[dropcap size=big]R[/dropcap]epublique Remastered is a topical stealth game that was originally released on mobile devices, though from the beginning there were always plans for a PC and Mac version that would come with unique features and story elements. I haven’t played the mobile version, but I’ve heard the touch screen controls were deeply immersive and very effective, both as a storytelling mechanic and UI. The desktop version of Republique Remastered may have lost that unique angle, but the gameplay is still very fun and engaging.
The basic premise of Republique Remastered is that a girl who calls herself Hope has been caught with a dangerous manifesto in a dystopian world that is very reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984. She reaches out to us for help on her cellphone, and being the benign hacker rebels that we are, we of course oblige her. Our tools of the trade? Primarily security cameras, through which we play the role of Big Brother and can hack through other devices connected to the network of Metamorphosis, a facility within the totalitarian state. This voyeuristic gameplay is an effective viewpoint for heightening tension, but at the same time it feels empowering flitting from camera to camera, surveying a room, scouting ahead, and turning the tools of the institution against it. Collectibles that you find through the course of normal play can be “cashed in” for credits that you can use to upgrade your abilities: activating electric devices as a distraction, reading emails, listening to voicemails, and mapping enemy patrol routes.
Gameplay in Republique Remastered is not always perfect, though. The Prizrak, our basic enemies, have very simple AI. Their movements are stiff and awkward, and apparently they’re clones, because they all look the same. Detection can be “interesting” as well. I often find that so long as Hope is ducked behind a low object, it doesn’t matter if one of the (very tall) Prizrak stop on the other side, they won’t see her, as if their peripheral vision were impaired! Ah, but then set that Prizrak fellow one grid block to the side, and once he starts to turn, he takes notice! I don’t quite understand the line of sight issue there. Maybe Metal Gear Solid spoiled me. Another nitpick: It’s possible to miss some of Hope’s in-game dialogue as you’re busily switching cameras.
Still, if that’s all there is to complain about, then there really isn’t much wrong with Republique Remastered at all. The experience of Camouflaj shows in the game’s production value. The emergent narrative is fun to see unfold, though not terribly complicated. If you’re still skeptical about gameplay, know that there are oftentimes more than one way to approach any obstacle, providing variety for different playthroughs.
Republique Remastered is entertaining. The graphics and design are excellent, the writing well done, the voice acting top-notch, and add the game’s replay value to it, and I’d say it is well worth a try!