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Publisher: Feral Interactive    Genre: Strategy & War
Min OS X: 10.2    CPU: G4 @ 1000 MHz    RAM: 512 MB    Hard Disk: 1350 MB    Graphics: 32 MB VRAM

Republic: The Revolution
October 5, 2004 | Eric Ford

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With the mighty Soviet Union fallen, your state has been left in near anarchy. The time has come for someone to take down the self-obtained dictators and set up a state for the people. Such is the stage for Republic: The Rebellion, a political simulation game from Elixir Studios, Zonic Studios and Feral Interactive. Taking the role of a novice political activist looking to gain influence in your hometown, you're charged with recruiting others for your cause and doing any and all you can to gain power. The path will be rough, the opposition fierce, and intense strategy will be required to succeed in this wonderfully done strategy game.

Republic is a strange game in that while it is very easy to give a broad overview of the game's goals, the methods to achieve such goals are so diverse that anyone who plays it could have an entirely different outlook on the title. In terms of the supreme objective, you are charged with the task of guiding your avatar through the bowels of novice politics until he can reach a point of power that will allow him to take over his hometown. From there, the sky is the limit as you slowly gain power to the point of overthrowing the corrupt government of your state and setting up your own form of government for the people. Helping you achieve this goal are a multitude of options ranging from peppering the town with paper fliers to spreading lies about your organization to opposing political parties. Also, Republic features several in-depth status screens that allow you to organize your entire political scheme in a relatively painless fashion. For hardcore strategy buffs that prefer politics to the usual bloody war titles, it doesn't get much better than this.

Republic's graphics are nothing to go crazy about, but in this type of title, they don't need to dazzle. Players can elect to watch the game's processes through two distinct viewpoints. One is a three dimensional representation of the area, with every detail laid out on the screen to the quality that one chooses in the options menu. This is the primary view to use if you want to get a general lay of the land in regards to where buildings are in relation to each other, what your opposition is doing, etc. Personally, I found that I tried to stay away from it as much as possible, mostly due to the fact that my Dual 2 GHz G5 machine couldn't quite handle the graphics capacity at high detail levels. Fortunately, Republic also features a 'Risk'-like board game view that divides the entire area into sectors and shows where every character in the town (yours or otherwise) is moving and where they are doing the majority of their political work. This is the view that also provides the meat of your information for each area, such as how much influence you have in certain districts, how much knowledge you have, and who controls the major power points. It definitely adds a lot more to the game than the heavy visual representation of the town, but both are useful in their own ways.

Like most intense strategy games, Republic doesn't offer much in terms of sound and music. And, like most intense strategy games, it doesn't detract from the gameplay experience too much. There are some decent voiceovers in the game (even though they aren't in English, they still sound good), and there are a few majestic tunes that play out from time to time, emphasizing the overall dramatic mood that dominates the game. Other than that, this aspect of the game mainly exists because games have to possess some form of it.


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