Everyone deserves a second chance--and that includes military shooters that take a gamble on an atypical premise. After changing hands from THQ and Kaos Studios to Deep Silver and Crytek, the Homefront series is back, and it's looking far better than before.
Homefront The Revolution takes the original shooter's premise of a foreign military occupying the United States and amps it up with new tactics and graphical wizardry. It's slated to hit the Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux in 2015, but we got the chance to check out an impressive vertical slice of this revamped Homefront. Want an early glimpse into the dystopian near-future posed by this slick-looking FPS? Here's everything we know about Homefront The Revolution so far.
It's being developed on the CryEngine
If you weren't already aware, Crytek's proprietary CryEngine is capable of rendering some shockingly pretty in-game graphics. For proof, just boot up the studio's recent efforts like Ryse: Son of Rome, Warface, or Crysis 3. With Homefront The Revolution, Crytek's development team aims to make one of the most believable virtual cities ever seen in an FPS.
"We wanted to push [the idea of a dystopian open world] with the CryEngine as far as we possibly could," says Crytek UK game designer Fasahat Salim. "We made it our mission to take this interesting premise and reinvent it with the power of the CryEngine." The original Homefront looked good by 2011 standards, but the visual fidelity in The Revolution is a huge step-up. Besides the overall sheen of the new-gen visuals, little details like procedural day/night cycles and dynamic weather effects add even more realism to the game world.
The action takes place on US soil in the year 2029
The original Homefront posited a world where North and South Korea reunite, take over the majority of Asia, and invade the United States of America in 2025. Homefront The Revolution takes place four years after the events of the first game--and instead of fighting back against the Korean People's Army in San Francisco, The Revolution takes the action to the east coast: it's primarily set in Philadelphia.
Officials in the KPA have decided to construct their new capital in Philadelphia--a symbolic move meant to disgrace the city's history as the birthplace of US independence. The Philadelphia cityscape in 2029 looks similar to modern-day, but with way more flying KPA drones, dilapidated neighborhoods, and crestfallen citizens. The west coast cities might've been liberated in the first Homefront, but the war still rages near the original 13 colonies.
You play as everyman Ethan Brady
Homefront The Revolution stars a new hero to go along with the new setting. We don't know much about leading man Ethan Brady, besides his name and the fact that he's just a normal guy trapped in a desperate situation. Unlike the first Homefront's ex-Marine protagonist, Brady is entirely untrained in the ways of military combat and recon missions.
Despite his inexperience, Brady will have to ignite and lead the resistance against the KPA, one city block at a time. He isn't alone, thankfully. We don't yet know the specifics, but Brady will be part of a militia / strike team that'll back him up at every turn. It's nice to know that you'll have other pairs of eyes looking out for you when you're trying to take back the US from the inside.
Guerrilla tactics can end firefights before they even begin
When you're a group of gun-toting citizens going up against an army with highly advanced weaponry, brute force probably isn't the best way to go. That's where guerrilla warfare comes in--the kinds of tactics that substitute ambushes, assassinations, and hit-and-runs in place of direct confrontations. In Homefront The Revolution, guerrilla warfare is your greatest--and maybe only--advantage against the KPA forces.
Brady will often be fighting on the frontlines of the battle in Philadelphia, but he prefers to take out his targets silently whenever possible. Stealth kills are crucial to whittling down KPA grunts before a full-on firefight breaks out, if it comes to that (which it probably will). The KPA may have the numbers advantage, but Brady and his squadmates can hit them where it hurts, then disappear into the shadows of the urban landscape before reinforcements show up.
Your weaponry will often be created on the fly
Guerrilla warfare isn't about crushing your opponent with superior weapon technology. It's a much grittier affair, forcing you to scrounge for guns and make your own armaments by hand. Homefront The Revolution emphasizes this by letting Brady craft homebrew equipment as needed. Crytek calls this a "guerilla toolkit" that can help even the odds against the KPA using some seriously DIY weaponry.
As you make your way through Philadelphia's war-torn streets, you'd do well to scavenge for resources like chemicals and gasoline. Add in some rag strips and empty bottles for said gasoline, and you've got the makings of a Molotov cocktail just aching to ignite some KPA footsoldiers. One part of our demo even showed Brady slapping some C4 onto an RC Car, creating one hell of an improvised guided explosive.
Scouting before a fight is crucial
Going into any conflict with the intent of just winging it is a surefire way to get yourself killed, quashing any hopes of leading a revolution in the process. Instead, Brady will use his 2029-model smartphone to scope out points of interest before making his move. Turns out, phones can scan heat signatures in the future--so before you start a skirmish, you'll know just how many armed guards and security cameras you have to worry about.
Knowing about the security cameras will come in handy when you want to perfect the stealth approach, cold-clocking KPA guards when they're distracted (possibly by your own homemade noisemaker). There's even a War of the Worlds-style scene we saw where Brady had to hide right under the nose of an incoming KPA scanner. At one point, Brady threw a brick at a camera, scoring some Uprising Points in the process. We have no idea what these do yet, but we hope to find out soon.
Take back your independence
That's what we know about Homefront The Revolution so far; as 2015 approaches, Crytek and Deep Silver will be showing off more of the game. Are you excited to see the Homefront series making a comeback? Tell us all about it in the comments below.
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