Don’t you hate it when you’re thrust into a totalitarian world of unrelenting fascist horror? For example when you go outside? Hoho! Just a bit of current humor. Sorry we will never do it again. Look, the point is, République – the game whose Nintendo Life review they are reading – is about escaping such a dystopia.
At that time, République was a telephone game whose configuration made perfect sense for its type of input. You have taken control of a villain element indefinite nature essentially bridging the gap between player and controller; kinda like the excellent one In other waters; Here you are in control of the various cameras, computers and other systems in the vast complex where the female protagonist is captured. You’re help this girl escapenot escape you yourself. It made you feel like you had just the right amount of helplessness, just the right lack of agency. You had a lot of power, but in the end you were just an observer. It, dare we say it, made that character easier to care for, easier to invest in that character when she had autonomy regardless of your own personal whims.
So it’s odd that République is celebrating its anniversary with a version of the game where you control that character directly, removing one of the things that made the game unique in favor of a system that now relies on frustrating ambiguity. Pressing ZR will bring up the list of available commands and nearby security cameras. You switch between them to see where to go next. It’s a clever system that’s superior to direct camera control given what the developers are trying to achieve.
Only here it is lost. You automatically switch to a different camera angle, much like Resident Evil. Except sometimes… just you habit. So you’re stumbling around off-screen in a kind of strange, ambiguous void of existence that almost seems like a deliberate trap, so difficult to navigate. Then you get caught by guards and realize that there are no real missions, as if you’re spotted and arrested you’re just thrown into a jail cell, which are essentially the game’s “checkpoints” while you march to the next . This makes things low tension and somewhat frustrating based on trial and error.
We criticize, but République is – honestly! – a truly immersive stealth title with an interesting story and a compelling gimmick, but fundamentally compromised by the addition of more nuanced player control. It’s an incredibly unusual position to be in, and quite difficult to either enthusiastically recommend or outwardly condemn.
So it’s a tentative “yes” to this intriguing and flawed stealth game with an impressive sense of place; Some will bounce off it harder as our Switch bounced off the wall as we got caught by another Guardian, but many will find it atmospheric, challenging, and compelling. Definitely worth your attention, even if it’s just to find out you don’t like it.
https://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/switch-eshop/republique-anniversary-edition République: Anniversary Edition Review (Switch eShop)