Amidst the choking chimneys and endless expansionist schemings of an empire at the height of its powers is Alex, a military veteran who returns from war to find his country rotting from within. His brother is missing, discontent simmers among the downtrodden, and injustice haunts every district of this sprawling steampunk city. Will you foment the fires of revolution, or mediate peace in this most fractured of places?
That's the premise at the heart of Revolution: The Spark, an elegantly hand-drawn turn-based RPG from V Publishing and Darts Games. It gives you the chance to be a pivot at a key moment in this world's history. As you explore the nine districts of this metropolis – from noxious mines to bustling commercial districts and suburban villas populated by lofty nobles, you will uncover the city's secrets, the greatest of which are not quite of this plane of existence.
Like every great cRPG, you'll assemble a party as you scour the city. The 25 companions you might bump into on your travels have their own backgrounds and stories to tell, as well as coming in one of seven distinct classes.
Each character's unique skillset will affect your battle tactics. Need a classic tank to soak up the damage? Use a Worker, who also doubles as a support unit, or if you fancy being more aggressive go for the Guard who'll give as good as he gets. Cripple your enemies with status effects like 'Bleed' and 'Burn' using your Revolutionaries or Bandits, while from the rear a Scientist will heal your party and debuff the enemy. Don't treat your companions expendably either, because should they go down in combat it'll be a while before you can deploy them again.
Major outcomes will hinge on your decisions – through both talking and combat – ultimately leading to one of five possible endings for the game. As you come under increasing scrutiny from the powers that be, you can lie to authorities to throw them off, side with them, or outright defy them, confronting them through force of arms. Or perhaps you're someone who laughs in the face of danger, mocking those who feel they can pressure you into subservience?
Your interactions won't be restricted to enemies and allies, either. The city is brimming with regular folks – tailors and other craftsmen plying their trade and selling goods, as well as people who'll seek your help during these trying times.
Revolution: The Spark is coming out this fall on Steam, when all these possibilities will condense into your own tale of heroism, politics, and – should you pursue it – revolution in a fascinating game world. Wishlist the game now on Steam, and follow its journey on Twitter and Facebook.