Review Price to be confirmed
What is Homefront: The Revolution?
Coming to PS4, Mac, PC and Xbox One
Homefront: The Revolution release date 2015
Set in 2029, four years after the original Homefront game, Crytek has chosen to bring guerilla warfare to the streets of Philedelphia in Homefront: The Revolution. The game blends open game exploration with guerilla warfare tactics to try and set Homeland: The Revolution apart from its strong FPS competition.
It's been quite a few years between the Homefront games and that's due to the original publisher THQ going down the drain. Crytek picked up the franchise and has built Homefront: The Revolution on the latest Cryengine, which has let it create a vast open world with a dynamic weather and day/night system.
The Homefront story started back in 2025 when North Korea invaded America and The Revolution has taken the game to Philedelphia where the Korean People's Army (KPA) has set up their capital. You play as a regular civilian who has had to learn how to shoot a gun and is now part of the resistance.
You'll need to use guerilla warfare tactics like sabotage, infiltration and salvaging to build up the resistance army and your own skills in order to fight the asymmetrical battles, as the KPA vastly overpowers you in number and power.
During E3 2014, we were lucky enough to see some early gameplay demoed by the Crytek team, and although we couldn't yet play it ourselves, we were mightly impressed by the visual effects and the new gameplay features coming with the game next year.
As with the previous Homefront, the game features a rather saddening juxtaposition of military blockades and strongholds next to the temporary, makeshift homes of the American civilians. Your character, as part of the resistance, is a beacon of hope for the people, but you don't want to make it too obvious to the constantly patrolling militia that you're one of the ones fighting against them.
This is where the game's new technology comes into play. Your smartphone is crucial to communication, discovering your location and creating distractions for enemies. For example, you can use the camera on your phone to tag enemies, security cameras and other items of note in the game, including valuable lootable objects.
Once you've highlighted the security cams, these can be taken out with your silenced weapon, letting you assassinate the armed guards without anyone calling for backup. This was done skilfully in the hands-off demonstration. We saw them take out the security camera surveying a guard attacking a civilian caught in the middle of a graffiti protest. When the camera was out of action, we snuck in behind the guard and quietly took a knife to his throat.
The civilians react to your presence, especially when you perform little protective actions like this. But Crytek promises that through the game the civilians will evolve and their behaviour will change according to your actions. We've not seen enough of the game to find out how this affects gameplay, but you can recruit particularly vocal or reactive civilians to the resistance to fight alongside you.
Although these smaller, more personal events in the open world will be equally important, a large part of the game will be based on infiltrating KPA strongholds with your resistance pals.
We saw the demonstration take us into a KPA stronghold at night, with spotlights sweeping all the time for signs of resistance life. Cryengine makes the spotlights really cut through the dark night sky, and combined with the smoke rising from the civilian camp fires makes for a rather oppressive and very affective game atmosphere.
Before heading into the enemy camp, we quickly modified our gun, which can be done at any point in the game, and then whipped out our smartphone.
After tagging visible enemies and security cameras and noting the resistance tunnel entrance, we used the smartphone to drive a small remote controlled vehicle with a camera mounted on it directly into the enemy base.
This little car can be used to scope out the base before you and your team go in all guns blazing, which could be a fatal move. Although we had to be stealthy when driving it, at one point driving underneath an enemy van to stay hidden, this remote control car seems like an invaluable tool for the guerilla warfare tactics that you'll need to employ in order to have any chance against the KPA.
Unlike the previous Homefront, The Revolution really seems to have ramped up the sense of disproportion between the two armies. The KPA are visually better armed and prepared, while the resistance are very much small fry.
We didn't get to see the full enemy base takeover, but we began to work with our team to take out enemies from afar with ranged weapons and then headed for an underground resistance tunnel that would bring us out at another angle to look at the base.
From the short demonstration we've seen so far, the game is very immersive and although it is open world, the dominance of the KPA means there is always something to hide from or to scope out. This should mean there is plenty to do in Homefront: The Revolution and even from this early gameplay, there's a huge amount of tactics at your disposal to take down enemies.
Crytek's decision to take Homefront in a new direction seems to have paid off, and blending high-tech guerilla warfare with open world exploration makes for an interesting gameplay style. The Revolution's terrifying distopian world and powerful KPA should make Homefront: The Revolution stand out from the likes of Battlefield: Hardline next year.
This is one of the FPS games of 2015 we have a feeling will make a big impression on next-gen consoles.
Read more: Best games 2014