The French Revolution, an important time in the history of man. Many ideals and systems likely wouldn’t be in place if not for this event. You would think that with such an important moment in history, there would be more games. Assassin’s Creed Unity is probably one of the biggest that comes to mind, regardless of how people may feel about the game. Developer Polyslash saw this opportunity, and they decided to add their own game to the mix with We. The Revolution.
We. The Revolution is a very unique game, giving players the role of a judge during the French Revolution. When courtroom drama games come up, the biggest to come to mind would be the Ace Attorney series. We. The Revolution flips things around by putting the fate of several citizens in your hands. While you may have great power, your choices will still effect the way others see you. Abuse too much power, and it may even lead to an untimely death.
Balance is the key with We. The Revolution, as practically all actions have a consequence. Not only does this mean your verdicts have consequences, but even various dialogue choices and actions throughout the game. The common folk of France, the revolutionaries, and even your own family will always have their eyes on you. Choosing to try and appease everyone may require a lot of thought, but the choices are yours.
The game opens up as you are introduced to the main character, Alexis Fidèle. Alexis is a drunkard, a gambler, and when we first see him, not really worthy of respect as a judge. If the player chooses, they can continue to focus on those traits, though it might not end well. If they player works against them, they may end up earning more respect from everyone. Players will get an idea of the stakes even with the first case.
The tutorial case is a family matter. Alexis’ youngest son is on trial for getting into a fight. Players will be given a case file that gives them a summary of the events. In the case file, there will be highlighted sections that link to a line of questioning. When you question whoever is on the stand, be it the defendant, plaintiff, or witness, you’ll use these highlighted segments (represented as small illustrations) to link to various subjects. It changes from case to case, like the murder weapon, course of events, or even based on personality traits. If linked correctly, then a question will be revealed for Alexis to ask.
Not all the claims can be used, as there are some traps from time to time. If the player uses the wrong claim, it will cost them. Like the Ace Attorney series, players are given a limited number of times to make the right choices before failure. Reading over the case file and paying attention to the highlighted segments is very important to avoid he traps. Even then, it could be a challenge to link the correct subject to the claim. When all questions are unlocked, asking them can provide more context for the jury, as well as the audience, though some cases may not have either.
When all questions are asked, the player can usually make a proper verdict using the verdict form. It’s then that they make their choice, seeing how it affects other people, and then finalize it with a signature. Eventually, Alexis will become a Revolutionary Judge and will also finalize cases with a stamp of the players choice. In the case of his son, only his family can be influenced. It would probably be best to give a verdict that won’t put you on the wife’s bad side.
Aside from courtroom cases, there are a few other gameplay segments. Every once in a while, after a case, players will activate a mini-game interaction. In these moments, they’ll come across an event and can choose how to act in the situation. The moment I came across, two men were fighting in an alley and causing a disturbance. I had the choice to interfere or walk away, but I chose to get between them, only to fail and get laughed at by the public. This caused me to lose some reputation points and in hindsight, I probably should’ve just walked away.
Another part of the game involves spending time at home with the family. This often involves interaction during dinner, hearing from one of Alexis’ two sons, his wife, or his father. During these moments, the player can choose an activity for the family. The activity you choose can affect each family member differently. For example, a stroll through the park might be enjoyable for most family members, but since Alexis’ father is older, it’s not as fun for him. Other options involve going out for a show, listening to stories from Alexis’ father, and more. A lot of the choices are based on luck, but again, it also relies heavily on balance.
Finally, there’s the spy network, a map of Paris that allows players to move spies to different districts to gather intel. This can help provide different bonuses for the player, and it’ll help them gain new allies and influence. Sometimes, this can also lead to a fight, but players can use their choices to determine things in a civil manner. It works like a board game, moving your agents around like chess pieces on a board. Giving them their action can cost resources, and even time. If players are successful, then they only have more to gain. If not, then it may come back to bite them in the end.
We. The Revolution isn’t your typical game, but it’s a game that applies to many gamers out there. Ones that want to fill a role, make choices, and even play out the consequences of their choices. With randomized scenarios and multiple endings, no two playthroughs will be the same. The game has a great art style that uses a lot of the colors of the French flag in a fantastic way. While there were no voices in my demo, Polyslash says the final game will have cutscenes with voiceovers. The game is currently set to release on November 21st for PC, Mac and Linux. Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will also arrive at a later date. What do you think? Does We. The Revolution look right up your alley?