With the political wreckage of yesteryear still falling from the skies in giant flaming arcs it’s easy to see how a strategy game like Realpolitiks [official site] might take off. It’s set in the contemporary era and let’s you take control of a nation state. The idealistic among us might want to see if we can do a better job than today’s diplomats, while others might yearn for a taste of delicious autocracy, you know, just to see what it’s like. Either way, you can do that soon. It’s coming out on February 16, the developers have said. It looks like this.
This trailer isn’t as keen on blood-stamp bureaucracy and electric guitars as the last one. Instead, there’s a lot more menu clicking and drum beats, which feels more like a grand strategy’s pace. It's much more sensible. I approve.
You can play as three main flavours of government – democracy, authoritarianism or totalitarianism – dealing with global crises in their own particular manner. What kind of crises? Well: “the disintegration of the European Union, the expansion of Islamic State, the aftermath of World War III”, which is a disturbing list of events to read in sequence. As you can see, it’s going to be a mix of real and fictional problems, say developers Jujubee, where the aim is to keep your country riding high in terms of economic power and military superiority.
There’s a bit of expansionism to it as well, which in reality isn’t terribly en vogue. There’s even a dollop of space colonising, which I hope is very expensive and dangerous. But stranger things have happened (are currently happening) in this international maelstrom of hate and money we call the Earth. In two days a megalomaniac reality television star who brags about sexual assault is going to be sworn in as President. I don’t think any game about current affairs will top that. But maybe Realpolitiks will.