|System: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC|
|Dev: Dambuster Studios|
|Pub: Deep Silver|
|Release: May 17, 2016|
|Players: Single and Online Multiplayer|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080i||Blood, Strong Language, Violence|
by Patrick Tretina
I have to admit, I was a little skeptical diving head first into Deep Sliver’s latest production. The title cycled through multiple developers, the launch date was rolled, and the combination of a nonexistent PR presence grouped with a full on ninja-like stealth launch had me a concerned. In fact, I was outright convinced that Homefront: The Revolution was going to be a mediocre rehashing of its predecessor with a few Call of Duty-like elements sprinkled throughout. However, I gave this title, with is highly intriguing backstory of a North Korean invasion on the USA, a fresh slate and a chance to prove me wrong. Unfortunately my preconceived notions were right, as HomeFront: The Revolution doesn’t provide gamers with much of a reason to continue the fight and liberate occupied America.
One of the few main highlights comes during the opening sequence as gamers are brought up to speed on the state of America and its new chief in town. Sure, the story of how North Korea took down the USA through selling them highly technical military weaponry only to turn it all off with a push of the button was highly illogical, super cheesy, and just plain odd. However, it seemed like the perfect platform for a wild and crazy first-person shooter - think about Halo’s ridiculous storyline. Unfortunately, I was let down as soon I completed the launch mission - the game started to feel more like reading a geometry textbook (sorry, math homies) than a riveting exploration of a creative concept.
The storyline as a whole is just plain bad- it feels like a terrible short film featured on everyone’s favorite garbage television station of yesteryear, The Hallmark Channel. The character acting is predictable and just plain hard to watch. Guys get killed but we never know why or who they are within the grand scheme of things. Characters are never fully introduced nor are their personalities ever fully fleshed out. The main character gets the tar beat out of him by some rebel thugs but then somehow gets invited to join their crew and provided with guns and Molotov cocktails. The direction of the story and how it’s presented is odd, lackluster, and eventually becomes similar to a household chore in its mundane and stagnant movement.
The controls are very Far Cry-ish, with a mix of early '90s DOOM in their clunky rotations and over-exaggerated ducks and jumps. I had to check and see that my PS4 hadn’t mysteriously morphed into a Windows 98 machine as my character awkwardly strafed from side to side as if he were wearing shoes three sizes too big. The other annoying aspect comes from constantly sticking to portions of the environment while having a rather difficult time scaling objects without a running start. The shooting mechanics are straight-up atrocious - tracking and shooting enemies is like trying to snipe a deer with a handgun from a few hundred meters away. The one highlight of the controls came in the ability to sprint faster than expected, which came in handy when trying to sprint my way through this unfinished framework of awfulness.
AI is another sore point that drags this title down, as the NPCs seem more concerned with hitting their predetermined marks rather than interacting with the main character or the scenery around them. This makes the entire game feel staged and jumpy as the story progresses from one part of the world to the next. I felt like if I doubled back to a portion of the map, but from a different angle, the AI characters might be talking about their weekend plans or what bar they're hitting after pretending to be enslaved by North Koreans. The sense of realism is clearly nonexistent.