Homefront: The Revolution Preview
Homefront was one of those games with a fantastic premise and lofty ambitions, but it didn’t quite coalesce into an impressive, next-level achievement. In other words, despite its inherent entertainment and general level of quality, it was a missed opportunity. Now, developer Crytek is looking to elevate the franchise and they’re pulling out all the stops. For instance, as this is a story about an occupied United States, did you know they’ve tapped “Red Dawn” author John Milius to assist with the script? That’s only the beginning, as Crytek seeks to build on just about every element implemented by original developer Kaos Studios.
Crytek will team up with Deep Silver to deliver Homefront: The Revolution, an open-world shooter with a variety of different post-apocalyptic aspects. Here, we already have a distinct difference, as the first title was very linear. By giving players more freedom in occupied Philadelphia, the designers hope to amp up the immersion and involvement. We’ll play as resistance fighter Ethan Brady as he embarks on a dangerous quest to become America’s next radicalized patriot. Brady is a strong dude but he’s hardly invincible; in other words, this won’t play like Crytek’s Crysis series.
No wacky nanosuit here. Instead, it’s a gritty, chaotic atmosphere and the protagonist is simply a relatively healthy, physically capable man just trying to survive. You can’t approach the game as you would other FPSs; you have to be more cautious and strategic. Chances are, if you’re severely outnumbered, you’re going down hard. Not only are you fighting a superior force in terms of numbers, you also have to deal with superior weaponry and technology. Sure, you might be able to get your hands on some of it but until then, you had best tread lightly. And if you see an opportunity to inflict lots of pain and damage without incurring the wrath of the whole army, you should take it.
In addition to what we assume will be a longer campaign, the new effort will offer four-player online co-op, which is a hugely beneficial inclusion. We’re not sure yet if Crytek is planning other multiplayer modes but for now, we’re happy with the online co-op. The Korean People’s Army (KPA) have invaded and if you don’t get some help, you might feel a little overwhelmed. Then again, because you’ll have a more sandbox structure, you can play shadow games and embrace the lone wolf approach, if you prefer. Just don’t forget that your open-world experiences can be subject to player interference, ala Watch Dogs.
One way you’ll record your progress is by the accumulation of Uprising Points. These are earned by simply rebelling against that massive occupying force, and it could include destroying a security camera, protecting a civilian, or simply mowing down a large opposing force. The tools at Brady’s disposal include bolt cutters and a smartphone; the latter device can be used for reconnaissance, as you can identify objectives and various obstacles. FPS fans will be familiar with the weapon wheel and they’ll also appreciate weapon customization (adding silencers, for instance), so this is definitely a blend of FPS and action/adventure.
Homefront: The Revolution is set to launch some time next year for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Provided we get a longer and more dynamic campaign along with worthwhile multiplayer, it could end up being one of the most impressive and atmospheric titles of 2015.
12/16/2014 Ben Dutka