Europa Universalis IV is the latest installment in the series of strategy / management games from Paradox Interactive. After Europa Universalis III and Crusader Kings II, the saga offers us its latest opus - establishing the realm of modern Europe over a period extending from 1444 to 1820.
Immerse yourself in the most comprehensive history simulation ever
For those who have never played a game in the series, Europa Universalis IV is a strategy game that takes place over a very long period. You can choose to play any independent kingdom of the European world, where you must manage all aspects of the development of a kingdom, whether that's economic, diplomatic, military or technological.
The immense complexity of Europa Universalis IV and its great historical realism are unequalled by other games in the genre. Unlike conventional strategy, such as Civilization IV and Age of Empires II, it is impossible to do what you want in Europa Universalis IV. You can't invade all neighboring countries and create a huge empire without paying the price, and you must always take into account factors such as culture, religion and diplomacy when you want to expand your kingdom.
A complex game to master
Europa Universalis IV is a complicated game. Fortunately, the game offers an introduction in the form of different tutorials to get you started. This introduction alone lasts for several hours, so you can imagine the time needed to really master the game mechanics. That, however, is the real fun of the game: the wealth of gameplay is mastered over time and so the life of Europa Universalis IV is increased tenfold.
The gameplay of Europa Universalis IV, despite its richness, suffers from serious problems due to the lack of finishing of the game. The navigation on the map could be perfected and the game menus will annoy more than a few players.
A great success hampered by finishing problems
Europa Universalis IV is more than pleasing to the eye compared to its predecessors. The world map is beautiful and many of the details will delight fans. Keep in mind, however, that Europa Universalis IV is a rather stripped-back game, and this can't be hidden by flashy graphics.
Beyond this graphical aspect, we must admit that Europa Universalis IV falls into the usual trap of Paradox productions: they're released prematurely, and the game is riddled with bugs (translation, missions, interactions) that have a real negative impact on the game. It's a shame, even if regular players aren't surprised and override their disappointment to appreciate the infinite richness of the game
Our verdict: an excellent game for fans
Europa Universalis IV is difficult to get a grasp of and suffers from a lack of clear finish. The game, however, has such richness and depth that historical strategy gamers can't possibly ignore it. It's already a classic for fans of the genre!