I wish this game wasn’t so appropriate for the times we live in, but unfortunately it is. RIOT: Civil Unrest, an upcoming strategy game, takes place in a world where the world’s economic crisis is deepening (check), and inequality tears the fabric of society (check). In response to those huge social issues, the people’s discontent manifests itself in violent public disturbances and civil disorder (again, check). In this real-time strategy game, you play either as the rioters or the police officers in the heart of some of the world’s most infamous riots ranging from the Arab Spring to European ones. The game tries to emulate the feelings that such events create to both sides of the riot shield divide. As the game claims, there are no winners in this game, and all you can do is draw your own conclusions.
If you play as the police, you get to employ numerous crowd-control tactics, both passive and aggressive, command various assault, tactical, ballistic, arrest and plain-clothes squads, call in various police vehicles to assist you, and choose what kind of ammunition to use to disperse the crowds. As the rioters, you can control leaders, agitators, rioters (both armed and passive) and journalists, incite rage and cause the crows to respond aggressively, or try to de-escalate with tactical crowd reformation and retreats. And, of course, you can attack with Molotov cocktails, fireworks, rocks, and even the power of the media.
Working super-hard to close up the closed Beta. Had to delay a few more weeks but we're finally getting there! pic.twitter.com/rELCQOS6Jd
— RIOT (@LMenchiari) November 6, 2015
As you can tell, the developer doesn’t seem to pull any punches, which I feel is necessary when tackling such politicized and controversial actions during such politicized times. RIOT offers 20 levels split over four campaigns (based on four real locations), and the PC version includes an online mode that hopefully will be included in the mobile version. The developer has been working towards a closed Beta, so the game shouldn’t be too far off. The website states that there will be a tablet beta version too, so hopefully that means the game will end up on mobile as planned. Stay tuned for more info.