You can spot any number of new game demos floating around the open booth at THQ’s E3 exhibit, but by far the most interesting titles are still held tightly under wraps in the company’s closed door theaters. We had the chance to view screenings of two titles swelling with promise: Homefront and Warhammer 40K Space Marine.
The only recently announced Homefront, from Kaos Studios, makes an impression with one of the most scarily realistic and familiar settings we’ve yet seen for an FPS: war-torn American suburbs, circa 2027. Eschewing fantastical space ships and quaint European villages for such an oft-overlooked environmental has a startling effect, especially when combined with the game’s amazingly sharp graphics engine and ultra-detailed maps, which look like the homes you or friends might live in… following a war with North Korea. Walls and roofs have collapsed to be replaced by tattered tarps, vegetable plants hang upside in makeshift greenhouses, and a forest of windmills has sprung up in the street to deal with an impending energy crisis. Unfortunately, short of an intense firefight demo, not much is known about the title, and developers were tightlipped about additional back story and release timelines.
Warhammer 40K Space Marine borrows perhaps the most popular character type from the rich Warhammer universe to spin an entire RPG around. The demo we saw had small squads of space marine shooting, slashing and slamming their way through hordes of orks, which will almost certainly be only one of several races to appear in the final game. Though very little gameplay footage was shown, the depth of the Warhammer story has apparently left no shortage of weapons and upgrades to flesh out the RPG portion of the game, and combat looked to be more of a hack-and-slash Diablo style than the more staid, purposeful action of some other games.