There are times when you’d come across a mobile game that looks like it could be a console game. It would look like a port from a PC or console game, but you then find out that it’s an original mobile release, which then makes you wonder on what if it had been released for major platforms. Of course, you still have to see if the game is in itself any good and accept that mobile platforms are not bad at all, especially with how they let gamers experience titles in their own way with touch screens, tilt controls, and such.
Republique: Exordium is the first title out of a new IP by Camouflaj and Logan Games as a stealth survival horror title for the iOS, and is now being expanded to the PC. It’s the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign conducted on May 2012, raising over $500,000 with the aim of making a “AAA iOS game”. Exordium is the first look into this new world that turns out to be quite a potential gem, one that should translate well to major platforms. Despite that, the developers’ original intention was to create a game that makes mobile platforms viable for really big projects.
The story is about the protagonist Hope, who is getting away from being “recalibrated” in this dystopian world called the Rebulique. The ones going after her are known as the Prizrak, and they are adamant in capturing Hope and other fugitives like her at all costs, so Hope must then stay hidden and traverse the heavily-defended city with security cameras and sentries by using the Omni-View to see from different angles and find the blind spots to sneak in. It’s basically stealth with the help of a piece of convenient technology, which is a pretty good gameplay mechanic. The Omni-View can run out of batteries to provide a sense of scarcity, but that can then be recharged easily enough.
There is another character named Cooper, who serves as Hope’s handy sidekick. He sometimes can be a bit too convenient at times, but at least he has personality, talking through text-to-speech software that makes him like a friendlier version of HAL 9000 or GLaDoS. He is comedic and full of fourth wall breaking goodness, from how he makes fun of the guards and the various references he puts out to his lost games that Hope can pickpocket from the guards that allude to actual mobile titles and Kickstarter projects. There are also many other well-written characters that add to the narrative and in-game world, but Hope and Cooper are enough reason to get this game as they are memorable characters who were written well and keep this game from being totally dreary and bland.
There is a great deal of exploration involved in the gameplay, which lets players take in the aesthetics and lore of the in-game world. There are times when it does get tedious in controlling Hope, as well as having to deal with the janky AI at times, but they’re not big faults. It does feel short, but it’s the first episode of five after all, so it’s supposed to be the introductory arc of the story. Other recent titles have been following this episodic release pattern like Broken Age and The Walking Dead
It’s not really a bad thing as long as subsequent episodes are released at a reasonable time frame and continues the storyline well, which is something that Republique must follow suit. The developers do say that the story really picks up with the second episode, so that’s something to look forward to. If titles like this and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation are anything to go by, we know that mobile titles can make the transition to major platforms quite well. Square Enix may be about to follow suit with Deus Ex: The Fall, so this does seem to be a trend indeed.
It would be interesting to see how this in the PC later on, if the gameplay will translate nicely from touchscreen to keyboard and mouse. If you’re a fan of dystopian or cyberpunk sci-fi worlds akin to Half-Life 2 and Deus Ex, then you might like this one as well.
Tested in iOS. Final Score: 8/10