This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 37 September 2016.
Homefront: The Revolution is a reboot of the 2011 first-person shooter Homefront which was released to a largely indifferent audience, leaving the second game with a mountain to climb. Its development cycle has done it no favours either and its history would be an article all of its own. But we’re not here to discuss a game’s development, but rather whether it is in its release state, a game worth playing.
Homefront: The Revolution is still – at its heart – a first-person shooter, and as with the original game, the setting sees the Korean occupation of America (in 2029) continue with the player taking control of one of the resistance fighters battling to take back control of their homeland – or in this particular case, the city of Philadelphia.
Unlike the original game, The Revolution has shifted its game mechanic away from a linear model to a more open world one. This allows the player to choose from a variety of tasks and side missions as they see fit and as they open more of the city by claiming enemy outposts. Of course, the focus is meant to be the main story but that does very little to pull you in. Even the characters you meet are generally one dimensional and prove to be nothing more than task-givers. The promise of a meaty and gritty story is never realised and it would’ve been the perfect opportunity for the game to stand out against similar games.
With a more accessible city to play in, the game has added vehicles and the ability to customise and upgrade your weapons and skills. You can also craft items, and with the correct parts, you can make a Molotov cocktail or other explosives to aid you in your quest. The game insinuates that you can use stealth rather than all out aggression, but the truth of the matter is that you will need to be prepared to shoot yourself out of trouble.
Sadly, the game struggles with this critical mechanic and features sluggish and unsatisfying gunplay. Considering the game’s core is that of a first-person shooter, this represents a disaster, and along with the average graphics and disappointing sound and voice acting, there are not a lot of reasons to recommend the game considering the quality of other recent titles released in the genre.
The multiplayer component of the 2011 version of Homefront had some promise and if some of the last five years had been spent fine tuning the basics of the multiplayer, The Revolution would’ve had something to put on the ‘pro’ list. Unfortunately, development lead Dambuster Studios down another route to co-op, but given the possible strategic opportunities a co-op element should add to the game, the lack of players actually playing in the public realm makes it impossible to experience 95% of the time.
Sadly, Homefront: The Revolution is not a game I can recommend to those looking for a complete and polished first-person shooter as it falls short in both those key departments.
Available for: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC
Distributed by: Apex Interactive and available at all retailers of games