Suzerain is a fairly interesting government simulation, indie RPG that was developed by Torpor Games and published by Fellow Traveller. Released on the 4th of December in 2020, the game gained mostly positive feedback via Metacritic. However, while I loved the story of the game I did find the overall game lacking and not very interactive when it came to the gameplay. Of the few simulation games I have played, this simulation game had very little give and take, which is extremely important for simulation games in keeping their players invested. That being said the game was still very good and worth a playthrough. Suzerain can be played on PC for $14.99 via Steam and Epic.
You follow the life of President Anton Rayne, a man whose choices led him to rise to power after experiencing traumatizing events in 1945. Sordland is left in ruin and your first term is trying to pick up the pieces and repair all the damage left from the previous tragedies that had taken place during your young adulthood. What makes the story so interesting is the fact that all of your choices not only affect every outcome making every decision stressful and critical, but you also get to choose how you want to be as president. Players can choose a more cutthroat approach, choosing military power and force with a more dictatorship style of leadership, or even a more democratic one with trying to push civil rights and health care.
However, the situations players will deal with make it almost hard to follow a straight path due to the extremely life-like circumstances the game has to offer. These decisions can be as big as choosing between funding police enforcement to rid Sordland of extremist gangs or choosing to let the gangs stay because that money needs to fund the education or healthcare system that needs to change. What adds a more personal feel to the game are the dialogue options presented for your family. The developers did an extremely great job in making the game more immersive and allowing players to feel as if they are Anton Rayne.
My only issues with the game had been the gameplay itself. As mentioned before the game lacked interaction, and consisted of the map and events at each location. That would not have been bad if the events consisted of more than just text dialogue between other characters in the story such as your family or other politicians. It was cool that different dialogue choices ended up in a cause and effect like scenario, however, there were no cool cut scenes to watch nor any battles with interactions.
The game would have been miles better with more substance, but unfortunately, it’s just a read-and-click response type of scenario. This game even had a great setup for what could have been an RTS or even TBS kind of experience. One thing I did enjoy about the gameplay however is the fact that you aren’t sure who to trust based on responses given. There are a lot of harder choices to make with potential false promises from your government “allies” and business “allies” that tend to have more bargains for political gain than favors. This story does well to pressure players in a political minefield that feels surreal.
Suzerain was a perfect portrayal of a government setting and presidential pressures as far as storytelling and decision-making go. It was fantastic in changing outcomes and putting players in extremely difficult situations. I honestly have not felt so stressed with presented problems and choices since Mass Effect. The game did suffer unfortunately from a dull point and click style gameplay with no cut scenes or interactive gameplay. While this game has plenty of potentials and is worth a playthrough, I honestly feel like there could have been so much more to the adventure provided.
DVS Score: 6/10