Homefront: The Revolution is set in 2029, two years after the events of Homefront and four years into the Greater Korean Republic's invasion of the United States. The GKR has lost the western states which also include Hawaii and Alaska to the Americans, following the Battle of San Francisco.
However, the GKR has shifted their control to invade and capture many of the eastern states, with Philadelphia the birthplace of America's independence becoming their central base. The new Philadelphia is a heavily policed and oppressed environment, with civilians living in fear as the KPA patrol multiple districts in the city.
In the city, a second rebellion is brewing and the resistance grows stronger, being led by protagonist Ethan Brady, but it will require more than strength alone to take down the technologically advanced GKR.
"The original Homefront was quite a linear shooter," said Fasahat Salim, a Crytek designer for Homefront: The Revolution, which will be jointly published with Deep Silver. "That was kind of what we were," with the sequel at the time THQ imploded. "We weren't going completely with it, but it was kind of a level-by-level game.
"When we acquired the IP, all of a sudden we had the freedom to take this game wherever we wanted," he said. "We thought, what better way to do that than just go open-world with it."
Homefront: The Revolution focuses very much on the 'revolution' premise. The overthrowing of a superior dominating force. The gameplay and story from what we have seen so far strikes a strong resemblance to The Hunger Games type of hypocrisy. The dominating forces have far superior weapons and tech but their will is proving not as powerful as the resistance.
This set up means that tactics and distraction should be your primary routes in and around the world of Homefront however if you can get your hands on some serious ordinance you can always take them on directly.
"If you're gonna go in all guns blazing, you're going to get hit with a lot of firepower in return," Salim said. "They've got a lot of guns, they've got a lot of drones, they've got a lot of superior tech that you don't have. All of these things may come together based on how you approach the situation. If you can get in and get out before they have a chance to respond with all of their firepower, you've done well."
Further to our Hunger Games theme theories Philadelphia will be divided into districts of distinct themes and feels, Salim said. As the story progresses, more are unlocked, and the player may travel through any of them as he wishes. They'll be populated by mission givers to advance the main story or sideplots, but also will contain random NPCs who present things for the player to do.
"It's an emerging open world, but everything is happening in that space whether you are there or not," Salim said. "So, the things that actually unravel on the streets, whether that happens with civilians or with the KPA, all of that stuff is going to happen whether you are there or not. So if you're in the middle of a mission and all of a sudden you find yourself in a heated skirmish between the resistance and the KPA, that's just ... happening. You can join that if you want to, or you can use that to your advantage."
The mob of occupied Philadelphia is supposed to respond to your Robin Hood escapades, and inspired or angered enough will harass, delay and obstruct the occupying force themselves. Players will build up this instability in the open world portions of Homefront: The Revolution, and exploit it in the pivotal story missions. You have an idea of how well you're doing in this regard through the accrual of "uprising points," earned for small things like destroying a security camera, or killing a soldier supervising a cleanup detail forced to remove graffiti.
"The more things you do to hamper or dent the KPA, no matter how small that seems, these are all things that contribute to getting people out on the streets," Salim said. "If you can get people out in the streets, there's a lot more stuff that will happen; there are a lot more distractions for you to use. The KPA will have their focus on the people in the streets uprising, and you can go in and do more damage."
There appeared to be few comforts in occupied Philadelphia, however. Daily life appears to be unemployment and angst, with the major career option being resistance fighter. Brady is not supposed to be a trained fighter, though he does have the neck-snapping stealth takedown native to all FPS heroes. We got a tour of his team's hideout, which had an improvised bomb laboratory and an equipment room with useful things like the RC car and a pair of bolt cutters.
Brady also carries a very useful smartphone, which is his means of being contacted when a mission is on . Salim said this is how multiplayer co-op will begin, too as well as a reconnaissance device. Using the smartphone's camera can identify objectives, hazards and also mark moving targets.
The game is set to be released in 2015 for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Is this your kind of first person shooter? Could it rival The Division in 2015?