This game is hands down the best game in the Supreme Ruler series along with 2020... but it is still kind of bad.
First off, everything that happens is completely historically railroaded. No, I am not talking about who wins what, but more, all the wars are scripted (at least, I have yet to see a non-scripted war). For example, East and West Germany could be in an arms race for so long, with tons of British and USA troops in the West, and Soviets in the East. But what happens? Nothing. They are extremely hostile but nope, no war. It may seem logical, but it gets very boring. Especially knowing the AI will never intervene, and there cannot be a WW3. It makes the spheres system useless.
Also, a WW3 is nearly IMPOSSIBLE, or maybe it is impossible. One worry about the Korean and Vietnam wars in real life was that the wars would drag the Warsaw Pact into all out war with NATO. However, when the Korean war starts, the USA says "lel ♥♥♥♥ you guys" and sits and watches South Korea get steamrolled. Ouch. And then there is Vietnam. The North starts by making large gains on French Indochina, but the French AI sends units by the hundreds over to Vietnam from Europe, and starts steamrolling through the Northern rebels. Now with its ideological enemy creeping towards its borders, China does.... nothing. Units can engage without being at war, and China usually has access through North Vietnam, but they do nothing. In fact, they don't even supply the Vietnamese with weapons, fuel... ANYTHING! They just sit and watch the Capitalists win.
And however the AI in this game is likely the best out of any Supreme Ruler hands down, it just doesn't work properly. For example, say you're USA, and you're trying to get Spain to join NATO. Well, they may have super friendly relations, but they're not even under your influence at ALL. In real life, the USA would supply countries with weaponry, and offer protection, and same with the USSR, but in this game you must keep pouring billions into the AI's treasury before they'll begin accepting deals. And once they do start accepting deals as simple as free trade, you need to offer them ALL the diplomatic treaties before they even start to like you. Then, once you are allied with them, only then do they start to slowly go into your sphere. (Unless you are the AI, with their diplomatic voodoo) But this makes no sense, right? I mean, playing as the USA, you end up allied to 40 different nations just because you wanted them in your influence, meanwhile, the rest of NATO aren't allied with eachother at all. Same thing goes for the Warsaw Pact. It is simply just nonsense.
And then there is the economy... oh god. The ways to make money in this game are the most gamey and unrealistic ways to make money ever. And the only nations that don't need ultra gamey and exploitive actions to make money are : USA, USSR, China, UK, India, and I think that is it. It is quite dumb that these nations always have their pockets filled with money whilst other nations fill up with uncontrollable amounts of debt. Making money shouldn't rely on being one of few lucky nations who never run out of money or mass producing one resource. In Victoria 2, if you focus all your production, on, let's say, machine parts, it may end very poorly. The massive amounts of machine parts you produce may cause them to become nearly worthless, and your factories may hardly scrape by, or a massive economic collapse in the British Empire may lose one of the biggest buyers of your machine parts and your factories will go bankrupt and close. It really immerses you in the economics of the game. In this game, you feel completely disconnected with the economics as all you need to do is spam produce one resource and you're set with tons of cash. It's really dissapointing and boring.PROS
-Very nice cold war map
-Nations being released worldwide
-Wars are fun
-Nuclear wars are more fun
-Small border clashes may sometimes occur between hostile nationsCONS
-No feeling of competiton between the USSR and USA
-AI does not intervene in wars such as Korea or Vietnam, making them extremely predictable and boring
-Sphere system does nothing but make nations hate eachother
-"Flashpoint tension" system doesn't do anything, as the AI seems incapable of declaring a non-scripted war
-Economy is extremely gamey, uninteresting, and unrealistic
-Diplomacy AI is horrendous
-Advisors that will start making changes to your nation that you don't want and may not realize
-World War 3 is impossible in the first place, which takes most of the fun out of the game (if it is not, correct me)
-After everything, this is still a game about world conquest, which is not why I bought this
-Same 3 minute soundtrack, looping over, and over, and over, and over and over.....
If I had to score this, I would give it a 6/10. It is a kinda fun game, but many of the issues in it make the game dull and uninteresting at times. I really did expect more from a game with Paradox Interactive as the publisher, and knowing their policy of publishing a game, it really seems like Paradox swept this one under the rug. At this price of $11 it is alright to buy, but if you haven't already, buy Victoria 2 instead.