Homefront: The Revolution dev’s vision was to create an ‘open-world Half-Life’

The director behind Homefront: The Revolution has revealed that his team’s vision for the upcoming sequel was to craft an open-world Half-Life game.

Speaking with Trusted Reviews, Dambuster Studios’ Hasit Zala revealed how the game’s direction changed during its troubled development cycle. Initially, the sequel was going to follow a similar path to its 2011 predecessor, which was more of a linear first-person shooter.

The vision was to do an open world Half-Life. That’s what we set out to do,” he said. “When we first pitched it to the studio, they were very excited, and then about two weeks afterwards they went ‘oh my god this means an awful lot of work and a lot of challenge and ambition’."

Zala said the switch came about at a time “whereby we would either spend a year or so finishing Homefront or we would be going down the path we did. And we were supported in that decision to create and innovate and do something a bit more exciting."

"I would say my biggest criticism for [the first game] was that it was a very formulaic model, it was very much a linear, scripted shooter. That’s completely different from what we wanted to do, we wanted something that had lots of player agency, lots of immersion, lots of emergence in the gameplay and a sandbox narrative. But something that was very narrative [driven] and compelling. We never really particularly focused on Homefront 1 [for The Revolution], we very much focused on our vision of an open world Half-Life game."

Homefront’s sequel suffered a tumultuous development cycle, having originally started out life at original creator, Kaos Studios. However, when that company and publisher THQ went under, development shifted over to Crytek UK under the Deep Silver umbrella, with the former later becoming Dambuster Studios. 

Homefront: The Revolution is due out on PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One on May 20.