It took a long time, but Homefront has finally received a sequel. Find out what we thought about it in our Homefront: The Revolution Review!
|Release Date||May 17, 2016|
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Deep Silver for review purposes*
I’ve never played the original Homefront, so I came into my time with Homefront: The Revolution with a completely open mind. A lot of reviewers were really harsh on this one when it released and I’ve always wanted to try it out myself to see. What I found was a solid shooter that, while a bit repetitive, implemented a lot of interesting features that I haven’t seen in other games in the genre.
The most striking thing I noticed about Homefront: The Revolution when I started the game was how great the atmosphere of the game really is. The story revolves around an alternate history where the tech revolution started in North Korea. The United States has an economic collapse and then defaults on their debts to North Korea (which they have from purchasing weapons from the APEX Corporation). North Korea then decides to invade the US by utilizing a backdoor in the APEX military technology to shut down the US military and occupy the country. It’s a cool story that, while fictitious, seemed realistic enough to keep me invested.
The game takes place in Philadelphia in 2029 which is four years into the occupation of the Korean People’s Army, or KPA. The districts in the city look run-down and people are fighting to grab scraps of technology to use. There’s propaganda all over the place and the KPA patrols the streets with people, drones, and armoured vehicles. It’s a desolate place and Dambuster did a great job making everything look bleak and hopeless.
Homefront: The Revolution is an open-world game in theory, but it’s implemented in a peculiar way as there are 8 districts that you shuffle through in a rather linear fashion. The Red zones are the spots where the heaviest fighting took place during the initial invasion. These areas are pretty barren and feel more like wastelands than anything. It’s hard to distinguish one of these zones from another as they’re relatively lifeless. Yellow zones are a different story as each zone has its own feel with some being dirty and grungey and others, like the one where the American KPA collaborators reside being a bit more taken care of. Overall, it feels like people actually live in this world and are aware of what is going on around them.
The one thing I had a big problem with is that our protagonist, Ethan Brady is completely mute. He never says a word. He just goes along with whatever plan The Resistance puts in front of him with nothing more than a nod. I don’t understand this, especially considering you can’t make any decisions. Your path is linear, so why not have a voice to add some character? It really took me out of the game that I couldn’t really connect with my character at all. It’s hard to care about his story and what he’s doing when we don’t really see how it’s affecting him.
I had a lot of fun actually playing the game. Homefront: The Revolution mixes stealth elements, shooting, and even some light platforming oddly enough. Each district has a bunch of Liberation activities to inspire the people in these districts to take back their neighbourhoods. These activities can be as simple as taking out propaganda like radios and loudspeakers, blowing up trucks and fuel tanks, and hacking security terminals. You’ll also take over KPA bases and strongholds. After doing this for a couple districts, it does become a bit monotonous and I do wish they added a bit more variety to keep things fresh.
Sneaking around and trying to avoid KPA agents is pretty fun. There are hiding spots like portable toilets and dumpsters that you can hide in when the heat is on. I found it weird that you couldn’t go into a safe house when the KPA is looking for you, though. What’s the difference? I do wish there were more ways to be stealthy in the game as there were a lot of times where it just wasn’t feasible even though I wanted to sneak by. More often than not, I just got spotted and had to take out waves of enemies.
There are plenty of weapons that you can craft to make short work of any KPA agents in the area. The on-the-fly weapon crafting is a really cool concept that allows you to add to an existing weapon right in the midst of battle. It was really awesome to see my character strip down an assault rifle to turn it into a mine-launcher. It’s something that you don’t see in a lot of games and I think it makes this one stand-out.
I didn’t have many technical issues with the game. One thing I did notice that enemies sometimes disappeared or appeared right in front of me which was strange to say the least, especially when I thought I was safe. This didn’t happen all the time, but it seemed to happen more in certain areas of a district.
There is an online component which is completely co-op for up the 4 players. It’s called Resistance Mode and includes a handful of missions and a ton of unlockable items and skills. This mode is pretty difficult, but it’s enjoyable with some friends and a good diversion from the main game.
Dambuster has just released an update for Xbox One X in addition to the update in Spring 2017 for PS4 Pro that enhanced the game’s image and texture quality on both systems as well as enabling HDR support. It’s nice to see that the game continues to be supported well even a year and a half after its release.
|Stealth aspect is fun||Average story|
|Plenty of weapons to craft||Mute protagonist|
|Not enough variety in the gameplay|