previews\ Feb 14, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Homefront: The Revolution desperately needs a delay

Recent beta shows Deep Silver has a lot of work to do

Over the last few weekends, Homefront: The Revolution went through two stress tests. They lasted for six hours each weekend (two 3 hours sessions each), for a total of 12 hours. I played one full session each weekend for a total of six hours. At no point in my time playing, did I find that Homefront: The Revolution was anything  close to something that could resemble a playable game at release.

Homefront: The Revolution is currently slated to release on May 17th for both Xbox One and PS4. This can not stay the date if Deep Silver wants to release a playable game. It simply can not. As a beta, things like downgraded graphics and barebone options are to be expected in order for the developer to focus on things like server capacity, framerate, etc. So ignoring things like graphics and even some of the more trivial things like weapon packs, grenades, upgrades, what I noticed most of all was a poor framerate, numerous glitches adn bugs, and a slew of other technical issues that plagued the base game was functioning. 

I played a total of 17 matches in the beta. All of them being the new co-op mode featuring one team of four players versus another. In every match, there were bugs or glitches that rendered the game nearly unplayable. Your character can be either male or female in the game, and regardless of which one you picked they would glitch around the map as if they were Vanellope from Wreck it Ralph. They would actually disappear and reappear slightly further along in the screen. Now, I've experienced rubber banding before, but this was something different altogether. Not only did they glitch, but these glitches removed all physical boundaries as well. If you glitched in front of a car, you'd simply move right through the car. If that wasn't bad enough, the characters' movement was incredibly choppy, even when they weren't glitching. There was no fluidity to their movement whatsoever. In fact, to give an accurate representation, would be if you read. This. Sentence. Like. This. With. A. Pause. Every. Word. And. Not. One. Sentence.

As far as mechanics, I had high hopes for Homefront: The Revolution, but it has a long way to go to be considered comparable to other first-person shooters. It's a shame too, because I love the fact that there is no cursor and simply aim down sights. When you do opt for this setup, however, you need a much smoother firing system. Weapon recoil sends the sights almost halfway up the screen for assault rifles. Even shotguns, which are known for better accuracy at the expense of range, were inaccurate. The weapon sights fly across the screen at light speed, and make it impossible to line up a shot with your glitching enemies. Each match turned into a "spray and pray" and all strategy had to be thrown to the wind.

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Normally, with four-player teams you can arrange some sort of strategy; Up the middle, each side and a long range sniper. There is absolute zero chance for this in the current state of Homefront: The Revolution due to the firing system. I lost count of how many times I was either killed or killed an enemy by having to walk directly up to them in order to get a confirmed hit. At a certain point, two of my teammates were dead and unable to be revived due to the sheer number of AI enemies nearby them. It was up to my final teammate and I to win the match. We approached the mission point which was located inside a building. As I entered the building, my teammate remained outside  as a guard taking cover behind a vehicle. An enemy approached my teammate as I was in building and, of course, he glitched as my teammate was forced to walk up for a point blank shot. Now, he glitched right into the building I was in. He simply went right through the wall. If that wasn't bad enough, it sent him up to the 2nd floor where I was because the point of the 1st floor he glitched into was blocked by a wall!  He ended up right behind me, which I couldn't see because I had to disarm the mission point, and I took a round to the back of the head. Boom. Dead. Even my two other dead teammates, who were both spectating my character at that point, were screaming "What the F*@! was that!". In fact, it was so obvious that I received an XBL message about  a minute after from the very player who killed me that simply said "Thank god for that glitch :)"

Often times the next part of the match did not start when you approached the mission point. In order to win the escape mission, you had to make your way to a waypoint and avoid the countdown timer skipping time. At one point, it went from 29 seconds remaining to just 13, and our team lost by two seconds when we obviously would have made the evac. The maps are completely wide open and provide very little cover. It doesn't cause an issue with getting hit now since the firing system is so screwed up, but IF it is fixed prior to release players are going to be getting picked off left and right without knowing what hit them.

It's a shame glitches and bugs are plaguing the experience, because Homefront: The Revolution does have some things going for it. Ammo is extremely short lived. Similar to Halo, you'll need to walk over enemies and hit X in order to retrieve some. Each one only provides about three rounds of ammunition or so, but it definitely adds to the strategy portion of the game. Unfortunately, in the current state with the spray and pray aim and bugged enemies, there was no possible way to really see how this could hold up in a fully functional game.

Overall, I don't see any way that Homefront: The Revolution can possibly release on its target date of May 17th. Delays can often be detrimental, but in this case it would be to save the game. The original Homefront was a good game and people are looking forward to this sequel. At this point, it'd be hard to release this game and wait for a post-launch patch because there are simply too many issues.

I hope Deep Silver is able to fix it. I really do. Added to the fact that there is no competitive multiplayer and only online co-op, it's their only hope. At this point, though, I can't see any way that the game doesn't get delayed as it's an unmitigated disaster. I hope I'm wrong.  

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Mike Boccher Just a guy lucky enough to talk about games with you fine people. "Don't ever tell anybody anything, when you do, you start missing everybody".
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