Other strange historical details.
Czars first became leader in 1613, more that three centuries ago.
If you choose low taxes for your civilians, you get this response:
The workers are confused. They have never been treated like this before. People can afford to have kids now.
If the workers can only have kids now, how is there any population at all? These workers are also ahead of their time in terms of family planning. People used to have high birth rates and high child mortality rates 100 years ago.
You can build a bar at some points of the game. That would meet some difficulties in 1917 year Russia because of so called dry law.
The American dream and third world countries are mentioned (the last term is from the Cold War!).
It is said that you and your comrades ride to Moscow in a bus. While they could probably find 1 functioning omnibus, it is still a strange method of transportation.
The use of Russian language and names.
There are a few Russian words. While they are correctly spelled in modern Russian, they ignore 1917-1918 orthography reform. See also this: https://sites.google.com/site/seesscm/pre-reform-russian-orthography-cheat-sheet. Maybe our main character is ahead of their time.
The names are what I have much bigger problem with. There is a distinct lack of normal Russian names. Some of the names can be justified, since there were many different nationalities in Russian Empire, so some people with non-Russian names could belong to national minorities or immigrants. But some names are for a wrong gender. For example, Bronislava is referred as “he”, but it is a female version (a man should be callen Bronislav); there is a male doctor named Dorota. There are also Maksim Savely and Varlaam Timofei, who have two first names for some reason. See also Russian names and Russian Naming Convention.
@Kotosinica you should make a game like this tried to be but better. This is not meant sarcastically. It could get very interesting
The main character stats.
Skills by themselves are not bad, for the most part. But the Speaker skill is both speech and strategy skill, which is strange. In real life, good rhetoric skill does not guarantee military success.
Moral/Evil scale could be used for exploring how different ideology can impact character’s morality, or how a person can justify bad deeds for the greater good. But here, it is implemented very strangely.
Experinenting on civilians makes you more evil, but developing nuclear and chemical weapons don’t. Many other decisions, which should impact this scale, don’t do it. The list includes establishing Dictatorship of the Proletariat, funding the relief squad for war-torn regions and killing Vanesa at the beginning of the game, hiring an assasin to kill Perica while playing as czarist. One of my characters tried to take over the world with 100% moral meter.
Communist and Czarist stats are used at the beginning of the game, but stop being even remotely important near the end.
How are these stats used?
Well, when the MC needs to convince somebody to do something, there are two similar-looking options to do so. The first one requires high communist or czarist score, the second one requires the all-important Speaker skill (and also rises it if used successfully). And you need to know which option depends on which stat (because high speaking skill is more important than correct ideology). But you need to attempt to play the game several times on order to figure that out, because the options look so similar.
I wonder why the character can use communist and czarist stats that way. OK, communist MC praises the works of Marx and the speeches of Lenin, so we can assume they attended illegal meetings and distributed literature, and that’s why other communists know them and trust them.
But czarist MC… “You feel even though this leader is horrible later, a better one will come and Russia will return to glory”. Awesome ideological convictions.
The NPCs have a disturbing tendency to either meet tragic fate or just disappear from the plot, and the main character doesn’t care.
The entire MC family of 8 is mortally wounded. How does our hero feel about it? I don’t know, but the narrator says “Sure, your family and friends are gone and you are alone, but now you are successful, and you are rebuilding history.”
Childhood friend Vanesa with one “s” - she is shot either by the MC, or by communists. Does our hero remember her? Presumably she is included in that “family and friends” sentence above.
Bronislava, the rouge Communist machine gunner looking for a job in the Dark Alleyway - literally turns into statistic. Gives you +1 Machine Gunner, presumably killed in a battle.
My favourite character, our childhood doctor Dorota disappears from the plot and is never mentioned after first shooting our main character, then helping them. So mysterious.
Perica, the British super-seductive spy - either tortured and killed by communists, or killed by an assasin our hero hires. Not mentioned after that.
It’s even weirder with historical characters.
Trotsky, Lenin’s second-in-command - disappears from the plot, last seen torturing Perica for information.
Czar Nicolas II - disappears from the plot after our czarist hero decides not to rebel against him, because “You have made it this far, better a pet than dead” and rebellion option was inactive anyway.
Lenin, leader of the Bolsheviks - exiled by the main character off-screen. In both communist and czarist versions.
Stalin - can be killed or exiled by MC, othervise disposes of them and comes to power. Not weird by itself, but the scene with him is somehow identical for both Czarist and Communist paths.
Hitler, a random German driving a supply truck - is shot by our hero, and nobody cares. I don’t know for sure whether he is the future Nazi leader or his distant cousin with the same last name, but some unknown force makes MC really hate him.
I had high hopes when I first played this. For some reason I was expecting historical accuracy, a chance to sink my teeth into a personally intriguing period of time. Hopefully someday there will be CoGs that get into some fun historical settings. If I understood choicescript even slightly then I’d try.