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Hands-on: Liberated is fusing games and comics into a dystopian adventure – PAX West 2019

Equal parts visual novel, stealth action game, and monochrome comic book.

Liberated gameplay pax west 2019
Image: Atomic Wolf

What do you get when you cross a black and white comic book, an ambient synth soundtrack, a dystopian surveillance state, and a video game? It turns out the answer is Liberated. I got hands-on with the game at PAX West, so here’s what’s up.

In the world of Liberated, everyone has a CCS status that grades their citizenship participation, where even the slightest infractions against being pleasant and docile will get you flagged for detention by big brother. That’s exactly what happens after Liberated’s protagonist hops a turnstile and gets raided by a whole military unit of government thugs.

The gameplay in Liberated is equal parts visual novel, stealth action game, and monochrome comic book, so if you like any of those things, you’ll want to give this one a look.

Check out footage from Liberated here

Also, I say “protagonist,” but Liberated is divided into several chapters and everyman rebel Barry Edwards is just the star of chapter one. All in all, you can expect about six hours with this one, spread across several different primary characters, each experiencing the world from a different perspective.

If all of this sounds interesting to you, Liberated will be available in early 2020 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. After that, however, developer Atomic Wolf hopes to take their Playable Graphic Novel framework and use it with other similar projects. With such ambitions, maybe we’re on the verge of a whole new genre.

You can already wishlist Liberated on Steam if you’d like.

What do you think? Does Liberated look interesting to you? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Jake is a writer and game designer in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He loves action, exploration, building, filling bars, and turning numbers into bigger numbers. Someday he'll release a video game.

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