Don't you hate it when you're thrust into a totalitarian world of unrelenting fascist horror? For example, when you go outside? Ho ho! Just a bit of topical humour there. Sorry, we'll never do it again. Look, the point is, République — the game whose Nintendo Life review you are currently reading — is about escaping from such a dystopia.
Back in the day République was a phone game, the trappings of which made perfect sense for its type of input. You took control of a rogue element of indeterminate nature who essentially closes the gap between player and controller; a little like the excellent In Other Waters; here, you're in control of the various cameras, computers and other systems in the enormous complex where the female lead character finds herself captured. You're helping this girl escape, not escaping yourself. It made you feel just the right amount of helpless, just the right lack of agency. You had a lot of power, but you were still ultimately just an observer. It, dare we say it, made it easier to care, easier to get invested in this character when she had autonomy outside of your own personal whims.
It's weird, then, that République is celebrating its anniversary with a version of the game in which you control that character directly, removing one of the things that made the game unique in favour of a system that now leans on frustrating ambiguity. Hitting ZR brings up the list of available commands and of nearby security cameras; you switch between them in order to see where you need to go next. It's a clever system, superior to direct camera control considering what the developers are trying to achieve.
Only here, it's lost. You'll switch to another camera angle automatically, akin to Resident Evil. Except sometimes... you just won't. So you'll be stumbling around off-screen in a sort of weird, ambiguous void of existence that almost seems like an intentional trap, so difficult is it to navigate. Then you'll get caught by guards and realise there are no real stakes, as being discovered and apprehended just sees you thrown in a prison cell, which are essentially the game's "checkpoints" as you're frogmarched to the nearest one. This makes things low in tension and somewhat frustratingly based on trial and error.
We criticise, but République is — honestly! — a genuinely engaging stealth title with an interesting story and compelling gimmick, that's nonetheless fundamentally compromised by virtue of adding more nuanced player control. It's an incredibly unusual position to be in, and thoroughly difficult to either enthusiastically recommend or outwardly condemn.
It's a tentative "yes", then, to this fascinating and flawed stealth game with an impressive sense of place; some will bounce off it harder than our Switch bounced off the wall when we got caught by yet another guard, but many will find it atmospheric, challenging and compelling. Definitely worth your attention, even if it's just to find out you don't like it.
Sounds like it should have stayed on mobile.
Can we get Phantom Breaker: Omnia review?
At least you aren’t wrong about the topical humor lol!
David Hayter should make this an 8. At least a 7
Oh I did play this before for a little bit. It was indeed a 5 or a 6.
The writer of this review probably has fascists under his bed.
This was actually a very interesting prestige project vor iOS as they wanted to prove that you can create a valuable AAA-ish stealth game for that platform. It would be released in episodes and... well... on the iPhones at that time it was actually really very impressive. Back then, along with games like Infinity Blade it really felt like that platform could one day be a quite fine environment for more deeper and immersive game experiences.
Today I'm sorta glad it didn't turn out that way.I prefer my Switch for portable gaming and my PS4 as a home console. Its sorta funny as an iPhone in theory still could pull off so crazy things, but I just couldn't care less about playing anything there anymore.
And that although for years I was really collecting premium game experiences on iOS. like XCom was actually a real blast. But even on the iPad theres just nothing grabbing my attention anymore.
This was also on Oculus/VR, which from what I heard was good for what it was. Not sure if you took control of the main character or just handled the hacked systems though.
Saw a reputable review today where it got high praise and a 9 out if 10.
@Lordplops not sure. Saw a 9 out of 10 review today. Guess it depends on who's playing.
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