But all of that pales in comparison to the ending, which rushes through a dozen plot points, conjures multiple deus ex machinas out of the air, and comes pretty close to eclipsing the “Press X to hide in mass grave” grimdark absurdity of the first game. The last ten minutes left me in awe, and not in a good way.
The sad thing is: The core of the game is excellent. The core of the story is excellent. The alt-history setting is strong, the idea of fighting a war from the shadows—yes, give me more of that. It’s what drew me to Crytek’s initial presentation back at E3 2014. Like the original Homefront, you want it to work. You want it to provide a compelling counterpoint to the rah-rah-fighter-jet-flyover bravado of Call of Duty and Battlefield. You want to see Homefront: The Revolution achieve what it’s clearly aspiring to achieve.
But it’s so technically janky that all it manages is farce, its most serious moments undercut by unintentional hilarity. Case in point: Towards the end, the game asked me to decide whether a certain character should live with his guilt or be executed. I killed him, and what should have been a serious moment of reflection turned silly when the game decided to surface the warning it uses every time you unintentionally kill an allied NPC—“CIVILIAN KILLED!”
Homefront: The Revolution ends up a more fitting sequel than I think anyone could’ve predicted. Like its predecessor, this is a kludged-together mish-mash of trendy design ideas from other, better games, glued to a story that punches far above its weight and aspires to something much greater.
It’s a shame the finished product feels like a work-in-progress, because there’s so much to want to like here. I just can’t.
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