Crytek and Deep Silver are announcing today that they will create and publish Homefront: The Revolution, a first-person shooter set in a future dystopian America, on next-generation consoles and PC in 2015.
The story is set four years after the events of the original game, where North Korea invaded the U.S. THQ published the original Homefront in 2011, surprising gamers with the novelty of a defensive battle in American towns and cities. After THQ went bankrupt, Frankfurt, Germany-based Crytek acquired the rights to Homefront, and its United Kingdom studio began work on a sequel.
Deep Silver, the German company that is publishing the title, has come a long way since 2011. It had never shipped a title that sold more than 500,000 units, it was the No. 30 publisher in the U.S. on all formats, and it had no internal developers. It has shipped five titles that have sold more than 1 million units, and it is a top-10 publisher in the U.S. on the Xbox 360 and the PC. It has two internal developers.
But the deal to publish Crytek’s Homefront: The Revolution is a potential breakout for Deep Silver, which will take the title to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2015. If Crytek can make Homefront: The Revolution into a stunning graphics masterpiece, it will have a chance to rise above the quality of the first game and establish the franchise as a true triple A-quality experience.
The mature-rated game is an open-world first-person shooter, with both single-player and four-player co-op modes.
“We saw the huge, untapped potential that Homefront had to offer,” said Fasahat Salim, a game designer at Crytek UK. “It was set in a dystopian open world that we wanted to push forward with the CryEngine [Crytek’s game development engine] as far as we possibly could.”
Homefront: The Revolution begins with the victorious North Koreans enforcing a police state across the city of Philadelphia in the year 2029. They patrol the city with their own infantry and high-tech surveillance equipment. Using the power of the CryEngine, Crytek wants to make the city of Philadelphia into a “living, breathing” open world. Everything is realistic, with run-down environments that reflect a society in a state of decay. There are effects such as dynamic rain or snow and a rich, emergent artificial intelligence system.
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You play Ethan Brady, a lone “dude” who tries to stir a resistance movement against the oppressors. The American resistance engages in a tactical guerrilla war against the superior North Korean military force. The North Koreans have heavy firepower, armor, and air support. You have to learn how to ambush, sabotage, infiltrate, and deceive your way to victory in the war-ravaged suburbs of Philadelphia, where the Korean People’s Army has set up its headquarters.
“This is just an average guy doing what he can to take the fight to the enemy,” said Salim.
The game will have dynamic weather as well as day-and-night cycles. The missions in the game aren’t linear as you can choose what to do and where to fight as a guerrilla. You can recruit revolutionaries, establish bases and safe houses, and capture weapons in the second War of Independence.
“We made it our mission to take this premise and reinvent it with the power of the CryEngine,” Salim said. “This signals a massive power shift, with America as a fallen power and North Korea rising up and taking over.”
Homefront: The Revolution is the first major Crytek title since Ryse: Son of Rome debuted on the Xbox One in the fall last year.