The original Homefront was fun but didn’t quite live up to the potential of its premise. New developer Deep Silver Dambuster is well aware of this fact. The team, formerly known as Free Radical, is reexamining nearly every facet of the first game for Homefront: The Revolution.
“There are almost no connections between the two,” says senior narrative director C.J. Kershner. “This is a new chapter in the Homefront universe basically operating off the same premise. We like to think of this as a fresh start as opposed to a reboot or anything like that.”
You’re still an American resistance fighter battling occupying Korean forces in the U.S., though the structure is different. While your character, Ethan Brady, yearns for freedom since the invasion, players have a tremendous amount of it at their disposal. That’s one of the things that Kershner thinks was lacking from the original’s linear structure.
“It was the one part of the premise that we never fully delivered on,” he says. “By taking it open world, you’ve now suddenly got much broader freedom of movement. By skewing the balance of power and making the enemies so much more powerful than the player and the resistance, we actually bring a sense of vulnerability back into shooters, which is something that they haven’t had for a while. Running away in a first-person shooter is almost unheard of, and it’s something that happens all the time in our game.”
Brady and the resistance have to lay low and rely on their resourcefulness to survive. That manifests itself in a variety of ways. Players can use a wide array of tools in what Dambuster refers to as the guerilla toolkit, including remote-hacking devices that turn the turrets of enemy APCs on their own men, RC cars that deliver explosive payloads, and more. The attachment system turns run-of-the-mill assault rifles into flexible weapons that can be modified on the fly. Need to take out a sniper? Swap out the scope and you can hit back from afar. Or you could do something more extreme and convert the whole thing into a limpet-mine-firing nightmare.
Homefront: The Revolution emphasizes combat, but it’s also attempting to tell a grounded story about life under occupation. “So often, shooters forget about all of the people who are not carrying guns,” Kershner says. Players will learn more about life in this grim new reality through a blend of missions and environmental storytelling next year