Secret Government is now in early access on Steam23 Jun 2020 0
When you think of grand strategy games, odds are the first title that jumps to mind is one by Paradox - Crusader Kings, Hearts of Iron, Victoria. But there are a couple competitors making plays in that space now, and one of those is GameTrek, a Moscow-based company that specialises in 'gaming solutions for business.' They're making a grand strategy game called Secret Government, which is now available in early access on Steam and published by 1C Entertainment (who you might remember as the publishers of Realpolitiks).
The idea is more or less the conspiracy theorist's view of world history: that shadowy cabals of Illuminati are the real movers and shakers behind world events, and in Secret Government, you're a member of this select group. Well, one of these select groups. Naturally, you'll have competition in your quest for world dominance, and that comes in the form of rival secret brotherhoods scattered around the world.
Here's the trailer:
Secret Government isn't just playing around with conspiracy theories in the abstract - it's grounding itself as running parallel with real events of the past 400 years. You'll be able to exert covert influence over the events of the French Revolution and American Revolutionary War, as well as the Napoleonic Wars of 1799-1815.
Based on the information on the Steam page, I'm not clear whether Secret Government lets you play through history uninterrupted, the way you'd experience a Paradox-style alt-history, or if the game is split into historical event chains, which it refers to as 'missions' in the promotional copy. There's a free play mode and a historical mode referenced, so perhaps they've incorporated both approaches.
Either way, it certainly looks interesting. The trouble, of course, is that conspiracy theories about small groups of people controlling the government inevitably wind up including some very bad thinking, usually along ethnic and/or religious lines - and GameTrek will need to be careful to avoid shades of bigotry in their presentation of history in Secret Government.
The early access version of the game is scheduled to get three updates between now and the game's full release on October 15. We'll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.