Crytek, the German studio best known for the Crysis series, made headlines recently with their newest project, Homefront: The Revolution. The sequel to 2011’s staggering first-person shooter that showcased a harsh view of America as it buckles under siege from North Korean armed forces, Homefront: The Revolution looks to build upon the established world of its predecessor, with Crytek taking on the game’s development because of the interesting and unique premise presented in by the franchise.
Homefront: The Revolution was shown prominently at this year’s E3 show, with an impressive reveal trailer as well as a private demo. The demo established that there will be a lot to look forward to when The Revolution releases, as Crytek has built their reputation by creating video games that feature tight gameplay and absolutely stunning visuals.
The E3 press demo took place in The Revolution’s main setting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Set four years into North Korea’s occupation of America, The Revolution paints a picture of a country at its breaking point.
Homefront: The Revolution is set in Philadelphia largely because of the city’s historic importance to America’s independence and freedom. In The Revolution, the KPA has chosen Philly as their central location of operations, seeing this choice as a proverbial middle finger to citizens of America. Besides being the main location for the KPA, Philadelphia is also the main city for the anti-Korean resistance fighters in The Revolution.
Crytek has created an open-world version of Philadelphia in Homefront: The Revolution, promising plenty of free roaming gameplay with plenty to explore and uncover in the city. Philadelphia is presented as a dynamic and constantly evolving city in The Revolution. This effort to create a city under military duress that feels alive permeates through every aspect of The Revolution and it is great to see numerous NPCs in the game truly illustrate what it is like to live in a country that is under extreme military control. In The Revolution, it is commonplace to see NPCs actively attempt to fight KPA soldiers and vice versa, creating for a dangerously hostile city throughout the game.
Unlike other titles developed by Crytek, the main character in Homefront: The Revolution is no super soldier, but rather an ‘everyman’, the type of person that players will be able to see themselves in. This concept of the everyman attempting to ignite a true revolution against an oppressive military force is apparent throughout the demo and is sure to be consistent throughout all of The Revolution.
As a member of the resistance, players can expect to engage in dangerous and brutal guerilla warfare. In order for the resistance to grow, much of the gameplay in The Revolution will task players with spying, assassinations and hit and run tactics. Running in guns blazing will not be a solution in The Revolution, as you will be killed in moments.
The demo that was shown at E3 was a live playthrough, allowing all who watched to see how the guerilla-inspired gameplay will play out. Set in the Yellow District, a part of Philadelphia that is essentially a ghetto zone, the dystopian landscape of The Revolution instantly stood out. Visually, the turmoil of the area came alive in the demo in such a way that the depression of America’s citizens came alive. In one moment, a citizen was brutally beat down after urinating and yelling at a passing KPA drone. The tension feels palpable at every moment in The Revolution.
Similar to how Crytek has nailed down the depressing atmosphere of Homefront: The Revolution, so too has the developer done a wonderful job of creating character models and textures that feel lifelike. The animations of each character encountered during the demo moved crisply and fluidly, adding an impressive level of believability as NPCs mill about during their day-to-day lives.
These characters, when examined in conjunction with The Revolution’s dark environmental tones play to one another perfectly, working wonders to paint a downtrodden picture of one of America’s greatest cities. The demo progressed, showcasing The Revolution’s impressive lighting system and masterfully textured environments.
In The Revolution, players will be able to use their smartphone in order to tag enemies and objectives in a manner that will be very familiar to those who have played Crysis. Additionally, the smartphone serves as a general UI, allowing players to gain more information at any given time.
During Homefront: The Revolution’s demo, numerous KPA drones were flying about, each of which had to be avoided. During these moments, the player was able to pick up parts from a drone and piece them together in the form of a permanent upgrade to his equipped weapon. Little touches like this make the world feel alive and dynamic, as players will be able to directly interact with the game’s world in order to further their efforts for the resistance.
Homefront: The Revolution features a traditional weapon wheel, from which the player was able to select an RC car in order to infiltrate a KPA base for a mission. The RC car serves as useful device for recon missions, which became apparent as the player was able to maneuver the vehicle underneath a nearby truck in order to stay undetected from patrolling troops.
Ultimately, the player drove the RC car further behind enemy lines and then detonated it, kicking off a violent gunfight.
The action in The Revolution is nothing short of frenetic. Outside of traditional FPS mechanics (all of which appear to be top-notch in The Revolution), the game also features an intuitive parkour system, allowing for quick maneuverability when in the heat of battle.
Outside of combat, gun improvements and upgrades will be a key component of The Revolution, similar to the previous mention of the KPA drone parts. As players uncover more parts, the modular functions of the weapons in The Revolution allow for piece-by-piece upgrading, keeping the gritty spirit of resistance and revolution alive and well during every moment of the game.
Homefront: The Revolution is set to release next year for the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac machines and Linux. Fans of alternative history games and tight FPS titles will surely find a lot to enjoy in the bleak and brutal world of The Revolution.
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