“The young boy stands in the dock before you. He is accused of assaulting another boy in the playground, and the other boy has broken front teeth after the fight. The accused young boy, happens to be your very own Son, and with questioning, was subject to name calling saying his father (you) was a drunk! With You as a Judge,Father, Husband, Alcoholic and a gambler, how do you proceed with this case? Send your own son to prison, jeopardising the already fractured relationship with your wife and father? Or apply leniency at the expense of the opinion of the jury and public there present? “
Above, is a small account of the very first case you face, in We The Revolution. A game that thrusts you the player, as a judge, into the unsettled and darkly atmospheric world of 18th Century France, on the brink of Revolution. Each section of the game is divided into Acts, with each act consisting of a set number of days that plays out like a diary,with each day consisting of a main court case, and little rendered events between.
The court cases are the main hub here, and at your desk are laid out a number of different documents, that you can select and view at your leisure. These include your standings with the public, the jury, legal system and the revolutionaries on the various decisions and outcomes you may make, and are shown with positive and negative feedback numbers. There’s a document of importance near to your left hand, that always needs careful study as it gives detailed information on the accused, the events leading up to their arrest, with little accusations laid in between. Careful deliberation will allow you to unlock further questions. A mini game where pairing certain words correctly, will reveal up to 8 questions that you can then ask the defendant. This is an X button above each defendants head, and through answers given, gain further information, and be equipped and knowledged enough to make a final and critical verdict. The verdict sheet is near to the right hand, and each page contains a space for your signature and also your own personal stamp, which you can customise later.. (a nice touch!)
We The Revolution is a game that plays out similar to The Shrouded Isle by Kitfox, in that every decision has consequences, and in order to succeed,the fine line in balancing and remaining favourable to all the groups and factions involved,with life and death decisions at the forefront. We The Revolution does this in a fuller, bigger, and deeper way. The correct decision to one, can prove devastating to the other,so addressing these can be the difference to either furthering your career, or damaging to the point that you can lose your standing with the people, and with the impending introduction of the Guillotine, your life and even your head!
Graphics don’t really need explaining, if you look at this review. They are gorgeous throughout in a painted art style, yet with the subject matter here,it can be difficult to find suitable ones, as most pictures depict the violence, angst and bloodshed of these events in this particular period in history. Sound is very well done, with voice dialogue in certain parts,and involving gameplay that is smooth and responsive throughout all the cutscenes and menus.
Developers Polyslash have created a beast of a game here, and from the off, are not prepared to hold your hand whilst you stand on stage in front of the baying crowd. Rather more in sitting amongst the crowd, smiling whilst throwing stones at you! The player is plunged into a world of political, social and civil unrest in a country whose inhabitants are filled with uncertainty, paranoia and hysteria. How you proceed through it, is entirely up to you, and what is apparent and richly received, is that your very own personality, opinions and codes and ethics are drawn in to play a part in your decision making.. Are you a stickler for the legal system, and prepared to slam down the fist of justice to administer penalty regardless of evidence suggesting otherwise? Will you admit to your guilt and wrong decisions by later allowing/granting leniency under moral obligation or prepared to wriggle out of difficult decisions at all costs?
We The Revolution gives you those tools, and progression is further rewarded with expansive elements, including an area map to make buildings and send out spies, and also littered, various mini games throughout each part, to persuade or intimidate certain people or incite crowds. Each playthrough is also randomly generated, with different cases added in the mix, so each game can be played in different ways with different choices and with different attitudes if you wished. Throughout my experience,and through this games dark, foreboding and deeply unsettling ambience and atmosphere, It never felt overbearing or filled with negativity to stop me playing. In fact quite the opposite, in that I felt utterly compelled and addicted enough to go further with a drive to see how everything played out and developed,and how my characters life and career would end up finishing. The game marvelously running with realism and interconnecting outcomes based on your decisions and choices. Like a beating heart, this game reacts to how well you treat its life. Put too much poison in those veins, and it will spread, disease and die out, yet carefully navigating through its systems of interwoven political scandals, intrigue and espionage, and you could well have a heart left to live out, with systems and family intact!.. .perhaps!?
We The Revolution is out 25th June on Nintendo Switch, and although its up against Bloodstained on the same day.If you are looking for an “alternative” to the list of brilliant AAA titles out there, this comes strongly recommended and deserves its place, side by side amongst them..
Vive la Revolution..
Thanks to Polyslash for the code.