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Homefront: The Revolution (PS4)

homefront1

In Homefront’s alternate reality, North Korea’s corporation Apex (a stand-in for Apple) blanketed America with their technology – tablets, phones, weapons. When North Korea decided to invade, they flipped a kill switch and shut down their products, weapons included. Thus came bankruptcy, recession, and a devastated economy, bundling a collection of contemporary political fears. Homefront’s US government is not comprised of intellectuals.

There are real world anxieties pushed into Homefront. In time, they’re treated to comical levels. Introductory story beats pan across scenes of debt and exaggerated economic depression. North Korea invades on July 4th, 2025 as if they’re the Independence Day aliens. An unknown narrator shouts about how they stole liberty and freedom, as if spoken by someone at a Donald Trump rally as he mouths off immigrants. Therein is a better storyline – Donald Trump becomes president, then North Koreans invade. Seems plausible.

Personality-less protagonist Ethan Brady is surrounded by ambient sound, relaying messages of both political ends. Homefront uses our own buzzy language against us. Korean forces spout off terror alert levels to hit at conservative constructs and raid homes at will, pointing toward police militarization on the progressive side. Enact the fury of 1984’s Red Dawn – updated national threat aside – and bring an end to both, you must.

Whereas the first Homefront was well pitched from a linear form, this reset borrows the grinding open world of UbiSoft. Do stuff there, do stuff here. Little feels of consequence. The material stagnates and procures an incomprehensibly dumb logic. Radios inside rebel safe houses need switched to rebel radio to inspire the people, as if rebels themselves are unable to work a radio. And, if citizens are not in the safe house, why are they inspired by said radio?

Rebellion remains the most sensible application of an open world. Freeing districts and pushing out invading forces; Homefront finds sense in the one-man army bit. Of course, the army is silent. Brady sits mute as he’s about to be tortured, a case of mistaken identity which could be solved by stating his name, but no, Homefront likes the falsely dramatic tension.

There are days worth of technical hiccups to consider. Homefront’s publicly troubled development brings forth a rushed and clearly incomplete videogame. AI struggles to walk around poles, disappear/reappear at will, stuttering breaks any pacing, frame rates collapse, draw-in is severe, and save files are unable to function correctly. Deeper still are imbalance issues and faulty stealth. Even those issues aside, Homefront wasn’t leaning toward anything other than derivative and falsely patriotic.

1/5

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