There’s no pleading the fifth.
It’s easy to say these days that political tensions are pretty high everywhere. But things were even more dire in the time during the French Revolution. We. The Revolution brings to light just how drastic times were in France during this period, and it illustrates wonderfully how doing the right thing wasn’t always exactly the right thing.
We. the Revolution is a courtroom adventure game (think Phoenix Wright but more realistic and shorter court cases) set during the French Revolution, a period of social and political unrest that started in 1789, eventually threw out France’s King Louis, and ushered in the country’s first republic. As judge Alexis Fidele, you are given evidence and are able to ask questions to those who are accused of anti-revolutionary crimes. Once all of the questioning is finished, you then choose a verdict to be issued.
The setting plays perfectly into the kind of choices you make, none of which are all that great. You have to juggle various factions, including the jury that wants to uphold the law and the civilians who want to take care of the situation themselves. This winds up putting you in moral dilemmas, giving you choices you may end up not liking but need to make in order to keep balances between all the forces involved.
I ended up liking these courtroom cases overall, but at times it gets kind of tiresome to read so much text at once. There’s no real puzzle solving, just a mini-game that helps you connect the dots before asking questions. Controls in these scenes are also kind of annoying, as they didn’t feel responsive enough when trying to make the right selection.
In addition to all of the political upheaval, you also have to deal with family situations at home, which often times are tense and even on occasion spill into court cases you are deciding. We. the Revolution’s narrative is far more fascinating than the gameplay itself, and thus I was intrigued in between courtroom cases thanks to the game’s strong cutscenes and storytelling.
Presentation-wise, We. The Revolution has solid, crisp backgrounds and a nuanced but attractive art style. The voice acting during cutscenes was also a nice touch. My only real problem was when playing in handheld mode; sometimes it was pretty hard to read the text, which is vital for any adventure game. When playing on the television, it was perfectly fine.
We. the Revolution is a well-presented, fascinating look into one of France’s most significant historical chapters. The courtroom cases themselves could be a tad more interesting, but the game’s overall narrative is strong and engaging. We know the story of the French Revolution, but we can’t necessarily imagine what it was like living in those tumultuous times. We the Revolution is a fascinating look into the moral struggles of the era, where things weren’t as clear-cut as they seemed.