GAME REVIEW | Fighting Back Against the Surveillance State in "Republique"
While it's been a while since Republique was released, a review for it is better late than never (especially since there is demand for a Switch version). Thankfully, it's still a game with a relevant message, considering the grim outlook of the current state of the world today compared to its initial release back on mobile phones and PC's.
The setting is in a future where most of the world has become a surveillance state, and children are indoctrinated strictly. But an anonymous hacker, who you play as, intercedes on behalf of a young woman named Hope. Hope is accused of being part of the resistance fighting against the totalitarian regime. She obviously is fed up with this nonsense and more or less joins the resistance as a result. However, you can't help her directly. Instead, you can only hack various mechanical devices like cameras, doors, phones, and lights.
Republique will have Hope go do various things based on your instructions, as well as interact with the things you can't do directly. In this sense, the game plays like an adventure title with an element of stealth. If you do get caught, there are a few items you can pickup beforehand to distract guards and escape capture. But if you do get captured, you'll have to hack a few things to bust her out of confinement. You are also aided by another hacker at the facility. There are a number of episodes to get through, as the game was originally episodic.
All throughout Republique, the great voicework and story will keep you interested. Just about the only problems in the game stem more from the fact that getting anything done can seem like a chore, since it's not always clear whether or not you are going in the right parts of the facility, or whether or no there's a guard out of view. Hope's walking speed can also just be too slow, making it hard to avoid detection in some parts. Rescuing her after getting detained means wasting time, as well. But outside of that, the game is still very fun.
The Good: The game's story and setting are very interesting.
The Bad: Getting caught costs a bit of time to escape detainment.
The Ugly: This game would be much more welcome on a touch screen device like the Switch.
SUMMARY: Republique is a well-made, but somewhat long in the tooth off-hands adventure game.
Eric is a freelance writer and has a podcast called RPGrinders, and you can support their Patreon page here.