E3 2014 Homefront: The Revolution Impressions

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A casualty of the implosion at THQ in 2013, the rights to Homefront were sold to Crytek who is now partnering with Deep Silver to release a sequel. Set four years after the events of the original, The Korean People’s Army (KPA) has set their new capital in Philadelphia, having lost control of the Western US in the battle of San Francisco in the last game. Many of the people have been worn down but a new rebellion is beginning to take shape.

Since the is the first game that I’m aware of that’s set in Philadelphia and given my knowledge of the area having grown up less than ten miles away, I was cautiously excited to see what they had for us. Unlike the first Homefront, which was a very linear affair, The Revolution will be a free roam, guerrilla warfare type of game. We’ll see the abandoned suburbs and occupied sections of the city and be able to traverse them at will.

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I certainly didn’t expect a true to life representation of the city and I was excited when the demo started and our character emerged from the safe house. Looking to the left we saw the skyscrapers of downtown Philly and the span of the Ben Franklin Bridge which would put us… in Camden, New Jersey. That piqued my interest a little more with the idea that Crytek would include a bit of the surrounding area on both sides of the bridge. When I asked about it after the demo though, I was told that the game is set entirely within the city of Philadelphia so… yeah. Maybe a little nitpicky on my part but I was a little bummed by the (pretty big) geographical mistake in the debut of the gameplay.

Accuracy complaints aside, Homefront: The Revolution is built using the latest CryEngine and even in this early state (the game isn’t coming out until 2015) it looks fantastic. Much of what we saw took place overnight and in the early morning hours and the lighting was gorgeous. There will be a full day/night cycle in the final game as well.

The main thrust of the mission we saw involved taking out a local Police Station and breaking some people out. There appeared to be a number of ways to go about it but we saw the protagonist make use of an RC car filled with explosives. It turned into an intense battle as reinforcements arrived and a hasty retreat was made.

Unlike most games of this type, you won’t be playing as an ex-soldier or anything of the sort. Instead, you’re just a regular guy, one that’s been pushed a little too far and quickly finds himself in the middle of the second American Revolution.

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The KPA has had a tight grip on the city for several years and as a result of this, weapons and ammo are scarce. You’ll have to scavenge and build items and weapons as you go. Of course the fledgling resistance will have some items stashed away, but think of it leaning more towards The Last of Us (though not quite as extreme) than a Call of Duty.

Since you’ll be using asymmetric warfare and guerrilla tactics, you’ll find the KPA occupation to be very reactive and dynamic. You’ll have key missions to accomplish, but you’ll be able to “stir the pot” around the city at any time which will help grow the rebellion. It can also open up new gameplay opportunities along the way. Another interesting side effect is that as the populace grows bolder, uprisings will start happening all over. You can easily stumble upon them while working another mission and then use them to your advantage or join in the fight. It’s still early but I’m somewhat optimistic that Crytek is on the right path and will be able to deliver a much better experience than the original game ended up being.

Homefront: The Revolution is expected to release some time in 2015 and will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. (Assuming the current issues swirling around Crytek don’t derail things, here’s hoping)

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  • IceSamurai Dono

    This game seem like it could be fun and i like when they put twist on shooters but i dont think it will get passed this bump. THQ strikes from beyond the grave.