E3 2014: Crytek Offers Insight into their Rebellious New Shooter, Homefront: The Revolution

After acquiring the Homefront IP back in 2008, following the bankruptcy of former publisher THQ, Crytek began work on the game’s sequel, handing off the development to their Crytek UK branch. Wanting to build-upon the work of the previous developer, Khaos Studios, they wanted to keep the original premise of the game, but expand upon it in a major way. Going forward with the title, they wished to strip away anything they saw as “excessive,” focusing purely on the meat of the experience – guerrilla warfare. In doing so, they saw that making the second title in the series an open world was a must. Allowing players unlimited access to the world around them, and allowing them to approach and alter it anyway they deemed fit; not much unlike the titles that Crytek as a brand in known for with title such as Far Cry and Crysis.

The original Homefront took place in January 2025 when the Korean People’s Army (KPA) attacks the US. In The Revolution, we find ourselves four years into this occupation and the KPA is ruling with an iron fist. They have taken full control of the country and are oppressing US citizens. They’ve set-up their capital in Philadelphia – the main stage for the game. Why this location in particular? The developer found it to be a “significant statement of intent,” signifying “a complete power shift” with “Americans being a falling power at the end of their economic decline” with the Koreans coming in to take over. Philadelphia is the birthplace of independence. It’s where the declaration was signed, it’s home to the liberty bell and, to the developer, it was a place most fitting a setup for the game. It’s hard to question this symbolic setting for a fight for US freedom to take place.

Players take on the role of Ethan Brady, your average everyman. He’s not a trained solider or ex-officer. He’s just another oppressed face on the streets of Philadelphia, hoping for a better future. And he’s ready to fight for it. Question is, how do you take on such an impossible feat? How can your average citizens hope to take on such powerful a force – one that has all but obliterated all resistance in its motion for power? That answer, obviously, is guerrilla tactics. Ambushes, assassinations and subterfuge are the name of the game in The Revolution and players can expect to employ all of these tactics during their time with the title. Fast and deadly hits on the enemy and then a quick getaway. Rinse and repeat. You never want to give them enough time to respond, or this revolution will be one short lived.

The Revolution won’t just be another standard FPS, mind you. You can’t build a resistance on force alone. You need supplies and equipment, and the game is going to task players with their acquisition. It is up to the player to scavenge this open world for any weapons, armor and medical supplies needed to keep your rag-tag army going. That does, of course, leave you with building the army. Something that game leaves at the hands of the players themselves as well. Throughout the game, players will come across many different resistance cells, and it’s up to you to unite them in the cause and help bring down this almighty army. The more players put in, the more infamy they gain and the more people will be willing to join their ranks.

What’s more, the developer promises some interesting things such as procedurally generated day and night cycles, a dynamic weather system, complex AI for friendlies, enemies and even NPCs, but most importantly, a highly-reactive world that responds to the players actions and choices throughout the game.

A weapon upgrade system much like the one seen in the Crysis titles is included, allowing certain weapon elements to be swapped out on the fly. According to the developer, they wanted to incorporate certain elements of their past titles, ones that they knew worked and worked well, in order to help craft something that felt new, though familiar. Another familiar feature is the ‘tagging’ mechanic also seen in past Crytek titles, giving players the opportunity to scope out the soon-to-be battlefield and keep track of enemies, points of interest and potential breaks in defenses.

This bit of insight into the design and overall idea of Homefront: The Revolution, combined with the rather impressive in-game footage to be had from E3, has this upcoming title showing a lot of promise. Whether or not The Revolution surpasses the rather middling attempt at this interesting premise that was the first one remains to be seen, however.

As early a showing for this game as it is, we’re quite excited to see more from this title. The game has a unspecified 2015 release at the moment and will be available for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Linux and Mac.