We. The Revolution, from Polish Developer Polyslash and publisher Klabater, is a bit different from your typical game. Based on the French Revolution in Paris, you are a Judge of the tribunal, named Alexis Fidele, and it’s your duty to bring justice to those who deserve it.
Sure, we’ve had courtroom games before, such as Phoenix Wright, but this is very different and a lot more serious in nature as it’s based on a real historical event. Off with your head!! Sorry, I’m getting a little ahead of myself…
Now I must admit, I’m not really a history buff, I dropped history in school in favour of Geography, although I am still regretting that as I had to climb Mount Snowdon which I’m still slightly traumatised about to this day, but I’m getting off-topic here. Anyway, I had to search Wikipedia for information on the French Revolution to try to grasp a basic understanding of what it was all about. I’m not saying this is necessary to play We. The Revolution, but it helped me to understand why the revolution had started and what all the craziness was all about, at least now in 2019 I think it seems kind of crazy, but those were different times.
Let me try to put it into some kind of modern context for you; Remember those riots a few years back? I honestly can’t remember what they were about now, but imagine they had kept going and the people turned against the monarchy and a judge and jury decided that the Queen was against the rights of the people and they decided to behead her. Imagine our little Queen in a guillotine wearing one of her little hats and a little pink handbag flapping around at her side as the blade comes down while the crowd cheers on. Sounds crazy right?? But in France, this happened to their King! Although he didn’t have the hat and handbag. To anyone reading this, in no way do I wish harm to our Queen and this should not be seen as an act of treason.
Moving swiftly on. In We. The Revolution you take the role of a Judge of the tribunal, each day it’s up to you to review a case and decide whether they are guilty or not based on the evidence presented to you and by successfully completing the lines of questioning. You do this based on what was in the report provided and certain parts will be shown as images with short explanations such as ‘a bloody knife’, you then have to link it to the right theme, motive, evidence, accusation, offenders personality, method, etc. This wasn’t always as simple as it seemed as sometimes there are red herrings to trip you up and you only have so many wrong attempts before you can’t ask any more questions. Also, it may have worked better on the PC as trying to get the left stick to select the right theme was tricky and it would sometimes move off to another one just as I hit confirm – resulting in selecting a wrong answer.
Once you have done this you get to ask the questions you have unlocked for more information, the answers you receive will sway the jury’s decision in whether they find the defendant guilty or not guilty. But this in no way should affect your decision, unlike modern times the judge can totally ignore them and go with their own choice, although this will not make the jury happy. Basically, trying to keep everyone happy is the main aim of this game if you want to survive. Your family, the common folk, the revolutionaries and the aristocrats will generally all have a different opinion of what they think the outcome should be, so it’s about keeping the balance or you may find yourself getting assassinated late at night and getting a game over. Off with his head!
If you sentence someone to the guillotine, and this will happen a lot, you will have the option to give a speech to rally the crowd in your favour, honestly, this is a pain in the ass as the crowd is so fickle and I never seemed to make them like me. You can use intrigue points that you have to try to get an idea about what the crowd is feeling for each section of the speech, but it’s all a bit woolly and I never really got the grasp of it. You can preselect whether you want to give a careless, humility, aggressive or manipulative answer for each part and it will turn green or red to show whether you are on the right track or not. If it’s red you still have potentially two wrong responses, so it’s a gamble. Then you get to pull the rope and behead the guilty, so it’s all good; Viva la Revolution!
At the end of the day, you will return to your family at home unless there is a story event or you chose to go to the gambling den to play dice. Your family also doesn’t really like you very much it turns out, apart from your youngest son. Your decision in the courtroom will affect your family relations and raise or loser their bar of how much they like you. You will then get to chose an evening activity to raise this bar in your favour. Though not everyone will be happy with your choice so its best to raise the family members with the lowest bar as best you can.
Later on, I think at the start of Act 2, you will be charged with the construction of a statue supporting the freedom of France and the revolution. Here you will be presented with a map of Paris that after family time you will get to move your key allies around in an attempt to increase support, take over new areas and quell riots. There will also be enemy agents on the map which hinder your progress. The more areas you have, the more intrigues points you will have to use. This was always a losing battle for me, as there were more enemy agents than I had allies. You will also be introduced to the Intrigues here, where you have to make key decisions to beat those who are opposing you, once you make a decision there is no going back. Intrigues also include something that’s the same as the speech where you have to chose the right approach to get people to join you in your quest.
Occasionally, you will get to partake in a strategic battle against the enemy where you have troops and have to choose whether to defend, do a frontline assault, use suppressive fire and the like. I didn’t really have an issue with these until Act 3, where you have limited troops based on your reputation and you are trying to protect Paris until backup arrives in the form of Napoleon. You know, that guy who liked waterslides in Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure (Ziggie Piggy…).
We. The Revolution is full of real people from history such as Napoleon, King Luis XVI, Robespierre and Marie Antoinette, you know that ‘let them eat cake’ gal. I always used to think to myself, I would rather have some cake than bread personally, but it turns out back then all they really had to eat was bread and the occasional carrot. I mean, I like a tiger loaf from Asda as much as the next, but can you imagine that being the only thing you ate?! Even that was hard to come by back then, food and supplies were in really short supply, even cake!
I like the art style used in We. The Revolution, I’m not very into art so excuse me if I get this wrong but I think it’s a geometric art style, all triangle type shapes that make a flat image have depth and shape, its pretty cool and suits the game well. The audio is very basic, most of the game involves reading apart from a few areas where they did decide to use voice acting. A lot of the voice acting sounds way too American, only a few sounds like they have a French accent and there is an older woman that is voiced by a very young girl, so it doesn’t fit at all, I think they could have made better choices with the actors and had more areas voiced in general.
Now to get down to the issues I had with We. The Revolution, and the bugs.
• Before the latest patch (this review is based on version 1.3), I could not progress past an early part of Act 2. The game wouldn’t progress to the next day as it kept giving me a blank screen. This happened a few times during act 2 and while reloading the day generally helped, there was one day that when I went to reload it, it actually deleted my save profile – not once but three times!
Now, the latest patch has fixed this game-breaking bug, but it did still spoil my enjoyment and delay this review. Even with this patch, there are still some bugs that need to be ironed out, but reloading the day does eventually let you progress, even if you have to do it a few times.
• The Intrigues have issues in that they won’t let you move to the current selection by pressing L1/R1 and this prevents you from finishing the day.
• In Act 3, you have to fight multiple battles on the map before progressing, it clearly says the Triangle button will fight all battles, but what you actually need to do is select the centre point of the area and press R2, this was incredibly frustrating and not at all clear and it needs to be more obvious.
• At a certain part in the game, it adds the aristocrat opinion into the mix. I got killed by them as they were very unhappy with my choices, but when I reloaded the game they never came back until act 3, where they killed me again and subsequently disappeared once more. I discovered, from replaying the same parts numerous times, is that it doesn’t always give you the same cases and story so there is a lot of different things you may see on multiple playthroughs.
Despite the technical issues and lack of prior knowledge, I enjoyed playing We. The Revolution. I wasn’t enjoying it to start with, I will admit, as the language is very of that time so it takes a while to get used to and understand what’s really happening in the cases. The bugs were particularly frustrating as they stopped me from progressing just as I was really getting into the story. Yet, I did still keep coming back for more and once it’s patched I will absolutely give it another play to see the different results you get based on your choices and to get more of the trophies. Quite frankly, if you don’t agree with my review I have just one thing to say to you – ‘Off with your head!’
We. The Revolution£18.99
- - It's different and varied with multiple story branches
- - You get to behead the guilty
- - Good story based on historical events
- - Still too many bugs (v 1.3)
- - The language can have you using google a lot as it’s a bit ancient
- - The voice acting isn’t very French for the most part