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North Korea has taken over the United States and the entire country lies in shambles, its citizens forced to live in makeshift slums while any who oppose the new governance are quickly silenced. This is the world of Homefront: The Revolution; a world you’re going to help liberate.
During a behind-closed-doors session at the Deep Silver booth during the 2014 E3 conference, Crytek Nottingham Game Producer David Stenton introduced a small room of spectators to the world of Homefront: The Revolution, explaining why Crytek decided to pick up the property following the closure THQ in the first place.
“It’s an IP we thought had a lot of untapped potential,” Stenton said. “It’s a dystopian near-future where the familiar becomes alien. We jumped at the chance to bring guerrilla warfare to a free-roam Philadelphia. We wanted to bring the Crytek pedigree to this type of game world.”
That term, “guerrilla warfare,” was a key ingredient driving the development of this new first-person shooter, putting the player in the boots of an ordinary man who happens to find himself in an extraordinary situation. You, along with your fellow members of the resistance, are outnumbered and, even more obvious for the live gameplay demonstrations, severely outgunned.
If you haven’t seen the debut cinematic trailer for The Revolution yet, it’s a pretty simple set of scenes that set the stage for the new war you’ll be fighting. A lone man, presumably the game’s protagonist, walks down a crumbling city street carrying a box. En route to a nearby gate, he is set upon by a patrolling drone and armed soldiers before being knocked to the ground. The box he was carrying is full of propaganda fliers, and the hook of his ploy finally sets as the real attack comes from behind; an explosion tearing the gate apart and incapacitating the nearby guards. The man picks up a nearby gun and joins his comrades in firing upon the soldiers, eventually taking up an improvised rocket launcher and firing it into an oncoming tank. The scene goes dark, and the words “Homefront: The Revolution” finally appear.
“In the year 2025, North Korea invaded America and, four years later, a resistance is forming,” explained David Stenton. “Philadelphia is home to iconic U.S. landmarks and events. It’s the birthplace of American independence. [North Korea]’s choosing Philadelphia as their capital is a sign of how far the US has fallen. But, if a revolution is going to begin, that’s where it’s going to happen.”
The Revolution is set to be an open world game, featuring a main story and side jobs for the player to get involved with on their quest to freedom. Stenton said the game will offer a “reactive occupation,” with dynamic and evolving environments depending on what the player has accomplished. But what really sets the game apart, however, is the fact that you’re not playing a trained specimen of military perfection.
“You’re not a soldier in this game, you’re an everyman fighting for liberty, your family and freedom,” Stenton said. “This game is all about asymmetric warfare where the enemy has the clear advantage. Within this context, you have to rely on guerrilla tactics and choose the best points to strike back. You’ll need to build your resistance, scavenge for items and construct your own toolkit.”
Similar to the system seen in games like The Last of Us, the live gameplay demonstration showcased the player moving from war-torn streets to nearly destroyed buildings, picking up supplies and crafting items on the fly. Even the player’s firearm can be modified in a pinch, creating a weapon better suited to various situations.
Using a cell phone-like device to scan the areas ahead, the player can mark items of interest like enemy soldiers and cameras. You might be able to sneak up on a lone soldier and take them down silently, but it’s probably best to leave larger groups alone. You can also pick up bricks and use them to take out the cameras, allowing you to proceed without being spotted.
The gameplay demonstration ended with a bang as the player first dropped an RC car onto the ground, then made an improvised explosive device, which he promptly attached to the car. Using his handy phone once again, he then drove the RC car behind enemy lines and detonated it next to a locked door, igniting a fire-fight that hits all of the major FPS bullet points, including ducking behind cover and alternate paths through a given area, allowing for a bit of choice in how one attacks a situation.
From the looks of things, Homefront: the Revolution is shaping up nicely. Players can expect to join the fight for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac and Linux sometime in 2015.