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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

There aren't any clear-cut positive messages, because actions will either gain favor or disfavor with the varied factions. Gain too much animosity with the wrong group and you may be assassinated. This is a game where each decision made has consequences. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

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

Ease of Play

The control scheme is simple enough, but the management of resources and the 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 constantly be trying to appease the right groups while avoiding aggravating the wrong groups. 

Violence

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

Sex

There are references to rape in court testimony, but nothing's shown in the game. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

While nothing's shown, the central character is known as an alcoholic, and choices in the game include going out drinking, and getting drunk with friends.. At the start of the 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 It also deals with a bloody period in history, contains some historical references, and a lot of political intrigue.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's also 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 that happens to get a front-row seat to the French Revolution in 1794. Mixing a bit of evidentiary discovery with political intrigue, players are tossed into the instability of the times by managing a number of court cases that appear before their bench, and couples 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 of goals is to not find yourself tied to the guillotine, but, if played right, possibly 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 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 because 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. 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

Themes & Topics

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