Advertised as an open-world fps, Homefront: The Revolution plays more like a shooty Assassin's Creed game (sans wall-climbing): stealth, take strongholds, fight for a few minutes, then run, hide, and wait for the alarm to dissipate before getting back to it. Stunning graphics, decent world design and story are marred by repeated activities, heavily re-used character models and numerous minor complaints. If you don't mind a little grind, it is a 7/10 and worth a purchase at $10 or less.
Total size on my hard drive (game + story DLC): 69.2 GB
++ Stunning graphics, courtesy of Cryengine.
+ Detailed environments. Smoke, dust, rubble, garbage, worn brick. Even house interiors (seen through windows) are highly detailed.
+ Secret routes. Look for ways up and around obstacles. A climb up scaffolding can provide access to a building's interior - and a secret stash of supplies. Stuff like this is everywhere. Also applies to Stronghold takeovers; there is always more than one entrance.
+ Hit-and-run gameplay reminiscent of the old Assassin's Creed games. Brady doesn't have much health; pitched battles are suicide. Get in, hit your target, get out, and (if an alarm was raised), hide.
+ The more territory you take from the enemy, the more Resistance NPCs spawn in a district (who will provide combat support). The more territory you take, the more brazen your actions can become.
+ I loved the massive aerial drones patrolling the districts. If its seeker beam finds you, you are done for. 20-30 enemies will immediately spawn (with mech backup). Forced me to move carefully and stick to buildings and cover, even in wide-open zones.
+ Motorcycle through the debris. Don't want to be stealthy? Maybe speed is more your style. Bikes are everywhere, and make rapid travel a snap.
+ Mod your weapons. Simple and easy to understand. Completely change the way a weapon functions with a few quick clicks.
+/- Story does nothing unique, but is well-told.
+/- Story DLC are excellent, though short. Recommended if you can get them cheap. Aftermath and Beyond the Walls conclude protagonist Brady's story; The Voice of Freedom is a brief prequel starring another character.
+/- Not a massive sandbox open world. Each district is its own area, with loading screens connecting them.
+/- Recruit Resistance NPCs to help with a fight. Nice in theory, but their bad AI results in them dying almost immediately.
+/- Silent protagonist in the main campaign, but not in the DLC. Odd.
+/- Optimization is still meh. Max settings @1080p saw an average of 40-50fps on my RX 470, which isn't bad (this is CryEngine we're talking about).
+/- Soundtrack works. Nothing special. But kudos for having different combat and ambient themes for different districts.
+/- Some grind involved. Same activities and enemies in every district. This puts the focus on the level design (which is excellent), but it can feel same-y after while.
- Multiplayer is dead. If you have some friends, it will still work.
- Starts badly. The opening doesn't make a good first impression - of either mechanics or characters - and the first two districts underwhelm as well.
- If not for Brady's lack of health, game is too easy.
- Pitched battles are generally a bad idea, but if you can find a choke point, all the enemies will come funneling through one by one.
- No take-back. We spend the entire game taking installations from the KPA, and never once (outside of story missions) do they try to reclaim anything - not a stronghold, not an outpost, nothing.
- Re-used NPC character models. Not uncommon in a big sandbox game, but particularly egregious here.
- Not enough interaction with people. They're the ones we're doing all of this for, and the best we ever get is having a fellow Resistance member say, "You're doing great out there, Brady." At least give me something, some personal stories told through exploring the environment (since we're doing that anyway). Each district already has visual character; what of the character of the people who live there? The closest the game comes to doing this is in the collaborator district.
- Flashpoints are the same activities repeated over and over. Defend a stash, or take out a "duster" launch site, take out some snipers. It's great that the task of taking over the district is broken up with, "Hurry here, folks are under attack!" But it all starts to feel the same.
Despite its faults, I had a lot of fun here. Perhaps I was simply fortunate not to play it at release, but now, this is a competent fps game with a unique setting and gloriously detailed visuals. While not quite as packed with activities as my favorite game of revolt (Red Faction: Guerrilla), Homefront: The Revolution provides far more than its mixed reputation promises. Recommended, and I hope the new owners of Deep Silver, THQNordic, recognize this franchise's potential as a guerrilla warfare fps game.