March 8 in the US and March 11 in Europe and the UK.

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