Built with CryEngine technology, Homefront: The Revolution is undoubtedly a visually arresting game - but sadly, one where performance leaves a lot to be desired, on console at least. It's a shooter with lofty goals; an open-world design with dynamic lighting and weather, and top-notch motion capture earn it a glowing first impression. But with general gameplay often running at 20fps and under on PS4 and Xbox One, it's hard to truly enjoy the nuts and bolts of its gunplay. It's a shame, because there's a very decent game beneath its technical troubles - something that's immediately apparent when playing on PC.
We're running each version on the latest patch available - in PS4's case listed as update 1.2. Even fully patched though, it doesn't take long to realise that frame-rates struggle on each console, and that Xbox One often leads in performance for matching tests. From the very first cut-scene Xbox One tops PS4 by an average of 3fps - a divide that's also true of regular gameplay. Neither can be considered a success though and at its nadir, PS4 is prone to 15fps drops, while Xbox One hits a similar 16fps just as alpha effects kick in.
The bad news is this isn't a one-off. Even walking through the main Elmtree 'yellow zone' area causes frame-rates to stick to the 20-25fps range on each version. Again PS4 lags behind Xbox One by a slim but consistent delta, and also curiously features tearing to the top of its output. It's not exactly noticeable, but it's a drop in v-sync that doesn't manifest at all on Xbox One. However, it's a sign of compromise on Sony's machine we just didn't expect by comparison, and with no pay-off in a faster refresh.
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It's been years in the making but Homefront: The Revolution is nearing the end of its gestation period. Developer Dambuster Studios has now begun the beta testing phase, with the first online multiplayer session taking place last weekend. The gaming media were invited along for the ride and first impressions are intriguing: Homefront features a lot of really interesting ideas and there's plenty of potential, but there's clearly a lot of work to be done in polishing up the game in the months remaining before release.
"That's the last we'll see of the Norks today."
Welcome to our second news roundup from Gamescom! The show is now up and running and with it our crack Away Team. We'd tell you what they've been saying so far, but they've helpfully recorded a half-hour chat rattling through it all, including Martin getting IRL blocked by Kamiya. We are hoping this was accompanied by an official badge.
THQ and Kaos Studios' Homefront was certainly interesting. Taking a premise co-opted from John Milius' Red Dawn - and Milius helped with the scenario on the game, perhaps - its redneck fantasy of an America invaded by Korean militia had a gritty, homespun appeal. Homefront did reasonably well - coming out when Call of Duty fever was at a high, a timely release date away from the Q4 churn helped it shift in excess of two million units - and THQ saw enough potential in its set-up to fast-track a sequel.
Crytek UK has announced that its Homefront sequel, now titled Homefront: The Revolution, will be released next year for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Set in an occupied Philadelphia, The Revolution is a CryEngine-fuelled open-world FPS with a focus on guerrilla warfare and optional online co-op for up to four players.
You play as a "freedom fighter", one of a growing number of civilians beginning to engage the Korean People's Army after four bitter years of occupation. The problem is that those in control have all the technology and guns, whereas you can only fight with the weapons and resources you scavenge or craft from your surroundings.
The week before Danny Bilson left THQ in May 2012, he still had hope. He had a plan: Darksiders 2 from Vigil. Metro: Last Light from 4AGames. Company of Heroes 2 from Relic Entertainment. Enter the Dominatrix, the standalone expansion for Saints Row the Third, from Volition. South Park: The Stick of Truth, in production at Obsidian Entertainment. Homefront 2 at Crytek UK. And then there was the unannounced stuff: the next-gen game from Turtle Rock we now know is called Evolve. Patrice Désilets' 1666 at THQ Montreal. The portfolio is long and impressive.
There has never been a worse time to be involved with the games industry. Whether you're a consumer or a developer, a punter or publisher, we are all infected by a creeping malcontent. The combination of a double-dip recession, ageing console technology and poorly financed corporate monoliths have left us with an industry that's too scared to try anything new; where the almighty COD buck has shaped the very creativity and structure of an art-form, leaving anything with a jot of personality or artistic ambition dead on arrival. If it even gets to arrive in the first place.