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Realpolitiks is a 21st century grand strategy game

Modern grand strategy

The trailer for Realpolitiks [official site] is spectacular, in the way that someone stepping on a rake and then falling into a pond is a spectacle. The game itself looks like one of those maps and graphs things that I love, with its focus on politics in the modern world, but the trailer doesn't spend a lot of time with the game. Sure, you'll see a map around the 30 second mark, but that's assuming your eyes haven't already popped out of your skull. "When World Collapses," sez the trailer, "REAL MEN MAKE REAL POLITICS". The man in the video rubberstamps a document with blood.

You can watch below if you think you can handle the heat.

Cover image for YouTube video

I can't tell if the guitars and angry messages are telling me to fight the power or to respect the strongmen of politics. Maybe both? The most powerful politicians in the world might well be anti-themselves in the next few years. Realpolitiks' trailer knows the score, is what I'm saying.

The actual game isn't an outtake from a Pearl Jam video though. It's maps. It's taking control of any country in the world and guiding it through the various crises and opportunities that crop up.

"Grow and develop your nation to the highest possible levels of economic power, technological competitiveness and military supremacy in globally-ranked charts. The choice is yours as to whether you become a valued member of the United Nations, or a nuclear tyrant, bullying all those around you. Expand your territory any way you like with the whole-world sandbox gameplay of Realpolitiks, even creating colonies out at sea. And if that's not enough, try spreading the seed of our civilization to outer space..."

There's definitely room in my heart for a grand strategy game set in these times, though I wonder if I'd find it quite as amusing to play an absolute monster as I often do in Crusader Kings II. And, of course, I'm not sure that Realpolitiks is the game to fill that space. The feature list is just about what I'd expect but it's the execution that will really matter.

  • Lead any country in the world to global domination in various game scenarios.
  • Shape your country's political system and course determine its relations with other nations.
  • Deal with internal and external affairs and face threats from natural disasters, terrorism, financial crises and more.
  • Make use of common political instruments in your international relations, including spy tactics and espionage to directly influence other nations’ internal affairs.
  • Take the moral and ethical high road in your dealings with others, or not...
  • High replay value ensured by a broad decision tree in all matters, as well as diverse mini-scenarios and random events.

Developers Jujubee don't have a strong pedigree (though I'm intrigued and disturbed by their other current project, based on the wreck of the Kursk) so I won't get too excited until I've seen much more.

Excited about the game that is. I'm already excited about the trailer.

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.