HomeReviews3.5/5 ReviewDemocracy 4: Console Edition Review

Democracy 4: Console Edition Review

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In the UK, at the time of writing this review, we are right in the middle of a general election campaign. That time, every few years, where we get to decide who will be running the country on our behalf. It’s a time of bluster, promises, and controversies. It’s a time when we think we could do better. 

Well in Democracy 4: Console Edition those wishes can come true. Here you get to be a leader of one of multiple different countries, fast discovering just how hard it can be to keep everyone happy. 

Democracy 4 Console Edition review 1
How will you run your country?

I’ve not played the previous games in this franchise so I can’t comment as to whether Democracy 4: Console Edition is a significant upgrade from Democracy 3 or not. But you start the game by making a choice of which country you want to be the Prime Minister or President of. These range from France to the USA and even my own beloved UK. After selecting the difficulty level, you are off and running. 

Democracy 4: Console Edition – in reality – is one huge Excel spreadsheet, in which moving one number or slider will affect something else, leaving you forever juggling plates, trying to keep everyone happy. You’ve just won an election in your chosen country and you can rename your party, making choices as to the type of government you want to be. Do you want to try and work a socialist ideal? Or do you want to be a warmongering right-winger? The first thing to do is choose your cabinet members and it’s good here to pick a wide range of skills to suit your needs. Do you need someone whose focus is defence and security, or those whose skills are helping with environment and welfare reform?

As you start your term as leader, the decision-making is put into action. What do you do first? Every decision seems to have a yin and yang counterpoint. If you push your green manifesto too much, then you might upset your motorist voters. If you add massive welfare policies, tax rises may be inevitable, in turn annoying the business community and some of your cabinet. 

Democracy 4 Console Edition review 2
Security is vital, no?

The way the game plays out over a session is fascinating and the amount of detail in the policies, as well as the different departments you have to keep an eye on, is equally overwhelming, mesmerising at times. You have several turns in each election cycle to play out, dealing with the important decisions as they occur. These will focus on a number of things including dramatic events, war decisions, or policy problems where you have to make some difficult choices. 

In my first run-through as the UK’s Prime Minister, I had a lot of ideas. I wanted low taxes, a strong robust welfare state, strong green policies, and a non-military ethos. I was voted out by a landslide, straight after my first term. More runs as a leader in different countries saw me learn that making ruthless decisions and being a bit of a horrible person led to more success. It’ll certainly take some playing around in order to find success as the finest leader… . 

Visually, Democracy 4: Console Edition does a presentable job with its spreadsheet papers. It’s fine, but there aren’t any cut scenes or outstanding graphics to wow you; it does very much what you would expect it to do. The same goes for the sound; basic and compact. 

Democracy 4 Console Edition review 3
A majority victory is the plan

The sheer level of detail in Democracy 4: Console Edition is very impressive. Fans of menu management strategy games will find this super addictive and highly absorbing, as they look to prove themselves as the perfect leader. For others, it may become a bit tiresome after a few runs, and maybe this is a game that is more suited to some quick, fast blasts, on a mobile or Nintendo Switch.

Whatever, Democracy 4: Console Edition has made me look at the UK election in a different way, wondering how on earth I’d ever get anywhere running a country. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Detailed politics
  • Absorbing and addictive
  • Different countries to play with
Cons:
  • Feels a strange console fit
  • Doesn’t take long to become tiresome
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Auroch Digital
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), PS5, PS4, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 5 June 2024 | £22.49
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Detailed politics</li> <li>Absorbing and addictive</li> <li>Different countries to play with</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Feels a strange console fit</li> <li>Doesn’t take long to become tiresome</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Auroch Digital</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (review), PS5, PS4, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 5 June 2024 | £22.49</li> </ul>Democracy 4: Console Edition Review
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