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RIOT – Civil Unrest Smashes Onto Steam Early Access

RIOT – Civil Unrest launched onto Steam’s Early Access program today. Published by Merge Games and developed by Leonard Menchiari and IV Productions, RIOT let’s you start or quell some of history’s most famous riots. Presented from an isometric view point, the game utilizes a highly detailed pixel art style to produce some truly breathtaking scenes. The player can choose to take on the role of the rioters or the law enforcement tasked with keeping the peace. RIOT will be in early access for some time while the development team works closely with the community to implement feedback.

RIOT – Civil Unrest is a real-time strategy game focused on simulating some of the most infamous riots of recent history.  The game is said to feature conflicts such as the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, and the NoTav opposition in Italy which Menchiari has a personal connection to. These large campaigns will take place over several levels, but the game will also feature over 30 single-event scenarios taking place in cities such as London and Oakland.

You’ll participate in real-order conflicts throughout history.

When night falls and tensions rise, the glow from street lights will give way to the shells of burning cars and flashing lights.

What really sets RIOT apart is it’s striking art style. The use of low-resolution pixel-art and ambient lighting underscores the contrast between the rioters and law enforcement. Many of these riots took place over several days, so being able to see the streets turn from day to night should prove to be interesting. When night falls and tensions rise, the glow from street lights will give way to the shells of burning cars and flashing lights. The style and emotion is perfectly captured in the trailer that was released along side the early access launch.

Leonard Menchiari was a film maker who moved to Italy in 2012 and got involved with the NoTAV movement. The civilian movement was in opposition to a planned high-speed rail link between Turin, Italy and Lyon, France. He claims that these experiences showed him how corrupted Italy had become. He then decided the best way to share his experiences would be through video games, so he began working on RIOT.

RIOT – Civil Unrest seems to setting a high bar for itself. Part strategy game, part history lesson the game will have to strike a balance between maintaining authenticity and enabling player agency. It certainly isn’t pulling any punches with it’s art style. While it may seem benign at first glace, it’s clear from the trailers and screenshots that things will definitely turn violent. It will be very interesting to view these events through the eyes of both the rioters and those tasked with maintaining order.

Keep you eye to Voxel Voice for more on RIOT – Civil Unrest as it’s early access campaign progresses.

I remember playing Super Mario Bros. and Metroid on the NES with my older brother, and never being able to land on the aircraft carrier in Top Gun. I faked being sick so I could stay home from school and play Quake II once, but now I request days off from work instead of lying. Age of Empires II is still the best RTS, Half-Life is still the best FPS, and I still think the end of Mass Effect 3 was great!