Unrest is a story of, well, unrest. The city of Bhirma struggles with food shortages and the monsoons don’t plan on returning anytime soon. A deal is being made between the Nagas and the Humans: humans get food in return for things the Naga Empire needs. You’ll play through an assortment of characters during the story and decisions made during the course of the adventure effects later goings on. The game forces you into some pretty tough choices and what is the “right” thing to isn’t always the best choice.
This is a game for those familiar with the likes of Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Neverwinter Nights, and thought “Gee, I sure would like a game with nothing but these talking bits!” There was only one combat scene in my first playthrough, and even that was carried out by dialogue choices. Unrest is not a game for action fans by any means. It is a game for people who enjoy the thrill of an interactive story that will decide the fate of a struggling kingdom. Two modes are available, Mortal and Myth. Myth lets you save when you want and Mortal offers a Iron Man mode (one constant save for those unfamiliar with the term). Graphics wise, the game is pretty and everything has a hand painted aesthetic. I really enjoyed the art style. The music too, was great. The only problem I had with the soundtrack is that most of it seemed to be on a pretty short loop. It wasn’t even a smooth transition, it would stop for a few seconds before starting back up.
The controls are pretty simple. I used a mouse and keyboard but a controller option is also available. Walking around can be done with the WASD keys and initiating conversation and making dialogue choices is done with a mouse click. The inventory screen gives you description of your items, sometimes these can be hints of how to use them or reminders of what they are for. I did end up with a few items I don’t ever remember being of any use, but that’s a pretty standard thing in adventure games. The map is useful as it displays the locations of interactive characters. There are also details on the people you meet and history and things like that. A trait screen offers a little more information about your character and will update after conversing with others. For example, telling someone off might get you a “Proud” trait. During conversations there will be three bars, green, blue and red. They represent friendship, approval and fear, and will go up or down depending on how you treat people during conversations. This mostly provides feedback as to whether or not what I say to people was going over well.
The cast is pretty assorted. You’ll find yourself playing characters normally treated as background NPC’s in other RPGS. A preist, a mercenary, a young girl, and a naga for example. I can’t be more specific in order to avoid spoiling bits of the plot. To give you a better idea of the strategic element, however, I will say as the priest, one of your tasks is choosing who gets bread and medicine, and your choice will be commented on. As the Mercenary, you assign troops to do certain things and later see how effective your choices are.
Seeing as how I was one of those few that loved dialogue scenes in other games, I really enjoyed this title. My only real gripe was how most of them end rather abruptly (one time, I moved on before I was ready and missed out on doing some side events) and one character didn’t get revisited like the others. It was someone I was really curious to see how my decisions affected too, and it was only mentioned in slight passing. And the ending (of that particular playthrough) left a kind of “well, maybe” vibe that didn’t tell me if I did good or bad. Granted, that might have simply been a result of how I played other chapters, so I am not sure. At any rate I am looking forward to replaying and seeing what different things do. Unrest is fairly short, but that lends the game more replayability.