History has been established by various parties on multiple sides, which is why so many people enjoy tweaking it for entertainment. You’ve got some of these folks down at Superstatic, the developers who put their tweaks into Liberte.
This isometric 3D roguelite has you roaming the old streets of France as you run, gun, and sometimes sword your way through all those in your way. Each time you dive into the city, the layout will be different along with the enemies and things that you’ll collect to help you survive. However, it’s not just the forces of history manipulating your actions that’ll be stewing in your mind as you play.
What Is Liberte?
In case it wasn’t clear, “Liberte” is the French word for “liberty,” and with that title there are implications. Liberte makes things pretty clear with its title and artwork. You play as Rene, a being that has been brought to life by an Eldritch creature known as Lady Bliss.
Despite being connected to the recent monster outbreak in France, Bliss has reasons for Rene to participate in the conflict shaping the state of things. This conflict is the French Revolution, and it’s not as cut and dry as revolutionaries versus the monarchy. There are many perspectives to consider, and it’s up to you to decide which side (and perks) you want.
The Sense Of Freedom
Freedom is an appealing concept, so when a game implies having it, it needs to live up to it. Liberte does this off the bat by giving you a chance to skip the tutorial prologue if you want to get started. That being said, it presents an unusual yet intriguing take on one of the world’s most historically significant events.
You’ve got the rebels gathering the people to take up arms against the crushing authority of the crown, but both sides are not above negotiations. You’ve also got the local tribes clashing with the church over whose ideals are better and therefore which spiritual powers are in play. All the while, you’re apparently an agent of an Eldritch horror who has more at stake than she lets on. It’s an interesting take on the French Revolution.
With that take, you’ve got the freedom of choice which alters the game in various ways. Each time you enter the city, you’ll get to partake in a discussion between conflicting sides over the same issue. Depending on which side you choose, you’ll get a different mission, different enemies to fight, and different rewards to earn.
You’ll also get to choose what kind of build you want to determine the cards you’ll get. The game literally has you building decks on the go as you level up, collect more cards, and burn them for energy so you can activate other ones. It’s quite literal in the play-as-you-go sense, and it works well. This will also net you points with the selected factions unlocking permanent upgrades and different characters with their own tactics.
Hold The Line
It’s hard to fight for freedom, and it can be even harder to keep it. Though Liberte can make the fighting fast and enjoyable, it’s the execution where it suffers. Simply put, there are a lot of technical issues that need to be worked out.
The main one is that nothing seems to have any presence. The main character, the crowd, the enemies, and even some of the objects feel like opaque illusions a good chunk of the time. There’s a fair amount of clipping as you move around and if a group of enemies shows up, they will overlap more than a Venn diagram about Venn diagrams.
There’s also an issue with voices dropping in and out randomly as well as a notable issue with save files freezing the game depending on when you decide to sign out. It’s a shame, because the character graphics really add a lot of detail to the colorful cast, and consistent voices would add to that. On top of that, some of the 2D portraits look nothing like their 3D models, which is confusing and distracting.
Liberte is a 3D roguelite set during the French Revolution with Eldritch elements thrown into the mix. It adds a lot of variety, freedom, and customization with all the choices you can make and the cards you swap in and out for your character. All it needs is a prolonged testing session to work out all the technical issues to really make things solid. Should it manage to fix all that, it’d vastly improve joining the fight for liberty.
Liberte was played on Steam through a code provided by the team. It was released on May 23 for PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox.