When I was eleven years old, it was a very good year, and I can remember my daily routine vividly. These were the years before I owned a Sony Playstation, and I used to venture to my friends house - everyday after school - to watch him play through Final...
As an Asian-American, I rolled my eyes when I first heard the backstory for the original Homefront during an unveiling event by THQ in 2010. Although it was written in collaboration with a former CIA field agent, it read as if an evil version of Quentin Tarantino had directed a North Korean revenge fantasy: North Korea's Kim Jong-un somehow reunites with South Korea to form the Greater Korean Republic (GKR), Iran and Saudi Arabia conspire to raise gas prices to $19.99/gallon, the U.S. military recalls its troops overseas, and the GKR conquers Japan, Southeast Asia, and eventually the United States with an EMP bomb, an all-out invasion, and Asian bird flu. I didn't make that last part up.
Well, regardless of the origins for this farfetched, paranoid alternate reality, Crytek and Deep Silver now hold the reins of the franchise and they're committed to following through on the story with stronger execution than its predecessors. Set in the open-world city of Philadelphia, Homefront: The Revolution fast-forwards the conflict between the GKR and American resistance four years to 2031. The longstanding occupation has thoroughly discouraged and oppressed the locals, some forced to perform labor like whitewashing walls smeared in "Fuck You!" graffiti. But with successful guerrilla tactics and good-ol' sabotage, you and your ragtag company of rebels might just bring the fight back to the people.
Of course, that's much easier said than done. The masked authority employs heavily-armored, heavily-armed soldiers patrolling every street corner, even robot drones and air support from levitating spaceships and Orwellian cameras spread throughout the city. You'll need to ignite an uprising by using every last weapon you can find and every hit-and-run strategy you can muster. When you're not gunning down enemy grunts around corners and behind cover, you can throw bricks at cameras and remotely control a toy car strapped with explosives to ride beneath tanks. You can also tag enemies with your phone (which somehow still gets service?). And your gun, in particular, can be customized on the fly in real-time, so with only the base of an assault rifle and a few scope, magazine, and recoil attachments, you can furbish hundreds of different rifles to suit your neds.
As you slowly but surely dismantle the opposition, you'll build the strength of the resistance by recruiting other revolutionaries (sounds like our site's kind of game), crafting makeshift weapons and grenades, assembling safehouses and bases, and gathering resources. You and up to three friends can even form a resistance cell and take out the GKR together in online co-op as Heroes of the Revolution. Eventually, your efforts will lead the locals to the highest level of confrontation, when you have the best chance to overtake the GKR and retake Philadelphia.
Though some of these features, like the open world and the online co-op, were not shown, it was clear Homefront: The Revolution is not a past-gen title for Xbox 360 or PS3. The smoothness of the combat, density of objects, and superior lighting effects are possible only with current-gen specs, running on an updated CryEngine that looks to combine the best of Crysis 3 with the face-value attractiveness of Killzone: Shadow Fall (except without all the lens flares).
Targeted for a Mature audience, Homefront: The Revolution is slated for a 2015 release for PS4 and Xbox One at $59.99 and for PC at $49.99.