We'll soon get to slip on the jackboots of The Man again in a second series of interesting episodic big brotherer Orwell, developers Osmotic Studios announced today. While the first season gave us control of a digital surveillance system to investigate suspected terrorists, Orwell: Ignorance Is Strength [official site] will put us in charge of a bigger question: who decides what even is true, and what's truth worth?
Today's announcement explains the premise:
"Inspired by the rise of fake news, the social media echo chamber and the death of “truth”--Orwell: Ignorance is Strength places the player in the shoes of a government official in a top-secret department of the Orwell program. A political crisis has arisen across borders, threatening to plunge The Nation and Parges into violent civil unrest.
"Given the power to both uncover and fabricate “the truth”, the player must decide for themselves how far they will go in the service of their country and whether the truth is sacred or ignorance is strength."
Orwell: Ignorance Is Strength is due to start "soon", coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux as a series of weekly episodes. That's a nice frequency for a small episodic game.
The first season, subtitled Keeping an Eye on You, was pretty good stuff. Our John had some reservations but, as he said his Orwell review, he got quite into it:
"I started collating, worrying, suspecting, excepting, making wrong guesses about where it was all going (one of which would have been an excellent alternative ending, if I do say so myself), and then piecing together the truth of the matter. It became apparent as I played that I could have a significant impact – so much so that I felt compelled to start the game again as soon as it finished to share information differently, to see what else might happen, and wanting to start a game again as soon as it's over is a pretty good sign."
If you missed the first one, you might fancy trying the first episode as it's up as a free demo on Steam.