The original Homefront released in 2011 to negative reception, regardless of the hype and potential the game presented with its setting and Battlefield-esque multiplayer. Soon Kaos Studios shut down and the likelihood of a sequel became grim, regardless of decent sales. Once THQ shut down, hope seemed lost until news broke that Crytek had purchased the rights to the game for a mere $500,000, a somewhat cheap price compared to other game series.
However more problems arose when controversy hit Crytek studios, with rumors of employees not receiving pay and the company having huge losses due to free-to-play business models. Again hope for the sequel became dim, until Deep Silver swooped in and bought the Homefront franchise, saving Homefront: The Revolution.
Despite the impressive setting and storyline, Deep Silver has expressed a complete tonal shift for the entry. The linear concept that the original title held would be set aside, in favor of a open-world experience, with the game being set in Philadelphia – the base of operations for the GKR. In an interview with Polygon, Crytek Designer Fasahat Salim explained their vision of how Homefront: The Revolution would work.
They’ve got a lot of guns, they’ve got a lot of drones, they’ve got a lot of superior tech that you don’t have. All of these things may come together based on how you approach the situation. If you can get in and get out before they have a chance to respond with all of their firepower, you’ve done well. If you’re in the middle of a mission and all of a sudden you find yourself in a heated skirmish between the resistance and the KPA, that’s just … happening. You can join that if you want to, or you can use that to your advantage.
E3 2014, presented a short demo of what fans can expect in the new title. Gone is the bombastic linear story, with a more personal vision and dynamic gameplay. The game now focuses on stealth and tactics rather then rushing out and mowing down your enemies. Because you are part of a resistance, your character will rely more on guerrilla warfare, sneaking through the city of Philadelphia and sabotaging the GKR. The game now has a finer polish, with smoother gun controls and stealth becoming your ally.
Choice has now become an integral role in Homefront: The Revolution. Throughout Philadelphia, the GKR and the resistance will be engaged in war, however the player must make the choice to pick what battles he can or cannot win. In war all choices are wrought up consequence, and this is what Deep Silver wishes to convey to players.
The switch of developers and companies has not changed the overall narrative of Homefront: The Revolution. The year is 2029, two years since the events of the first game, and the Greater Korean Republic have lost the western states due to the actions of the resistance, but their control has now focused on the east. Philadelphia has now become the base of operations for the GKR, the city becoming a police-state under the iron rule of the enemy. Protagonist Ethan Brody decides to use his skills to join the new revolution and free Philadelphia.
The first Homefront had so much potential but fell flat, yet now it has been given a second life, a chance to prove that it can still fill its large shoes. With a greater focus on choice, an open-world, and stealth gameplay, Homefront: The Revolution has a chance to be different from all the first-person shooters releasing in 2015. Despite a rocky ride, I expect Homefront: The Revolution to be one of the most anticipated titles to release this year, and believe it deserves a second chance at proving that the revolution still lives on.