We. the Revolution is set in late 18th century France in the violent heart of the revolution.
You play as a judge, a man of wealth and power who is accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle and not above indulging his vices.
Your days are spent overseeing trials in the courthouse, balancing the opinions of the general public and the revolutionaries in an attempt to maintain peace. You have the choice of spending your evenings preparing for the next day’s trials, relaxing with your family, or drinking and gambling with your friends. Each of your options will impact your standing with the people around you and with the public.
From the very beginning, We. the Revolution is a provocative game. The first criminal you have to try is your own son, arrested for lewdness after a night of drinking. It sets the bar for the complexity of the decisions you will have to make throughout the game, whether you choose to prioritise your reputation or your family, whether you try to please your wife or your people, whether you use your authority for gain or for the greater good.
In the trials, you are presented with documents that describe the case. You use the information given to you to question the accused and any witnesses. The gameplay takes the form of matching the events within the documentation you have to read with the different aspects of the trial to unlock questions. It is then a matter of ordering your interrogation in such a way that not only will you get to the root of the matter, but that the influence each answer has over the jury and public aligns with your judgement so your reputation isn’t at risk.
The trials you judge gradually get more complex as the game goes on. You end up dragged into the mess that is the French Revolution, to the extent that the once King Louis XVI eventually stands before you.
For all the historical accuracy of We. the Revolution, the events of the game are still randomised. This gives it decent value as a game you can play through a good few times without the story unfolding in quite the same way. Having said that, anyone worried about spoilers probably shouldn’t be playing a game based on true, well-documented events.
We. the Revolution is the kind of game designed to make you think. The texts you have to read are vividly written in a way that really immerses you in the detail of the day-to-day. The art style is distinct and striking.
If you’re not keen on slow-paced games that require a lot of reading, this won’t be for you. But if you’re prepared for that kind of mental engagement, the game is intelligent and absorbing with all the grit and gore of real life revolution.