Dambuster Studio's vision for Homefront: The Revolution was to create an "open world Half-Life", game director Hasit Zala has said, with the studio ignoring much of the original game's direction to focus on its lofty ambitions for the sequel.
Speaking about the game's difficult time in development with Trusted Reviews, Zala explained: "The vision was to do an open world Half-Life. That's what we set out to do."
He continued: "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'."
Homefront 2 originally started life as a linear shooter similar to the 2011 original, but its direction was switched to a more emergent, open-world shooter after the IP was acquired by Crytek in 2013.
That, Zala says, came at a point in the game's development "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."
He continued: "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."
But while we don't yet know whether the team has made good on its ambition, comparisons have already been drawn to another major franchise: Far Cry.
"Homefront: The Revolution is Far Cry meets The Terminator," Steve wrote in his preview earlier this year. "In terms of its mechanics and systems (if not its setting) [it's] as close to being a Far Cry game as it is possible without actually being one. If it was called Far Cry: The Revolution, no-one would question it all that much as it went on its way to selling, oh, five or so billion units."
But is the final game worthy of your cash? Look out for more of our thoughts on Homefront: The Revolution tomorrow, ahead of the game's launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC this Friday, May 20.