Check out how Camouflaj games turn the stealth genre into a touchy subject.
Edited by Michael McDonagh
A lot of stealth games now a days focus around a bulky male figure with every imaginative tool under the sun. Who would of thought an iOS title would of decided to be original and even challenge modern console graphics.
The gameplay is simplistic enough. You use CCTV cameras to view the environment and direct Hope to where you want her to go. You can switch between from CCTV to what is called OMNI vision, where you can hack software and access information. This is a nice feature as you can learn more about the story if you so wish. You are even rewarded for finding information as you can trade in your knowledge for upgrades. These upgrades increase your hacking capabilities allowing you to hack more devices. Easter eggs are also scatterred throughout the game about other titles the developers Camouflaj have made which will link you to the App Store to download.
Switching to OMNI vision gives you the Batman Arkham vibe, as the world becomes a static blue with hidden items popping out at you. You also get help and tips from a secret ally known as Cooper. Cooper decides to disguise his voice with a computer voice changer. This can be very irritating as he pops up with something to say with every item you find. Here’s hoping his annoying voice will die down, or even stop altogether.
The puzzles are simple in the first chapter, as guards called the Prizrak patrol areas in a simple pattern. It is easy to slip past any Prizrak with minimum detection. If you are detected you can use items to stun them and make your escape. You can even hide in lockers and pretend you are in Outlast. The gameplay is fun in short bursts, but can quickly get boring and slightly irritating as you are constantly tapping the screen. The cameras react slow as well and the Prizrak’s footsteps echo extremely loud even from the next room. This makes it difficult to track them at times unless you’re in OMNI vision. However every time you are in OMNI vision you can’t move Hope. This inevitably creates a stop-start mechanic within the game. This game is a lot about patience and if you lack it then this game will quickly become irritating.
Despite the 50/50 gameplay and the annoying voice acting of Cooper, République does have good qualities. République is extremely beautiful. Even though it’s an iOS game République manages to achieve console standard graphics. The facial detail and animation is the real gem in this game, which can even challenge current Xbox 360 and PS3 titles. All the art from character to environment design are truly breathtaking and worth playing for that reason alone. It’s what will encourage you to play it.
The game is divided into episodic chapters like Telltale titles. Also like Telltale titles you have to pay for each episode. Luckily the first episode is free providing a stronger incentive to check it out. However whether it’s worth to purchase the other chapters it’s hard to say. Never the less, the first chapter was a ton of fun. There are however a few niggles that might prevent you from being engaged enough, such as not feeling any genuine threat in the game. For example getting caught by the Prizrak would get you looked in a cell. A lot of the time the cell was closer to the destination you’ll be heading towards. With the ability to escape from your cell it is actually easier to get caught rather than try and sneak past the guards.
This game has a lot of potential and this review is only based on the first chapter. In short bursts République is a fun stealth puzzle. The art style and models are probably the best seen in a mobile title. There are minor gameplay issues, which does ruin the challenge for some people particularly with the sounds. There are also some bugs that need fixing, which is expected in any game. Overall this is a beautiful indie title worth checking out.
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