Homefront's Short Campaign Prompts Question: Is The Single-Player FPS A Lost Art?

PSM3, the PlayStation magazine, has reviewed THQ’s fancy new shooter Homefront. It got a respectable 83/100. What’s perhaps worrying, however, is that the single-player campaign clocks in at a mere five hours in length. With such a short campaign, you start to ask yourself: is that even worth the developer’s time?

It’s not secret that may of today’s FPS fans tend to jump right into the multi-player portion of the game. If that’s the case, why not take the id Software circa 1999 approach: check the single-player campaign right out the window—nobody’s playing it anyway—and instead focus your resources on creating a top-notch multi-player mode? That’s what Quake III did, and its legacy lives on today with Quake Live, which is probably better than many of the multi-player modes you’ll find in today’s shooter.

Oh, and it’s free. So there’s that.

But back to Homefront and its five-hour campaign length. Is that a deal-breaker for any of you, or is it truly a case where you’re only interested in the game’s multi-player mode? And if that’s the case, why? How are people not burned out on tough-guy military multi-player modes by now? At least Brink, which I played (the PS3 version) about two weeks ago at some preview event, isn’t some super serious situation; there’s a Team Fortress 2 vibe to it, which is a fine vibe to have.

There’s something to be said about sticking to your strengths. Again, Quake 3 abandoned the single-player campaign in order to focus on its wildly popular multi-player component. Half-Life 2’s single-player campaign was clearly the focus of Valve’s efforts—how long did any of you play HL2 Deathmatch?—and that’s near universally viewed as one of, if not the, best single-player shooter ever.