Republique Episode 5: Terminus (PC) Review

By Adam Riley 29.03.2016 2

Review for Republique Episode 5: Terminus on PC

Cubed3 was very busy over the Christmas period, catching up on the stunning stealth mystery, with shades of point-and-click adventure mixed in, République. Its first three mobile episodes featured as part of the Remastered package (Episode 1: Exordium, Episode 2: Metamorphosis, and Episode 3: Ones & Zeroes), and all followed the same style, whilst the fourth part, Episode 4: God's Acre went a bit crazy, changing things up. Now, it is time to get back to the internal parts of the Metamorphosis facility and help Hope unravel the final threads in Episode 5: TerminusBEWARE: Spoilers Ahead!

Hope is back within the confines of the crazy facility she found herself in during the first three episodes. It feels good to be back, since although the outer world in God's Acre was intriguing, its one-foe approach and lack of mobile phone-led abilities fell slightly short when compared to the tense nature of the dodge-the-guards gameplay of its forebears.

Each time a new episode has arrived so far, there have new upgrades (or downgrades in the case of the last episode), and this time is no different, with some special security cameras installed here and there that have automatic alarms that trigger when Hope moves into their field of vision. Whilst they can be manipulated by Hope's unknown ally, as per previous chapters, they can only be prevented from bringing attention to Hope for a limited time (extended by a handful of seconds by unlocking a special feature if enough credit has been accrued from scanning 'extra' objects in previous episodes). With extra numbers of guards that also appear to be far sharper than before, the challenge is harder than ever, meaning more of a stealth element is required this time. Hope must sneak around, hide behind desks, in lockers, and so on, because… it is simply imperative to or else no progress will be made. Gone is the gung-ho approach of before (publisher-related pun totally intended…).

Screenshot for Republique Episode 5: Terminus on PC

For a more detailed introduction to the gameplay elements, it is definitely worth checking out the previous reviews linked to in the introduction to this article. In a nutshell, though, Hope cannot be directly controlled by those at the helm, with the focus mainly being on gamers taking control of the various cameras dotted around to see what the best path is, and then using a point-and-click method to get her to run, or carefully tread, around to the desired location, ducking behind areas clicked on when required. Hope's route is more logical now, thankfully, as Camouflaj has updated the path-finding AI for this entry, as well as the earlier games, as well, meaning those starting for the first time will not face as many moments of frustration where Hope used to wander into no-man's-land, not following orders; extra polish that is most welcomed.

There is so much to uncover along the way to the final throes that even though there is a total disconnect between events at the start of Terminus and the ending of God's Acre, all can be forgiven. Touching upon that point, though, some believe the lack of continuity comes from a clone somehow coming into play, unbeknownst to anyone actually playing through Ones & Zeroes and then God's Acre…although there is a possibility of 'recalibration' occurring between episodes, as hinted at during various in-game conversations…Still, it does seem rather 'off.'

Anyway, traipsing around the new areas of Metamorphosis in Terminus, picking up more clues and carrying out the tasks required by Hope's superiors, now turned liberators (tasks that change dependent on a choice made early on, but not impacting on the story), is still as appealing now as it ever was. Pleasingly, all of the effort made in the first three episodes to gain enough exchangeable 'currency' by scanning everything possible is brought back into play, allowing for a general mop up of all the bits missed previously - something that seemed an impossibility during God's Acre.

Screenshot for Republique Episode 5: Terminus on PC

Finding out more about the whole purpose of why Hope and the other 'Pre-Cals' are being held captive, and what the Overseer / Treglazov has planned, has been so gripping so far that finding every last shred of information before getting to the end credits has been a joy - tension building more and more. Even when getting spotted by the hordes of guards, dragged back to prison cells that must be unlocked by her unseen accomplice that resides in any camera device, running out of battery power when key user-triggered abilities are brought into play (power is depleted when distracting guards by interfering with walkie talkies, setting off alarms, locking doors, and the like…), or becoming slightly disoriented by some of the similar-looking corridors, there has always been a strong desire to squeeze an extra bit of information out wherever possible. Emails to hack into, phone messages to pick up, posters to check out, Daniel Zager's increasingly maniacal monologue updates on cassette to listen to, as well as "illegal contraband" books to snatch… Everything adds an extra morsel of insight into how the whole crazy situation began, how things have panned out so far, how murmurings of a revolt started to creep in, and more. The ending…it could not come soon enough.

Be careful, though, as although there is the urge to grab all items and extras, following the main path in Episode 5: Terminus will actually cut out a whole chunk of backstory, and lead to missing out on various collectibles. Leading Hope along, under the direction of Mireille, for instance, will bring this episode to its conclusion far faster than expected, making the ending even more confusing than it already is. Instead, stumbling upon a diversionary route towards the end suddenly opens up that whole world of back-tracking to collect everything. Keep an eye out or be prepared to be disappointed more than you will be because of the poor ending.

Screenshot for Republique Episode 5: Terminus on PC

After such a strong build up, the story had reached a point where it was essential for threads to be expertly tied together to get the most out of the complicated topics being thrown around left, right, and centre. Was Hope just a puppet after all; a Pre-Cal that was just a pawn in someone else's master plan? Was she nobody special at all, and merely another brainwashed child borne of the facility? Why did her attitude change so drastically for the fourth episode, taking on more of a 'happy-go-lucky' trance-like attitude, with all her scratches and bumps from the third chapter, Ones & Zeroes, having cleared up magically? There were so many questions building up that Terminus had so much to deliver in terms of giving its loyal supporters some proper closure.

This is where it all falls down, however. More questions are thrown up in the final stages than questions answered. On the final path to the end, there are even sections where there is barely any user-input and only a selection of potential data can be accessed to give some semblance of what is going on. Do key decisions made earlier matter? It certainly appears to have bore no relevance to how the tale pans out. Choosing Zager's or Mireille's plan at the start, for instance, or in fact leaving it up to Hope, simply adjusts how the eventual goal is reached, rather than altering the way the story plays out. Select the 'wipe criminal records and degauss computers' angle and choose to wipe Mireille's own disgraceful records or not? It makes no difference… or at least no meaningful one, anyway. There is also a massive three-way choice at the very tail end that again is taken out of users' hands before a totally unsatisfying final sequence that explains absolutely nothing. After so much promise, fantastic presentation throughout, and stunning voice work, with a story that looked dead set on blowing everyone's socks off, it all collapses and feels like the writers were struggling with how to wrap it all up, so just cut it short and left everything dangling.

Screenshot for Republique Episode 5: Terminus on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

République Episode 5: Terminus is absolutely fantastic from start to near enough the end, and then cripples everything with a horrendous ending that does not wrap anything up, in fact throwing up even more questions than before. After being led along by the intrigue and mystery across the previous four episodes, building up the tension levels as high as possible, no matter how strong the core gameplay is here after the previous episode's dip in quality, the actual lack of direction in its story is so shockingly poor that it leaves a foul taste in the mouth and spoils everything. Ultimately, it is total dissatisfaction, smacking of a team unsure of how to tie up its loose story threads. What a sad way to see out a game with such promise…

Also known as

République Episode 5: Terminus

Developer

Camouflaj

Publisher

NIS America

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I lost interest after episode 3.

I think a lot of people did, actually! The first three were too similar for some.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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