Svoboda 1945: Liberation | Review, a cinematic story

Svoboda 1945: Liberation | Review, a cinematic story

Svoboda 1945

Some time ago the news came directly from the Ministry of Culture and Minister Dario Franceschini: the recognition of videogames with the title of works of "particular cultural value", that is, as artistic products with their own cultural value. If the decision on this was made last May, it has been a very short time since we were able to have the new title of the team Charles Games: Svoboda 1945: Liberation in our hands. A more unique than rare adventure of its kind, which combines a series of different artistic techniques to tell a piece of history of the Czech Republic after the Second World War, letting us explore the pain of a " past present ". Let's find out what we have been able to discover in preview with respect to the launch on Steam and in the mobile version scheduled for August 3 of this game written and created by professional historians.

Svoboda 1945: Liberation, days of a present past

Svoboda 1945; Liberation, as the title suggests, is a project that has no other objectives than that of recounting and brushing up on the historical-political events linked to the events of a specific area of ​​the Czech Republic in the period immediately following the Second World War, recovering the life lived here through the eyes and stories of the people who lived there. Now the horrors of the world conflict are over, but peace has never come to the Czech village of Svoboda. We step into the shoes of someone sent to investigate a decades-old feud, and during this research we also have the opportunity to find out more about our family's past.

But it is not so easy to be able to gather information: who can we trust to explain what happened? How was our family involved? We will therefore have to interact, in a sort of point-and-click visual novel, with the various witnesses to discover the tormented past in a game different from all the others, as it presents itself as a unique blend of adventure, video interviews in full- motion with real actors and historically accurate interactive memories of people who lived in the chaos of the aftermath of World War II. In addition to discovering, as anticipated, the secret story of our family set in a captivating story about reconciliation with the dark past.

A story that is still alive (and interactive)

The approach to PC version game is clean and without any particular frills, starting from a rather basic menu and with a certain scarcity of options to be set: the game, set in the early 2000s, as revealed by the presence of a "mythical" Nokia 3310 in one of the first scenes, it is presented only in English and Czech. A limitation perhaps with regard to localization, but linked to the need to implement subtitles in the numerous video clips included in the gameplay. We will have to speak with people who have seen the horrors of war firsthand, and we will do so through in-depth dialogues where every choice is important to know information and details related both to our life and to the investigations we have to carry out.

How to approach someone who has lost a friend on the battlefield? Or a woman who was expelled as a child and who returns for the first time to see the place where she grew up? It will not be easy to approach these people, who express their hatred without filters and that we can get to know in more detail thanks to the various options that can be selected to proceed with the dialogues. These are not numerous, on the contrary, there are several times in which we will notice only two choices available, but this scarcity does not affect the overall result, nor does it cause the overall experience to lapse into boredom.

The emotional difficulties linked to it. to an atrocious past are expressed here in a sublime way and without any filter, thanks to the presence of actors who report on the screen, and in realistic settings, in order to reconstruct in the most realistic way possible the life now torn and disturbed by the memories of a difficult past, dusted off not only through the words of the various protagonists (selectable on an interactive map), but also by looking for as many details and notions as possible related to the various relics recovered in the most abandoned and dispersed places.

Places That Talk

These places full of memories in Svoboda 1945: Liberation make the game in question packed with rare historical material, footage and memorabilia for you to explore. Not surprisingly, the title is the sequel to the award-winning Attentat 1942, a historically accurate adventure also told through the eyes of survivors of the Second World War. For those who already knew this other game, however, we can see several similarities in the plot with that of Svoboda: even in that case, in fact, the memories of the Nazi occupation in the then Czechoslovakia are recovered, between Nazi reprisals and numerous victims, including the grandfather. of the protagonist, which coincides with the player himself, since both titles are in the first person.

So if the realization of Svoboda 1945: Liberation did not turn out to be too original compared to the previous project, for those who have not yet having in hand this first title the current gaming experience, although it is not too long-lived, turns out to be decidedly tasty and interesting, facing many moral dilemmas and existential struggles that await us to discover a decidedly troubled past. As mentioned above, in fact, the technique used to create the game involves the presence of different artistic languages ​​used to narrate historical events, and selected according to the needs of the story: from video clips, sometimes interactive, to listen to the voice of the various protagonists what happened in the past and how to proceed in the investigations, to the equally interactive screens with drawings and animated scenes to reconstruct the now buried past.

A choice, this, decidedly curious and compelling at the same time, which brings the experience, at least partially, to what we had seen about two years ago with another similar videogame experiment: Erica, an interactive thriller without elements in 3D graphics and which allowed you to freely interact with a real film, to live a completely experience cinematic. The same thing happens in Svoboda 1945: Liberation, with this technique of suggestive minigames to relive the memories of the witnesses: we will be asked to develop old photos, which reveal details of tragic events, hold together our farm in front of the Communist terror or driving an armored train that frees Czechoslovakia from the Nazis. All with an excellent response from the game engine, allowing us to better enjoy this experience without any imperfection or annoying interruption and slowdown in the pace of the gameplay.

In general, therefore, we can confirm without any doubt the goodness of a project driven by the intentions of bringing to the eyes of a variegated and decidedly wide audience such as that of Steam and mobile devices in order to give voice to a piece of history otherwise unjustly relegated to the shadows and silence, allowing us to discover realities far from those studied on books and deepening them accurately and as realistic as possible.

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