First Impressions: Supreme Ruler 2020

May 21, 2008

Recently, we got a chance to try out a preview build of Paradox’s upcoming PC strategy title, Supreme Ruler 2020. Finally we get the answer to the age-old question: if South Carolina went crazy and declared war on the rest of the world, how long would it take to beat them?

(The answer, by the way, is apparently 23 days. Those guys are fiesty.)

SR2020 plays a lot like a Civilization title: players take control of a nation or territory, making diplomatic, military and economic decisions in an attempt to gain political advantages. However, it eschews Civ‘s board game-like turn-based approach for a real-time, edge-of-your-seat experience.

Play starts in the year 2020. The preview build we received had two separate worlds: one with a fairly similar political situation to today, and another in which depleted resources have caused regions to fragment and fend for themselves. This world seems to be the basis for the title’s gameplay. Texas has split into three, California into two, and Washington, D.C. has apparently tried to make it as a sovereign nation. Even in several pieces, China seems to be the world power, controlling a significant portion of the world’s natural resources.

Developer Battlegoat Studios has attempted to lower the barrier of entry into this entry compared to other Supreme Ruler titles by including difficulty sliders and tooltips. This seems to be implemented well, but it will ultimately be judged when scenarios are in place for the final build.

Graphically, this title isn’t going to impress. However, like many Paradox titles, Supreme Ruler focuses mainly on its deep strategic elements. The interface is fairly intuitive, at least after an hour or two. Sounds are a bit repetitive, but not grating.

Though not in place for this preview, SR2020 promises different governing styles in addition to different forms of government, and a deep set of diplomatic tools that even allow trading of lands and the use of U.N. proxy in treaties.

Look for more from us, such as information on the game’s Campaign mode and scenarios, when the game releases in June.