Occupied. Not defeated.
When THQ went defunct most of their IP's were sold off to various developers and publishers. One those IP's was Homefront. The game got incredibly mixed reviews; you either loved it or you hated it. I was in the former camp. I thought the world they created was ripe for potential and great adventures. Crytek seemed to agree as they picked up Homefront and coming in 2015 comes a whole new take on this FPS.
Homefront: The Revolution takes place in an open world version of Philadelphia in the year 2029, 4 years after North Korea has invaded the US. North Korea has made Philadelphia it's new capital. This is the heart of all of their operations — Crytek admitted that this is extreme fiction. In the game North Korea has way more advanced tech than that of American civilians. Drones are constantly patrolling the streets and cameras are everywhere.
The game has a real time day/night cycle and a dynamic weather system. Throughout the game, as you spark a revolution, the world around you will change in both extreme and subtle ways. This made me think of Pandemic's final game The Saboteur.
You play as an everyman. You are no soldier or convicted felon or anything like that. You're just a civilian who has had enough. Therefore your play style will mostly revolve around guerrilla tactics. You are fighting a well trained and massive army with a few fellow civilians. Crytek rightfully pointed out that this is asymmetric warfare.
Within this asymmetric gameplay there are a few things that the player will need to keep in mind. First off is scavenging; from batteries, to chemicals, to scattered bullets, everything is useful to the cause. Conserving ammo is a smart thing to do in this game. Within the scavenging system, Crytek showed off a super impressive crafting system. You can craft IED's, RC Cars which can be used as a scouting drone or as we were shown can be combined with a crafted IED to become a roving bomb. Crytek also said assassinations would play a pivotal role but in what respect remains to be seen. Sabotaging NK's facilities, vehicles, drones, and cameras are also going to be central in gaining the upper hand.
Within the demo we were shown at E3, your in-game phone plays an important part in your arsenal. You can use it to tag enemies and also decide which objective to proceed with. The character had 4 objectives to choose from, the one they chose was to free captive revolutionaries from a North Korean prison.
The game did a really good job of building a convincing world off of an absurd plot. The NPC's around you all seem to have there own thing going on and you are just in the middle of it. For instance, when the player killed an NK soldier patrolling two civilians painting over graffiti, the two civilians freaked out and said, "That dude is crazy! The Norks are gonna kill us for sure!" And they took off running. As you move throughout the world you also see other revolutionaries setting up attacks, such as running along rooftops with guns in hand. The world is also very grim and chaotic. When you're freeing the captives the NK soldiers go berserk and just start shooting anybody, including unarmed civilians.
First person shooters in my opinion have a really hard time with building great cover systems. Dishonored and Killzone are notorious in my book for having some of the worst FPS cover systems. This seems to be changing as the recently released Thief and now Homefront: The Revolution have done a remarkable job at an adaptive cover system.
The game also features on the fly weapon modding much like in Crytek's other great franchise Crysis. This actually took it a step further though when the player changed the frame of the gun. In a matter of seconds the player went from using an assault rifle to an LMG.
Lastly, the game is freaking gorgeous, which isn't surprising seeing as all of Crytek's games are beautiful running on Cryengine.
I was very impressed with what I saw and can't wait to take America back.
Homefront: The Revolution will release in 2015 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux.
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