Democracy 4: Console Edition Logo
Democracy 4: Console Edition Icon
Democracy 4: Console Edition

Developer: Auroch Digital

  • Price: $26.99
  • Release Date: Jun 5, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: T [Teen]
  • Watch this review on YouTube
    The scale of decision-making here feels spot-on for the real world, but whether that makes for a great game?

    Of all the thoughts I’ve ever had in my head, I can’t say that one of them was that being the leader of a major and diverse country would be easy. Hell, even trying to imagine tackling a key cabinet position and trying to fight for ideas that sound like they should be effective, only to see them co-opted or killed by others, is a challenge. What Democracy 4 does very well is to let you try to sip from the veritable firehose that is trying to lead from the top, and it can absolutely be overwhelming.

    The first note I have is that though the game does a reasonable job of making navigating everything as smooth as possible with a controller, all of the screens absolutely make it feel more like a PC title. The thing is, given the subject material, and the scope of the responsibilities the leader of a country would have, this is absolutely understandable and necessary. Just bear that in mind when considering it if you happen to have a PC available to play on as well.

    Outside of the interfaces, of which there are many, this is absolutely an experience you’ll need to play around with quite a bit just to really understand what you can do, and what may be effective. Good intentions and playing it safe don’t tend to move the public as much as daring plans and gestures, but since the game maps out your electorate by demographics and interests, you’ll be able to observe most everything yourself. The challenge is just deciding what to expend your limited political capital on each turn. You could peruse the policy ideas your advisors are pushing, roughly create some proposals of your own, or even hire new cabinet members if you feel like they aren’t serving your best interests, or they simply aren’t very effective.

    What you’ll quickly find is that the landscape is complex and often full of pitfalls. What could boost your numbers in one area will inevitably cost you in another, and through experimentation it is clear that the game isn’t going to make success easy. Would you rather build a cabinet of trusted people on the same page, or simply put your focus on who is the most effective, or even who may have the most pull to help you win an election since you can only do big things while you’re in office, once you’ve been voted out the window closes. While I’m not sure how great it is as a game given its complexity and volatility, both of which seem to be accurate to real life leadership at the top, there’s no doubt that it is an eye-opening simulation of what’s sure to just be a fraction of what leaders face in today’s world.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Good [7.8]

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