Stutters, FPS drops, downright hanging – these are some of the best words that describe Homefront – The Revolution. Not to mention that the story is a drag as well. Don’t get me wrong, it has a novel approach towards first person shooters, but it fails to deliver at every step of the way.
Homefront is about defending post-invasion America occupied by North Korean forces. In an alternate timeline, North Korea is the world’s biggest superpower, providing the US with all sorts of technological innovations. However, these come with a back door and one fine day, North Korea decides to shut all of it down, rendering the US defenseless. Cut to present day, where you play as Ethan Brady, a member of a resistance group rebelling against the KPA forces in the city of Philadelphia.
The game starts kind of okay, with enough mystery and stealth to keep you engaged for about an hour. But once the actual action begins, that’s when everything starts going downhill. The aiming is a little clumsy to begin with, and the constant stuttering makes it almost impossible to kill a single target without emptying an entire magazine. The game runs pretty smoothly when you’re in a closed space, because the moment you go outside, the framerate drops like an anchor, and this goes on throughout the game. Also, we you pause and unpause the game, the visual assets take a considerable amount of time to load, making the whole experience a little botchy.
The Revolution has its strengths as well. The downtrodden city of Philadelphia has zones, each having noticeable differences. The yellow zones look like ghettos with silent refugee camps, while the ones where Korean officials reside look a lot better, with streets full of people with resentful chatter. There are easily notable massive piles of garbage fires and trash heaps on the streets. There are narrow, underpopulated streets where you can walk freely and also wider roads where KPA personnel and drones force you to sneak around. As the KPA has a huge number as well as technological advantage over the resistance movement, stealth is an important part of the gameplay.
The story also compels you to wonder about an alternate universe, where you might have to live and struggle under the rule of an autocratic leader. The population is filled with fear, no one can speak openly and Who knows, though? Maybe this depiction predicts the future of the States under Trumps’ presidency. We certainly hope not *shudders*.
The best thing about the game is probably its weapon customization system. You can convert your pistol into an SMG, or an assault rifle into a sniper rifle. Don’t like your crossbow? Turn it into a flamethrower and incinerate your enemies. It’s innovative, fun and does take your mind off the rather disappointing gameplay. But that doesn’t last for long. You’re brought back to the rather forgettable missions and story, hoping to end the game as fast as you can because after a point, it simply becomes intolerable.
Homefront: The Revolution could have been a great game if it weren’t for it’s cumbersome and crass gameplay. It has a good setting and a noteworthy plot but fails to make an impact. The actions you make in the game do have an impact and do not feel like a completely pointless chore, but the longer you endure it, the harder it becomes to care about the game.
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