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Democracy 3 now in beta, already more functional than the real thing


Democracy 3 is out now; here’s our Democracy 3 review.

Like the CryEngine, real-life democracy has been going on so long that nobody bothers to number it any more. Not so Positech’s simulation, which has been boldly attempting to squeeze as much of the process of Western government into a monitor as physically possible for just three iterations. The latest has now reached beta, and a pre-order can earn you a place in its pilot constituency.

“Democracy 3 is the only game of it’s kind,” writes developer Cliff Harris. “Not an election-simulation, but a government-simulation, built around a custom-programmed neural network and unique iconic user interface that represents the thousands of simulated voters, pressure groups, policies, laws and statistics that make up a detailed model of a western democracy.”

As in Saints Row 4, you are the president; as not in Saints Row 4, you’ll spend your time in office floating new laws before abolishing them, shrinking and then expanding government programs, or raising taxes and cutting them again. And then you’ll be booted out at the next election.

“All political careers end in failure,” notes Harris, “and Democracy 3 is thus a game that cannot truly be won, only eventually lost.”

The beta comes with the expected and sensible disclaimer about bugs and balance issues – plus the promise of DRM-free copies of the game for PC, Mac and Linux, as well as eventual Steam keys. Positech are good at that sort of thing. Pre-order here, if you like.

Do you think you could do a better job than whichever rubber-faced fraud happens to be running your country of residence? /cynicism