Deep Silver took over the Homefront IP from THQ when it closed and has breathed life into the sequel of the original 2011 release. Homefront The Revolution releases on consoles and PC and allows gamers the chance to take back America from an invading North Korean force. However, this time the game opts for a less narrative driven game in favour of open world actions. Being blunt, is the game worth your time and money? Take a look at our Homefront: The Revolution review for the full picture.
Homefront: The Revolution Review:
Today we’re taking a look at Deep Silver’s and Dambuster Studios open-world first person shooter Homefront: The Revolution which is a sequel to the 2011 release of Homefront although set in an alternate timeline in 2029. Players assume the role of general hard nut Ethan Brady who lands himself face to face with the resistance hierarchy in Philadelphia as the US has been invaded by North Korea. The story is pretty much as you would expect where the onus lies in taking back the streets from the invaders. That’s pretty much all you need to know.
The game offers several zones to traverse and cause mischief with numerous activities which are repeated for the entirety of the game. The story weaves itself in and out of the completion of said activities which allows for a bit of freedom to do as you please. The actions players can get up to revolve around crippling the invader’s regime one way or another and can range from taking down outpost and gaining control of them via stealth or pure action. Destroying propaganda devices and blowing up key vehicles and personnel. The game is quite clever in how each of the zones has its own flavour so whilst you’re effectively repeating the same tasks over and over, the differences in environment make them feel fresh so for example later on in the game you’ll uncover hidden weapons caches in various buildings which requires a bit more methodical planning and platform jumping,mantling. Whereas the starting zone allows you to walk around freely among the rest of the civies and perform hit and run attacks.
The whole idea revolves around liberation of the zones and with each task complete you’ll reach the hearts and minds of the local populace where once it reaches its peak you can then radio a call to arms and kick off a rebellion. These action are tied to the story and will hamper progression but taking control of areas of interest on the map enables you to complete these fairly quickly. There are other supposed random elements to interfere with as well such as people being held prisoner where you can intervene and rescue them but occasionally these simply keep respawning in the same places taking away some consistency of the random element.
Ethan can regroup at various safe houses where weapons and gadgets can be purchased and upgraded with points earned from being a good boy and cash from completed missions. There are also a number of optional side ops to undertake as well which can involve reconnaissance missions to mix things up and target acquisitions to name but a few. There’s a fair bit to do and what’s perhaps neat is being able to stealth it when required by going solo or gather a team of up to five AI controlled resistance members and hit the opposition hard as a group even if the AI feels like it’s more for show than anything. You’ll often see resistance members in the field and can simply press a button and they will join you. However, in tighter spaces they can get in the way and in a worse case scenario even block your path which is a pain to say the least.
Apart from being a competent shooter with some reasonable stealth mechanics, Homefront: The Revolution has its fair share of glitches and bugs. The PC version is riddled with character models getting stuck or standing on invisible raised platforms and most notably the frame rate can grind to a halt for seemingly no apparent reason – even when using high end hardware. In some instances the drops can impact gameplay quite a bit which simply makes the experience feel a little unpolished. That said, when it works it does a fine job and has some decent looks to boot with neat lighting and detailed character models, bit obviously the negatives are quite a major part of the gameplay flow and bring it down a peg or two. Obviously a patch will hopefully fix these but as it stands upon release the game is an unoptimized minefield where players take their luck which shouldn’t be the way when dropping full priced money for the game.
Audio fares well with a brooding atmosphere and a full aural palette of sound effects such as sound-bites from the civilians and propaganda broadcasts over a Tannoy system. The voice acting is reasonable too with some interesting characters who don’t really have any personal stories to tell and end up feeling a bit too typical and irrelevant for the player to care about.
Gamers can sink around 12 – 15 hours into the campaign with more to be gained from optional activities even if they do begin to get repetitive after so many times. Players can opt to complete each zone to the maximum and then move on but there’s really no incentive to do so aside from gaining points to upgrade gear – which seems to happen naturally any way. There’s always a replay of the campaign on tougher settings if desired, but due to opposing AI being uninspiring and cheap at times you might want to pass on the replay. For those who’d rather take the fight online there’s a multiplayer resistance co-op mode where groups can head out into the open terrain and perform actions against the regime collectively in either attacking or defence based skirmishes. This adds a bit more legs to the overall package and is good as an alternative to solo play if you’ve got some friends to play with, relying on matchmaking might result in a long wait.
Homefront: The Revolution is a competent shooter that has some great imagery, a chilling atmosphere and some solid visual qualities. However, no matter how well the parts of the game which do look good or perform as expected are, they become severely hampered by damning technical issues which mar the overall experience. Playing through the 13 hour campaign is fairly engaging but this is not a game for everyone who likes first person shooters due to its repetitive activities and lacklustre AI which display some questionable intelligence for those after challenging shooter moments. If you’re a fan of taking back locations from invaders and can forgive a few technical issues then there’s a solid game here but it’s a bit tough to fully recommend in its current malfunctioning state.
Score – 6.5/10