May 10, 2019 at 9:54 AM #1327
Homefront: The Revolution
Rating: 4.0 – Great
Aiming at an enemy when an ally steps in front. BOOM headshot too bad it was friendly fire
Homefront the revolution, for Xbox one
Rating: 8.0/10; Great
Recommended for shooter fans. Stealth fans might have some fun too.
This game is a sequel to the original Homefront and is an open world sandbox style first person shooter, with heavy stealth elements. Very early on you learn the background about how North Korea took over the US. Wait what? This story premise is so absurd that the only possible way to rationalize it is if it occurs in a parallel universe where Korea took over China at some point in history. Once you get past this part, the story is otherwise fairly good. There are plenty of believable characters with full voice acting and an immersive world that gives the game the same quality as many triple A action games and movies. The only real flaw that stands out is the lack of a clear villain. There is no North Korean commander or anything that puts a face on the bad guys and makes you want to kill the bastard. Even the generic enemies have their faces covered and some speak without accents so it is not clear that the enemies are Korean or even Asian.
The game world is divided into 2 types. Red zones (where you start) are restricted areas where enemies shoot you on sight and you are able to recruit npc fighters to accompany you. Stealth is entirely optional, though it certainly makes combat easier. You have to run and hide from airships though because they tell nearby enemies where you are. Only story missions are required to progress past Red zones. Yellow zones are areas where civilians reside and where you must use stealth. In order to progress past the Yellow zones, you must complete side objectives to raise a meter to 100%, which then causes the citizens to riot and essentially turns the zone Red; allowing you to go on the assault and complete story missions. There are a variety of objectives to complete, such as taking over enemy bases, hacking networks, finding supply caches, side missions, and some collectables. There are also recurring things, such as killing enemies and helping random civilians. The game uses the neighbourhood system found in many open world games, where completing the objective for that hood changes it to your control and allows npc resistance fighters to spawn there, and reduces enemy spawn.
The stealth system is a big part of the game and is based primarily on line of sight. Sound plays a small part, unless you go loud with gunshots and explosions. Enemy sight gives a meter which fills up; when it is full they detect you and attack. This meter is very unforgiving in Red zones. Stealth in Red zones is used to avoid combat and for tactical advantages, while it is essential just to get around in Yellow zones. If you stay in a soldier’s line of sight for too long in a Yellow zone, get spotted by a camera or otherwise do something to get the enemy attention, an alarm will be triggered which causes infinite enemy spawn to converge on your last known position, and to actively look for you. Though you can kill the immediate enemies, combat is untenable and you must escape to hide until the alarm cools down. Hiding spots include dumpsters and the like (which the enemies never think to search unless they see you get in), and building interiors (especially places which require climbing or jumping to access). The enemies are not too bad at searching the immediate area and checking out the rooms of easily accessible buildings, though it is absurd how incompetent they are. One time I continually avoided detection simply by stepping through a window; since it was not a doorway, the enemies never thought to go in. Enemies tend to linger around for a while after the alarm cools off, and new enemies probably spawned in; this is the only penalty for repeated failure at stealth.
Combat in the game is very well done. Shooting is solid, though sometimes objective enemies cannot be harmed until you get close enough to trigger the event (which is far closer than effective range of rifles). Enemy AI is fairly good. They will seek out last known locations and try to flank, though they tend to shout too much and give themselves away. By far the best thing about the game is the easily customizable inventory/weapon system, and game developers can learn a lot from this system. You are able to carry a sidearm and 2 primary weapons. Pressing Â¡Â°weapon swapÂ¡Â± switches between the 2 last used weapons, while accessing the third requires holding the button to access an equipment wheel; an excellent system. You are also able to modify attachments for each weapon on the fly in a very well done interface; a view of the gun comes up with each attachment slot being bound to a specific button, allowing quick and easy attachment swapping. On top of all of this, every weapon (except the rocket launcher) has 3 distinct forms with its own set of attachments, own ammo type and performance. For example, the standard 9 mm pistol can be converted to a .45 smg and a pneumatic pistol. The same interface for attachment swapping also allows conversion to the other forms, though both take time and do not occur while paused, so there are strong tactical considerations. There are also 4 types of grenades and each of those can be freely swapped between 4 styles of deployment (being thrown, remote detonation, proximity detonation, and RC car), giving a great deal of flexibility in combat.
Though this game apparently had a bad launch, it is currently a very well made and entertaining game. Sporting an excellent weapon and inventory system and overall great gameplay, the game is only held back by a few poor elements. The worst things about the game to me were the awkward cell phone interface, and annoying npc followers. Note that I did not play any multiplayer or DLC.
- Excellent weapon swap and attachment swap systems
- Can convert guns on the fly to entirely different guns that use different ammo types
- Can convert grenades on the fly between multiple deployment types
- Progression system based on money gives incentive to loot and complete side missions
- Can craft grenades from loot items, or buy them with money
- Infinite sprint
- Decent story, with lots of voiced dialogue
- Interesting visual effects which affect combat, including darkness, lights, sun glare, dust, wearing a gas mask
- Game world is very immersive, particularly some of the action packed story missions
- Environmental puzzles that challenge the mind
- Optional difficulty levels
- Fast travel, and ability to freely revisit most areas
- Multiplayer mode
- Spotted and tagged enemies show on the mini map, and each type has a unique icon
- Other useful icons appear on the mini map and main map
- Have to get right next to npc allies to recruit them (and they tend to run around); game needs a way to recruit all nearby allies
- Button to recruit (and dismiss) npc allies is the same as use and reload, so it is easy to mix it up when reloading, looting etc
- Npc allies frequently get in the way and block you, or move you while you are aiming. Game needs to remove collision detection between player and npc allies, or give them AI to spread out and take defensive positions all the time
- Npc allies frequently walk in front of you, disrupting shots on the enemy and potentially dying from friendly fire
- Enemies in yellow zones infinitely respawn, and can spawn in anywhere (you can see them pop in sometimes). This can make it difficult to capture locations that require killing all enemies. It would make far more sense for them to spawn at zone entrances and then have to move towards the player
- The map and camera (which can be used to tag enemies to keep track of them through walls) are accessed from the cell phone. This takes too many button presses; press the phone button, then move to the appropriate app, then activate the app. Camera should have its own button. Also, you cannot change stance while using the camera because those buttons are remapped while using it
- Some platforming is required to reach certain objectives. I particularly disliked having to use a motorbike to make jumps and having to use the motorbike to generate electricity (which could theoretically be done by hand)
- A few places require carefully searching for hidden objectives. The ruined hospital was particularly bad because it was so large and some of the objectives were obnoxiously hidden (it took me so long that I looked it up online)
- Unrealistic difficulty in seeing from inside a building to outside on a sunny day
- Your inventory and weapons are not restricted when in yellow zones. It makes no sense whatsoever how you can walk around and blend in with civilians while carrying rifles, rocket launcher, a bunch of med kits and a load of grenades and RC cars
- Objective enemies are often immune to damage until you get close enough to trigger markers to appear over them
- Too many random spontaneous events in Red zones, which come with time limits. Your radio is always going on about these and how you need to help, but why would you drop what you are doing (which is most likely something with permanent gains)?
- Only able to accept a limited number of side missions at a time, and better ones take up more slots. There should be no limit, especially given the side missions are mostly kill X of a certain type of enemies with a certain type of weapon
- Game ends after the final story mission. There is no way to return to the open world and continue playing unless you thought to make a backup save before that mission
- No ammo count for weapons you are not currently using (including alternate forms for guns you are using)
- Silly hacking mini game requiring hitting sweet spots with both analog sticks simultaneously
- Yellow zone stealth is somewhat difficult to pull off, but has very little penalty for repeated failure. It would be more fun to make the stealth a bit easier but require more thought and planning, with failure irrevocably making your job significantly harder so the focus would be on doing it right the first time
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