Fate of the World
Developer: Red Redemption
Publisher: Red Redemption
Genre: Strategy / Educational
Price: $9.99 / £9.99 / €9.99
Release Date: Available now at www.fateoftheworld.net or on Steam!
Fate of the World is a strategy game developed by Red Redemption, the developer of the similarly themed Climate Challenge. The game puts you in charge of an international organization in charge of managing political and environmental issues throughout the world in the hopes of curbing global climate change while maintaining political and social stability. If that sounds like a lot to handle, then you’re correctly imagining the scale of your mission.
As the president of the Global Environmental Organization, you will be in charge of 12 different regions throughout the world: North America, Latin America, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Europe, Russia, Oceania, Middle East, India, China, South Asia, and Japan. In each of these regions, you will need to put in place programs in technology, politics, energy, environmental protection, and society, along with special GEO projects.
Technological development will allow for increased gathering of natural resources, cleaner sources of energy, and more advanced industries for the region. Political programs will allow the GEO to maintain order and lawfulness in the region, and includes increased security and the ability to declare martial law when necessary. Environmental protection policies will further the goals of slowing global climate change and stopping deforestation, as well as protecting biodiversity. The societal section will help increase the quality of life for the citizens of each region by offering medical programs, increased educational opportunities, and development of commerce and industry to lower unemployment rates. The energy programs will allow you to focus a region’s effort in a particular type of resource, such as oil or renewable options like solar and wind.
The GEO projects are all long running efforts by the organization to further its agenda of preventing climate change. Some of these policies can include either committing a region to either nuclear or renewable sources of energy to reduce carbon emissions, to reforest natural areas, to initiate cap and trade programs for emissions, or to advocate vegetarian habits, which will decrease dependence on livestock agriculture.
Each of these programs will improve certain aspects of a region, but like in real life policy making there is only so much funding to go around. Sometimes you will find that in order to keep a region from militarizing you will need to neglect environmental concerns in order to increase security and law enforcement. Other times, medicine and education may suffer because climate change is progressing at unsafe levels. On top of juggling different programs in each region, you will also need to work to keep each region satisfied. Spending too much in Northern Africa will leave less funds for South Asia and so on. If a region goes neglected for too long, they will eventually kick the GEO out of the area entirely, usually leading you towards a scenario failure.
The game is very complex, and it will most likely take some time to learn the ins and outs of gameplay and the nuances of each strategic option. Players who are unfamiliar with strategy games, or who struggle to multitask well may have difficulty adapting to the steep learning curve of Fate of the World. While the opening scenario asks the player to improve the quality of life in Northern and Southern Africa, the second scenario puts you in charge of all 12 regions and gives you the simultaneous tasks of preventing a certain amount of global temperature increase while also keeping a certain number of countries satisfied. If the global temperature rises by more than 3 degrees or if you’re banned from too many regions, the mission is over. Since missions will take more than an hour to complete, Fate of the World requires a hefty time commitment from players.
The message in Fate of the World is an important one, as global climate change and other environmental issues are just as threatening to our way of life as civil unrest or economic downturn. The science also seems to be pretty accurate for a video game. Environmental issues in Fate of the World vary between biodiversity loss, carbon emissions, deforestation, and water management, each having its own set of consequences. The game will even alert you as species begin to go extinct if you neglect investing in wildlife conservation, as I discovered when I was told that I had accidentally let the black rhino fall by the wayside.
Technological advancements also seem to have been researched exhaustively, with innumerable options between which one can choose. Nuclear, coal, gas, renewable, and oil energy each have their own tech advancements which will lead a particular region towards either an environmentally friendly wind and solar empire or a polluted, carbon-belching wasteland. Choices don’t have to be that drastic of course, as players will usually need to make compromises on the spectrum in order to survive through the decades. While renewable energy is cleaner, it is slower to develop and can leave regions in crisis if oil and other fossil fuels are neglected.
While I found Fate of the World to be an extremely challenging and mentally taxing game, strategy enthusiasts will probably appreciate the wealth of options available to them and the depth of the consequences. There are four scenarios within Fate of the World, each with its own set of objectives and requirements. While most missions task the player with protecting the Earth’s fragile equilibrium, there is also the Dr. Apocalypse scenario where the player is told to make everything as chaotic as possible. There will also be a new scenario released shortly which will apparently bridge the difficulty gap between the first and second missions.
Players who prefer getting into the action will probably become easily bored by Fate of the World, but strategy enthusiasts who appreciate some mental stimulation will find more than enough to satisfy them. As an educational tool, Fate of the World would also be invaluable to schools and other environmental education programs thanks to its integration of real issues and ideas with addictive strategy gameplay. Even gamers who have little knowledge or interest in environmental concerns should find something enjoyable in Fate of the World.
For its challenging take on strategic simulation and its environmentally responsible message, Fate of the World gets: