Revo­lu­tion’s in­sipid sto­ry­telling is all the more frus­trat­ing for those early hints that it might have some­thing to say about the pol­i­tics of war. Along with Am­leth on the front line, the Five Traitors in­clude a politi­cian, a news­pa­per colum­nist, a spy and an arms man­u­fac­turer. It teases a nu­anced ex­am­i­na­tion of the ma­nip­u­la­tion of in­for­ma­tion, and sets up a po­ten­tially fas­ci­nat­ing moral con­flict in the idea that Jut­land is be­ing co­erced into a need­less war for the sake of per­sonal re­venge. Yet it’s al­ways clear which side the de­vel­oper is on. The Ruzi em­pire are lit­tle more than pan­tomime vil­lains, with a car­toon­ishly evil ruler whose ac­tions have al­ready eco­nom­i­cally crip­pled Jut­land, en­sur­ing the na­tion has lit­tle al­ter­na­tive but to take arms and fight. Any hu­man con­se­quences of the con­flict, mean­while, are ei­ther ig­nored or hur­riedly glossed over.

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