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THQ Requires Pass for Homefront Online

January 7, 2011 Written by Tyler Minarik

When Homefront releases later this year THQ will be encouraging potential consumers to buy the game new with their online pass requirement for full access to the multiplayer component of the game.  This follows suit with UFC Undisputed 2010 where THQ first implemented the online pass feature in an effort to combat losses from used games sales.

For those who choose to buy a used game any way, the pass will cost $10 to unlock the full online portion.  THQ is not the only company using this method, as EA has been implementing a similar restriction with several of their games.

Luckily, in this case online access won’t be completely off-limits for those without a pass.  This is good news for those who like to rent their games since you can still try out the online portion before you decide to buy.  Without the pass you’ll be able to level your account up to level 5 (out of the normal 75 total).  All maps will still be available, and the game can be played for an indefinite amount of time, but the level cap restriction can only be removed with an online pass.  However, since its likely that additional guns, abilities, and tools will be unlocked by the pass, gameplay will still feel really restricted.

Homefront‘s online multiplayer is intended to be large-scale battles similar to those found in Battlefield games, but with an interesting twist.  As players complete different actions, like getting kills or securing objectives, they earn points that can be spent mid round to purchase vehicles, weapons, and tools to support your team.  This means rounds will start off small, with infantry and rifles, which progress to large-scale battles as players earn more useful items through out the round.  Hopefully this is enough to set the shooter apart from its heavy competition, and hopefully these online passes don’t serve as too much of a deterrent for players.  Passes like this appear to be a continuing trend, and may stick around if publishers are seeing more revenue generated as intended.  Depending on the point of view, this may be a bad or a good thing.  What do you think?  Will they help support good multiplayer gaming, or is it just a gimmick to score more money out of the consumer?