Republique: Episode 2 iOS Review
If you ever got the chance to play the first instalment of Republique then I’m guessing you either couldn’t come to terms with the interesting control scheme or being dropped in the deep end of a complex and darn confusing story, or like me you couldn’t wait to play Ep.2. Unlike many games that have a complicated storyline, Camouflaj clearly knew that overloading us with information right at the beginning of the game is never a good idea, especially for an iOS game, and instead give us a small cutscene and send us on our way. This leads to two things; confusion and longing. But that’s great, because the confusion slowly turns into knowledge as you figure out the story and the longing drives you to buy a Season Pass.
Republique brings back fond memories of the first Metal Gear Solid game where stealth is everything. If you get spotted it is extremely difficult to get away without being captured and escorted back to the last ‘checkpoint’. Only Hope is no legendary hero on a mission into the heart of the enemy base – quite the opposite in fact. Hope’s mission is to simply escape by any means possible, and wants freedom increasingly more as the story progresses when you both start to learn the truth about wherever it is you are.
Part 2 continues right from where the first left off with Hope being saved from interrogation by an unknown masked-character, who soon disappears and leaves you to fend for yourself. Both the story and the location seemed to open up much more making the camera controls and their angles less frustrating and navigating the environment has become much more enjoyable. Characters are beginning to show their true selves allowing you to make your own theories about how the story will unfold; even your responsibility over Hope has deepened and at one point you must decide whether to allow her to watch something horrifying, or shield her from it.
Many of the same mechanics from the first part return in Ep.2, such as all of the camera skills. By finding snippets of information in the form of emails, voice-recordings or sign posts, you earn points that can be spent on more of these skills to get more information. You can also – with a bit of saving – get skills that allow you to predict a guard’s path, or give you x-ray vision allowing you to see them through walls. Locking and unlocking doors is the most basic of skills, and can come in very handy when a guard is headed your way or you wish to claim some hidden items.
It’s no secret that ‘controlling’ Hope took more than a little practice back in the beginning, but due to the exact same control scheme, things seem somewhat easier in Ep.2, just as if you played Ep.1 a few times through. Familiarity with the controls is key to acting fast in any game, and the interesting pause mechanic isn’t always enough to help you go unseen. Thankfully it feels just like the first part but with more open areas to see guards from further away and giving you longer to run away if spotted.
Sneaking through an area unseen is much more satisfying than reaching the goal after failing countless attempts, which I’ll be honest, happened several times in the first episode. I’m not sure whether part 2 is easier, the new areas and their camera angles made for more flowing stealth, or whether I just got better. But what I do know is that the story is starting to build up into a potentially fascinating experience, but its early days yet and Republique still offers three more episodes which I personally cannot wait to get my hands on. If you played and enjoyed the first episode, then Ep.2 won’t let you down. Go play it and check back here in the summer time for our opinion on the third episode.