The one thing that I’m sure everyone wanted at the end of 2020 to distract them from the various terrible news stories of the year is… more politics! I’m kidding, of course, but Suzerain does offer you the chance of righting the wrongs of a country and even a wider region with your leadership in a simulacrum of an Eastern European country after the Second World War.
Suzerain is a very deep game. Not in the whole “get you thinking about the real world” way, but in terms of how much lore and world building there is in this game. There’s been a lot of thought and effort put into the game to give the player a wealth of information about your character, President Rayne, your country, Sordland, and all the surrounding countries and the super powers on either side of the communist and capitalist spectrum. It makes for an interesting game because you don’t necessarily make decisions based on the cold hard facts of what is in front of you – or at least, you don’t have to. You’re given a bit more freedom to roleplay and actually play a role as a dictator or a leader of the free world.
You’ll also find yourself in a game that isn’t solely about creating a solid country. There are some great stories being told in Suzerain, and you’ll often find that you’re reacting to recent events more than you’re considering what may actually be the most optimal way forward for the country.I definitely found myself getting more and more sidetracked from my actual vision for Sordland due to events cropping up and wanting to react in a way that would be seen as positive to the general populace, which largely only led to them hating me more.
I struggled to get into Suzerain, to be honest. There was plenty of lore and an interesting enough story under there, but because it was just a lot of text with very few actual decisions to be made, it got fairly dull, quite quickly. As it’s a whole new world, they do try and push a lot onto you with decisions that seem incidental but turn out to be used against you at every turn. It’s fairly realistic, but you have to be fully paying attention to it and after half an hour of just clicking through menus and chitter chatter, it definitely starts to grate. I couldn’t keep my focus up when the crucial aspect hadn’t quite landed with me. I didn’t really care about the plight of Sordland or the life of President Rayne, so I kept playing it but quickly got fatigued by the amount of things being thrown at me.
It’s not that Suzerain is a bad game, I imagine in its niche it is in fact very good. It just didn’t gel with me and I found it quite a slog to get through once – never mind multiple times to see every ending. For those that do have more patience and focus than I do, you’ll get a good ten to fifteen hours of play if you want to see multiple endings, as well as get a full and round picture of this deep, lore-filled land of Sordland and the surrounding region.
Review code supplied by developers.