The art for RIOT looks great. I like what I see so far about the messaging. From the press kit:
"As the economical crisis advances, the discontent of an entire population cannot help but outburst in Riots, where the sounds of many voices get heard at once. The Director Leonard Menchiari has been experiencing this form of protest in person, and the game 'RIOT' was born as a way to express it and to tell the stories of these fights. What is that triggers such a strife? What does a cop feel during the conflict? In "Riot", the player will experience both sides of a fight in which there is no such thing as 'victory' or 'defeat'."
RIOT is still in development and it's too soon to judge, but I'm intrigued to see some moral ambiguity in a game about violent protest. It would be more common to make a game about an oppressive state and a glorious opposition and call it a day, but to have the player question and sympathize with both sides of a protest gone violent is a new thing for me. You have to imagine that it puts the player in the shoes of someone who believes in a cause but deeply questions the actions of the people around him/her.
Eric and I were thinking of making a protest game at the outset of the Arab uprisings in 2011. I think the title we were dreaming up wouldn't be the same as this - I certainly wasn't playing with moral ambiguity at that time.
Looking forward to playing RIOT at its release. And, wow, I've got to get into the pixel art scene, this game is gorgeous.