Snoop ’em up Orwell’s final episode is out

If you fancied playing The Man with surveillance ’em up Orwell [official site] but are wary of episodic releases, good news: all five parts are now out. It’s set in a country recently rocked by a terrorist account, giving the player access to a mighty online snooping system to uncover and investigate a network of suspects. This final release is quite timely, given the surveillance bill Parliament just voted through. The first episode is free so all are welcome to a glimpse of our future.

So! The Man has a snazzy new surveillance program, named Orwell, with powers to monitor all online communications and Internet history and access any computer. When terrorists attack the capital, you the player get brought in to try the system out. Starting from one single person, you investigate them and their network of contacts, trying to uncover the truth – and the guilty.

Would you be surprised to learn that maybe everything’s not as simple as it seems and that maybe this power is bad?

Developers Osmotic Studios have been strict with their episodic schedule, releasing new parts every Thursday. I like the sound a new slice of story every week. I wasn’t interested in playing episodic games episodically until I played Life Is Strange as it came out, when I began to really enjoy the tension of the cliffhangers and the enforced period of reflection. Still, I suppose we can recreate the Orwell experience with a little self-restraint.

Orwell is £6.99/9,99€/$9.99 on Steam for the whole season. You can grab the first episode for free there or from from IndieDB. Do note that Osmotic point out episode 1 “is a bit more guided and directed than the rest of the game” because, y’know, it’s introducing how it all works.

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5 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    This game is pretty great and I encourage everyone to at least try the first episode. The first one is fairly limited compared to the depth that follows, but it still gives you a good idea of the basic mechanics.

    The story and characters are nuanced, and the game respects the choices you make, even if the consequences aren’t immediately apparent. Likewise, clues range from telegraphed to devilishly hidden, and lots of red herrings are left up to your own discernment. This is mystery investigation gaming at its finest.

    • ramirezfm says:

      I found the first one interesting, but very short and the outcome was a bit surprising for me given the choices I made, still I found the game quite entertaining. Are the next episodes longer?

      • Premium User Badge

        subdog says:

        Yep. After the first episode the game opens up quite a bit to allow you to investigate multiple “targets”. They go quite a bit longer.

        Also the choices you made in episode 1 come into play more in episodes 2 and 3.

  2. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Is Cassandra Watergate what happens when Pip and Alice get teleported together?

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