Republique: Episode 3 iOS Review
As a full-time games artist and journalist, I can’t always play the hundreds of fantastic looking games I come cross each year. On-top of the lack of spare time I have, I also re-play a lot of my old favourites. I probably spend more of my gaming time re-playing games than actually playing new ones, but only the really great games make that short list. After playing the first two episodes of Republique, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on episode 3, but after time I forgot about it and went back to re-playing the Metal Gear Solid series. But when I learned that episode 3 of Republique was on its way, that excitement came rushing back and I just had to pick up my iPhone and begin the series a new.
If you haven’t played or heard of Republique before, you probably want to check out Episode 1 and Episode 2 before you read about anything else. Republique is very much a story game of finding out who you can and can’t trust, learning about the strange world of Metamorphosis, and discovering your reason for Hope’s existence. Reading ahead may take away from the initial experience.
Episode 2 left off on a bit of a cliff-hanger as always, where we thought ‘Hope’ (the protagonist) ‘s journey may have ended all too soon, but as you start episode 3 you realise that the girl made it out in one piece despite taking a beating. You are soon reunited with your trust worth companion ‘Cooper’, and begin your stealthy adventure once again.
Episode 3 shows you a new side of Metamorphosis as you get ever closer to ‘the surface’. Episode 1 was very much about the dormitories for the ‘Pre-Cals’ with it’s warm, carpeted hallways and dark-wood furniture. And episode 2 took you and hope to the more staff-like residencies as things looked a little plainer and strictly fit for purpose. Now in episode 3 you begin to explore the true nature of metamorphosis as the environment gets much more sci-fi with tall metal structures, technical offices and futuristic looking hallways. Guards now wear body armour and helmets making them immune to the previously-useful pepper spray and Tasers.
‘Derringer’ and ‘Murielle’, two ‘Prizrak’ higher-ups are as usual, a constant threat to hope and her goal of escaping. The Prizrak themselves aren’t so much a threat and simply take you back to the last or nearest holding cell if Hope is caught without a means of fighting back. In several cases, just like the Librarian in episode 2, you learn of why the staff are working in such a place when they disagree with their leaders and their ‘Republique’. Many of the Prizrak wish to leave Metamorphosis and return to their families on the outside, but are unable to leave. But this implies that there is a world outside of Metamorphosis at least.
As you teleport from camera to cell-phone to camera and tap a path for hope, sneaking past Prizrak and hacking locked doors, your stealth skills are put to the test like never before. Areas seem much more open and in some instances bare in comparison to that of the first two episodes. That’s not to say that they are too plain, just differently themed. The purchasable hacking skills come in very useful during this episode. By now you should have gathered enough currency by reading signs, emails and listening to phone calls that you can buy a variety of useful abilities, such as hacking phones to ring and distract Prizrak, and predicting enemy movement paths. Like in previous episodes there is a fair amount of backtracking which allows you to learn enemy movements and master each area. I found myself backtracking even more looking for ‘Zaeger Cassettes’ after I found a Zaeger hideout, something I have been looking for since episode 1.
Zaeger is often mentioned throughout the story. He is referred to as a villain to the Rebublique and has since been captured and killed. But his recordings and notes can be found throughout Metamorphosis and explain a little more about the dark secrets of the very place you are trying to escape. It’s worth looking out for these tapes and his hidden rooms if you want to learn who you are and why you’re here. The recordings are also good for a laugh. If you’ve played almost any of the Metal Gear Solid series they you will likely recognise several of the voice actors in Republique, and Zaeger is played by David Hayter himself of which I am a huge fan.
As I play more of Republique and the story gets bigger and better, I am beginning to get a real feel for who the goodies and baddies are. I have my own predictions of how I think the story will unravel and cannot wait to see just what happens in the coming episodes. But it’s not for me to tell you what I think will happen; go indulge yourselves in the most interesting episode yet and discover just a little bit more of the fate of Hope and the people around her.