With games like Hitman and Metal Gear Solid V showing up on gamers’ radars recently, it seems like we’re seeing a surge of stealth games sneaking onto the scene. If you’ve ever wanted to be a ninja, secret agent or assassin, well, now’s your time. It might take a lot of training and there’s all those moral quandaries about neck-snapping, but the option’s open!
If, for some strange reason, you’d rather leave people’s necks alone you might want to consider developer Camouflaj’s stealthy PS4 port of République Remastered, which collects all episodes of the original mobile game and generally leaves necks unsnapped in favor of a more pure sneaking experience.
République follows Hope, a prisoner in the Metamorphosis base located in the titular totalitarian nation. République is, uh…it’s not a very happy place. Lots of stuff is banned, lots of cameras are always watching you, you get the idea. Also, I say “follows” because the player is actually just helping Hope along; you’ve got a hacking interface, meaning you’re able to do all manner of trickery with the local electronics. Your job is to help Hope uncover what’s going on, because dissident elements like her don’t tend to last long in République.
République is essentially a stealth game viewed entirely through surveillance systems. Unlike the mobile game, you control Hope directly while also manipulating local cameras to keep an eye on her or distant cameras to check out upcoming hazards and guards. Switching from camera to camera involves using the face buttons, which makes for easy access. It’s an interesting concept that’s reminiscent of the classic horror title Siren; your manipulation of your viewpoint is just as important as actually controlling the character.
Hope herself is about as fragile as stealth protagonists get. There’s not really any neck-snapping or combat to get you out of a bad spot here; the best Hope can do when threatened is taze someone, and that’s not nearly reliable enough to count on. Success comes from using your advantages in perception to see threats coming.
I never found the game to be especially difficult, which makes sense given that this was originally a mobile title and those controls wouldn’t lend themselves well to a high-precision stealth experience. Previously you’d tap on a spot on the screen and pray. Now you can steer Hope around directly, which is a nice upgrade.
There are plenty of collectibles to dig up when you aren’t sneaking about, including information that can be converted to cash money and upgrades along with the usual groanworthy Kickstarter backer and indie game pandering we’ve come to expect. The sheer amount of stuff to dig up and optional content to check out makes Republique an interesting experience, and the plot has enough intrigue to keep thriller fans going.
République actually looks pretty damn good for a game that was originally intended to run on mobile devices. There’s a clear graphical upgrade applied to pretty much everything and it shows. It’s a fairly slow-paced game, to be sure, both because it’s a game of stealth and because switching camera views has some lag built in. None of it’s all that bad and you’ll eventually get used to it, but it’s questionable why it’s there at all.
If you haven’t played the mobile version yet, République Remastered is absolutely worth the cash. If you have, the situation becomes a bit more questionable, as the gameplay changes might not be enough to merit a second playthrough. Overall, though, this is a well-made stealth game that hits a road bump here and there, and if you’re into the genre you could do much worse.