How likely do you think it is that Japan would need to battle a unified Korea marching under the banner of communism? How about a Chinese capitalist buying Hokkaido, which then suffers a Russian invasion? If you play Japanese strategy sim Daisenryaku SSB, you can take on these scenarios and more. Suffice to say it's raising more than a few eyebrows.
What other scenarios does this Japanese strategy sim have?
Strategy sims are no strangers to controversy. Whether it's World War II sims meeting with Russian ire or games literally asking you to assist the Nazis in winning World War II, a grounding in history often means that strategy sims provoke tensions that are still sore spots for many nations. Now, a Japanese strategy sim has included some rather provocative political scenarios as part of its single-player campaign. It's a game in which you must battle using tanks and other vehicles, but more importantly, it's a game that imagines a full-blown second American Civil War between Democrats and Republicans.
The somewhat alarming choice of campaign scenarios in Daisenryaku SSB was first noticed by Twitter user Jzunko, whose tweet (along with the Steam page for the game) was then picked up by the folks at Automaton Media. We're using Automaton's translation for our reporting in this article. Here's a list of the scenarios on offer in Daisenryaku SSB, all of which are apparently based on "the latest international situations". It's hard to argue with them, although their interpretation of the direction of geopolitics is...intriguing.
- "Crisis in the Straits of Taiwan": battle China as the Taiwanese army, which has been abandoned by both the USA and Japan
- "Korea Unites Under Communism": North and South Korea are united under communism, and Japan sends troops in to intervene with the new regime's human rights abuses
- "Taking Back the Senkaku Islands": the hotly-contested Senkaku Islands are taken over by the Chinese army, and Japan sends troops to reclaim them
- "Ainu Independence": A Chinese capitalist buys the Japanese province of Hokkaido, and Russia subsequently invades, so Japan must defend its province
- "American Civil War": a communist Democratic Party battles a Republican army comprising rebel citizens and the National Guard
As you can see, the scenarios on offer range from somewhat plausible to outright crazy. Of course, it's important to remember that these are purely hypothetical scenarios, but the outcomes they propose are attention-grabbing to say the least.
Daisenryaku SSB isn't this studio's first rodeo
As pointed out by Automaton Media, Daisenryaku SSB is far from the first game by developer SystemSoft Beta to include provocative scenarios based on real-world conflicts. Back in 2001, the studio released a game for which the tagline focused on "the worst-case scenarios" that could happen in real life. According to Automaton, these scenarios included "Clash of Japan", "Korea! Occupy Seoul", and a second Korean war. The console releases for these games were apparently sanitized so that real-world country names weren't used, but it's not hard to figure out what "J Country" and "K Country" are supposed to represent.
If you want to check out Daisenryaku SSB, you can give its Steam page a look right here. According to Automaton Media, the game is due to launch on June 30th, although its Western Steam page merely gives a release window of "June", so we may have to wait a little longer for it. The Steam page promises "tough" AI and a free-play mode in which you can toggle settings for each map, so if you're a strategy buff, you may want to give this one a look. Just be aware that it's not exactly an escapist fantasy.