This could be through rose tinted glasses and the fact that I was in middle school when I played them but I remember most Spiderweb games having interesting political systems for an RPG.
Idk if it’s the best but I liked 1979 Revolution: Black Friday. Idk anything about Iran so it was interesting to see a glimpse into their history represented through a game.
Fallout New Vegas was pretty integral in my understanding of fascism, how it takes root, how it initially sustains but ultimately cannibalizes itself, the harm it inflicts and how it’s the philosophy of charlatans.
I just finished playing Detention last night, which is a psychological horror game about how political oppression twists and bends people into horrible shapes. TW for blood, gore, and some fucked up relationships. It’s like $5 in the Steam sale right now, and if you can stomach the horror side of it, I strongly recommend it.
Éirinn go Brách!
It looks like no one has mentioned Chris Remo and Nick Breckon’s let’s play of CK2.
I think it differs from most LPs in that they really don’t have much of an idea what they’re doing and just figure it out as they go along with the aid of chat.
No game has been better about making me give a shit about the fake medieval politics of the fantasy genre as much as Armello and it’s tie-in novels.
Call of Duty Ghosts is accidentally calling out America in it’s portrayal of the US as somehow a victim in the story. It’s over arching plot is the US built a space station super weapon to use against a military that somehow just owns all of south america. The space station gets hacked and used and it’s all woe is me the small and defenseless united states. And then while still trying to act like the US is somehow getting it’s ass kicked, the player character uses a remote controlled probably 50cal sniper rifle. Oh also it’s totally Apocolypse Now in how a American military leader becomes leader of the South American military because who else could lead that large a military or state. Obviouslly only a white american man. For these reasons I almost recommended as a 101 but they usually try to play games they will actually like. Also this is the game you have a level as the dog.
Little Red Lie
The second game from Will O’Neill, who previously did the RPG Maker made Actual Sunlight, an autobiography about his issues with depression and his near suicide. So yeah, MASSIVE content and trigger warnings for this one, even though it’s a work of fiction (sexual assault, racism, drug abuse, suicide, ect ect ect).
It’s structured in a similar way as Actual Sunlight with an improved presentation style as you read through his really strong prose that gives insight into the inner thoughts of the characters, but the subject matter goes from personal to impossible to avoid political commentary. You play as both a 30 something woman living at home with her parents after she lost her job and had to settle for a low paying one that barely pays her bills, and a Fox News style speaker who slowly destroys his own life and the lives of countless others through his own stupidity and ignorance. It’s all about the wealth divide that defines pretty much the entirety of life across the world, and it goes to extremely uncomfortable territory that’s justified by just how authentic and real these horrors actually are. About the only time I felt the game jumped the shark a little is the farfetched plan the “antagonist” has, but it pays off extremely well.
The ending is basically soul crushing in just how right it is about the world the rich live in, to the point they’re completely unable to understand the world everyone else lives it, let alone basic human morality.