Death of the Critic

The Backlog - Homefront: The Revolution

Written by: Tom Blaich


I have a confession to make. Like many of you reading this, I have a list of games that I’ve been meaning play for years. I have way too many games on Steam, and a stack of cases sitting next to my TV. Close to five hundred games now. Maybe more. It makes me feel guilty. I haven’t touched 90% of them in one way or another. I need to fix that. So this week, I dug deep into my backlog and pulled out a game. I want to play all of them; I’ve just never had the chance. Now’s the time.

The first
Homefront was forgotten rather quickly, another in a long line of generic modern shooters that everyone forgot about. I, like many others, thought that it would be a forgotten piece of video game history, a curiosity that somehow got made. So, when it was revived as a semi-open world, first-person shooter, I was baffled, to say the least.

Nowhere along the way did the question of why seem to ever appear in the minds of the studio that made this game. Why is this game open-world? Why are there more collectibles in an area than there are required to pick up? Why can a handgun become a crossbow and an assault rifle a grenade launcher, but I can’t carry more than two rifles? But most importantly, why did this game get made?

It doesn’t make a great case for itself. It is an amalgamation of weird, one-off ideas crammed together haphazardly into a product and sold. Each “open-world” area is small as hell, and as you run back and forth through rubble strewn streets, you realize how boring the game actually is. You do the same activities over and over, with five-minute-long story missions peppered throughout. You use the same guns, fighting the same enemies, over and over again. Nowhere does it do anything to make itself stand out.

It's glitchy, buggy, and more than a little bit ugly. I was initially intrigued by the on-the-fly weapon modification system, but it’s just a worse version of the same system from
Crysis. You can’t pick up weapons off of the ground, but you can search enemy corpses for dollar bills and parts to craft throwable weapons. The gameplay simply doesn’t feel great, slow and muddy. Your character doesn’t always respond in the same way when you perform the same action, and many of the in-world animations are terrible.

There are few, if any redeemable qualities present here, and it’s disappointing as hell, but not necessarily surprising to see in the cobbled together mess of a game. It’s a game that I will forget about for a long time before I’m reminded, and for good reason. It’s cursed by mediocrity, brought down by poorly implemented systems, and complemented with a lackluster storytelling. It is the definition of an afterthought.



Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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