Supreme Ruler 2020
|a game by||BattleGoat Studios|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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How Did We allow the country to get like this? Skyrocketing food prices, you can't walk down a street for getting stabbed, we live under an unjust system of double and triple taxation, CCTV cameras ask us to moderate our language if there are ladies present, and 42 days is deemed an acceptable amount of time to lock someone up without telling them why -perhaps their ID card didn't have the correct "Not A Terrorist" stamp on it.
Clearly, this government's arsed it all up beyond hope and everyone's doomed, but could you do any better? Well, that's what Supreme Ruler 2020, a hardcore government sim, lets you discover. You start out by taking control of any country in the world in the aftermath of global financial meltdown (a tad prescient), each with an exhaustive array of well-researched statistics that provide the game with an early twang of believability.
I'm In Charge
Once you've waded through the somewhat inadequate tutorials, it's time to start presiding. As leader of your nation, you must deal with matters both foreign and domestic to ensure your country's prosperity. The action takes place in real time, but thankfully you can pause the game to issue orders.
The sheer wealth of options is either impressive or terrifying, depending on how hardcore you like your strategy games. If you're a control freak, you can make every single decision yourself, be it raising taxes or launching a nuclear strike against another nation. You can also delegate all or some responsibilities to ministers, who will then consult you before executing new policies.
Despite your ministers' assistance, Supreme Ruler 2020 remains a highly challenging experience, at times taxing your grey matter to melting point; a situation not helped by an ugly and unwieldy world map that lacks detail, even when zoomed in. Do you choose to focus on building cities, industrial complexes or military installations? What type of helicopter gunship is best to research next, or would you be better off channelling your military budget into missile defence satellites? Are you producing, exporting and importing enough of the game's 11 resources to ensure your country continues to function and grow? Is your reputation high enough in the United Nations? And most importantly, are your people happy? These are just some of the conundrums you face. You also have to keep an eye on your finances, as falling into debt can be catastrophic to your country's growth prospects.
Without question, Supreme Ruler 2020 is an impressively detailed strategy game, which admirably captures the wealth of obstacles and tough decisions that the ruler of any nation in the world inevitably faces.
That said, it's also rather inaccessible unless you're an ultra-hardcore strategist with more time on his hands than Hiro Nakamura. There's also a distinct lack of quality feedback relating to your decisions and the progress of your negotiations, which can be a little frustrating. But with patience and perseverance there's plenty of reward, and if you can dedicate enough time to it, you'll discover a highly immersive management experience that allows you to lead your chosen country to a brighter future than the one England seems to be heading for.