Also available for Xbox One and Windows
Homefront: The Revolution is a hot mess. I mean that with every negative connotation that comes along with it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but this game is, from a technical standpoint, a steaming pile of shit. I don't know what the guys at Dambuster Studios thought they were doing, but it clearly wasn't "release a quality game." Hell, it wasn't even "release a complete game." FFS, in a patch intended to fix minor bugs, they ended up CREATING a major bug - they broke the map, making ALL objectives, both primary and optional, inaccessible. It basically rendered the game unplayable.
Anyway, I pre-ordered this game because I was one of the few people who LOVED the first Homefront game. I have a super hard on for anything post-apocalyptic or even similar (and, in my book, being occupied by the North Korean military counts as "similar"). The game, as far as I can tell, is unrelated to the first Homefront except the same concept and IP. It takes place in Philadelphia under the brutal occupation of the KPA (Korean Peoples' Army). The basic premise is that it diverges from history in the 1980s; instead of crashing with the decline of the Soviet Union, the North Korean economy continues to prosper and boom, reaching a technological level today that most Americans probably tend to associate with Japan. Through the state-run corporation Apex, they achieve effective economic domination globally, buying most of America's debt as well as selling us more or less our entire electric infrastructure and military equipment. When we default on our loan payments one too many times, the Koreans (by this point, North Korea has forcefully reunified the peninsula) just "turn off" America. All of our planes and helicopters fall out of the sky, our ships are just adrift and powerless in the ocean, none of our tanks or trucks or cars will start, and our electric grid is dead.
This, naturally, causes a massive state of emergency, so the generous and benevolent KPA send a MASSIVE military force to help us maintain order and stability. Think King Edward I of England's attitude toward Scotland following the death of Scotland's King Alexander III in 1286. The Koreans quickly set up an iron fisted occupation aided by American "collaborators," people who decided that they'd side with the winning team in hopes of living in less shitty conditions. You play as Ethan Brady, a young resistance fighter with an insatiable lust for Korean blood. Better dead than red.
The game is largely open world, just divided into four or five "districts." Each district has a number of "strikepoints," or strategic locations, that you can capture to increase resistance influence in the district, establish new safe houses, and incite riots among the civilians. Usually there are between 6 and 10 strikepoints per district. Be aware, however, that the trophy for capturing all of the strikepoints is bugged as I PAINSTAKINGLY capture each and every fucking strikepoint in the whole damn game and didn't get the trophy. I'm still salty about that.
Anyway, the gameplay is your pretty standard FPS gameplay except that this game runs at a nice, silky smooth 15 to 20 frame per second. Recent patches have made marginal improvements, bumping the average to 20 or 25, but given the precision that most people prefer in a first person shooter, it's still pretty bad. Honestly, the frame rate is my biggest issue with the game. If it had been at LEAST 30 FPS (though honestly, it's not that graphically impressive a game; if the developers had ever heard the word "optimization" before, they could have gotten it to run at 60, I feel sure), I would have said "Yeah, go out, buy this game, and kill some fuckin' Norks!" But the framerate, man....It's not as bad as Chasing Dead on Wii U (not by a long shot), but it's pretty bad. It's not so low that it's comical, but it's juuuust low enough to screw you up.
There are some other minor bugs. People will randomly just blink out of existence in front of you (I mostly noticed that at the very end of the game), there are invisible walls in what should be gaps between railing or fences (that's a HUGE pet peeve of mine), and bodies will sometimes randomly fly off in a random direction when you shoot someone. There are some other irritations that are more sloppy design than bugs - the game stalls for a solid 5 seconds or so whenever it auto-saves (which it does frequently, even after the patch to reduce that); recruited NPC allies will just stand in front of you like a brick wall, trapping you in a room (and you're not allowed to shoot them); you can carry two primary weapons at a time, but you can't just switch to them on the fly - you have to pull up the weapon wheel and select the other primary weapon while everything is exploding around you.
Also, the flamethrower is REALLY underwhelming, and since that's basically my favorite weapon in any game ever, that's a huge disappointment. All in all, it would be a really fun albeit generic game if the framerate just didn't suck such massive commie nuts. Seriously, fix that one issue, and I'll recommend this game. Until they can get it to run at a solid 30 fps, however, I really just can't recommend this game. I've only played it on PS4, but I'd guess it's no better on Xbox One. It's not much better on PC, either.
Oh, one cool thing, though; there's an arcade machine in the prison area where you can play the first two levels ofTimeSplitter 2.
My Rating - 2 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.