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Emmanuel Brousse
Recommandation | 22 mai

4 video games to act like a great strategist - English
You are more into Monde Diplo than into “Call of Duty”? No problem: here is how to waste your life behind a screen like everybody else.

 © DR
“I don’t want to stupefy myself with dumb video games…” That is the contemptuous answer given by people believing they are intellectuals when you tell them about video games. It is true that making caramels fall down on Candy Crush or shooting people’s heads with a shotgun on GTA V does not help you getting a PhD in geostrategy. However, when you snoop around, you can find many titles which are likely to please those who care more about theCourrier International than “Mario Kart”.
 © DR

For those who want to live the life of a civilian in Sarajevo: “This War of Mine”

There are hundreds of war games. In the innumerable “Battlefield” or “Call of Duty”, you play a soldier who is ready to fight on the front and the shooting skills are far more important than the historical aspect. In “This War of Mine”, however, no shotgun, explosion or heroic warrior: the game puts you in charge of a group of civilians unwillingly dragged at the heart of a bloody civil war inspired by the Yugoslavian conflict.
Entranched in a precarious shelter, the survivors don’t know how to fight, or hardly, and they have to find food, heating, escape the militias and looters… Unlike many entertainment productions and blockbusters, the game does not want to do something “cool” and put the players in impossible situations. Will you be able to ask your group to rob retired or wounded people to find the drugs and food they need to survive a few days under the bombs?
 « This War of Mine », 19 €.
 © DR

For history fans: “Crusader Kings 2”, “Europa Universalis IV” and “Victoria 2”

The Swedish studios Paradox Interactive have specialized in realistic and very (very very) complete historical strategy games. The idea is more or less the same: at the head of a relatively powerful territory, you see the centuries pass by and try to develop your nation to its maximum. “Crusader Kings” covers the Middle-Age and allows you to build a powerful dynasty by marrying your daughters to the powerful princes of the Holy Empire, by developing fair cities and by sending your too conspiring sons off to die on the battlefield.
“Europa Universalis” begins around 1450 and ends at the beginning of the 19th century. You will have to build a world empire, modernize and handle the hazards of the 17th century’s diplomacy.
Finally, “Victoria” ends at the dawn of the Second World War.
What is interesting in Paradox games is that they try to be close to reality rather than maintaining an equality between nations. Thus, If you decide to conquer the world starting from the Majapahit Kingdom (or one of the 200 kingdoms and diverse empires there are in Europa Universalis), it will be much harder than if you start at the head of France or Austria.
 In their basic versions, "Crusader Kings 2", "Europa Universalis IV" and "Victoria 2" cost around 40€ each and feature a multitude of extensions. A complete pack is available for 92€.
 © DR

For those who dream of a well-furnished account at Mossak Fonseca: “Tropico V”

If your main goal in life is to become very rich and to drink caipirinhas under the shadow of the palm tree, immediately buy “Tropico V”. This darkly humorous game enables you to shape your own Caribbean dictatorship. You will start by creating a dictator, preferably with a nice mustache, a uniform full of medals and a cigar – the cigar is very important – and then you will develop your island throughout the 20th century to make it prosper.
You will be able to bet on cigar factories, rum export, mass tourism, casinos or small houses for eco-friendly hipsters in order to win a maximum of money (and by embezzling some of it on your Swiss account).
You will also have to deal with little political issues by allying with the Axis, the US, the USSR or China. You will have to squash rebels like in any good dictatorship (with tanks and a political police) and NATURALLY, you will fiddle elections as much as necessary before secretly exporting uranium, hidden in tin cargos.
The game offers many extensions that don’t bring much but ad funny and often absurd scenarios.
 « Tropico V », 23 € / 40 € with all the extensions.
 © DR

For those who dream to redraw the “Grand Paris” plans: “Cities Skylines”

You feel like a builder in your soul? You have great plan to build tomorrow’s megalopolis? It is time for you to download “Cities Skylines”. A sort of evolved version of the famous Sim City, this game puts you in charge of a municipality that you must patiently shape to turn it into a gigantic urban platform.
The game is also developed by Paradox and you can feel it: you can handle a huge number of parameters and deeply personalize your city. Critics loved it and the game is now the Holy Grail of “sand pit” games lovers allowing you to patiently build your dream city.
  « Cities Skylines », 27,99 € / around 13 € for each of the two extensions.
Crédits photo : DR
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