Homefront: The Revolution Isn’t Worth the Fight
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.
Is it at least pretty? Well, the visuals are decent for such a wide-open world but are marred by constant frame rate and tearing issues, not to mention the misaligned character builds and landscape glitches. At times it feels more like a PS2 throwback with its jumbled mess of awkwardly-moving characters and painful cutscenes. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the visuals comes in the form of the brief freezes where the game locks up on just about every major loading point. This disrupts any little bit of flow the storyline manages to conjure and destroys any hope of immersion.
The audio is about average, but only when it matches up with the on-screen actions. Frequently the game’s dialog will trail off and became muffled as if the other person is talking from down the hall when in fact they’re standing just a few inches from your character. A few times I noticed the dialog cut out completely, only to return at the end of the conversation, which usually ended in, “do you understand?” Hilarity and frustration all wrapped up into one.
Needless to say, Homefront: the Revolution ‘s overall direction is one big head-scratcher. The developers presented a robust world with a really attractive story premise and some rather awesome map layouts that could have been groundbreaking. The first-person shooting genre is aching for some innovation, and Deep Silver’s foundation could have been that trailblazer. Unfortunately, the storyline, game mechanics, and the audio-visual quality issues just don’t cut it. Homefront: The Revolution is better suited for the bargain bin rather than the hefty price tag AAA games are known for. Hold onto your Andrew Jacksons, as a few solid titles are slated to debut in the coming weeks and months.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 2.5 Graphics
The visuals are decent, but are dragged down by glitches, bugs, and dreadful framerate drops. 2.5 Control
Clunky and awkward controls make movement and shooting a chore rather than an enjoyable experience. 3.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The weapon sounds are spot-on, but the character dialog always seems to be muffled and misaligned. 2.0 Play Value
The story becomes a repetitive and arduous process that only leaves you wondering why you went the distance in the first place. 2.0 Overall Rating – Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend|
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid||2.5 – 2.9 = Average||3.5 – 3.9 = Good||4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy|
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor||3.0 – 3.4 = Fair||4.0 – 4.4 = Great||5.0 = The Best|