Originally released over the course of two years, all five episodes of this palm-sweatingly tense adventure are now available to play. And République is best enjoyed this way – letting you binge it as you would your favourite TV boxset.
Conceived by developer Camouflaj as a blockbuster game for touchscreen devices, this has the high production values, gripping narrative and top-level voice acting you’d expect from a studio of games industry veterans.
It tells the story of Hope, a young woman trying to escape a secure facility run by an insidious organisation that’s been performing dubious experiments on human test subjects.
You must aid her escape by hacking into the facility’s network. You’ll use security feeds to guide her past guard patrols, while accessing emails and audio files that let you delve deeper into the mysteries of République’s dystopian world.
You’ll need to zap between cameras to keep her in your sights, though you’re also free to pause the action and check the local area for threats – or opportunities. Spot a guard and you can distract them, or just wait until their backs are turned and direct Hope to pick their pockets.
When she’s spotted, you need to break the line of sight. You can lock doors behind Hope to buy her time, or point out convenient lockers that she can temporarily hide inside.
If a guard does manage to get hold of her, a quick blast of pepper spray will fend them off – though if Hope’s got a taser to hand, that can provide a longer-lasting solution.
The intrigue builds throughout the first three episodes before the fourth switches things up with a terrifying new enemy and a greater focus on pure stealth. Then comes the daring finale, which answers the big questions while leaving plenty for you to think about.
République isn’t just a fresh take on the stealth genre, but the kind of polished, story-led experience we’d like to see even more of. All credit to Camouflaj for dreaming big.