Developed by the Polish studio Polyslash (creators of Phantaruk) and published by Klabater, We. The Revolution is a refreshing mix of a strategy and storytelling with a large amount of consequences, right behind the curtain of the French Revolution!
Taking the role of a judge is never easy, but doing so while the French Revolutions dawns, is on a completely different level. For le juge Fidèle, everyday is a moral battle. Relationships with the family aren’t the best, and his gambling addictions don’t really sit well with all the drinking… The older son no longer admires his own father, and the younger one is losing his hero, not to mention the whole marriage!
We. The Revolution is an interesting mix, putting together storytelling with choices, that ultimately will define you as a judge, a father, a husband, and as a human being. On the other side of the gameplay, one has to analyze case files, point evidences correctly, build up a case for the jury, and finally, deliver the verdict. The defendant goes out free, straight to prison, or the guillotine. If only things could be that easy…
With a revolution growing behind the grey clouds, and the smell of the wood from the deathly contractions mixed with the tension between citizens, the sun does rise, but only to light all the bloodshed that’s about to happen. Historically accurate, and with real-life personalities that affected the Revolution against the monarchy’s domain, Polyslash polished the facts to be as authentic as they could, while delivering a personal attachment of feeling with players.
With each different case, points rise and fall, for the Revolutionaries and the Common Folk. Each different group has very different perspectives over the current events, and your decisions will certainly please one side but create enemies as well. It’s as much as a game of politics as a crime resolution, but what side will have the most weight on your conscience? To shake it more, some decisions affect how your family sees you. Remember, in We. The Revolution, everything is connected, and family matters, even in times of crisis.
At each in-game day, a new case arises, but sometimes, players have to take their strategies outside the box, and accordingly to your playstyle, unlockables will allow the story to progress, in a way your actions begin less of a decision, but a fight for either what you deeply believe is right, or a fight for survival! There’s a huge replayability associated in We. The Revolution, and it’s possible to follow distinct routes without having the certainty of what’s to come.
One thing you’ll immediately realize is how well written this game is. English with a class attached, and some minor french expressions of that time, but in which centers the whole text structure really well. Cases in particular are fantastic, with tremendous well thought, and developed scenarios. Cutscenes have a poetic introspection of life and circumstances along side the whole panorama. These are voiced-over, with equal care!
The narrative is presented through dialogue boxes, both during court cases and family time. Cutscenes are a mix of frames with special scenes displaying the horrors and virtues of French society during such harsh times. Violent, but filled with hope, even if death means freedom during such bleak era.
The art direction is contextually accurate, even if presented through a simple style. Actually, the chosen Artstyle couldn’t have been better. The 2D polygon style creates a bigger in-depth visual than one would initially expect, adding shadows, light works, forming what I atmospherically immediately associate with the 18th Century; the Enlightenment! Of course, those times were artistically known by both the Rococo and Neoclassicism art style, but that’s somehow stretching things a little too far, after all, this it not an art game, yet, why do I feel like one while enjoying its visuals? Simple answer; Details and color pallet!
The setting may be 2D, but it's very pleasant to look at, even if overall scenarios are mostly limited to indoors and cutscenes, they portray an age, a mentality, and an entire revolution with originality and clearly, a genuine passion. Character expressions are very, very well done, particularly in scenarios of doubt and suspicion during certain events, which further reinforces the player involvement. The user interface is always associated with its prime focus, maintaining a simple and intuitive design.
The soundtrack is another example of a good taste, with a classic touch over a neoclassical approach, and ambient sounds to follow you hand-to-hand alongside those hard court cases. Having a symphonic attunement as a background for intense situations where decisions are required, builds up the momentum perfectly!
Available in English, French and Polish, We. The Revolution was built with Unity, but fear not, it’s very well optimized. Vsync is active by default, and automatically sets to your monitor refresh rate. Although there aren’t many options, this title doesn’t need much, since its art is of high quality, therefore Anti-Aliasing never becomes an issue, and I personally never noticed any drop of framerate or any glitch/bug.
With a unique, original and refreshing approach, We. The Revolution delivers a very entertaining experience, with admirable storytelling and attractive strategy elements that accomplishes with exquisite the tension and atmosphere of the French Revolution. An exceptional game, with fine art, text, and skillful gameplay!