Revolution Review

Revolution opens with a sequence straight out of the opening from Blade Runner.  After following your flying car through a city of megalithic buildings plastered with giant Asian video advertisements, you land at the front steps of a company called The Corporation.  If the name didn't tip you off that The Corporation is an evil entity, subtle hints such as its flying skull logo or the columns supported on the backs of statues with a decided look of quiet hopelessness are provided to clue you in on its nature.  In spite of all these warnings, you approach the armed guards and calmly inform them that you are there for a job interview.

Corporate Headquarters.

At this point you take control of your character and begin wandering the large halls of The Corporation's headquarters in search of your interview.  After aimlessly wandering around for a while and making it past a level load or two, you might be lucky enough to stumble upon a bar where you'll run into your ex, who is now a Corporation executive.  During the conversation she mentions that you're now an employee.  Hmm, so much for the interview you thought you were looking for.  Now what?  Good question.  More wandering, including making your way down a huge staircase and you might eventually find your way to the game's tutorial section.  Shouldn't this have been placed at the start of the game in an easy to find location?  Confused?  Get used to it.  The game does a very poor job of letting you know just what you're supposed to be doing, with confusing and often nonexistent objectives.  This problem is compounded by the fact that the levels are quite large and for the most part feature the same bland hallways over and over again.  If you enjoy aimless wandering in your games, you'll find Nirvana here.

Your reward for sticking with the game past the tutorial is the opportunity to begin your career at The Corporation ... as a maintenance man.  Your first tasks actually include things like trying to clear the rats from the basement.  So much for escapism in games.  If you stick it out, you'll eventually come to join the revolution against The Corporation because, well, it's evil.  Stop asking so many questions!  Like the poor objectives, the story is confusing and feels incomplete.  It borrows pieces from clichéd and generic sci-fi stories and mixes them up together into a convoluted gumbo of confusion.  It's hard to figure out if the story was not quite completed or if the designers of the game barely gave it a second thought during development.

This black cat is probably bad luck.

The incomplete theory gains a little credence when you look at other aspects of the game.  The graphics engine looks good at times, while at others has obvious issues such as when you can see a light through a character's head.  The PDA confuser which serves up your incomprehensible objectives often has text run over its edges (perhaps it's really some sort of holographic, three dimensional projection ... nah).  And the cutscene subtitles ... oh man.  That they don't always match what's being said is one thing, but the really amazing thing is the number of misspellings and grammatical errors.  Some fifth grader should be held back a year for this one.  It makes you wonder if anyone bothered to proof the text once it was entered.  For their sake I hope not.

It might be possible to look past some of these issues if the gameplay was really good, but that's not the case here.  Your character moves like an NHL puck, making it frustrating to negotiate the numerous jumping puzzles in the game.  Your enemies have the same sliding issues, but it doesn't affect their aim.  On the other hand, you'll be stuck trying to hit targets that move inhumanly fast.

While the game shows occasional signs that it might have some potential with a lot more work, the bottom-line is that it is not really enjoyable in its current state.  It might be a budget title, but that's not an excuse to release such a mess of a game.  What price would you place on spending your leisure time in a confused state of frustration?

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 20%.  It plays like a pre-alpha build that needs a lot of work before being worthy of your money ... any of your money.

System Requirements:  Pentium II 500;  128 MB RAM;  16 MB Video RAM; 4x CD-ROM;  700 MB Hard Drive Space;  Mouse.


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