Homefront: The Revolution Review

Homefront: The Revolution

by Steve Boxer |
Published on

Homefront: The Revolution is a properly open-world first-person shooter, set in an intriguing sandbox made possible by a wildly improbable premise that only the most out-there of conspiracy theorists will fully embrace. Set in 2029, capitalism has collapsed like a house of cards, plunging America into chaos; meanwhile North Korea has become the world’s economic powerhouse, and the venality of American politicians means that North Korean troops – the Korean People’s Army or KPA – ruthlessly patrol the streets of American cities. The game casts you as an American freedom-fighter on the streets of Philadelphia.

It’s the sort of premise to which only a game (and to a lesser extent Red Dawn) could do justice, but truly open-world first-person shooters are among the most difficult games to make and, sadly, that is more obvious than it should be in Homefront: The Revolution. A slow frame-rate lends proceedings an unwelcome level of jerkiness and egregious glitches are a familiar occurrence.

Technical difficulties aside, however, there’s much to admire. Despite the improbability of the storyline (and a tendency by your fellow resistance-fighters to speak in wince-inducing clichés), the dire situation feels utterly believable. The KPA has carved up the city into three zones – the Red ones being wastelands into which the KPA rarely ventures and the resistance flourishes; the Yellow zones being where the remaining population now lives, constantly harassed by KPA troops; and the Red zones being where the KPA has set up bases and kicked out the locals.

The gameplay morphs accordingly: in the Yellow zones, you must employ a degree of stealth, while in the Red zones you enter mob-handed and must pull off closely co-ordinated missions in what feels most like a conventional first-person shooter.

The sense that you are part of a resistance movement taking on a vastly better-equipped foe is thrillingly palpable, and enhanced by a superb crafting system which lets you turn junk into things like remote-controlled teddy-bears you can detonate when curious soldiers inspect them, and throwable bombs that can take out armoured cars. Throw in a vast number of side-missions and, particularly in the Yellow zones, innumerable random chances to intervene against KPA brutality – thereby recruiting more boots for the cause – and the end result is meaty enough to prove a dream for inveterate tinkerers.

Homefront: The Revolution

The co-operative multiplayer is decent but, like the single-player game, far from glitch-free. It consists of six very long and difficult missions which require you to form a fire-team along the lines of those in Rainbow Six Siege, where everyone needs to fill a specialised role. While you can recruit random resistance-fighters to help you in single-player missions, it’s only in the multiplayer that you get a real sense of being in a team and fighting for survival.

Homefront: The Revolution is the archetypal curate’s egg – in many ways, particularly its refusal to content itself with being yet another generic first-person shooter, it’s exemplary. But its ambition has got the better of it, resulting in a technical shoddiness that sullies the whole experience. It won't come into its own until Dambuster Studios fixes the glitches, but even now, if you’re a first-person shooter fan looking for something different, and aren’t expecting the level of polish that you find in the likes of Doom, it’s still worthy of consideration.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us