If you are always intrigued by Grand Strategy Games like Europa Universalis or Hearts of Iron, but never had the time to learn how to play these games, Realpolitiks might be the game for you!
Realpolitiks is a real-time, simplified single-player grand strategy game. The gameplay focuses on managing a country in the 21st century dealing with decisions or operations at the macro management level. Use diplomacy, espionage, military and economic power to deal with other nations, while tackling issues such as terrorism, financial crises, and medical epidemics.
You play as the leader of a country, and your goal is to make that country great. Just like every other country in the world is trying to do. You have about 100 years to accomplish this goal and try to stay ahead of all the other countries in the world. While Realpolitiks has many mechanics for international relations, there are a lot of options to manage your internal politics as well. You try to swing your country to the government type you like; democracy, authoritarianism or totalitarianism. Use your money to start projects that will swing your country in that direction.
The thing is, this game isn't that hard, though. In my second playthrough of the game, I've reached the number one ranking on the leaderboard within 10 years. And I didn't even start out as the most powerful country. I started playing as the United Kingdom, though not one of the weakest countries, it wasn't ranking in the top 3. But by researching and implementing ideas I thought would make a country great, I reached the number one spot. But after getting my ass kicked in Europa Universalis 4 numerous time, this was a refreshing and fun way of playing a Grand Strategy game.
Realpolitiks is available on Steam as of February 16th.
In Realpolitiks the gameplay focuses on managing (or controlling if you want to play that way) a country in the 21st century. As the leader of a country, you have the option of playing as any country you want to manage in the world, using politics and international affairs. The goal is to provide glory and prosperity to your nation, based on world ranking.
There really is no other background story than the one we are having right now. And that is a good thing. If you want to play a Grand Strategy game like this one, you don't want to spend hours reading up on lore and history of the world, you want to play in a world like the one we are living in right now. If you know what has happened in the world over the last 100 years, you are all up to speed about the story of the game.
There's only one weird thing while starting up the game, One of the ideas I got in all my playthroughs was the option to "rebuild" the country as if we have been in a war recently. The game lets you start in the 21st century, I believe it's around 2020, and I don't know of any war that has been fought in Poland, the Netherlands or the United Kingdom.
RealPolitiks is much like other grand strategy games in terms of features and mechanics but in Light Mode. You do not control your military units, but you build a transport unit instead. When wartime comes your troops are deployed and you win or lose the war due to a sort of Quick Time Events. You control the type of government by implementing Ideas, a sort of techs you research and implement. These Ideas move your country in one of the three types of governments, or start scenarios which do the same.
I have to say that the tutorial plays through a lot easier than the other Grand Strategy games I have played in the past. There are three tutorials and each doesn't take more than 20 minutes to complete. And after completing these tutorials I really had the idea I was ready for the game. starting as Poland and going through a typical run-through of what you might come across in a future campaign.
The object of the game is to end an era at the top of the leaderboard. Completing tasks and objectives gives you points. Researching and implementing ideas give you points per turn. But some of these tasks and ideas have negative effects for your country. Try to find the best way for your country and it's people to reach the top of the world. This feels refreshing after playing a lot of the major Grand Strategy titles where a playthrough can take weeks, even months to finish. I always seem to forget what I was doing if I haven't played it over a week. If you only have 100 years to complete the game, it feels much faster and you want to finish the game.
Waging war isn't an easy task in this game, without being hated by the rest of the world. You have to start of making a neighboring province your Core. You accomplish this goal with your spies. Once you managed to pull this off, you will have to get the blessing of the United Nations. And let me tell you, they aren't easy to persuade into giving you the right to wage war. In my United Kingdoms playthrough, I managed to get a core on Ireland. Until the end of the game, the U.N. has never granted me the right to invade Ireland.
The controls are mostly like any other strategy game out there. Pause the game using the spacebar, move around the map using your mouse (only drag with the left mouse button in this game) and get a more detailed menu using the right mouse button.
PRESENTATION AND PERFORMANCE
Realpolitiks runs smooth. The recommended system specs are an Intel I3 or equivalent, 4 GB of memory and a GTX 740 or equivalent. Almost all gaming rigs have these stats or better so I think almost no one should have any problem running the game.
The game looks good. The map is clear and the names of the countries aren't hard to read. In order to see some of the details of a country, you have to zoom in a lot to read it in fine print under the country's name. But once you get used to that I don't see a problem with it. The text of the ideas screen and the random scenario's are easy to read as well.
The sound effects of the game do get a bit repetitive. When a nuclear power goes to war, prepare yourself for hearing the sounds of nukes going off at the start of every turn. A little detail that could've been done better. Other than that the sounds and music are decent.
Like I said at the beginning of this review if you like other Grand Strategy games, but don't have the time to learn how to min/max these games, Realpolitiks is a game you might enjoy. For a Light version of a Grand Strategy game, it does as it promises. Games aren't too hard to win and don't take months to complete. The tutorial is easy to understand and the game runs smooth on most modern day computers. You have a ton of options to make, regarding internal and international politics. The map looks very detailed and is easy to read, and a playthrough of this game doesn't take months to finish.
Other than the sound effects being repetitive, like I mentioned before about the nuclear war sounds, and the fact that the outcome of a scenario isn't always very clear, I have very little negative points for this great and easy to understand Grand Strategy Game.
I had a lot of fun playing this game, and I will continue playing it in the future. But it will not replace my all time favorite Grand Strategy game Crusader Kings II, not by a long shot!
|+ Tons of content and choices to make||– Outcome of choices isn't always clear|
|+ Easy to learn||– Repetitive sound effects|
|+ Detailed map|
|+ Runs smooth on most computers|
|+ Doesn't take as long to win as other games in the genre|