Europa Universalis 4 review by Johszink
Europa Universalis IV was made and published by Paradox in 2013. It is a game where you control your own country. For example, you can elect to rule England. The game is set between 1444-1821 and you can choose between all of the countries in the world that existed in that time. The game is a complex strategy game so if you do not care for longterm management, this might not be the game for you. Paradox are veterans of the genre, and have previously developed Crusader Kings II, Victoria 3, and Hearts of Iron 3. If you own them all, then you can play the Grand Campaign, which is all of the games played from the start to the end of the timeline. Paradox is dedicated to the accuracy it portrays, and when they spot an error, they are quick to push an update to fix it. For example, there is a country with the name Great Horde, but at the time of release, it was called ”Golden Horde”.
Once you boot the game from Steam, a launcher pops up and there is another play button, after which follows a loading screen that can take up to 30 minutes. When the game is finally done checking which version you play (a task that takes my PC up to 10 minutes but less than a minute for some of my friends), you’ll make it to the main menu. There are almost 15 different quick starts, and all of the starts are linked to a different historical event; e.g. The Thirty Years War. From there, you can always select a date where you want to start like the 3 December 1584. You’ll need to make money to build an army and pay for it. You also need to follow the current technologies or lead the technological race. When you are in the front of the tech race, it will cost more to learn new technologies. Following behind makes upgrades cheaper, but your country is also weaker.
Multiplayer takes a long time to load, and once it’s loaded it will probably crash because the multiplayer crashes often. Perhaps this is a localized issue between my friends and I but I doubt it. However, when the game runs smooth, the game is, in my opinion, one of the greatest multiplayer experiences. The multiplayer is a little different from the single player. For example, when an event pops up in single player, the game pauses. That doesn’t happen when you play multiplayer. When you play with your friend and he owns DLCs that you don’t, the game activates the DLC for both of you so there is no incompatibility.
The base game is good, but with the DLC expansions, Europa Universalis IV becomes nothing short of awesome. Most of the DLCs are cosmetics which don’t expand gameplay. Getting every DLC for the game costs 323,75£. However, a more focused purchase of every DLC that impacts gameplay will cost you 195£. My opinion is that all of the DLCs are something that should have been included when you bought the game, or at least been distributed as free updates. As it stands, you pay 20£ for the next update. The updates are great, but they are quite pricey. There are some DLCs which are more important to gameplay and are more of a necessity in my mind. In spite of the game coming out in 2013, Paradox is still developing more DLC for EUIV, and some of the DLCs allow you to play outside of the continent of Europe.
Graphics, Music, and Steam Workshop
The graphics include a world map where every country has a different color and there are mountains. They aren’t going to win awards, but it serves as a decent representation of what you are doing in game.
The music is hardly more than whistles and sometimes other instruments. You can pay 20£ for a music pack. I haven’t bought it, so I can’t say if it is worth it. However, I would assume not since 20£ is a lot for music.
The Steam Workshop includes so many mods for you to mess around with. Tou can change the map from Europe to Westeros from Game of Thrones or to whatever fictional world you want. There is a welath of talented and dedicated modders so every day brings new opportunities to explore.
The game is fantastic but Paradox has a terrible DLC policy. The game is best with the DLCs but it is still playable without them. If I should offer you advice, buy the game and some of the DLCs that are more interesting to you (if you want) on sale. I think EUIV is best with a friend but playing alone will still offer hours of entertainment. 7/10
+lots of management options
+you can spend many hours in it
+get to rule a country
+fun to play both with a friend and alone
+you can play it at a speed that suits you
-numerous DLCs that cost too much
-long loading times
-crashes sometimes when playing multiplayer
-the game restarts when you press the main menu button
-it’s mostly Europe, because there is basically nothing to do at any other place
Written by @johszink
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