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    leaf99's 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)

    [January 18, 2018 08:56:46 AM]
    Game Log 1, Part 3 - 1979 Revolution: Black Friday

    This play session wasn’t as intense as the last. After almost getting beat up due to forgetting about the quick time events in this game, I ended up wandering around a theater for a while, reading everything, talking to everyone, and fighting with the directional controls as the camera changed angles. I got stuck in the theater for a while, lost as to what to do next until I finally found the exit in a corner. I nearly got beat up again here due to an unlucky picture of the protagonist’s SAVAK brother in a book the previous aggressor had on hand, but this time I was saved by the plot as Bibi (one of the leaders of the group in the theater) came to my rescue.

    The whole scene in the theater was a nice break from the action before it, and the game seems to be pacing itself well. After I got rescued, the action picked up again, with the authorities finding the theater. The speaker from the event outside asked me to quickly identify who stabbed him from the group of people I’d found around the various rooms, and I had no idea who it might have been, so I picked randomly.

    The next scene was back with the interrogator, and he brought up the lovely revelation that the guy I picked was killed shortly after and buried in a shallow grave. This understandably freaked the protagonist out, and the interrogator tried to make the case that the camera I used to get a bad quality photo of the stabbing was, in fact, a murder weapon.

    After the interrogator left, the protagonist’s brother got angry that I didn’t cooperate with the interrogator earlier, telling me that it was my job to ensure their family was safe. With that, the chapter ended, and I concluded my play session there.
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    [January 17, 2018 07:15:59 PM]
    Game Log 1, Part 2 - 1979 Revolution: Black Friday

    If I had to describe playing this game in one word, it would be intense. I picked up where I left off last play session – in the streets during a massive demonstration – and continued to wander around and take photographs. Like last time, I read every snippet of history I could find, and tried to interact with everything I could. At this point, the tone of the game had switched from dark and terrifying to bright and energetic, with upbeat music and commentary from the protagonist’s friend. It stayed that way until I finally reached the front of the protests, at which point the army came in and grabbed the main speaker. Another friend of the protagonist threw rocks at the soldiers, then someone chucked an explosive, and from there it all went nuts.

    After running for my life and nearly losing my camera, I had to pull shards of glass out of a man’s head and bandage him up, and then grab any evidence that he had been there, since it turned out he was the speaker that nearly got hauled away. The game then cut back to the interrogation room the story started in, which I had mixed feelings about. I was glad it happened in a narrative sense, since it made the first scene there make more sense – they needed to establish the place so they could go back there throughout the story – but the scene and choices that followed were rough. I had to pick between spilling all the secrets to the interrogator, or watching my character’s brother get tortured as he begged me to cooperate. The choices were timed, and the timer ran out as I freaked out over which one to pick.

    As the scene went on, I started to notice something strange about the interrogator. The “learn more” button said that he is based off of a real person, but the way his actions in the game fit so perfectly with the narrative made him feel less than real. An archetype, in a way. I have to wonder if this might be a danger of converting history into a structured narrative – it removes it from real life enough that it doesn’t feel real. Though doing this might help people become emotionally invested, and thus able to remember facts more easily, does it diminish the sense that the things depicted more or less really happened?
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    [January 16, 2018 10:59:00 PM]
    Game Log #1 - 1979 Revolution: Black Friday

    As I started playing 1979 Revolution, I was struck by the opening few screens and the main menu. The sounds and imagery instilled a deep sense of foreboding, which carried over into the game proper when the first scene turned out to be the main character getting captured by what I assume were the authorities. Next up was a tense interrogation scene in which I threw some tea on the ground and promptly got stuck with a cattle prod.

    Knowing that this game is based in real events makes moments like this far more chilling, and causes even the lighter moments to carry more weight. Following the interrogation scene, the game jumped backwards in time, and I ended up in the streets during a massive protest, taking pictures of the event. I noticed as I took these “photographs” that each picture taken in the game corresponded more or less to a real photograph of the real events. This also lead me to discover the “learn more” button on the photograph screen, which takes you to a screen with a bit more historical information than the pictures’ captions on the previous screen. I ended up reading everything there, trying to get as much information and context as possible for the things happening around me in the game. It felt a bit like reading a lore book in that it was interesting (as reading lore books usually is for me), and enhanced the experience, but it was also out of the way enough to ignore if one wanted a more streamlined playthrough. Given that many edutainment games I’ve played have fallen flat on their face in this regard, either setting the “learning” and “playing” so far apart they might as well be separate or so close together that the educational content bogs down the gameplay, I was impressed by this game’s execution.

    Decision making has so far been hard in this game, particularly in the beginning, which seemed to start at the end of the story, asking me to make choices regarding previous events that I had no knowledge of. Though starting a story in medias res can be compelling, in this case it was just awkward as I scrambled for answers that I hoped would match my choices to come. Still, the parts of the game I did see for this play session were compelling, and I’m eager to see where it goes next.
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    leaf99's 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 16 January, 2018

    leaf99's opinion and rating for this game

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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