Ignorance is strength, I’ve always said, though that never did get me out of doing my maths homework. Today it becomes our job to foster ignorance in Orwell: Ignorance In Strength, the follow-up to 2016’s Orwell: Keeping an Eye On You. Once again we play as an agent of an opressive government, spying on people through phones, computers, and social media then deciding what we want to record and present as the official record to influence how events unfold. Our John really quite liked the first game, so good, grand, let’s have more. The first episode launched today, and another two will follow fortnightly.
Orwell is not an author or whatever you’re thinking, never heard of him, but rather a computer system which ties into oodles of forms of surveillance to track and report upon people. We play an Orwell operator tracking one particular person and case, figuring out what’s going on – and what we want people to believe is going on. The blurb sets it up:
“Episode One: Thesis, opens with a political crisis threatening to plunge The Nation and its neighbour, Parges, into violent civil unrest. An officer of the Pargesian military has gone missing and the only clue is a phone call between the missing officer and Raban Vhart, a controversial Pargesian blogger now living in The Nation. With tensions rising between and within the two countries, the player must investigate both the disappearance and Vhart in an attempt to diffuse the situation.”
So we dig into every aspect of his life, and people connected to him, and so on, uncovering clues, making deductions, and trying to bear in mind that what our reports say is–for good and bad–taken as true. This trailer shows the Orwell software a little:
Orwell has a few more tools than it did in the first game too. Also nice to have more sweeping government surveillance powers. Very handy. I’m told the sequel will also give opportunities to sway the public directly, which I’m sure will work out just fine.
Orwell: Ignorance Is Strength is out now on Steam and GOG for £7.20/€9.99/$9.99 (though it’s 10% cheaper right now with a launch discount), which will get you all three episodes. The second is due on March 8th then the conclusion on March 22nd.