French revolutionary judge sim We. The Revolution (a clunky capitalisation I shall not use often, sorry devs Polyslash) is out now, sneaking up on me quiet as a guillotine blade. It’s vaguely similar to Papers, Please, in that it’s a game about being a political cog in a complex machine. Less similarly, this is about being one of the bigger cogs – a judge of some political influence – with your behaviour both in and out of court steering who will be in control of Paris when the fires burn out and the heads stop rolling. Below, a trailer looking at how the complex court cases work.
We The Revolution looks surprisingly intricate, with the court cases giving you case notes to rifle through, witnesses to cross-examine and sentencing that is left up to player choice. Whether the suspect is guilty or innocent of their crime may be less important than how the case looks to the increasingly decapitation-hungry public. You even need to choose what kind of tone to take when attending the execution of people you’ve put on the chopping block, attempting to steer the crowd in your favour. Even if you’re in the right, you can still end up approximately one head shorter yourself if you upset the wrong people.
I hope to find the time to give it a poke this weekend. A complex game of personal and national politics, clashing against justice and equality. There’s more to the game than just court cases, too, with political maps of the city to navigate and hard choices to make on which individuals to back. Between cases, you’ll even have to confront your own family’s thoughts on your choices at the dinner table, and even do a bit of gambling on the side. All of this wrapped up in a very distinct art style – historical art wrapped in a sharp polygon veneer that looks vaguely like stained glass.
For those after something with similar French revolutionary themes and dramatic court cases, but with more jokes and less gut-wrenching moral uncertainty, I highly recommend checking out the Phoenix Wright-esque Aviary Attorney. It’s very good.