The game is a mostly narrative-driven type deal, with the usual choice-based consequence gameplay made famous by Telltale Games. There are honestly very few choices in the game that make an actual difference in the outcome. More often than not it is just a matter of selecting a superficial bit of dialogue when replying to other characters. Interspersed throughout are quick-time events and a few smaller minigames involving you patching up the injuries of some poor sod. It doesn’t add much value to the game: it just feels like an afterthought by the developers to make the experience a little more “game-y”. Another thing you’ll be spending the brunt of the game doing is taking pictures and searching environments to unlock stories. Stories are brief facts and tidbits about the Revolution and Iranian culture in general. These informative little blurbs range anywhere from the types of fashion prevalent at the time, to religion; to important figures; and even food. They’re fun to seek out and help to extend your game. And that’s important because 1979 has a runtime of around three hours. Most people would see that as a bad thing but I think it is perfectly acceptable in certain situations. Some things just aren’t meant to drag on for too long. Unnecessarily prolonging things “just because” has always seemed pointless to me. Fluffing games up with pointless filler is why I avoid most open-world games. No point in doing it if it isn’t fun.
The Revolution is really brought to life thanks to its excellent voice cast, which is comprised of talented Iranian-American actors that have credits to their names from highly regarded movies and television series such as The Walking Dead, House of Cards, and American Sniper, to name a few. The result is riveting acting that really drives home the dramatic points and gives the story an extra level of shine. Whether you’re watching Reza (played by Bobby Naderi) and his affable best friend Babak (Omid Abtahi) trading lighthearted quips with one another or the menacing Asadollah’s (Navid Negahban) brutal interrogations, you’ll always be entertained. My one issue with the overall story is how it ends. It sort of just happens and then the next thing you know, the credits are rolling. There isn’t any real closure, though I suppose –without giving too much of the ending away- that you can assume what happened after the story is over. It would have been nice to have something a little more definite, but in my opinion, this is the only place where 1979’s fantastic story stumbles.
Now I know that my review might not make it seem that I am all that enthusiastic about the game due to my criticisms, but I had a hell of a fun time playing through 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, so much so that I downed it in one sitting. The voice acting and the story are top notch and well-worth the price of admission. Although the game does have some issues, I highly recommend it. And if you’re a fan of Telltale-style graphic-adventure video games (or maybe just a history enthusiast) 1979 is a must-play.
Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review.
Final Score: 8/10
+Quality voice acting
+Cool facts and stories to collect
-Broken extra menu