Some not-insignificant part of me had, I guess, assumed that first-THQ-then-Crytek-now-Deep Silver’s Homefront: The Revolution was a strictly-singleplayer affair. I don’t know why I assumed this, exactly. Maybe one part “They’d only showed us singleplayer” and another part “Most B-tier shooters die on the vine.”
Suffice it to say, I was pretty surprised when Deep Silver reached out to show me more of this new Homefront last week and I was told we’d be seeing multiplayer. Four-person cooperative multiplayer, to be exact.
You say you want a revolution
Conceptually, it makes sense. Homefront: The Revolution is all about a homegrown guerrilla unit trying to take back Philadelphia from the Koreans. The campaign sees you fighting alongside a bunch of other guerrillas anyway, so the co-op mode takes you one logical step further and says “Okay, those other guerrillas are actually other players.”
Deep Silver’s built out a hell of a lot of customization options, so you can choose your personal favorite flavor of guerrilla fighter—that gun totally goes with that jacket, way to accessorize—and then you buddy up.
This isn’t campaign co-op, though. It’s more akin to Halo 4’s Spartan Ops or maybe Destiny—bespoke four-person scenarios, which play out almost like campaign missions but contained in their own separate mode. Deep Silver says there will be a dozen scenarios at launch, at around twenty minutes per. Then they’re putting out twelve months worth of free DLC, bringing the total to thirty-two scenarios by next year. It’s an impressive amount of post-launch content, and between this and Hitman I’m wondering if we’re seeing a shift away from paid DLC. One can hope.
We played two of these scenarios during our demo: One which tasked us with hacking into some radio dishes, and one night exfiltration mission where we stole a convoy and had to guide it out of a hostile zone.
The good news: Deep Silver’s tightened up the shooting since last time I played. When I got hands-on time with Homefront at PAX last year the guns felt weak and wobbly. This time around, everything felt about as solid as you’d expect from a big-budget shooter.
And the scenarios were a decent showcase for Homefront’s moment-to-moment action. The night operation was particularly engaging, as first we crept up on an enemy outpost, took out the guards outside, battled our way in, led a convoy out into the night, and then encountered multiple ambushes. The pacing is excellent, moments of tension alternating with moments of panic.
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