4th Generation Warfare is a grand strategy game by Eversim.
Steam store description
Fourth-Generation Warfare simulates warfare in the 21st century, which, in addition to the direct opposition of military forces, now includes espionage, international politics, cyberwarfare, media manipulation, and trade wars.
As the leader of a nation, dispatch and control your team of characters all around the world to destabilize your enemies and establish your supremacy. All methods are fair game: hacking, sabotage, political interference, military strikes, corruption, treachery, assassinations, energy domination, data theft... 4GW turn-based game combines a strategy game with a role playing game.
On each turn, the player, as the head of a nation, can carry out a limited number of actions with the characters that he or she controls. Each character performs actions specific to their position or function (examples: contract negotiations for a diplomat, sabotage for a spy, cyberattacks for a hacker, inquiries for an investigator...). You can also opt to move military units, or for actions called "leverage" (examples: invitation to a restaurant, offering a bribe, threatening with blackmail...) performed by non-playable characters, allowing you to later compel them to commit acts of betrayal. More than 100 different actions are possible. The psychological profile, experience and abilities of the characters, possession of weapons and particular objects factor into their odds of success.
During your turn, other nations controlled by human players or by the AI can also perform actions. All throughout the game, a news website and characters' smartphones inform the player of action results and other game events. The score of each country is based on 4 criteria (international diplomacy, military conquest, economic performance, popularity) and establishes a ranking. If a head of state loses power or dies, the controlling player is eliminated.
The last country standing or the first-ranked country after the last turn wins the game. Optional secret objectives can also tip the balance towards victory.
The game is played on a current map of the world, viewable in 2D and in 3D. The map shows all national borders, cities and important strategic locations (military bases, power plants, factories...). The player can access city maps with its various buildings (palace of the Head of State, headquarters of the army, secret services or the police, restaurants, embassies, characters' residences, secret hideouts...) and interact with the characters in those locations. Certain buildings have a computer server for their operations and contain databases of sensitive information; they can be targets for cyberattacks aimed at blocking or stealing this data. Maps of the major capitals are consistent with the real-world cities.
There are various map display modes: diplomatic, military, electoral, etc.; there is also a minimap. The world map changes according to players' building projects, damage from war or sabotage, military strategies and territorial conquests. Moreover, all major events are displayed on the affected areas (demonstrations, attacks, crimes...)
There are more than 30 types of characters. Characters controlled by the player (spies, police inspectors, cabinet members, military leaders...) are distinct from non-playable characters who can only be influenced (spouses, journalists, traffickers, hitmen, informants, religious dignitaries, artists, psychoanalysts ...). Each character has a particular psychological profile, helping or hindering the success of their actions. Around fifteen different profiles are represented: sociable, loyal, charismatic, paranoid, introverted... Moreover, variables of stress and fear, calculated according to events (threats, corruption...), can influence their autonomic behavior (surrender, betrayal, coup d’état...)
Characters also have a smartphone with which they can manage their contacts, talk to them, negotiate with them, arrange a meeting or store their files (stolen data, photo or video evidence...). These telephones can be GPS-tracked or hacked and their contents pilfered.
About thirty special objects can be found or constructed and add bonus or additional skills to characters like: bulletproof vests, fake IDs, compound cameras, explosives, exoskeletons... Actions common to all characters (moving, going to a restaurant, taking/placing/giving/stealing objects, seducing, threatening, marrying/divorcing, interacting, bribing...) are distinguished from actions specific to their profession.
Non-playable characters are also capable of many specific actions: editing articles for journalists, ordering union strikes, influential sermons by religious dignitaries, exhibitions for artists, assassination by a hitman, voting instructions for political leaders...
The happiness level of the population is calculated on each turn. It can vary according to the policies of the state (social spending, level of taxation), unemployment rate, purchasing power that changes according to product costs, potential shortages, anxiety levels in the country or the corruption of the leaders. Angry people can start demonstrations or riots, call for a strike and ultimately cause the player to lose the game. The people can also be influenced by the manipulation of information in the media or by natural leaders such as union or party leaders, by religious dignitaries who themselves can be in service of a foreign power.
The multitude of action plans (limited in each turn and must be carefully considered) combined with different ways to calculate scores offers players a multitude of strategies. The different levels of underlying gameplay such as wargames, featuring around fifty different types of military units, trade wars via economic contracts, management of the national budget to influence popularity via your investment capacity, management of resources, the role of the UN who can sanction a country or authorize military interventions all add even more to the possibilities and the excitement of the game, with fortunes changing at any moment.
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