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[PlayStation 4] Riot: Civil Unrest Review

[PlayStation 4] Riot: Civil Unrest Review

Riot: Civil Unrest from Ivan Ventori Productions and Merge Games is ready for you on PS4. Learn more about it in our Riot: Civil Unrest review!


Riot: Civil Unrest is a real-time strategy (RTS), and as the name suggests, it’s all about riots. This is a game based on actual events, and when you boot up for the first time, you have a choice of which side you want to pledge to, either the rebels (the rioters) or the police (who are trying to contain the chaos). Once you’ve picked your side, you’ll be taking on locations around the world, including, for example, Italy and Egypt. As you take on each stage, you will need to complete certain activities and will have to do so either with hostility or with a more peaceful approach. You might need to take out the generators to a location, and you’ll have to decide if you end up doing that or if you take the higher road.

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Riot: Civil Unrest offers three modes of play with Global, Story, and Versus. The Global and Story modes play pretty much the same, except the real difference is Global focuses more on your gameplay approach to each riot, which carries over into future riots which can either help or hinder you in terms of how the public views you. You can choose to do things your own way, going totally violent from start to finish or trying to do things differently to defuse the situation before it gets out of hand.

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As with any game that you play, the missions you undertake will get harder the further you progress, but things will also be a bit easier since you will unlock new and better equipment and more allies. For example, in Global mode, you will eventually get a camera which you can use in nefarious ways to gain public sympathy to your cause. There is also a lot to discover as you play through each mode, and you can go back and retry a mission you have previously beaten to try a different tactic to see how things play out.

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The game looks and sounds good in theory, right? An RTS with riots as its main theme is certainly something that grabs your attention. The issue is that RTS, by their nature, tend to be very challenging right from the start, which is why most will throw you into a tutorial to get you started. But for this one, there is nothing of that sort, so you get no guidance and end up going blind into the game. Since missions are also on a timer, you’re basically thrown to the wolves from your first mission and on. I managed to carry on with the game, but not after having to find out what buttons did, how playing as the rebels and the police felt like, how to move groups and have them perform actions, and more.


Another thing is that the text boxes are pretty much unreadable since the text is so tiny, and there is no option to resize the font. This has, unfortunately, turned into a very common issue for games on PlayStation 4, and hopefully, the team can patch this one to include the option to change the size of the font, since otherwise, you have to be sitting very close to your TV to read what is going on.

I liked my time with Riot: Civil Unrest, but I feel that the game needs to do something to help people new to it to get started before being thrown into the thick of it. You need some sort of tutorial, something to tell you what the controller layout is. Images, a short description, a single video that is a couple of minutes long… anything really! So if you feel like playing a challenging game and don’t mind this, then you might dig Riot: Civil Unrest. But if you’re new to the RTS genre, then you should stay far away from this one.

This Riot: Civil Unrest review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Merge Games.


Review Overview

Challenging RTS on PS4 that does not hold your hand