We. The Revolution

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
We. The Revolution Game Poster Image
Suspenseful historical strategy with a splash of paranoia.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No clear-cut positive messages, because actions will either gain favor or disfavor with varied factions. Gain too much animosity with the wrong group, and you may be assassinated. Each decision made has consequences. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lead character is known as an alcoholic and it's affected his home and professional lives. Choices made from start of game are at player's discretion, so you can decide whether to take moral high ground or cater to baser elements of society. 

Ease of Play

Control scheme is simple enough, but management of resources and short leash players are given in regards to questioning witnesses and discovering evidence can be frustrating. When it comes to other elements, you will always be trying to appease the right groups while avoiding aggravating the wrong groups. 

Violence

Static cutscenes where people are hanged, killed by firing squad, or beheaded. None are shown; you may see a wall with bullet holes and blood splashed on it, or a bloody guillotine blade. These drive home point of violence from the time and setting. 

Sex

References to rape in court testimony. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Nothing's shown, but central character is known as an alcoholic, and choices include going out drinking, and getting drunk with friends. At start of game, two characters are shown throwing up because of drinking too much alcohol. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that We. The Revolution is a downloadable single-player strategy adventure game for Windows PCs. The game captures the tenuous times centered around a low-level judge who rises to fame during the French Revolution, but is poorly regarded by his family due to his alcoholism. It also deals with a bloody period in history, contains some historical references, and has a lot of political intrigue. Resource management, in terms of how your decisions affect the various factions included in the game, can be complicated and tricky for players to fully grasp. There are also references to bloody executions and rape, but nothing's shown. There are options to go out drinking with friends or get drunk, and some characters are shown being sick from drinking.

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What's it about?

IN WE. THE REVOLUTION, players take on the role of a low-level judge in Paris who is a known alcoholic and gambler and who happens to get a front-row seat to the French Revolution in 1794. Mixing a bit of evidentiary discovery with political intrigue, you're tossed into the instability of the times by managing a number of court cases that appear before your bench; couple this with a series of management tasks to keep your own life intact. The times are on the edge of exploding, and players are the judge in charge of the Revolutionary Tribunal. The most pressing goal is to not find yourself tied to the guillotine, but, if you play it right, there's also the possibility of rising to power and position within France. 

Is it any good?

This historically set game manages to balance tension and paranoia, but its arbitrary decisions and consequences to decisions may leave this for strategy fans only. We. The Revolution is stylistically rich in visual appeal, and does a great job of depicting an oppressive atmosphere. Also, because of the need to massage the views of the various factions, the game also has built-in frustrations and paranoia from start to finish. The earlier cases set the groundwork by showing players how traps can be laid, limiting questions and the discovery of evidence to make the verdict simply a matter of popularity. There are consequences for all actions, and you will not only have the "people" watching closely, but also the "revolutionaries" and your family. It's a balancing act that can start to feel depressing.

We. The Revolution is visually pleasing, taking players into the era but not assaulting them with blood and gore: The guillotine does its bloody work offscreen. All of the mature content elements -- from sexual inappropriateness to rape, executions, and the political duplicity of characters -- are handled through reactions, text, and static cutscenes. While it does a good job of depicting the time, some of the elements -- like talking about rape -- probably didn't need to be in the game. At its core, this is about managing resources, and is a strategic game that layers on the suspense and paranoia with little room to escape. The use of asking questions, avoiding traps, limiting discovery often makes verdicts a gut decision and not one based on actual judicial science. Other strategic elements seem to have been tossed in to create a more robust experience, but sometimes it feels like some of the gameplay in We. The Revolution is more of the same but with a different look. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the French Revolution and the general tone in the world at that time. What was the revolution about? What did it accomplish for the people of France? Did it have an impact on the rest of the world?

  • What should be considered when deciding a court case? Is it possible to tell if a witness is credible or lying to save him or herself? Does the game adequately reflect the notion of responsibility for actions?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $19.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Klabater
  • Release date: March 21, 2019
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Topics: History
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: May 01, 2019

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