Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Game Review: Rulers of Nations

A little more than a year ago, I was fortunate enough to review the game Geopolitical Simulator. Today, I am writing a review for its sequel, Rulers of Nations, also made by Eversim. Like its predecessor, it attempts to show both broad and limited trends within and and among the different countries of the world.
The good:
Like its predecessor, Rulers of Nations does a far more elaborate, and a far better job than anything else on the market. Compared to other games in the genre, none are so detailed and realistic. Even more so than even Geopolitical Simulator, this game shows how the world works and how the player can manipulate it.

The game also runs more smoothly than GS, being streamlined. It is easier to find many of the new features and input new figures for a budget or government plan. There are also easier ways to manage energy supplies and production. The game also seems to run quicker, which is an advantage when playing a long-term game-- especially on an older computer. This was something I was glad to see improved from the last game.

Again, using one of the strengths of GS, there are scenarios for the player to embark on. These are expanded from the last game. That being said, the regular, world as it is scenario is the most fulfilling.

Diplomatic options are slightly expanded, which the lack thereof was one thing that irked me about its predecessor. RoN still retains the UN and other international organizations.

The Bad

Fortunately, with an improved game, Rulers of Nations deals with less bad issues. The game is reformed in several ways and appears to be bringing more to the table. Still, it's not perfect.

Shifts in public opinion are still too dramatic. While playing as the Prime Minister of Iraq, I attempted to balance the budget using relatively simple moves. I kept getting thrown out of office. The actions I tried seem to be less than the actual government of Iraq's options, so that confused and annoyed me.

Diplomatic ties were improved, but still not stellar. Movement of military forces were awkward at best, and still unwieldy. Moving to a province-to-army format, like in the Europa Universalis games, would probably prevent this. Again, with a few more diplomatic options, I was pleased, but I would still like to see more ties between countries. Basically, they are still limited to trade deals and alliances-- which are far too few for a game as complex as this.

Final Rating:

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