Mz Cookies
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
 
 
:SUNNY::SUNNY:Game reviewer for my curator Cookie Reviews :SUNNY::SUNNY:
Games + animals + Dewmuss make me a happy little cookie :lovekami_heart::2015cookie:

Makes me cry everytime (DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED DANGANRONPA V2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnKaizmIpYw
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:2015cookie: I work in Australian wildlife rescue :wombathappy:
:2015cookie: Bachelor of Science (Zoology) graduate
:2015cookie: I enjoy most genres, but have a passion for horror, story-rich, and games that incorporate nature.
:2015cookie: I tend to play and review a multitude of lesser known Indie titles.
:2015cookie: Happy to accept friend requests and have a chat but I will NOT accept private profiles.
:2015cookie: I will remove generic/random comments on my profile (eg. comment such as "I wish you a good weekend", which is posted.. every weekend). Excessive commenters of this type will be removed.
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Svoboda 1945: Liberation is the newest game to come from Czech developers, Charles Games. Following the critical success of Attentat 1942, the developers continue to convey history in innovative and engaging methods. Integrating FMV interviews, minigames, comic-style scenes and an abundance of factual documents to read, the game was fascinating from start to finish.


Pros
  • Varied gameplay and minigames throughout.
  • Immense collection of factual documents to read (optional).
  • Excellent and enjoyable learning experience.
  • Replayable minigames.

Cons
  • Less dialogue paths to explore with a more linear approach.

Story: The aftermath of WW2
Svoboda 1945 comprehensively discusses the lesser-known history surrounding the end of WW2 in the town of Svoboda, on the Czech-German border. In all honesty, the events surrounding the end of war in a small town in then-Czechoslovakia was of little interest to me, yet the minute I began playing, I did not wish to stop.

For someone without any prior knowledge, nor would I consider myself a "history buff", this game was utterly fascinating. Svoboda 1945 depicts the true ugliness of war and portrays different perspectives on what occurred after it concluded. The story discusses in detail the expulsion of Germans from the town and other parts of Europe and how this remains controversial for many people to this day. I thought the game brilliantly showcases views from both Czech and German sides, with many German civilians caught up in the middle of it all but suffered due to their nationality dictated on their passport.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2564954458

Playing as a historical conservationist, the character sets out to investigate a decrepit but historic building in the town of Svoboda. A local businessman has plans to demolish it, but there is a small rally of people who wish to see it turned into a museum. After conversing with the locals and discovering the history on the building, in relation to the events of and after WW2, we must evaluate the buildings fate. This prompts a lot of contempt for the Czech locals, with many not wanting to bring up the horrors of their past. Others view it as an important artifact in their history and do not wish to turn a blind eye to the happenings there. This unveils a complicated feud between the Czech townspeople and the rise of the communist dictatorship, post war. With many people holding onto grudges that developed long ago in their family history.


Gameplay: An interactive historic adventure
For anyone who has previously played Attentat 1942, Svoboda 1945 follows an almost identical structure. I do not mind this and already think the format in Attentat was well done and without needing any dire improvements. Thus, it is understandable that developers chose to not deviate from Attentat's success and mimicked the formula in Svoboda. But for those who may be looking for a completely different experience with new gameplay mechanics, this is certainly not it.

Although, one element was disappointingly absent which was included in its predecessor. No longer can players repeat minigames to earn tokens and redo interviews, which opened up different dialogue paths. This idea seems to have been completely scrapped in Svoboda 1945 and makes interviews exceptionally easy. I found that you can just click on characters again to access the dialogue which has not already been asked. Personally, I would enjoy having to be more careful in my approach to conversations, which makes it more satisfying to discover somewhat extra information that is not connected to the main story.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2564954555

The game only lasts a few hours but is kept interesting for its entirety, due to the variability of gameplay. From the town map of Svoboda, players choose certain characters to interview and obtain more information surrounding the building's history. The interviews are conducted FMV style, with actors who tell historically accurate memories. Sometimes, the memories turn into minigames or interactive comic-style strips which help give players a better understanding of the events being discussed.

Minigames
The minigames were my favourite part of the experience. The interactivity was not only more engaging than reading documents, but it deepened my understanding of the stories being told. Some examples include trying to keep your family farm alive and thriving during the communist reign. Play as a German being expelled and choose which items to bring on the long plight out, whilst avoiding items which will anger the Czech guards.

Whilst I did not find the minigames to be as innovative or bountiful as those from Attentat's, they were equally as engaging and a welcome break from reading long texts or interview dialogue.


Visuals & Sound
Svoboda 1945 encompasses a myriad of different visual formats, including real video with actors, black and white interactive comic strips, minigames, digitised factual documents and more. This immense variation ensures the gameplay never becomes repetitive or stale. The actors felt realistic and portrayed their perspective roles well. The transition between scenes was also fairly seamless with no large gaps in between, which I find commonly happens in FMV titles and can feel clunky and odd. Through the apprehensive sound design and varied interactive screens, Svoboda 1945 shows the true ugliness of war, emphasising that the terrors and hardship did not stop the day the war was deemed over.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2564954316


Technical & Language
This game was played with the following PC specs and I experienced no issues:
Intel i5-9400 2.9 GHz
16GB RAM
GeForce RTX 2060 6GB
2560x1440 resolution
HDD
Windows 10

The game can either be played in Czech or with English subtitles, with German being added very shortly (if not already at the time of posting this review). I played in English, and everything was almost perfectly translated with no notable tense or translation issues. If I was to be obnoxiously captious, there were very, very few typos or repeated sentences which is clearly just an oversight in proof-reading and not a translation issue. I mention this, as after my Attentat 1942 review, I had many questions from non-Czech speakers questioning the accuracy of the English translation (prior to playing it themselves). Svoboda's translation is excellent, just like the previous game and should not be avoided merely due to language concerns.


Conclusion
Svoboda 1945: Liberation is a brilliant, interactive depiction of history. Covering the lesser-known events of the town of Svoboda, post WW2. Utilising many different methods to keep players engaged, it manages to convey its historical recounts in an inventive and modern approach, without tarnishing its historical accuracy. For those who are interested in the topic and enjoy learning through interactivity, or those who may already be familiar but are curious about it in a game format, this is for you, and I highly recommend it.

This review copy was provided to the Devils in the Detail curator.

Follow my curator page, Cookie Reviews, if you enjoyed this review and want to see more like it.
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Ayuri Oct 7 @ 5:23am 
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Hope everything is fine in the animal realm :catpaw:
Wish you and your little ones a lot of happiness :lwsun:
Take care, and take a cookie! :2015cookie:
🎃💀 Saena 💀🎃 Sep 17 @ 3:18am 
A happy weekend for happy Cookie! How are the critters? :kodp_dragon:
🎃💀 Saena 💀🎃 Aug 28 @ 2:02am 
Have a great weekend! Hope all your charges are well and happy! :elephant_shocked:
🎃👻 Derpina 👻🎃 Aug 25 @ 6:11am 
Hello, thanks for accepting my request, very nice to meet you! I love your reviews and animal pictures! :pinkFlowerNKOA::pinkFlowerNKOA::pinkFlowerNKOA:
🎃💀 Saena 💀🎃 Aug 25 @ 4:33am 
So very nice to meet you too! :SadTree:
Ayuri Aug 24 @ 11:40pm 
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Heya fellow animal lover! Thanks for the invite :winter2019happyyul:
Very nice to meet you! :lunar2019wavingpig::lwsun:
Stay safe and have a wonderful week! :CatWarm: