Celebrate the 4th of July With Some of the Best Revolution Games Ever

Like many holidays that offer you the ability to shamelessly eat and drink as much as you want while multi-colored explosions fill the sky for your amusement, it can be easy to forget the real meaning of the 4th of July.

It’s a day where Americans celebrate not the attainment of independence, but the declaration of it. Before we could earn it though, we needed a revolution, which meant lives would be lost, heroes made, and ultimately one side being written as the victor.

Revolution is one of the oldest story concepts out there, but for whatever reason it doesn’t find its way into video games often as a central plotline. Fortunately though, the revolution games available offer enough entertainment to compensate for the lack of overall entries.

If you’re looking to celebrate the day Americn declared revolution through games then, do so with some of the best revolution games available.

Freedom Fighters


The most entertaining revolution game of all time? You could make the argument.

Freedom Fighters” is the story of a plumber swept up into a revolution against the Russian empire that, in this timeline, has been growing in strength since the end of WWII. The gunplay, squad mechanics, and varied objectives are all great, but where “Freedom Fighters” really made its name was its presentation and environment. This is basically “Red Dawn” the video game, and little touches like Russian broadcasts that portray your actions as terrorist activities really sell the world being created.

“Freedom Fighters” didn’t get a fair chance on the market when it was released, and considering how hard to find it is now, is likely to remain cimrinally underrated. Should you ever get the chance though, be sure to experience it.

The Saboteur

the saboteur screenshot 6_656x369

Continuing our underrated theme (which is oddly true of many games about revolution) “The Saboteur” didn’t make a huge impact upon release, but has since become appreciated as a hidden gem.

This is due in large part to the game’s graphics (black and white with splashes of color) and plotline that sees you look for revenge as a member of the resistance in Nazi occupied France. Certain elements like the stealth sections are underdeveloped, and overall the gameplay is leagues behind “Freedom Fighters” or many other titles, but “Saboteur” has style to spare, and provides a memorable experience because of it.

The Just Cause Series


“Just Cause” is one of the few games to really develop an equally entertaining franchise based on a revolution plot, and as such both games get mentioned here.

Whether you’re being dropped into the fictional island of San Esperito or Panau, both games provide a similar objectives, as you play Rico Rodriguez, a man tasked with starting a revolution against oppressive warlords. To do so, you undertake tasks for various groups that could all play a part in the coup to come, and also engage in some good old fashioned anarchy of your own accord.

Similar to the “GTA” games in structure, “Just Cause” made its name by having absolutely huge worlds with loads of crazy stuff to do. It’s the perfect set up, and is executed with bravado.

 Jagged Alliance 2


As rare as revolution games are, we unfortunately got even less squad based strategy games based around revolution, which is a real shame considering how well the idea fits. Fortunately “Jagged Alliance 2” may have perfected the idea before it went dormant.

Featuring action similar to the old “XCOM” games, “Jagged Alliance 2” is a complex and incredibly deep title that sees you take the role of a hired gun for the exiled leader of a former Monarch empire, as he tries to take down his betraying wife, and reclaim what was his. Along the way you’ll gather mercenaries, train them, and take on odd jobs between main objectives to finance everything.

“Jagged Alliance 2” hasn’t aged a day and is just as large and rewarding as ever. Grab it on sale at Good Old Games, or anytime at all.

Republic: The Revolution


Republic”, the most ambitious revolution game ever made, generated some serious hype before it was released, only to be met with some deserved criticism for its gameplay shortcomings, particularly when it came to control issues and its steep learning curve.

However there is no game before or since like “Republic,” as it offers the chance to start a revolution from the ground floor, and focuses more on the political and strategy side rather than action. As you might imagine, it takes a lot of effort and planning to truly execute a successful revolution, and you’ll have to devote hours navigating menus to even make progress towards that objective.

“Republic” isn’t a perfect game, or even a great one, but for strategy hounds, its one of a kind.


Landmark Video Games and Their Film Equivalents

If you haven’t heard, Empire recently broke the embargo date for their “Last of Us” review and, though it has already been taken down, leaks of the review reveal impressions as glowing as could possibly be, including a quote that the title could give gaming its “Citizen Kane moment.”

While that remains to be seen, that quote does bring up an interesting point that sometimes games and films run parallel to each other not in their themes or plots, but in the impact they leave, and the greater ideas they exhibit.

So even though some may initially appear to be as far apart as can be, here are five video games with historically speaking film equivalents.

The Game – Braid


The Film – Reservoir Dogs

What They Have In Common:

There were indie games before “Braid,” just as there were indie movies before “Reservoir Dogs.” Yet both usually come to mind first when considering the word indie, mostly because they each achieved a level of success across every measurable aspect that was unprecedented for independent titles, and opened the door for smaller creators to get their films and games out there with a legitimate chance to make it that simply didn’t exist before.

The Game – E.T.


The Film – Plan 9 From Outer Space

What They Have In Common:

Hey, they’re not all great.

In fact some are just the worst. Both “Plan 9” and “E.T.” are usually the poster children for the “worst ever” argument, even if “Plan 9” didn’t become the scapegoat for the fall of its medium, nor did it get buried in a New Mexico landfill. The real reason that these two are siblings though is because despite their image as the worst, they actually aren’t. Instead both are so bad they have achieved a cult status greater than their actual quality should have allowed for.

The Game – Grand Theft Auto III


The Film – Easy Rider

What They Have In Common:

The American dream, violence, rebellion, controversy, and freedom are all themes prevalent in “Easy Rider,” and “GTA III.” Both challenged the mainstream conscious with their brazen attitudes and controversial style, yet both would usher in new eras of thinking where suddenly the establishment was no longer what had to be, and anything seemed possible. Hell, both even had rocking soundtracks, and the “GTA” series would later feature “Easy Rider’s” stars Peter Fonda, and Dennis Hopper.

The Game – Myst


The Film – 2001: A Space Odyssey

What They Have In Common:

It’s not easy to make an artistically acclaimed and financially successful work that forces people to reexamine their perceptions, but “Myst” and “2001” did just that. Experiencing either was a watermark moment that made you expand your mind, yet both also achieved some unusual financial success considering their ambition. Need further proof? Both also happen to be very confusing, both featured validation of technological innovations (“2001’s” special effects, and “Myst’s” CD-ROM format), and both honestly haven’t aged that well.

The Game – Super Mario Bros.


The Film – Star Wars

What They Have In Common:

Sharing a theme with other entrants in this article, “Star Wars” and “Super Mario” were not the first of their kind, which in this instance means blockbusters.

However, they are both icons of the word blockbuster, because of the impact they made. “Star Wars” would usher in a new era where films were financially viable beyond just box office receipts, and “Super Mario” showed gaming could be successful once more. Even though both would be surpassed by their true successors (“Empire Strikes Back” and “Super Mario Bros. 3”), there is a mystique and undeniable quality regarding these works that makes them not only landmarks, but have maintained their ability to be successfully introduced to new generations.


The Most Complicated Games of All Time

There are many games out there that are punishingly difficult, and gamer’s will admit bowing down to without shame. But for every “Dark Souls,” “Ninja Gaiden,” and “Ghosts and Goblins” out there, there is another type of game that is equally challenging, but one that fewer people will admit to being beaten by.

They are games that beat us not with waves of impossible enemies, or random death traps, but instead with complex rules, hours of learning, and serious brainpower requirements. They aren’t games that challenge our reactions, but rather our intellect. Regardless, they provide equally grueling experiences that only the most elite of gamers will ever see the end of (if there even is one).

These are some of the most complicated games of all time.



There are a lot of simulation games out there that cover every topic from Earth to ant colonies. However, as difficult as some of those can be, few are as challenging as “Tropico,” which places you in the role of a dictator over a small island.

What separates “Tropico” from other sim titles is the sheer number of things you have to oversee. There’s a surprising amount of aspects required to rule over a helpless populous, and almost every action in one field can cause horrific and unfixable problems in another, making it almost impossible to keep all the political, social, and economical needs in balance

To be fair, on the easier difficulties, “Tropico” is not much more grating than “SimCity.” Bump that difficulty up to one of the more realistic modes though, and you get a game that’ll have your virtual dictator reaching for his emergency revolver when the peasants come rioting, around the same time you do.

Pax Imperia


Of all the 4X strategy games that require you to build a world (or universe) expanding empire from virtually nothing, few, if any, have ever dared to be as daunting as “Pax Imperia.”

Latin for imperial peace, “Pax Imperia” charges the player with building the largest empire the universe has ever known. While there may be similar games out there, “Pax” gets the nod due to it coming out at a time (1992) when this concept was foreign to games, and as such “Pax” throws an infinite amount of options at the player, without giving them much of a frame of reference as to how to use even the most crucial elements.

“Pax Imperia” is one of those games you can spend years perfecting your craft at before mastering it. Like many punishing games though, the amount of effort you put into it, is equal to the enjoyment you get out of it.

Rainbow Six: Rouge Spear


You may not associate action games with complexity and, if you’ve only been playing them for the last few years, it’s probably not the word that springs to mind when describing the “Rainbow Six” series either.

However, 1999’s “Rouge Spear” shatters both of those perceptions with its punishing form of strategic team based special operations. Every mission requires you to craft the perfect plan, which can then fall apart in an instant if you don’t flawlessly execute it (and even then, you’ve got little hope). Oh, and the few moments of action are often one shot for a kill (which applies to you and the enemies…but mostly you.)

As frustrating as “Rouge Spear” can be, I actually miss the wait and see approach it took to the shooter genre. If you’ve never played the series’ original games before, give this one a shot if you want to experience a thinking man’s action game.

EVE Online


It’s easy to forget that before “World of Warcraft,” MMO games were among the most daunting and complex of all gaming genres. Of those games, the crown jewel may be “EVE Online.”

“EVE” would be complicated enough on its own as most of the gameplay revolves around navigating a series of really detailed menus and performing hundreds of hours of mundane tasks, but the game’s hardcore players have turned the title into a whole different animal. Trying to jump into “EVE” as a newbie will thrust you into a universe of politics, economics, and caste systems that are as challenging to learn and overcome as any in the real world

“EVE” is not for everyone, and anybody sane will most likely give up on it before even the 20 hour mark. Press on though, and you may find every other game to be to suddenly be too simple.

Dwarf Fortress


A theme with the other games on this list is that they eventually reward you for all of your efforts with a one of a kind experience. This is not the case with “Dwarf Fortress.”

Oh sure, somewhere beneath its text based graphics, 90% based on menus gameplay, and learning curve so steep that a publisher of technical manuals created a 238 page illustrated guide that just shows how to get started, is probably a game that provides moments unlike any other, but good luck ever sticking with it long enough to even find the surface to scratch.

“Dwarf Fortress” may be a game about constructing the ultimate stronghold for your gang of dwarves, but its real purpose is to crush souls and make Mensa members feel inadequate. The real kicker? It’s main mode is essentially unwinnable.


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