Homefront: The Revolution game review
Dambuster Studios has rebooted the 2009 classic Homefront, and given it an open-world spin. The game takes us on a journey down an alternate timeline where North Korea has conquered the US after a Korea-based tech boom in the 1970s, and the only person that can lead the Resistance is you – Ethan Brady. Homefront: The Revolution was welcomed to a warm reception when it was initially announced, but does it deserve cheers or jeers? We’ve been playing Homefront: The Revolution, and here’s what we think. Read next: Best upcoming games of 2016 and 2017
Homefront: The Revolution review: Price and platforms
So, which platforms is Homefront: The Revolution available for? At launch, the game was made available for the standard platforms – PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, however the company also announced that there would be OS X (or macOS now!) and even Linux releases in the pipeline, although we’re not quite sure when.
In terms of pricing, you can grab Homefront: The Revolution at a fairly decent price. Those on PC can pick up a physical copy of Homefront: The Revolution from Amazon for £29, while the software variant can be picked up for £39.99 on Steam. Those looking for Homefront: The Revolution on PS4 can pick it up for £33.98 on Amazon at the time of writing, or slightly cheaper at £29.99 on Zavvi. Xbox One owners can grab it for £28.90 on Amazon (and that’s the Day One edition, too!) or £29.99 on Zavvi.
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Homefront: The Revolution review: Storyline
Homefront: The Revolution had a rather interesting concept behind it – set in an alternate timeline in 2029, North Korea has taken over the United States of America after the US defaulted on its debt. The KPA is in the process of strip mining the country for natural resources in order to gain the money owed by America, and gamers find themselves in the shoes of protagonist Ethan Brady, a man staging a resistance movement against the KPA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The war-torn city of Philadelphia is split into three zones with a traffic light-style system – first you have green zones, which are the most affluent areas where the richest and most powerful people live, and is also where the KPA presence is heaviest, making them fairly hard to infiltrate. You then have the yellow zones, which is where most of the US population lives, and features frequent patrols along with drones and even tank-esque vehicles all looking out for the Resistance – aka you.
Lastly you have the red zones, which are mostly rubble due to heavy shelling and constant street battles, as this is where the Resistance is strongest. It’s also the most dangerous area to be in, as anyone spotted in the Red zone will be killed on sight, with backup called almost immediately. Red zones were our favourite zones in the game though, as having to sneak through the remains of destroyed buildings and run across roads metres away from KPA patrols gets the blood pumping, and the gunfights are on another level when compared to the other zones.
The aim of the game? To rise up against the KPA and take back ‘Murica, of course. This is done by performing a number of actions in each zone, from tuning radios to the Resistance radio station, to destroying fear-mongering speakerphones and even assassinating key KPA targets. Each action you perform will raise the level of resistance in the area and the higher the level it is, the less likely you are to be spotted by the KPA on your travels. It’s fun to see the levels of anarchy slowly rising in each zone as you rile up the general public to rebel against their North Korean captors, giving you the opportunity to hit some of the key bases in the area.
The only downside? The tasks are essentially the same in every Zone, meaning while it’s initially quite exciting to inspire a revolution, you’re bored by your fourth or fifth.
While the concept and open world nature of Homefront: The Revolution initially sounded interesting, it was poorly executed. While the storyline gripped us in the beginning, it lost momentum fairly quickly and by the end of the game, we didn’t really care about what was going on – and that doesn’t happen very often. For a game to do well in terms of its storyline, gamers have to form relationships with the characters and in Homefront: The Revolution, the characters weren’t well developed and we didn’t form any kind of relationship with the roster of characters.
Homefront: The Revolution review: Combat and weapon customisation
It’s not all doom and gloom though – there are two things that Dambuster Studios did get right with Homefront: The Revolution; Combat and weapon customisation. Combat is thrilling in Homefront because it’s not just your standard cover-and-shoot FPS, as you have to keep moving from cover to cover, exploiting the environment in any way that you can. Why? We found that if we camped out in one (well covered) location and tried to take on the KPA reinforcements, the reinforcements would actually flank and surround us without us noticing.
It’s a similar issue when you’re trying to sneak around in the Red Zone – the NPC’s aren’t blind, and if you go anywhere near the patrol you will be spotted and pursued. The fun thing about pursuits (in the red zone at least) is that you can jump on a motorbike and speed away, often using the crumbling buildings as ramps and bridges to escape the KPA. The intelligence of the NPCs is pretty impressive, but not as impressive as the weapon customisation.
In a Fallout-esque way, you can scavenge the environment for tools and materials that can be used to provide upgrades to your existing arsenal. The upgrades can completely change the weapon, like upgrading a pistol to an SMG, or can add attachments to existing weapons, like adding a grenade launcher to the AK-47. It offers the player multiple ways to approach any situation – you can go in all guns blazing with a barrage of bullets and grenades, or you can play it smart and go in with a silenced pistol. There’s a wide range of weapons available too which should suit a variety of play styles, ranging from a pistol to a bow and arrow.
The great thing is that these customisations are easily switched out and, provided you’re in cover, you can switch mods mid-battle to give you the upper hand when you most need it. It’s not a game menu either, as the player looks down at the weapon and physically modifies it in-hand, giving a more authentic feel to the game.
Here comes the tough part – the verdict. If you’re the type of person that enjoys a strong storyline in a game then this isn’t the game for you, as even though the concept is interesting, it’s not enough to keep you gripped. However, the combat and weapon customisation combined should be enough to keep most people entertained while they hammer through the campaign, causing riots throughout Philadelphia and leading the Resistance against the KPA.