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The courtroom has long been a favourite setting for drama. Everyone enjoys seeing justice meted out or a wrong put right with a crucial stay of execution after all. Games have dabbled with the setting too, most notably in the Phoenix Wright series, but We. The Revolution is a far darker take on the subject.
The game hails from Poland, developed by Polyslash and published by Klabater. The setting, though, is Paris during the French Revolution, where the player sits as a judge of the Revolutionary Tribunal. That position comes with the power of life or death, though given the turmoil of the times, truth and justice will not be the
only considerations in your deliberations.
The judge must work with the case files of the accused put before the court – and varied they are too, from the lowliest parisians to the the once high-and-mighty. The game promises not only complex cases, but also complex outcomes, as the player's decision will have an impact on revolutionary Paris and its story.
Dawid Cislak, the game's director, says: One of the most important elements is the plot, which will put the player in morally ambiguous situations – there are no easy answers. Having power over life and death is both a heavy burden and a force that can turn the tide of the revolution.”
It's an intriguing idea and the gritty setting and heavily-weighted moral choices are more reminiscent of indie smash hit Papers, Please than Capcom's courtroom capers. Like Papers, Please, the title has a standout graphical style, which looks to achieve emotional impact, while taking a small step away from the full brutality of Paris in that era.
The game extends well beyond the courtroom too, as Cislak explains: Every faction in Paris wants [the power of the court], so the player will have to keep that in mind each time when passing sentence, all the while using their agents to control the city, and weaving political intrigue behind the scenes.
Thanks to such tools as the intrigue-building system, the player will feel they have tangible influence over their surroundings – the city, the citizens, and, most significantly, their political enemies. We want the player
to feel the emotional impact of reaching for power in Paris ablaze with revolutionary fire,” comments Patryk Polewiak, the game's designer.
Lucas Jozefowicz, head of marketing at Klabater, adds: The way in which different gameplay mechanics are interwoven creates a title that's always fresh and gets you invested in its emotionally challenging story.”
And with randomized game events and over 100 unique court cases over which to preside, it looks to have plenty of replayability.
We have yet to see actual gameplay of We. The Revolution, which will launch on Steam in 2018, but it's an enticing prospect from a team that has developers drawn from Two Worlds' developer Reality Pump and The Farm 51, creators of Get Even, among others. Indie publisher Klabater, which this year launched Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs, will also be bringing Heliborne to Steam this summer.
For more details head to www.polyslash.com and www.klabater.com