Supreme Ruler 2020 Review

We try to become Supreme Ruler with this review.

Review by Darren Cartledge
Published 26th June 2008

Supreme Ruler 2020

  • Developer: BattleGoat Studios
  • Publisher: Paradox Interactive
  • Release Date: 20th June 2008

We’ve all said at some point that we’d do a better job of governing our country then our nation’s leaders and now you’ve got the chance to do just that with Supreme Ruler 2020. But, it’s not going to be easy as the game throws you into the melting pot of a hostile future in which most countries have split into independent regions and war and political turmoil are never far away.

Supreme Ruler 2020 features two main modes of play, campaign and scenarios. The scenarios require you to play a specific nation with which you have to complete various tasks in order to meet the victory conditions. The campaign mode allows you to take control of your nation of choice and set the conditions of victory as well as various other options, such as allowing the use of nuclear weapons, penalties for using nuclear weapons and declaring war on other nations and so on. Both modes play pretty much the same way and to add to the replay value the game also features multiplayer support over a LAN or the Internet.

To say that Supreme Ruler 2020 is a hardcore strategy title would be something of an understatement as the game requires more then just the simplicity of gathering an army invading a territory and taking control. Supreme Ruler 2020 is probably best described as a geo-political strategy game in which you have to use diplomacy, make alliances and trade agreements in order to bring your nation to the forefront of the world stage.

The game allows you to control practically every aspect of your nation, everything from the military to the economy is under your influence and the sheer number of screens and menus to navigate through can make the game extremely daunting, especially if you have never played a similar game before. To help with this the game does feature cabinet ministers who can make decisions on your behalf taking some of the load off your shoulders. This often comes in useful especially at critical times, however If you don’t want your ministers to make decisive decisions they can be locked out of the process and everything will be passed to you to control.

As mentioned above Supreme Ruler 2020 is set in a hostile future and the threat of war is never far away as nations feud over control of regions or simply because they were unable to broker a trade agreement they wanted. You are often called upon to come to the aide of your allies when they are attacked, springing your military into action which consists of ground, air and naval units. Your military can also be used to gain control of new ground for your nation boosting your economy with the addition of any resources and any booty that may be present in their treasury. This is one of the better aspects of Supreme Ruler 2020 as you able to attack from land, sea and air all at the same time making for some epic battles. Although this can have severe consequences as your UN approval rating will suffer and their allies will declare war on you which could cause problems if you have a small military.

Seizing control of other nations obviously isn’t the only way to increase your country’s wealth. You can tax your citizens to bolster your treasury or make cut backs to various services after all you’re in charge. Of course you’re in control to serve your citizens and taxing them and cutting back services isn’t going to win you any popularity contests so there are other ways to boost your economy. This is done by controlling production, imports and exports and making trade agreements with other nations. Being astute here means that you are able to meet the needs of your people as well as undertake all the research and development programs you have chosen to meet the demands of your chosen nation.

Whilst military acts are the obvious choice when it comes to getting your own back on a country that has upset you, it’s not the only option available in Supreme Ruler 2020. The game also features a spying and espionage system, spies can be sent out to steal secrets and technologies or sabotage production in other regions. It’s a nice system that allows you to take revenge on other nations without directly going to war and risking the wrath of other nations they maybe allied with.

The challenge Supreme Ruler 2020 offers is quite substantial mainly due to the extremely steep learning curve the game has, it takes a long time to learn how to do things and at times this becomes very frustrating especially when you have to navigate through various menus to find what you are looking for.

The game requires pretty extensive planning as like in many other hardcore strategy games things take time to get done. For example military units take time to build and resources time to be produced. So there’s no quick fix if you’re ever caught short so undertaking a new research project for example will mean you need to keep an eye on what is going on around you, further adding to the challenge that the game offers.

The game as a whole runs pretty solid, there does seem to be an issue when playing the scenarios and trying to deploy a military unit equipped with missiles seems to shut down the game and exit to windows but other then that there are no bugs of note.

Visually Supreme Ruler 2020 offers a mix of both good and bad graphics, the world map is extremely detailed using satellite maps that were provided by NASA, these are absolutely excellent, however when you zoom in the textures used for the maps looks a little old. Units also aren’t the most modern looking but do feature nice details such as weapons fire. Cities aren’t bad looking but like the map textures are a little old but serve the purpose of representing facilities and so on.

Sound in Supreme Ruler 2020 isn’t the most notable, especially at times of peace, yet what there is has been done well. The game features an intense soundtrack that helps create a tension filled atmosphere of the games political setting. Sound effects such as weapons fire and explosions sound a little tinny but get the job done.

Supreme Ruler 2020 offers a pretty different playing experience then your average strategy game, which tend to focus on military action. This game requires patience and planning. It’s also extremely complex and requires a lot of time to get to grips with, newcomers and the more casual gamer are likely to find too daunting to try and become Supreme Ruler whilst hardcore gamers should relish the challenge the game offers.

Review Score: 7.4/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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