I must admit, I never went into this Beta with high expectations, however through all the flaws and tedious wait times, Homefront: The Revolution has a few solid ideas wrapped in a pretty generic shooter.
First off, let me state that matchmaking was downright tedious and at most times frustrating. At one stage it took me 2 hours to get into any of the available game modes.
Apart from the excruciating delays, getting started was a very straight forward process: select a character model, choose a character perk and away you go. The main problem was getting into any of the lobbies of the 3 game modes available. I should add here that they could of added a basic tutorial mode of sorts that explained the game mechanics as well as the crafting and upgrade systems.
The one mode that I managed to play through twice, in full, was the Enemy at the Gates, which is a basic “get to a few points to hack the enemy satellites, re-route said satellites to find targets, kill targets and then reach an evacuation site”. The second mode that I spent some time in was Infiltration, but I died two minutes into my first session, and the second time I got in, the connection died soon after and I was promptly booted to the main menu so I cannot voice too much of an opinion regarding the mode itself. I couldn’t even get into the third mode called A Las Baricadas.
During my game time, what stuck out the most is how well weapons felt and responded, unfortunately I could not unlock much more than the standard rifle and pistol. This was primarily due to the fact that I could not get into enough games to level up and earn the in-game currency to unlock new weapon crates. What I had access to felt terrific, the recoil of the rifle and pistol felt natural, and added some skill to mid and long range shots. The disappointing aspect of the weapons is that they mostly sounded like cap guns and lacked that authentic “snap” that you want from modern day shooters.
In addition, enemy A.I. is dumbed down to the point of hilarity, at multiple times, enemies registered that I was right in front of them and did not fire a single shot, some even allowed me to walk right up to them, head-on, for a melee kill. In terms of the enemy designs, they seem very familiar as though they follow similar design moulds as seen in Call of Duty, InFamous: Second Son and Remember Me.
Graphically what is experienced is in line from what you can expect from a Beta with pop-in textures, average lighting effects and the occasional bugs and glitches – one of my team mates was riding on a motorbike and was merrily riding around horizontally! Sadly, there were no damage or destruction physics in the environment and movement animations were more “mechanical” than natural, requiring some serious work to ensure that the game feels like it should be part of the current generation.
Certain aspects of the Beta were pretty solid. The HUDS for maps, ammunition and directive information were fairly standard, but work well. The character selection was pretty boring with only set models to choose from, however the character perks are interesting and are hopefully expanded upon during further development.
I was left thinking that I’m not a hundred percent certain that Deep Silver should have pushed out the Beta so soon. There have been a few reports that what was on display was an early Christmas-time build and certain aspects of the game have been improved upon since then. This claim doesn’t really fill me with much confidence as they should of provided a more recent development build to be tested. With the impending launch of The Division (you can read our Beta impressions of The Division here), Dambuster Studios and Deep Silver have a very difficult development road ahead of them to try and get this game to the polish and high standards set so far in most recent shooters. They will also need to try and show that they have something unique to offer. Hopefully by release they will fix the woeful matchmaking times as well as offer the chance to create your own character rather than select from a handful of pre-made models. The character perks were well thought-out and maybe making them unique and adding some depth will allow for multiple player characters to offer some dynamic combinations in the online modes.
As it stands, with my experience I honestly cannot recommend Homefront: The Revolution based on this Beta. It is not terrible but it feels bland and as though it has all been done before. Here is hoping that some smart design and production decisions are made to ensure that we experience a AAA title come release date.