This Is The President – Review

Review

Infendo received a review code for This Is The President. While it won’t affect our impressions of the game, we wanted to let you know for transparency’s sake.

This Is The President is a PC game that puts you in the shoes of the newly elected president of the United States – with a catch.

As you’ll learn early into your victory speech, you aren’t exactly a standup guy, and you’ve already been prosecuted for financial crimes, which is why you got into politics.

See, you and your similarly evil wife, Ellie, have this scheme to ensure you’re never prosecuted for your crimes: You’re going to introduce the 28th amendment to the constitution – One that will protect all presidents from being tried for crimes they committed before coming into office once they leave office.

Throughout the game you’ll deal with all the actual responsibilities of being the President of the United States – From choosing your first executive order to organizing your cabinet. However, you’ll also be juggling your shadier actions – Making deals with corrupt friends, blackmailing your coworkers and schmoozing the public for support.

The game is broken up into 4 years, and each year requires a different resource to move forward with the plan – In year one, you’ll need to raise 7 million dollars to pay off the right people to get you the connections you need to introduce your amendment. Meanwhile, in year 4, you’ll have to raise enough public support to ensure the amendment isn’t repealed.

As you play, you’ll come to understand every action has a reverse action – Treating your staff well ensures they’ll be able to carry out the tasks you need them to down the road, but will cost you money – money that’s vital for ensuring your plan goes off without a hitch.

Of course, the more you play, the more you realize just how horrible a person you are – Not two months into the game, you’ll find out your ex-lover and you accidentally killed a little girl in a hit and run – And you’ll be given the very real option to have him killed.

The game is controlled entirely through choices, which you make by clicking buttons after reading text. There’s a LOT of text in this game, so be sure you’re up for a good read before you get started.

Often, you’ll be able to choose how you want to respond to things – However, I did have a few moments early in where the game provided false choices, and I was essentially forced down a particular path.

This Is The President does give you some control over the choices you make though, and allows you to be the kind of person you want to be, within limits. You ARE forced down this path of corruption from the start, which, while interesting, does sort of limit the player’s ability to decide how they want to play the game.

One of the more interesting aspects of choice-based games is getting to experience that corruption of the “evil” choices for themselves. Having it as an already established character trait at the beginning of the game makes the entire experience a little less engrossing from the get go – We’re evil not because of our own choices, but rather because that’s what the game TELLS us we are.

I think I would have preferred if the game had started us off in a flashback, a few years earlier, where we were forced to make the choice to commit the crime we would be accused of before the election.

Being forced into committing the awful act ourselves would do a lot to make the player feel responsible for their own crimes, and would help put the player in the shoes of this character they’re controlling.

Still, This Is The President is a solid experience that does a good job of telling a story with lots of twists and turns – The choices you’re forced to make are often interesting ones, with no clear right answer while you’re making them.

The game is also fairly large for a game of its type, and will provide a lot for fans of visual novels and decision-based gaming.

All in all, This Is The President is a fun experience – It may not do anything revolutionary from a game play perspective, but the story it tells is an interesting one, and one that, given the state of the US government over the last few years, probably needs to be told.

For more This Is The President, check out the ongoing Let’s Play series I started here:

Gamer by day, game designer by night - Lukas studied Digital Arts in school, and grew up in the age of the N64 and Gamecube. He's the youngster of the bunch, but that doesn't keep him from shouting out at every available opportunity on Infendo Radio. He often finds himself at the edge of counter-culture (hates Metroid Prime, loves Other M), but isn't afraid to dive into the next big budget AAA title with the best of 'em. Favorite game: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle/Skyward Sword/Ocarina of Time/Zero Escape 2/You get the idea