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All’s Disquiet on THQ’s “Homefront”

All’s Disquiet on THQ’s “Homefront” (photo)

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This week, after months of hype and a multimillion advertising blitz, “Homefront” finally landed on store shelves everywhere. Much has been made of the game’s provocative premise, which has the United States being invaded by an exponentially more aggressive North Korea in a decade’s time. Add in the fact that legendary screenwriter John Milius (“Red Dawn,” “Apocalypse Now”) contributed to the story and people were expecting a gut-wrenching, red-blooded shoot-em-up of the first order. It rang up 200,000 in pre-orders, not a shabby number for a new IP in these uncertain times.

Except that “Homefront” isn’t that. Oh, it’s okay. The multiplayer portions set up massive, chaotic battles and have won nods for their quality. However, in the single-player campaign, lackluster shooting gameplay finds an unwelcome partner in narrative that values shock over character development. But the world-building is superb, floating the consequences of a horrible event all around you and making you want to play–that is, to say get revenge–in ways that the narrative and mechanics do not. The problems muddy up what’s enticing about the game.

Many critics agree that “Homefront” is a middle-of-the-road experience and their opinions got pulled into Metacritic, generating a Metascore of 72 for the game. Here’s where things get dramatic. That score caused THQ’s stock price to plummet more than 20%, from $5.94 to $4.69 per share. Yet, THQ issued a press release yesterday asserting that “Homefront” moved 375,000 copies at retail, a number that they’re pleased with. This comes after earlier statements by execs that the game would have to sell 2 million to break even.

It’ll likely take a month or two before the verdict gets delivered on just how successful “Homefront” is. But, it’s ironic that game centered on a sociopolitical clash has generated a battle of dueling narratives. Is it a success or not? Did it go too far or not far enough? Will it have a negative effect on THQ or bolster its efforts to grow new franchises? Of course, some of these answers can only come from corporate decision-makers. It’ll be enlightening, however, to see if THQ does move on with the purported sequel if “Homefront” doesn’t wind up being a blockbuster hit.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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