During the late 1970s, Iran underwent a radical transformation as continuous protesting managed to overthrow Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah of a monumental 2500 year long reign by the Persian monarchy. 1979 Revolution: Black Friday puts you in the midst of those demonstrations, and it's an experience that is both important and fascinating for those with a historical and political interest.
Similar in structure to a Telltale game, the title is all about its narrative. Dialogue choices are aplenty, quick-time events are in abundance, and actual gameplay is fairly sparse. You'll control Reza Shirazi, a photojournalist who is there just to take pictures of the history taking place before his very eyes, but he quickly gets caught up in the resistance fuelling the protests, and henceforth the suspense, emotion, and twists begin to unravel in a two hour journey I won't be forgetting in a hurry.
Ultimately, though, what impressed me the most was the game's utter commitment to its historical nature and honouring that in-game. You're tasked with taking pictures of the revolution while helping to lead the protests, and it's here where the title relates back to the real world. Alongside the image you just took, the game will display the exact same real-life image that documented the events of the uprising along with detailed text that explains things even further. It's incredibly impressive and proves that so much thought and care has gone into crafting the environments to make sure they reflect the historical context. There's genuine accounts to learn about here, especially so when it's reflective of an event the majority of us have little knowledge of.
Sure, it's clear that the game was developed on a much smaller budget when compared to other games, with graphics that aren't going to impress anyone in this day and age, and dialogue that gets a bit too wonky at times, but none of that really matters too much considering the subject matter.
This type of game isn't going to be for everyone, but for those who want to learn a thing or two while also taking in a fun experience, make sure 1979 Revolution: Black Friday doesn't pass you by. The photo journalistic mechanics are an achievement that blur the lines between game and reality as you realise what you're taking a picture of really happened, while the plot of the game itself is sure to grip you from open to close. It's a wonderful piece of narrative writing when all is said and done that is sure to please those looking for a bit more out of their video games. You've got an honest and legitimate history lesson to take next time you boot up your PS4.
Has Liam convinced you to check out 1979 Revolution: Black Friday? Is relating things back to the real world something you'd like games to do more of? Share your policies in the comments below.