Developed By: Polyslash
Published By: Klabater
Platforms: PS4, XBOX, Windows
Reviewed On: PS4 PRO
We, The Revolution is a game that lures you with the promise of political powers and then dumps you into a smelly, disgusting, toxic, depressing hole called “the People Pleaser”.
We, The Revolution (WTR)
The most relevant genre that WTR can I relate to is role-playing. In addition to role-playing, WTR includes some elements of turn-based strategy, action adventure and visual novel.
Story & Settings
In WTR, you play as Parisian Alexis Fidèle – a drunk, gambler, good-for-nothing judge during the French Revolution. The plot-line tosses you right into the days before the execution of Citizen Louise Capet (King Louise the 16th). From there onward, Alexis Fidèle has to juggle with day time courtroom proceedings, evening gambling sessions or family time, handling political agendas and influencing the public to his advantage.
The storyline is somewhat non-linear in the beginning, but as you progress down the chosen path, the options get limited before leading to one of the two predestined finales.
Polyslash wasn’t reserved when it came to emulating the tragic life of a tribunal judge when it came to WTR. In your hands, the journey revolves around converting Alexis Fidèle into an influential tryhard do-gooder judge as you rot in the path of politics. All life and death are determined in court and each verdict determines your reputation with the revolutionaries, commoners, aristocrats, the courthouse and even worse – your family members. The struggle to please everybody is real and you’re required to juggle for balance between all factions. Any resentment in a faction if left attended will lead to deposing or even worse – getting lynched or stabbed in some dark alley. Which also means Game Over if you still don’t get the gist of it.
Daily Courtroom Proceedings
The process leading to the final verdict is as easy as it gets. Go through the list of evidence, question the defendant and decide on the verdict based on the Jury’s opinion.
Pretty easy right? Just like your typical 9 to 5 job. Here’s where it gets fun. Besides the compiled leads provided by the court, every single decision does not only determine the life and death of the defendant, it determines to protagonist’s as well. The compiled leads are first used to determine the categories of questions such as evidence, witness, motives, methods, and much more. After categorising the leads, the judge will be presented with questions to ask the defendant. Each question asked will either lead the jury’s opinion towards acquittal, imprisonment or death by guillotine. But of course, the game made it easier by marking the results of each question beforehand – so all you have to do is to ask questions based on the verdict of your choice.
Simple right? Nope. Not at all. Each faction has an expected sentence. On the top of your screen, the symbol of the faction will be displayed alongside the expected sentence – Fleur-de-lis represents the Aristocrats, a fist for the commoners, a flag for the revolutionaries and a heart for your family. And the best part is, your verdicts will never please them all – so pick your battles. Pleasing factions aside, the Jury’s Opinions is the other element that needs to be considered. Ignore their opinions often enough and you’ll get deposed before your next court proceeding.
Guillotine and addressing the crowd
If your verdict leads to beheading, you get an option to first address the crowd before pulling the rope. This is where you get to further reinforce your decision towards your verdict a.k.a lying through your teeth.
You will first be presented with a list of arguments that need to be addressed and the crowd’s current state of mind toward said argument. Each argument has 4 delivery methods (careless, humility, aggressive and manipulation) and you will need to pick the best method based on the crowd’s state of mind. To make things easier for you, here’s a simple guide for each state of mind.
Attached – Manipulation / Careless
Bull Headed – Humility / Aggressive
Carefree – Careless / Humility
No Opinion – Careless / Aggressive
Oversensitive – Humility / Manipulation
Withdrawn – Manipulation / Aggressive
An effective speech prior to beheading will lead to an increase in reputation. Or if your reputation is high, then feel free behead with full confidence.
Outside the Courthouse
After daily proceedings, you get the choice of spending time with your family or gambling with friends, spreading your influence out of court, completing political intrigues and fighting a skirmish.
Family Time and Modifiers
On top of his exhausting career, Alexis Fidèle goes back home to an extremely demanding family who does not understand the gravity of the situation and will not hesitate from stabbing him in the back should their demands be ignored.
His family members are somehow very influential in society. Building a relationship with them is beneficial to your career but it is just as tough as pleasing the society. The game rarely provides you with the option to spend time with all members of the family. Your options will mostly leave at least one member out of your relationship building activities. And no, Netflix is not one of the options.
Pleasing the father gets a commoner bonus, eldest son wins the revolutionaries, the youngest son just wants your love and the wife determines your reputation in general. Putting all your effort on the youngest brings the best of everything as he gives an additional bonus to your whole family. But he’s short-lived – har har.
In intrigues, you perform certain actions to direct the political flow towards your advantage. The choices you’ve made in the game will determine actions and supportive political figures available to your aid. The general outcome of intrigues leads to the downfall of your political enemies, changes in reputation and more often than not – making an enemy out of other politicians.
This part of the game is like a nano version of Risk! Once a day, you get to move your agents around different districts of Paris to spread your influence. As you move your propaganda pieces around the map, you’ll face enemy agents as well as vigilantes who attack both parties.
Fighting a Skirmish
Skirmishes are mini turn based events where you direct your guards against your political enemy when they refuse arrest. It’s a simple game of overwhelming with numbers and a little bit of strategising will keep the battle in your favour.
What I Loved
- The story panels throughout the entire game. Instead of heavy animations, the entire story is depicted through story panels, simple animations and narrations.
- The entire French Revolution setting is depicted with intensity and depth. You can’t help but feel that the country is in turmoil and every decision you make will decide the fate of France.
- The inclusion of French words and French accents in the narration and dialogue is a huge plus point for me as it compliments the story settings.
- The simple and light game mechanics gives a refreshing balance to the “headache inducing”, decision-making side of things.
What I Disliked
- The game keeps crashing on the PS4 Pro.
- The entire “People Pleaser” factor restricts all the freedom that has been provided in the courthouse.
- After all the moral dilemmas and pleasing the people, the player deserves to see more gore during beheading. What we get is just a scene of the blade coming down and going up with neck goo dripping from it.
We, The Revolution can be described as a beautifully drawn visual novel that is printed with arsenic ink. As you flip through the pages, you’ll gradually suffer a headache from inhaling the toxic fumes.
As much as I’ve complained about the stress I’ve faced throughout, many things in WTR made me want to complete it initially. My attention was first captured by the background music, and then later the polygon art style and story panels. As I played on, I realised that there’s a challenge to design the plot’s depth and that kept me wanting more – before I realised that I was tricked!
The game baited me to think that I can shape history to my liking, but when it came to the pivotal point in history, I was manhandled to align everything back in order. Forcibly changing it only lead me to my demise. I restarted the game several times with different approaches and it all leads me to either getting fired or stabbed/lynched. After the ninth time being adventurous, I loaded the game from the “politically safest” save point and zombied my way towards one of the two endings – which is not historically linked, hence the availability of choice.
If your daily routine requires you to please your bosses, colleagues, clients, suppliers and go home to an over-demanding self-entitled family, avoid this game at all costs. But if you’re the type to enjoy a good challenge in the political arena, then this is the title for you.
So much for thoughtless beheading and imprisonment. Pfft.