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Exordium is the first episode of République, a crowd funded stealth game released in episodic format. It is set in unnamed totalitarian state. The protagonist, a girl called Hope, is a Pre-Cal, someone who was born and raised in a facility that acts as a micronation and where the entire game takes place. Hope's facility is called Metamorphosis and it is led by the Overseer called Kenichiro Treglazov and his soldiers called the Prizrak. The location is used to perform experiments on the Pre-Cals, who grow up there and have never seen the outside world. The player does not control Hope directly, but instead she contacts the player through her phone. She asks for help because a defaced manifesto was found in her room and many people believe she now needs to be "re-calibrated", which will erase her personality. She wants to escape and since the totalitarian state is modeled after George Orwell's 1984 the place is swamped with cameras the player can take over to follow and help Hope. You can quickly hop between different cameras, tamper with security devices, lock or unlock doors, provide distractions and so on. Contrary to a game like The Experiment Hope is aware of the player's presence and often communicates, even though it is not possible to speak to her directly. You receive assistance from Frederick Cooper, someone who works in the facility and only communicates through a phone as well, using text to speech. Other important characters are Hope's caretaker Mireille Prideaux and the deceased revolutionary Daniel Markus Zager who has left behind audio logs scattered around the facility.

The game was designed for mobile devices as the primary platform and everything is controlled through touch. Through Hope's phone the player can access almost any electrical device in the network. Cameras appear as eyes on the screen and it is possible to quickly move between them, scouting ahead and even in places beyond walls Hope cannot access yet. Once controlling a camera it is possible to rotate and zoom. From this position you can tap to steer Hope in a certain direction. The icon changes colour to show if she walks regularly, seeks cover or makes too much noise and can attract guards. The Prizrak can be temporarily disabled using P-Zero pepper spray or for a longer time using a taser, but both come in a limited supply and guards eventually wake up again as there are no lethal means. When alerted if often takes a while before they resume their regular patrols. There is no health system and if Hope is captured the game is not over; she is locked up again, but the player can always free her once more with the only downside that all contraband items need to be recovered, from the Prizrak who discovered her, using a pickpocketing mechanic.

At any time OMNI View can be activated, which pauses the game and launches a hacking interface as an overlay. Characters are highlighted as well as items that can be interacted with. From the interface a map of the facility can be accessed, Hope can be located, all collected data and contraband can be browsed and items can be checked in the inventory. Because of the limited signal of the phone the player cannot hop through the facility without Hope nearby. When moving too far from Hope, the signal becomes weak and it is not possible to progress. Using OMNI View different types of items can be examined or gathered, such as the personal information of the Prizrak, tutorial posters, newspapers and general intel. Using abilities acquired later on it is also possible to hack and listen to voice messages, read e-mail, use voice and fingerprint scans, lock and unlock doors, set off electrical devices as distractions, disable lasers, and so on. This is also used to find out about hidden locations or pin codes. Hope can also be directed to pickpocket guards to receive more pepper spray or collectible items. These can often be found in the environment as well and include Atari-like game cartridges advertising other mobile games, a selection of banned, subversive books and tapes left behind by the revolutionary Zager that can only be played in a specific location. When using OMNI View items are colour coded, with green for collectible items, yellow for intel, a different green for cameras, red for doors and so on. Single-use screwdrivers can be used to get through events. Sometimes there are small puzzle-solving elements, often based on interpreting clues.

The game focuses entirely on stealth as there is no combat; Hope can only defend herself briefly using a taser or pepper spray. She can sneak around, use cover, hide in lockers or bushes, and so on. The advanced hacking techniques however drain her phone's battery. The player can only use them now and then as often recharge points need to be found. Basic actions such as switching between cameras or opening basic doors do not reduce the battery. Replacement batteries can be carried along for a single use as items in an inventory. The game also has Metroidvania elements based on certain abilities and the version of the OMNI software. Intel can be traded with a Data Broker by scanning them at specific computers. Credits are provided in return, used to unlock abilities such as hacking e-mails and voicemail, hacking guards to briefly see their patrol routes, pinging guards to see them on the map and distracting guards by hacking devices, such as turning on an alarm clock or starting a coffee machine. Backtracking is often possible to use new abilities in previous locations. The same goes for the level of the OMNI software that has a maximum of 1 in this episode. There are however many doors and lockers that have level 2, 3, 4 or 5, meaning they can only be opened by revisiting them in later episodes when the software has been upgraded. The later episodes always offer a way back to the previous locations and at the end of the first episode there is a checkpoint to continue exploring at any time.

After purchasing the first episode, the remaining ones can be bought as in-app purchases or in a single season pass. The latter is offered at a lower price and also contains developer commentary through videos.


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Promo Images

République: Episode 1 - Exordium Screenshot
République: Episode 1 - Exordium Screenshot
République: Episode 1 - Exordium Screenshot
République: Episode 1 - Exordium Screenshot

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Critic Reviews

Gameplay (Benelux) iPhone Jan 31, 2014 Unscored Unscored
Gameplay (Benelux) iPad Jan 31, 2014 Unscored Unscored


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Contributed to by Sciere (798482)
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