Homefront: The Revolution Review
If you are anything like me and while watching any of the Red Dawn movies you thought “this would make a great video game,” then your wish has been granted.
- Highly detailed world
- The Shotgun and other guns
- Drivable motorcycles
- Diverse combat
- Glitches are everywhere
- Has the feeling of being unfinished or falling short of potential
- Only motorcycles are drivable
- After being alerted the KPA don’t look for you very long
- The missions are often repetitive
- Weapon modding missed it’s potential
The world for Homefront is very detailed and looks amazing. Along with that the atmosphere that they created feels unique and makes you want to explore and look for the hidden rooms and items. Homefront takes place in Philadelphia in a timeline that first deviated from ours back in the 70’s, a Korean company called Apex became the world’s main tech giant and on top of that weapons manufacturer. When the US government couldn’t pay their debt to Apex they flipped a switch and turned off all of the US military’s weapons and vehicles and proceeded to invade. That brings us to the beginning of the game, and while exploring the destroyed city of Philadelphia it sets the mood for the game excellently.
On top of that the KPA (Apex) have certain zones for people to live called yellow zones. These are my favorite areas to play in as you are encouraged to use a little more stealth and strategy in order to achieve your goals. The other type of area that you spend a lot of time in are the red zones. These zones are off limits to civilians and therefore the KPA will shoot on sight, the red zones are also much larger and encourage the use of motorcycles for travel. In addition to that Homefront encourages you to use as much guerilla tactics in the red zones as if you stick around for too long gunships will show up, and they are very powerful. All in all these different areas help to feel like you are actually in a resistance and that Homefront is not your average shooter.
Another thing done well are the weapons (for the most part), the weapons are fun to try out and find what combo works the best for you. The best part about their weapons though was their shotgun, unlike most games with a shotgun you actually have a realistic effective range. I don’t know about you but it always bothered me when most other games would have shotguns with the effective range shorter than the barrel. So that being said when I first started playing Homefront I didn’t have much confidence that the shotgun would even be worth my while, in fact I did not even buy it until about halfway through the game. This is the first video game shotgun that I have been able to be on the roof of a two story building and be able to one shot enemies that are across the road! Another weapon that is good enough to be worth mentioning is the crossbow, it is without a doubt the best stealth weapon in all of Phili.
One of the more satisfying things in Homefront are the takedowns (stealth or otherwise) it was always fun to save people from the KPA brutality by brutally taking down the KPA whether that be knife through the eye or in the throat it is one of the most satisfying things to be done in Homefront.
This is the first time that I have seen a drivable motorcycle in first person that actually worked properly. It feels as if you have just the right amount of control and on top of that you are able to do a wheelie over just about anything as long as you can get the wheel up on top of it. The motorcycles are exclusive to the red zone, and there have been many jumps set up around the area. The only problems that I have with the motorcycles are that for one you cannot customize them (which would be really fun), and that they do not respawn in the motorcycle stashes or stay where you left them. For instance if you were to drive a motorcycle 15 feet and accept a mission, you would turn around and the bike is not laying on the ground, and it is not in the stash that is 15 feet away.
One of the more refreshing aspects of Homefront is the fact that there are many ways to play. They have done a good job at making it so even in the red zone you could be stealthy, you could show up with an LMG and blast everyone, or you could snipe everyone from a nearby rooftop. The different ways to play help you to be able to keep the game interesting when some of the missions get repetitive (which they will). This being said some of the bases that you need to attack seem to be designed in a way that they want you to use one style of play over another. For example on the water pump bases you will need to get to the second story and mess with their valves in order to have the pump blow up. These bases can be very hard unless you use the shotgun and proceed to run and gun. While running they cannot seem to hit you and you can shoot them without even slowing down much. This feels as if the shotgun (as much as I like it) is too powerful for these missions.
There must be a shortage of game testers recently as this is the most glitchy game that I have ever played. I play on the PC and I have a powerful PC, so either their PC port is just junk or they have issues with Homefront as a whole. Issues include but are not limited to a two second pause of the entire game on every autosave (I have heard it is even longer on the console), KPA AI often cannot go through certain doorways or follow me through a hole in a wall (about half the time they can and the other half they cannot), some switches will not work so I have had to glitch my way through walls or over water to continue in the game, and randomly all sound excepting music will be missing along with about half of the in game lighting. Those are the major issues that I have had with Homefront. As I mentioned before I have a powerful computer (that has more than enough power to run Homefront) but these glitches persisted with me through the game. On top of the glitches that Homefront has it also has the feeling of being unfinished at multiple parts throughout the story.
When I first found out that there are drivable motorcycles my first thought was to see if there are drivable cars and trucks as well. Given that you can imagine my disappointment when I found that not only can you not use your gun from the bike, but you also cannot drive cars. So that was quite the letdown and part of the reason that I think that this game feels underdeveloped as a whole. Although if the game is not letting you into an area (whether intentionally or not) the motorcycle is a great way to glitch your way over around and through obstacles (including water as you cannot swim).
One thing that made the game easier was a little annoying. The KPA are so easily fooled that it is not even funny. I mean you could destroy 50 KPA soldiers and then jump in a trash can or hide behind a wall and they will only look for you for like 30 seconds. It would be more fun if they would keep looking for a while and make the consequences for showing your self. Maybe they could have had a function where the KPA will be more alert after each consecutive time that they see you. If they were to have the stealth system work like that it would feel more realistic and make your actions count. I would think that for a game that is trying to emphasise that you are part of a resistance and that the KPA are very smart you would think that the stealth would work better. Regardless, I think that this is a major flaw in Homefront’s stealth system and many other games for that matter (I’m looking at you Skyrim).
Another problem that Homefront has (that many other games also have) is the fact that the missions get repetitive. For their missions they followed these basic guidelines, go there hack that, go there kill everyone then hack that, go there activate radio, go there kill everyone and activate radio. As you can see these get repetitive really fast (there are more than four I was just using them as an example). Granted there are quite a few unique missions from this that can be different, however there are times when you need to just do these missions for 1-2 hours and it just gets old fast.
Finally I wanted to talk about the weapon modding system involved in Homefront. At first it is awesome as you can change a pistol to be an SMG on the go and in just a few seconds. However as you play you start to notice that almost all of the weapon mods are practically worthless. Each gun can have three different weapon modes, however they took a trick from Call of Duty and decided to make almost every gun have a grenade launcher, however most of them suck and you would be better off knifing people. There were honestly two weapon mods that deviated from the stock gun that are worth getting in my opinion, they are the LMG for the assault rifle and the SMG for the pistol. Other than that they are all nearly useless. To me it feels as if they missed a lot of potential with the modding system as it stands.
All in all Homefront can be a lot of fun and as soon as I first saw the ads for it I wanted to play, given that I don’t think that it is worth full price and I think that if you are looking into buying it you should wait for a sale. However if they were to fix the Glitches and bugs I could see it being worth the full price, so if you want to brave it out and try to see if it is more stable on a console be my guest.
Unless you are already a fan of this type of game I would steer clear for the time being.