The story surprised me both with how good it was and how prominent it was in the game. The storytelling is much more personal to the main character than in Papers, Please, which people (in part spurred on by the publisher) will like to compare this with. Also, in my view the general feeling of playing it is less like Papers, Please and more like Reigns: carefully balancing various factors while trying to create the maneuvering space to pursue your own goals. The court cases are well-written enough that you often feel uncomfortable when you forsake justice for political reasons, and having to guillotine a defendant never stops being grisly.
Unfortunately not everything else about the game supports the writing. The unique art style is quite effective, but the voice acting tends to fall flat and the game could have made better use of music. The game mechanics are a mixed bag: The court and intrigue mechanics are well done. The persuasion system is fine so long as you keep notes on what works well against what but could frustrate you otherwise. The board game mechanics are tricky and can feel out of your control, with the things you’ll be focusing on in Act III being particularly obtuse. Worst of all, there are pivotal moments in the story that literally depend on winning a dice game. (I’m not sure if I had bad luck or if the game rigs things against you, but I managed to fail at every important junction.)
You can pick up a lot as you go along, there many autosaves and a certain amount of doom and tragedy and fitting to the story, so I wouldn’t say these things really disqualify the game, but it is certainly far removed from your expected gameplay even for a non-traditional adventure game.
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Time Played: 10-20 hours
Difficulty: Just Right