Saturday, 2 April 2016

James' Take: Republique Review

Republique is a topical stealth-action game set in a dystopian future where the government has surveillance everywhere. The game follows a protagonist named Hope, a young fugtive who asks you for help after she is captured by this all-seeing government and put into a containment facility called Metamorphosis. Without spoiling too much, the first episode explores topics such as censorship, oppression and paranoia in the first few hours, to leave you on a great cliffhanger ending.

The Good Stuff

The gameplay is mainly focused on a very mobile game esque style of hopping from camera to camera through your own in-game mobile device. While in these cameras, you are charged with watching Hope's back and guiding her through different areas, taking down or sneaking past guards as she goes. Another interesting feature was answering her phone calls, which made a special little connection between you and Hope as she explains her feelings and the story as you progress.

You can open and lock doors too, which I  found quite interesting if you want to try and do a sort of Dishonored style 'Ghost' run as you can lock enemies out of certain areas. You can also find items such as tasers and screwdrivers, even if they are quite limited.

The game also has a great way of building tension. You won't want Hope to get caught (thankfully she never was with me) as you are put into a mix of big, small and complex rooms where you will have to figure out a safe path for Hope to move through. The possibility of getting detected just gives you a sense of caring and tension as you grow more attached and protective over Hope.

The story of Republique in my opinion was quite interesting with how it covered these topics through Hope's  phone calls and you finding different pieces of intel on desks and computers as you move through the facility. She also has good goals, attempting to subvert the system so that she can live and love, which really makes you empathise with her struggle.

The not so good stuff

Amongst the good things, there is quite a bit the game does not do too well. The gameplay can be a little tedious, with backtracking being required to get more resources from previous areas. Also, Hope's pathfinding is not the best, which almost led to me being caught in a few occasions, which was a bit frustrating.

This may be a little nit-picky too, but the game had some weird graphics. There were certain areas in which the game looked great such as when overlooking big areas, but some of the models for Hope and the security forces did not look too great. However, this is not the kind of game I can criticise this kind of thing for and it definitely can be looked past when you're enjoying the game.

Finally, the story may have been good, but it was very start-stop. This may have been deliberate to make you look out for extra details such as hacked e-mails, but it made the game dull in some areas for me, at some points making it a bit difficult to continue.

Republique for me was a very interesting and different type of game. I definitely enjoyed it, but it was a little dull and tedious at some points. I look forward to see what other kind of games the developers will be releasing next.

"I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good stealth adventure, and  if you can look past the slow story telling, it can be a great game"

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