The Average Gamer

Homefront: The Revolution Revealed for Next-Gen Systems

Homefront The Revolution - Molotov Thrower
Homefront: The Revolution was announced today, the sequel to 2011’s rather unmemorable shooter from the now-defunct Kaos Studios. The new game is being developed by Crytek Nottingham and puts you in the shoes of an ordinary American man, resisting the occupying Korean forces. You’re at the tipping point of a full-scale revolution and its your goal to make sure it happens.

Set in 2029, the Korean army has been oppressing the US for four years. The game takes place in Philadelphia, birthplace of the US Declaration of Independence. The Korean Provisional Authority (KPA) have checkpoints, security cameras and drones all over the city. They have giant hovering ships with huge guns that float overhead. You have food rations. It’s definitely asymmetric warfare.

“It’s not a case of you being a hardened military soldier,” said Fasahat Salim, game director at Crytek Nottingham. “You’re not trained. You don’t have the equipment, you don’t have the weapons so everything that you do in our game is basically you creating your own weaponry, you fighting an enemy that’s far superior to you, so you have to use these tactics and that’s what guerrilla warfare is. You don’t linger after you do something. You get in, you do it, you get out as quickly as you can.”

In contrast to its predecessor, Homefront: The Revolution will feature open maps that allow you to approach your objective however you want. I was shown a gameplay demo where the player scavenged for parts to make improvised explosive devices and searched for a resistance supply cache to help break into a building. You’re confined guerrilla warfare, with resistance members running molotov cocktail factories in their kitchens and running out of bullets. When you find the right equipment, you’ll be able to upgrade your guns on the fly, changing the weapon scope, barrel and more.

Homefront The Revolution - PhiladelphiaYou’ll also be able to combine items. The supply cache held a remote-controlled car so our demonstrator combined it with an IED. He then took direct control of it, driving under moving street cars to hide it from the drones, before neatly nipping into the building’s secure entrance and blowing it up for a diversion.

This is just one of the ways that you could tackle the building and Crytek assured me that there are plenty more. The game’s open world will respond to your actions. There’s a full day-night cycle with armed patrols and civilians going about their business until you and your merry band come in to wreak havoc. “Philadelphia at the start of the game evolves over the course of the game ,” said David Stenton, the game’s producer. “So by the end, you’ll see the revolution in full swing. At the beginning of the game you’ll be under the complete boot of the KPA.”

As well as the full single-player campaign, there’s a co-op mode that offers a series of maps for you and three friends to tackle. You’ll be able to create your own male and female guerrilla soldiers and become the Heroes of the Revolution.

Since the mid 2000s we’ve been hearing reports in the real world of military strikes on civilian targets, with schools allegedly being used to hide military combatants. More recently, US drones being used against civilians are an ongoing topic in the news. I asked Salim if the game’s setting of ordinary people against an oppressive, overwhelmingly-powerful military force would engage these issues in any way.

Homefront The Revolution - Revolutionaries“From a political point of view, no, we’re not really focusing on any of the politics of it. For us, guerrilla warfare offered us an opportunity to provide a gameplay experience that was very different to what you can find in most first-person shooters at the moment.”

I asked how this apolitical stance affects the way they build the game. Do they specifically try to avoid scenarios that may parallel events like the 2004 Mukaradeeb wedding party massacre?

“We try our best to avoid it as much as we can but we feel that it’s a premise that allows us to provide an experience that maybe the players wouldn’t experience otherwise. We’re trying to be as true to the situation as possible. At the end of the day it is a game. It’s not meant to be a political statement on anything, that’s not what we’re going for. We always have the game at heart and what we want the game to be and what we want it to represent from a gameplay perspective.

“I think everyone who plays it, it’s subjective. People can take whatever they want from their own experience and I think that doesn’t only apply to games. It applies to every other medium as well. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we are creating this experience just to basically glorify these bad things that are happening in the world. It’s just part of the story and the experience that we want to tell.”

Homefront: The Revolution will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Linux and Mac in 2015