Republique is a game that feels like a mix between games like Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and other stealth games that take place in a compact indoor environment. The game looks great and uses some unique gameplay mechanics.
It was originally released on mobile and launched its first episode back in 2013. The game has been ported to PC and is now available on PS4, which is the system I played it on. République was originally an episodic series that was developed by Camouflaj and Logan Games and was published by GungHo Online Entertainment.
Republique starts with an anonymous phone call, which you answer and discover a girl called Hope. She is what’s known as a “Pre-Cal” staying at a place known as Metamorphosis. We learn that she is due to go through a process known as “recalibration” and she then goes on to ask for your help. Suddenly you see things from a different perspective, and you can now see the world through surveillance cameras. You can switch between cameras to get different views of the complex. It becomes clear that you are viewing the inside of the Metamorphosis building and it becomes your job to help Hope escape from the guards keeping her there.
I was instantly drawn into the world and enjoyed the mysterious setup. The game is a mystery that unfolds as you attempt to guide Hope past guards and through the complex building. The game does an excellent job of setting up a premise that we’ve seen before while adding something new to the genre. From the very beginning of the game I enjoyed the tone and presentation of the world. The way in which you control the cameras to guide Hope is unlike anything I have played before and I really enjoyed how you experience Hope’s journey from another perspective.
The would Hope is trapped in feels like a futuristic prison and the people and things you encounter are not what they seem. The story is fantastic in general and is probably one of my favourite aspects of the game. It’s hard not to spoil too much about the narrative but I can say that it’s certainly worth playing the game to experience the interesting story. The core part of the game is to use the cameras to unlock doors and guide Hope through each area. You can find keys in various rooms that can unlock various clues about the facility.
From finding a guard’s ID card or banned books, to artwork on the walls, everything gives you clues about the greater story. The world feels believable and does a great job of creating an atmosphere that feels immersive and unique.
I enjoyed how you don’t really play as Hope, apart from guiding her through areas and various scenarios. You play as someone on the other end of this device trying to help this girl escape from a monotonous hell. Using cameras to navigate corridors and locking doors behind you are the ways in which you move through the building. You can also pickpocket enemy guards and find useful items along the way. The game takes patience and a degree of trial and error, as you have to carefully plan out routes, stealthy approaches to enemies and figuring out the subtly integrated puzzles.
Republique doesn’t really use cutscenes, apart from at the start, and focuses more on storytelling through audio logs that Hope picks up. I love games that use this method of storytelling as it allows you to experience as much or as little of the narrative as you like. I would strongly recommend you try to collect as much information as possible though, as it’s not only interesting but may also help you progress in the game.
Even though you don’t know much about Hope from the start, you feel compelled to help her escape and the sense of a much larger narrative beyond the one that you’re a part of is always present. It really feels like there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. The narrative in the game raises interesting ideas about power, control and surveillance and the way in which people are treated. I only really had one issue with the game and that was when you switch between cameras. This causes long jarring loading moments that sees you awkwardly witness a blank screen that obscures your view. This can be incredibly frustrating and difficult when it comes to moving Hope. It also means that you can lose track of guards positions and therefore takes you out of the experience.
The presentation of Republique is unique, gloomy and does a great job of making the Metamorphosis complex feel a claustrophobic place to be. I liked the design of Hope as a character and the guards may look basic in design but I especially liked how when you scan each guard a photo pops up giving details about each person. This gives more depth and personality to each encounter. As I said, I played the game on PS4 and it ran fine apart from the load times when switching cameras. The sound design is brilliant with a fantastic voice cast that includes David Hayter, Dwight Schultz and Jennifer Hale. Having great voice actors combined with a well designed world and interesting narrative make for a great experience.
Overall I have to say that I really enjoyed my time with Republique. At first glance it may look pretty straightforward but it really does offer something unique. It takes what makes stealth games so great and adds a new twist on perspective. The fact that you view the world through surveillance cameras makes gameplay feel unique, varied and interesting. The strongest feature of the game in my opinion is the story and the mystery that surrounds it. I found that I wanted to keep playing to find out what is really going on and what the facility is up to. I certainly recommend this game if you want an exciting stealth experience, with an excellent story and unique gameplay.
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