I like Boston; it was of the first places I visited when I studied in the wonderful US of A. Of all the huge metropolises the states have to offer, Boston has far more similarities to that of a European capital. The streets having a winding, meandering quality to them, unlike the straight, boring block system present in NYC, which is the result of an over abundance of 20th century urban planning. You can feel the history beneath your feet more so in Boston, Massachusetts than anywhere else in wide expanse that is the United States. I guess what I am trying to say is that Boston has character, a certain je nais se qua, meaning that I am willing to give anyone, anything, or in this case any game from the area the benefit of the doubt, and I am pleased to say that indie game studio Giant Spacekat – you have done Boston proud with Revolution 60.
Revolution 60 got its funding through Kickstarter and I can see why it was successful. Powered by the Unreal Engine, the art style instantly reminded me of kids TV shows of old, when they had just started messing around with CGI-animation. It took me a bit of time searching on Google, but I managed to dig deep enough into the recesses of my tiny little mind to find the reference I was looking for, which was the Canadian animated series ReBoot. I won’t go into it further, but if you follow the hyperlink maybe you too will see what I am getting at with the comparison, or maybe not. Either way, it was a lovely trip down memory lane for me.
In the game, you play as Holiday, a PVC clad assassin who looks the CGI equivalent of a Bratz dress-up doll. Again, I am not sure what that comparison says about me, my childhood or the strange things my brain decides to retain – you decide. Thankfully, the leading lady is a far better role model than that of the self-obsessed, materialist, little doll divas I have so disgracefully compared her to. She kicks ass, and a lot of it. There is one section in the game where the blonde bombshell jumps on to the roof of an enemy aircraft, delivering a devastating combination: first shooting the pilot’s brains out; followed up by taking out the main engine, before back-flipping to safety, and buggering off on a motorcycle that looks like she stole it straight out of the Tron universe. In short, there are no weak female protagonists here, so Revolution 60 is one game that Anita Sarkeesian can keep off her long list of sexist, misogynistic videogame titles.
Set in what can only be described as a typical dystopian future, Revolution 60 centers on an American orbital weapons platform that has drifted off course, threatening an international incident. Chessboard, who acts as your AI compadre throughout the game, has tasked a Charlie Angels-esque team to rendezvous with the station and regain control. In this crucial mission players are cast as Holiday, an assassin who must decide if her loyalty lies with her friends or with completing the objective.
The gameplay is in a similar vein to other episodic interactive adventure games, such as Telltale Games’ marvelous The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us. But, Revolution 60, fails to reach the immersive, graphical splendor of those games. However, that is to be expected for an indie game funded on Kickstarter. It lacks the immense budget, time, and, therefore, capacity to fine-tune it to the high standards of such AAA titles, but that doesn’t mean it is without its charm. Throughout the play through, you are given choices. Each defines the attributes and alters the outcomes of your character. Choose wisely and you and your friends live, but make an incorrect call and it could cost you more than just your life. Fans of the Mass Effect series will be familiar with these branching narratives, which take players through 26 different battles – including four mini-boss battles – eventually leading them to a combination of 24 different ending variations, providing hours of replayability. There is even a skills tree, which rewards you for whooping ass. The more damage you do, the more experience you acquire. It can be spent on strengthening your ability to lay out your opponents, increase your resilience to a beating, or on new abilities.
A real unique aspect of the gameplay that impressed me was the advanced combat. While it could do with being refined, it is unlike anything I have seen in an iOS title. It manages to mix up the gameplay, which is great when you consider how many of these types of games, although providing an interesting story, can get a little repetitive in the gameplay department. Overall, it just gives Revolution 60 a little more edginess in an otherwise diluted market, separating it from similar titles on offer in the iTunes and Android app stores. It is a concept that I would like to see developed further, and even built upon by other interactive adventure games. Props have to go to the developers for incorporating such a unique game mechanic into an iOS game, especially when other developers make such a hash of things when trying to best utilize the control scheme on touchpad devices.
Revolution 60 will be coming to PC, expected to officially launch later this year. The iOS version of the game is on sale on the iTunes store at a price of $3.99, a little steep in my opinion for a game that I think could do with some fine tuning and a bit of a facelift in order to justify that price tag. But if you are looking to support a indie-developer who shows some real promise, then reach inside your pockets and throw some money at these Bostonians.