John enjoyed his time snooping around dystopian surveillance game Orwell, and if the bug I planted under his lapel can be believed, he'd be keen to play something else in a similar vein. Well he's in luck. The second season of Orwell, subtitled Ignorance is Strength, is set to kick off soon. Putting you in the role of an officially sanctioned cyber-snooper acting for the greater good, Osmotic Studios' episodic original could hardly be more timely. Season two will tackle "the rise of fake news, social media echo chambers, and the displacement of truth", making it the first game in my knowledge to really grapple with our Trumpian age.
Osmotic promise a darker season of Orwell this time around, with more opportunities to stick your oar into the narrative. Playing as a new member of a shadowy government organisation known as The Office, you'll have to use your digital snooping skills to
figure out who put Gareth's stapler inside a jelly work out why there has been so much political tension between your nation and a neighbouring country of late. There's a new 'time of day' system that will foist time-sensitive decisions upon you, while you'll generally be able to delve deeper into citizen's lives this time, as you root through their emails, social media profiles and the like in search of clues.
The first episode of Orwell: Ignorance is Strength will be with us on February 22nd, while the second will follow two weeks later on March 8th. Two weeks after that, on March 22nd, the third and final episode will arrive to bring the story to a close. If you've not played the first season yet, have a go on the demo over on Steam. It's in the current Steam sale, too.