Homefront: The Revolution Review
Posted by Tyler Treese
Homefront: The Revolution has had a rocky road during its development, and that's putting it nicely. Employees went unpaid, although Crytek claims they were totally never on the verge of bankruptcy, and eventually the game switched not just publishers, but developers too. It's pretty incredible that the game exists in a finished state.
Well, maybe not a finished state, as it only takes about 15 minutes with Dambuster Studios' first-person shooter to realize that the game is incredibly rough around the edges. The first sign is when the game suddenly freezes for five to ten seconds (which eerily looks like the game has crashed) while players walk to their first objective. That isn't abnormal, as it happens every single time the game auto-saves. Deep Silver felt like it was good to go out in this state.
Past the awkward freezing and a poor frame-rate, which has been slightly improved by a recent patch, this reboot tasks the players with wiping out North Korean soldiers who have taken over the US city of Philadelphia. The game makes sure to call the enemies "Norks" the entire time, which is a racially charged slur, if you aren't aware. Fun.
Homefront: The Revolution's open-world is filled with Philadelphian citizens, but it does a really poor job of making you want to actually help them out. None of the civilians you come across are likable, and most are asking you to exchange money for either pleasantries or drugs. It's only understandable that the worst of society would come out of such a trying time, but some bright spots would've at least given players motivation to take back their city.
Much like Far Cry 4, players will be taking over different outposts in order to take back control in between story missions. While this formula has proven successful, it felt like it was getting old after every single open-world game used it, and it just feels uninspired by now. To be fair, when the game started development, this probably was a fresher idea, although still not an original one.
The actual gunplay feels okay, but still not nearly as polished as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare or other top-notch shooters. One of the issues is that the lighting is often overly dark, and it can sometimes be difficult to pick out enemies from the shadows. Some enemies have glowing equipment (which might not be the best tactical choice), so at least it isn't a constant issue.
One of the few cool things about Homefront: The Revolution is its weapon upgrade system. The game allows players to modify a standard pistol into an SMG or assault rifle (this probably doesn't make any logical sense, but it looks really cool in-game.) These weapon packs can be bought at safehouses, and are one of the few bright spots here.
No matter how cool your weapon is, it still isn't compelling enough to continue trudging through this game. Annoyances come in constantly from the clumsy platforming mechanics - it typically takes four or five attempts to successfully mantle over a wall - and the boring structure. Plus, the game actually makes the players dread making progress since they're rewarded with a several second freeze each time.
If there's a single redeemable mode, it's surprisingly the game's multiplayer mode, called Resistance. Since this mode isn't constantly saving your progress, it runs far more smoothly than the single player experience. It's separate from the campaign, and instead players group up in four-man teams and take on bland missions such as taking over areas or defending them.
These feel more focused than the open-world that the core game relies on, but it's still not compelling. So even if the game runs better during multiplayer, you're still left questioning why you're playing this rather than Overwatch or pretty much anything else. There's so many other great cooperative games to play with friends on Xbox One, so it's really hard to recommend an uninspired one that isn't all that fun to begin with.
Homefront: The Revolution has bigger problems than its myriad of technical issues. Sure, the constant freezing of the game to save is jarring, and the game as a whole is largely unpolished, but even when everything works it just isn't captivating in any way. Pass this up.