Archives by Day

September 2018

Homefront: The Revolution

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Dambuster Studios
Release Date: May 17, 2016 (US), May 20, 2016 (EU)

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox One is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.


Xbox One Preview - 'Homefront: The Revolution'

by Brian Dumlao on Feb. 15, 2016 @ 11:55 a.m. PST

Homefront: The Revolution throws players into a near future dystopia where a catastrophic events have brought the United States to its knees and enabled the Korean People's Army forces to impose a brutal military occupation.

Homefront: The Revolution doesn't exactly have a huge hype train. The original title was known for a story that resembled "Red Dawn," and it sold fairly well. It didn't reach blockbuster status, but there was enough to go forward with a sequel — at least before publisher THQ shut down. Deep Silver picked up the rights to this title, and while work continued, it was kept under wraps for some time, leading some to believe the project had died a quiet death. With the game set to release soon, the time is right for Deep Silver to market the title, and its first step was a closed multiplayer beta from February 11-14 on the Xbox One.

The focus of the beta was a multiplayer mode called Resistance. In what seems to be a trend for this year's crop of games, the multiplayer isn't competitive but cooperative, as you and three other people take on a variety of missions ranging from preventing your rebel encampment from being discovered by the KPA to pilfering their goods for yourself. Whether you succeed or fail, you'll earn cash and XP that can be used to unlock perks and crates for a random assortment of weapons and goods.

You start by creating your character based on a number of templates. Aside from your sex, all of the templates have the same body type and initial clothing, with the only difference being race and facial type. You can't customize the face or your body, so your choices are very limited from the get-go. After that, you choose what your former profession was before the occupation. All of them are pretty normal jobs, but your choice determines your starting perk, such as the ability to revive someone at a faster rate, throwing ordnance further, or moving faster when you're at minimum health. After naming your persona, you get to choose a map before jumping into the game.

For the beta, there were three maps available, each with different objectives. A las Barricadas is a defensive mission where you quell small infiltrations of KPA soldiers and armed humvees. Enemy at the Gates has you trying to reclaim territory from the KPA. To do so, you need to hack into their equipment to find their base of operations before you can take them down. Finally, Infiltration has you storming a KPA base before escorting two of their trucks full of goods back to your base.

There are two things you'll notice after you play a round of The Revolution. For one thing, the mode is best if you have a team that has an idea of what to do. You're almost always outnumbered in every fight, and while the enemy is pretty good at being cannon fodder on the easiest difficulty levels, you'll encounter enough bullets to fell a teammate or two if you aren't careful. This is especially true of the armed vehicles you encounter at almost every turn. If you take cover, make smart shots and ensure you're healing every fallen member, you stand a better chance of beating the mission, especially on harder difficulty levels.

The second thing you'll notice is that the combat doesn't break any molds. As mentioned earlier, your enemies are very good at being shot since they don't employ any tactics to make them formidable. The sub-missions are pretty novel for a multiplayer game, but they're nothing that hasn't been seen in a single-player game. Guns feel good to shoot with, and you have a bit of a regenerative health system, but hiding in a corner won't suddenly bring you to full health. Again, the experience is pleasing but not noteworthy.

There are a few touches you'll either loathe or appreciate. Unless you win a good percentage of the time, the amount of grinding needed to get anything can be tiresome. The predictable objectives mean that unless you visit each stage at different difficulty levels, nothing changes. The ability to instantly modify your weapons on the field is pretty cool, as is the ability to create your own consumables by collecting ingredients. Also, even though it does promote some realism, you'll always have to keep in mind that you need to manually loot bodies if you want ammo and ingredients. Otherwise, you'll find yourself running short and frantically searching for the few crates in the level.

Even though this is still beta code, The Revolution isn't much of a looker. The Cryengine logo at the beginning gives you the idea you're about to see something amazing, but you get drab grays and browns, and enemies look rather generic. Even the lighting, which most games tend to highlight nowadays, is very muted. Again, this is still beta code, so there's time to improve things, but the first impression isn't too hot.

At the very least, we know a little about the plans for this mode and the related DLC. The game will ship with around 12 Resistance missions and maps, with 12 more to come during the game's first year. Best of all, those maps are promised to be free to the community. The gesture is a good one, so here's hoping it's good enough to keep a community around for at least that amount of time.

Based on the beta, Homefront: The Revolution seems intriguing. The focus on cooperative multiplayer is great. Even though there's nothing distinctive about the gunplay and combat, it's trying something different from the expected competitive multiplayer modes. Aside from community reception, the static objectives per stage mean that this mode will live or die based on the timeliness of those 12 post-launch levels. While it isn't as hotly anticipated as some of the other multiplayer games this year, The Revolution is worth keeping an eye on.

More articles about Homefront: The Revolution
blog comments powered by Disqus