It’s the child of a storied franchise that has returned and aimed to steal away your first person shooter dollars. Homefront: The Revolution is out now, a game that puts you in the shoes of a freedom fighter in Philly trying to deal with a North Korean occupation.
The game from Deep Silver hopes to continue the tradition created by the original Homefront as a franchise that provides action packed fun, with an alternative slant at history.
Will Powers from Deep Silver believes the title is worth your time and should be added to the deluge of games that snatch away at our ADD brains this year.
Interview with Will Powers
Andy: Its always difficult to decided where to put your first person shooter dollars. Another Contender for that money is here. Home front the Revelation, it’s out on Tuesday so it’s going to be out really really soon. If you haven’t heard about the game, it’s quite a treat. I’ve actually got a chance to play and its a lot of fun. A little bit different to, I’m speaking to Will Powers from Deep Silver, part publisher and developer on the title. Thanks Will for joining the show.
Will: Thank you so much for having me Andy. You pretty much hit the nail on the head there. We’re not trying to reinvent the genre, we’re not trying to do something that everyone else is trying to do. It really is a crowded space, but we feel like Home Front the Revelation brings something new and different here in this open world shooters. Gives players a lot of freedom to do what they want to do in this world.
Andy: Lets hit the stage a little bit because I think the backdrop is really important for this title. It really adds a lot to the experience. Why is this title different, in terms of the story?
Will: So we really like the idea of creating this alternate future. There’s something really cool about taking something that is very families that we set the stage with a near future Philadelphia. We recreate the city using iconic land marks, Independence Hall, there’s the Liberty Bell, there’s one scene right around city hall as well. Using something that is very familiar but adding a little bit of a twist to it.
So its a butterfly effect of north Korea has taken over the entire country, so your in an occupied world. So its familiar, yet alien at the same time. And then that were the game takes place. As opposed to the reality where north America and its civilization is one of the most powerful, strongest cultures in the world, its now the opposite. We turn our head, were at the mercy of another country. So its a really cool role reversal, where you are playing with a lot of tones that are the opposite of what you expect.
Andy: What does that framing device really do to the world in terms of game play? How does this world visually look different, because when you look a the page “north Korea took it over” It runs the gambit of what your imagination could draw after that. So what choice did you guys make to see, I guess the effects of that kind of take over in a world like North America?
Will: Well it’s far and wide, we took the team that actually developed the game. Damn Buster Studios. Based out of Nottingham,UK. But they went out to Philadelphia, they captured footage and actually got access to parts of the city that not tone else was allowed. Civic Center areas, but they recreated these areas that in a very real sense, but then through large statues of dictators and basically turned them into iconic land marks of the opposite culture. So again, taking something familiar and creating this slightly skewed take on it where you almost have to do a double take on things. And that plays with not only the setting but also the game play.
Because its very “David VS Goliath” scenario where you’re the underground resistance movement and fighting against the worlds most technologically advance regime and you’re fighting against them using improvisational tactics, using weapons that are held together duck tape. So the sense of risk and reward is a very real thing that we built into the game play here which is really fun!
Andy: We’ll get more into the game play in a second. I want to know about who we are in this story. What role will we play in this world that has been taken over, I imagine that is has something to do with a revaluation?
Will: You nailed it! Home Front the Revaluation has to do with a revaluation. What we’re calling ” The second great Revaluation” is what is transpiring here. If you look back at the history of the united states, The Declaration of Independence was charted in Philadelphia so the setting that we choose for this game has a great deal of iconography associated with freedom, so that was a contentious and very strong choice that we made when we made the setting for this game. And using that strong background, we wanted to take that and really run with it. You play as a character named Ethan Brady, he is a new recruit to this underground resistance movement. the entire game takes place in Philly while the whole country itself and a lot of the world is under this suppressed regime of North Korea. But this game takes place in Philly.
So Ethan Brady, your going up the ranks with him. You’re basically learning to inspire the people. This is 4 years into a mature occupation so a lot of people are really down on their luck. They’ve been beaten down mentally and physically. They’re living in slums, in ghettos, using ration cards to get food. So when you come to them with an idea of “you need to fight back” their first response is “NO, we have it hard enough as it is” So there’s a really cool mechanic in the game called hearts and minds. Where you have to go through the world and through various acts of counter propaganda and vandalism against the establishment, you start inspiring the people.
Whereas when you start out, they wont nothing to do with you and want no part of it. By the end of it there’s open rioting in the streets. Their fighting openly against the regime. You see a huge roll reversal in where these average citizens are in the beginning.
Andy: Speaking again with Will Powers from Deep Silver. All about Home Front the Revaluation. First person shooter coming out this week.
This is an open world game, what does this mechanic allow the player to do that maybe they wouldn’t be able to do on a more “on the rails” type of first person shooter?
Will: That’s a great question Andy. It actually has a lot to do with the history of this IP of Home Front itself. Home Front was originally released by a company called THQ in 2011 and that was a very “on the rail” shooter about a 3-4 hour linear shooter experience. We wanted to create something opposite of that when we purchased the IP and really made what we loved about the lure and fiction of this occupied America.
The suppressed regime state, we want to make it our own. So we turned it into this open world game and it gives you a lot of options. How you approach a scenario because it’s very David vs Goliath, where you’re under powered where you go head to head against and enemy because you’ll lose. You aren’t playing as a super soldier you’re not playing as an ex-soldier. You are an every man in this situation and you have to use your mind and brains to out smart a much stronger enemy. So this turns the open world into a thinking man shooter. Where you’ll need to utilize everything at your disposal to get ahead in every scenario.
Andy: See I think that right there would be a big draw for so many people because the idea of being dropped in a world and you are a super soldier is fun but it has been done a lot before. For me I love playing games that have a real stealthy option.
Where I can take a thinking mans way to deal with difficult things in the game. For a player like me, what kind of options do you have in place to achieve the objective?
Will: You are doing half my job for me! There are a lot of options that you have. you don’t just have a gun at your disposal which is a really cool thing, in addition to being able to augment and modify your weapon on the fly its not even going in a menu system. You essentially just turn your gun around in front of you and take off attachments, you can take off the receiver from your shotgun and change it from a fully automatic to a pump shotgun to a napalm launcher. There in complete convergence of a weapon on the fly.
Which adds a lot of versatility. In addition to just weapons if you want to self tactics you also have various equipment at your disposal. Since you’re using what ever is around. You have firecrackers that you can throw and distract guards that are blocking a door that you need to get though. Then you throw them in the opposite direction and then he goes to investigate and you sneak by. Of course you can take him out in the process if hes distracted, but you don’t even need to. There are very few situations violence is a necessity in the game, its always an option.
Andy: Interesting. So looking at open world games so often you deal with a world in which you can destroy every living thing on a map, then go to sleep and all of the characters are still alive. There’s no real sense of your character having an effect in that world, what have you done for the Revaluation that when you actually take out the soldiers and work in those districts, its progressing the story and world events a little bit.
Will: There is a lot that actually takes place in this game. We refer Philly as almost its own character, theirs a living and breathing setting that you are playing in that reacts to your individual actions, if your putting up counter propaganda, if your disrupting their radio towers then you start seeing people joining your cause. They’ll spray paint on the walls and splashes of blue, which signifies the iconic resistance movement in this game. Red and black and dark oppressive colors are signifying the regime and this light colorful blue is very significant that shows not only different passages. You can go for vertical in the game. Just different hints where you can climb up in areas. You also see splashes of it as the world changes, you’ll see more slashes of blue come out. It makes you feel like you’re having a direct impact. You’re actions really matter in this space.
Andy: We can talk about the features all day but i think the best way we can pitch a game like this to people that really have a lot of options, you know gamer have little money and so many options, in your experience take us to a place in the game that gave you the most fun. What is this game all about?
Will: I’m going to take us into the setup, the first moment where you step in the game. Which we made him silent on purpose. Because we don’t want him to tell the player how to feel in any situation. There are a lot of choices of how you’ll react to curtain situations. we don’t want that characters voice to announce his feelings.
We want the player to have their own feeling toward it. That aside, its sets up the game where obviously the game is in a repressive and downtrodden regime and apart of the resistance. Right when you start you enter a resistance safe house and they think you are a spy for the opposite side and they capture you and torture you themselves. Not only are you being chased by the opposite party but now you are being hurt by the people you want to help. So it immediately puts you on your back foot. There is no safe option. Everyone is suspicious and you’re just in a really desperate situation. That’s the start of the game and its a really interesting presence of where to go from there.
Andy: Cannot wait for it. Tell our listeners where they can get it and when its available?
Will: HomeFront is available everywhere on PC, XBOX ONE and PS4 and comes out on May 17 which is this Tuesday!
Andy: There you go. Thank you again Will Powers from Deep Silver.
Will: Thank you Andy.