When I first heard about the beta for Homefront: Revolution, the first question that popped in my head was: Where did that come from? A beta is expected preceding a game’s launch, especially when there are multiplayer modes involved, but this one just dropped on my lap with no precedent and no hype. Now that I’ve tried my hands at it, I have established that unless I am made aware of a game’s beta release, I should be cautious.
The purpose of a beta is not only to test how a game’s performance is, especially from a technical front; that is the job of the alpha. A beta is supposed to also be indicative of what the game has to offer from campaign teases and playability on a single-player front, to server status and overall performance on a multiplayer one. Further, a beta is launched as proof of development preceding a full release in an attempt to garner as much attention as possible to the game while allowing the devs the liberty to address bugs and glitches before the final release date.
Why did I take time to highlight to you folks what a beta is ideally for? Because this Homefront beta plays like an alpha, and is actually just a tech demo with some features. Homefront: The Revolution releases in May, and in its current state, I believe it’s going to take nothing short of a miracle for people to jump ship from Rainbow Six and Destiny, let alone Black OPS3.
But before I slam this beta with my gavel, let me run through what I was able to gather. The year is 2029. The Great Korean Republic (GKR) has invaded the United States, and while their occupation was swift, the resistance has started to gain momentum. The GKR’s center is located in Philadelphia , and this is where the events of the game are meant to unravel. You play as Ethan, a gun-toting resistance fighter with bullets in his pockets and dreams of freedom on his mind.
With that out of the way, let’s get into the murky details. Any new FPS being released this generation must do so with a will of steel. The competition is real, and the independent, undecided audience is too small to base a AAA game for. For an FPS to stand up to the challenge, it needs to truly introduce something legendary. Homefront, unfortunately, does not, at least not from what I was able to gather from this beta. Weapons are too similar or unconvincing–think a rifle that feels like a pistol or a molotov that feels like a grenade–and the recoil is absurd.
Adding insult to injury, everytime I logged on to try my hand at the multiplayer, which, let’s face it, is the only reason why this game is being developed, the lobbies were almost always void. Blame the limited promotion or blame the people who refused to leave the games they are currently playing, whatever you choose to pin this on, it does not bode well for a game that was developed to eat a piece of the competitive FPS cake.
Maybe this game is aiming to cater to the offline crowd. Against my better judgment, I gave it the benefit of the doubt, and boy was I wrong. The AI is more artificial than intelligent, attacking you in swarms that you can decimate without a hitch, and in no time; all I did was assume a fixed turret position and pulled the trigger. I had more fun staying put anyways; the movement is stiff and dodgy.
I guess I’ll find out if this is all the game has to offer when it launches later this year around May. For now, let me just cut to the chase by laying down my pros and cons.
1- Decent story and voice-over.
2- Solid frame rate.
3- Convincing sound effects.
4- Intuitive UI that allowed easy jump in and out from and to games.
5- It has a Co-op. Yay.
1- Lame AI.
2- Some of the mechanics are really stiff.
3- That UI I praised earlier? It comes with a dose clunky unresponsiveness that hindered my games.
4- Not too many players in the lobbies.
Homefront: The Revolution will be available on PS4, Xbox One (reviewed), PC. A beta code was made available to us by Deep Silver.