We. The Revolution is about being a judge after the fall of the monarchy. As a tribunal judge you have to decide who is guilty of treason and what punishment fits the crime. It is a complex game of political survival during an unstable time period full of accusations and manipulation. You have to juggle family relationships, friendships, political allies and the reputation of France’s social classes.
We. The Revolution puts you in the role of a judge who likes to gamble and drink. Despite these flaws the character you play makes important decisions of life and death. Each day will bring you into the courtroom to carefully review the charges against citizens, evidence and motives. One thing I found interesting is how you break down the case by asking questions. During this phase you get to piece together different categories of the scenario around the person and the charges. These clues essentially lead you to asking better questions. Some of these categories include events, motives, personality, method, accusation and witnesses.
Piecing together evidence into the right categories opens up specific questions you can ask the accused including hearing witness testimony. These questions can influence the jury towards acquittal, prison or the death penalty while citizens listening in can chime in with their comments. You are the judge so the final verdict is up to you but the jury hopes you go a long with their opinion on the case. Your final verdict affects how France’s social classes view you as a judge. This is a very important but challenging part of the game because you need to stay in everyone’s good graces if you want to survive through the political turmoil.
At the end of each day certain situations will pop up that you have to handle carefully. You are given a description of a political event and some choices on how to handle it. Sometimes you will need to persuade people to side with you through conversations and other times you might have to use force, spies or blackmail to get the results you want.
As you progress further into the game after these intrigue scenes you will be shown a map of territories in France and you get to control some allies and move them around on this board. The object is to gain influence, quell riots, avoid enemies or let your allies fight them. Revolutionary patrol units can capture your allies forcing time to go by before they are free or you can try to free them through conversation or influence. Keep in mind these events change based on the Act you are in. Later on in the game you will need to defend against an enemy army.
We. The Revolution is broken down into acts. The cut scenes are well designed with voice acting that is reminiscent of watching documentaries. The story is reactive to your decisions creating or breaking alliances and I think that Polyslash has done an amazing job with the flow of the game. The biggest drawback is that unless you are familiar with the French Revolution you may find yourself confused.
For strategist like myself I find the analytical nature of the game addicting and I will continue to play it until I make it to the end or my character succumbs to the blood thirst of the people. If you don’t mind reading information, getting thrown into an unfamiliar revolution and like the thrill of trying to survive through political manipulation you will enjoy this game like myself. We. The Revolution is the first game of its kind that I have played and is a great addition to many libraries because of its uniqueness.
As I got further into the game and nearing the end the difficulty increased rapidly. What I felt was a core mechanic of the game that I never got to complete was a statute which was started near the beginning. I am not sure if this was intentional by design because there are so many distractions that come up as you play that takes you away from your family duties, judicial duties etc. By Act III the battles on the city map felt impossible to beat. Even if you held off the enemy at some points it felt futile because the next day you may get new recruits based on your reputation which you could not move into an existing battle zone. The battle zones are indicated by lightly colored diagonal red lines. You are only able to move them into zones which the enemy has not approached.
In my play through I ended up losing all the battle zones even after holding off the enemy several times. There are some major plot twists which really confused me but I cannot write about them without spoiling the game. I was able to get two different endings by going back to my save file and getting a different outcome in a roll the dice game. Overall I am satisfied with my time spent in the game but left confused whether some events would happen no matter what or if there were different paths based on early decisions and outcomes. The game is well thought and written as if you are a person living during the French Revolution. One thing I really want to point out is the phenomenal job done by the voice actors. The tone in which it was done felt as if they were speaking to you the player and you were living through their decisions.
Press Copy provided by Polyslash