[PlayStation 4] 1979 Revolution: Black Friday Review
1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a story-focused experience that will take you right into the conflict during the Iranian revolution. Will its narrative capture your attention? Find out below in our 1979 Revolution: Black Friday review!
The story of the game occurs between 1978 and 1980, as Reza Shirazi returns to his home country of Iran while the revolution is growing to overthrow the Shah. Reza is an aspiring photographer, and while taking pictures of everything that’s happening, he slowly becomes involved in the movement. The story will switch from the Evin Prison in 1980, where you are being interrogated, to the retelling of the events that occurred in 1978 and 1979.
The game consists of 19 short chapters and follows the same gameplay pattern as, say, the Telltale Games releases of late, where timed choices and events are presented to you during the story. Those choices will obviously influence how the story evolves, and a lot of times it will be hard to decide as the impact will be important no matter your decision. I don’t know if this was made on purpose or not, but for almost all the choices I had to answer, the time they give you to select your choice is incredibly short. I would’ve appreciated a bit more time to be able to read all the choices correctly, but if the idea was to give us a sense of being rushed into something much bigger than us, I can understand why it was done this way.
The other aspect of the game is the photographs you can take at times since Reza is actually fueling the revolution with them. When you get to the game’s specific spots where you can go and take some pictures, snapping them gives you (the player) a brief historical explanation for a lot of the things that were actually going on during the Iran revolution, from the poverty to the propaganda, to a lot of other things I’ll let you discover on your own when you play the game.
There is a lot of attention to the smallest of details in this game to make us feel like we were right there in Iran. The streets, the buildings with their graffiti, the population in the streets, just walking in there is enough to give you the sense of tension that was present at tje time. The sounds you hear, like, for example, the merchants on the streets, also contribute to help make this feel like a richer experience. The only thing to say though is that, from a graphical point of view, the game feels a bit outdated like I was looking at a late-gen PlayStation 3 game instead of a PlayStation 4 game.
I really like narrative games, and this one is no exception. What makes 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is that it’s based on something that actually happened, and that actually didn’t happen that long ago! The game does an incredible job of making you feel torn between this and that decision, all to emphasize how hard those times must have been for the population of Iran. There are a lot of “collectibles” that you have to gather throughout the game (mostly photographs) that would have felt very intense on their own, but the fact that they all give you historical information on the conflict makes you want to find them all as you dig deeper and deeper into the who, where and how.
The one thing I would’ve liked from this game is to be longer. While 19 chapters sound like a lot, it will actually only take you 3 to 5 hours to complete the game, and that includes some extra chapter replays to get some of the collectibles you might have missed. There are a lot of characters involved in Reza’s story throughout the game, including his friend, his brother, his cousin, and even a woman that’s one of the rebellion’s leaders. I would’ve really liked to get a few chapters focusing on them, to expand on the story and on how they were all connected together, but what we get in this game is definitely a great story.
As for the trophies, this will be a quick win for your Platinum collection! It’s all about finishing the game, finding all the collectibles (speech tapes and photographs), and a couple more that are about making certain choices through the game. Since you can replay chapters, you can easily go back to find what you have missed and, as mentioned, you should be completely done in roughly 5 hours at most.
iNK Stories has given us a very unique experience by retelling a historical conflict, perfectly fitting for its genre. It’s not a long game, and doesn’t have much replay value once you’re done, but the few hours you’ll spend with 1979 Revolution: Black Friday will be great and will certainly be interesting for people who are curious about historic political events like this. Hopefully, this is not the last historical narrative experience we get, as it could give Telltale Games some competition!
This 1979 Revolution: Black Friday review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Digerati.