Homefront: The Revolution

3 June 2016 | 6:27 pm | Frankie Mann

"Clunky controls, a dull storyline and irritating bugs made the game hard to enjoy."

The first Homefront game was released in 2011 to mixed reviews, so it was a real surprise when a sequel was announced. Homefront: The Revolution, looked promising, with a not-so-distant future seeing Korea invading and controlling America. Despite the intriguing storyline, the game fails to hit the mark, sizzling out early into the gameplay.

An opening cut scene quickly covers the backstory, with a deep, booming voice explaining how the USA used Korean-manufactured weapons, only for the Korean People’s Army (KPA) to use this against them. But apart from this fairly in depth intro, a solid plot is seriously lacking, with the protagonist – Ethan Brady – blindly following orders for the resistance. After holding your hand through the first hour – even giving you an objective to pick up your gun, Homefront: The Revolution quickly drops you in the deep end, bombarding the screen with text messages, quests and hints.

With only 20 hours of gameplay, Homefront quickly becomes repetitive; clearing out areas for the resistance to use as a base and helping defend civilians from the KPA. Spending time in the Yellow Zone – where residents live – results in a lot of hiding in dumpsters or portaloos, waiting for the army to stop hunting you down. A run-and-gun option is not possible later in the campaign, with enemies greatly outnumbering you, and it only takes a few hits to die. Stealth is a major aspect of the game, with gun and clothing upgrades, and distractive explosives helping you sneak past the KPA instead of confronting them.

Despite being out for over two weeks there are still major glitches – the game completely freezes every time it auto-saves. Although sneaking is important – and encouraged – I found myself constantly clipping objects and often getting completely stuck. The use of a smart phone as the in-game menu is an awesome idea, however when using any of the options there was an annoying, high-pitched screeching sound that made zero sense.

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Homefront: The Revolution also comes with a fairly small, online multiplayer mode with a handful of missions. You get to create your own character and select a backstory, with past professions ranging from dancer, to receptionist, to video game developer; giving them a unique skill to help out in combat. However every time I attempted to play online I was unable to find other players, and although I could complete the missions on my own it did defeat the purpose of having a multiplayer section.

Despite a promising concept and beautiful, lived-in visuals, Homefront: The Revolution fails to compare to other first person shooters. Clunky controls, a dull storyline and irritating bugs made the game hard to enjoy.