“The future” has always been such a mysterious topic of discussion, and it is one that has been spoken about for centuries, with many painting dystopian gleaming cityscapes as the ultimate goal for humanity. Thankfully, we’re not here to discuss such existential possibilities. Instead, we’re here to talk about episodic mobile game République.
Set in a vaguely familiar Orwellian future, République is a “third-person” stealth game driven by an entertaining prison breakout story. Giving you the power of an unnamed hacker, your objective is to break into a secure facility and help guide a prisoner named Hope through this pristine but dangerous labyrinth, with the help of a strange like-minded rebel named Cooper.
Inspired by games like Splinter Cell, République focuses almost entirely on stealth, and since every guard is a present danger, combat is almost nonexistent. What’s most interesting about the game is that you don’t actually control the main protagonist. Instead, you peer through the facility’s security cameras to help lead the girl away from those who wish her harm. The powers of the hacker are not limited to pacifism, however. You can use a series of upgrades to trick guards away from their routes, and lock doors behind them, effectively trapping them.
This gameplay is solid enough to keep the player motivated, since it is tense and fun, but what takes the spotlight most is the storyline. This episodic tale spends most of its first episode leaving the player in the dark to what’s actually going on. However, it’s easy to tell that Hope is living under an oppressive dictatorship where free speech is a crime, and breaking her out of this removed place is the least you could do for someone who doesn’t want to be there. The character of Cooper, your removed assistant, is perhaps the best developed. His reliance on emoticons and vo-coder speech to protect his identity makes him the funniest character of the bunch, and his presence will keep players interested. However, the story of Episode 1 is merely an opener, so it will take the full release of the game’s lineup of iterations to see how well the plot plays out.
Much like the silver walls of the prison, Republique is polished with a gleam. The graphics are beautiful, and make the facility come to what little life it’s allowed to have. Other touches like Hope’s AI save the player from frustration, as she’s generally smart enough to keep away from a roaming guard without your direct guidance. This saves you from having to babysit her, which would be a hit to the gameplay’s quality were it the case.
The biggest complaint I have concerns the actual controls. Maneuvering the cameras in-game seemed to be moderately cumbersome, and I never felt like I really got a “grip” on the control scheme overall. Guiding Hope with taps was also occasionally slippery, and I had a couple of moments where she began moving forward when I didn’t want her to. Also, this being the first episode of the series, the developers probably didn’t want to reveal too much about the overarching story. However, in the process, I felt that too little content was in this episode, and it felt a tad short overall. These complaints are minor, however, and don’t detract from the overall game too much.
Despite some minor complaints, République Episode 1 is a fantastic introduction to a series which gets off on the right foot. Offering unique gameplay, a driving storyline, and pristine graphics, this is one of those gems on the iOS platform. There’s no reason to not go download this one.