Time to make America ours again.
The first Homefront was a study in how to almost make a good video game. The graphics were good, but nothing to write home about. The story was cookie-cutter, but hit some surprising notes at the act breaks. The action was standard, yet still had a set-piece or two that remain memorable. Overall, it was a solid C student, skating by to graduation by the skin of its teeth. The sequel, on the other hand, comes out of the gate swinging a little harder. There are still issues, and this is clearly not the “Halo/CoD Killer” of the year, but Homefront: The Revolution is a solid follow-up to a growing franchise.
Homefront starts with a tried-and-true approach. You and a group of rebels exchange some exposition while awaiting a meeting of great importance. You’re set upon by the North Koreans (who have improbably become a competent superpower capable of taking over America) and are taken away for interrogation. The “shocking” murder of your companions seems par for the course, given the obvious influences of CoD and MoH on display here. Then you begin your adventure in earnest.
The world of Homefront is gorgeously recreated and beautifully designed. Apartments are filled with improvised survival implements, and luxury items are trashed and scattered about. In the “red zones,” soldiers patrol in small groups, opening fire on anyone caught out in the restricted area. In “yellow zones,” American citizens struggle to get by amidst roving patrols, random searches, and apartment raids. Events pop-up around the map, urging you to take part in scavenging missions, sudden defense, and counter-occupation operations. Everything feels immediate and desperate.
This is most obvious in the combat, in which you start out woefully outmatched. The Koreans arrive armed to the teeth, sporting advanced technology with unmanned drones patrolling alongside armed soldiers. What began as a humanitarian mission (the history leading up to the game is pretty questionable) turns into an armed occupation. They have the supplies, the men, and the means to keep you under their control for years to come. You start out with a pistol and a little moxie. It quickly becomes apparent that you will not survive a head-to-head fight. Guerrilla tactics, combined with hit-and-run gameplay, is the road to success. Charging into a building guns a blazing is a quick way to bring up the reload screen. You need to play smart, and bring along as many friends as possible.