Europa Universalis 4: A Wealth of Nations Preview: Trading through conflict
27 January 2014
Excerpt: Europa Universalis IV , the global game of trade, will be getting a massive expansion titled Wealth of Nations . We got a chance to speak with lead developer, Thomas Johansson, to get a little more insight on what players can expect out of the expansion. First and foremost, EU4 veterans don't have to worry about the game's trade system that's already in place, as it's remaining untouched, however trading is going to be the sole focus of the Wealth of Nations expansion,...
Conclusion: All this isn’t to say that Paradox has perfected the grand strategy formula. I still had to look up a YouTube video series to figure out some of the more complex gameplay systems, and sometimes the reason the player can or cannot do something is not clearly explained. However, Europa Universalis IV has taken grand strategy to the point that it doesn’t require much more time investment than other strategy games.
Excerpt: Plotting a safe course through the heady, Machiavellian world of early modern-era policital intrigue is a bit like surviving high school. Do you work really hard and suck up to everyone in an attempt to get them to like you (and become Holy Roman Emperor)? Or do you already have a really tough big brother who is five years older than you, who you can use to strike terror into everyone, allowing you to act like a spoilt brat (Papal States)?
Summary: Europa Universalis IV is a tour de force global strategy game. Paradox has managed to implement a wealth of new features from an expansive trade system to improved multiplayer options. I’m amazed that such innovation was done whilst making a 4X title more accessible. No longer does the Europa series instantly alienate potential customers.
Summary: Despite simply being better than ninjas, pirates have not gotten as much appreciation in video games. We've seen two incarnations of Sid Meier's Pirates! , the Monkey Island games, and the Akella pirate games ( Pirates of the Caribbean , Sea Dogs , Age of Pirates ) to name a few, but a full-fledged pirate roleplaying game with naval combat has never really come close to perfection.
Summary: I've just united Italy after over a century of bloody conflicts. From Doge of The Serene Republic of Venice to the first King of Italy -- it's quite the step up. Along the way, I've upset the gargantuan Holy Roman Empire, gone to war with the Papal State, conquered Serbia, and inadvertently helped France take over most of Spain. Now I've got the vast Ottoman Empire knocking at my door, and I'm about to lose everything.
Excerpt: Europa Universalis IV puts you at the reigns of an entire nation, and charges you with taking care of everything from wars to theological doctrine to trade embargoes. The depth of control and choice given here is nothing short of remarkable. Nearly every conceivable way to rule is catered for, from Napoleon-style military expansion to the more insidiously evil colonialism that we Brits were so bloody good at.
Conclusion: Europa Universalis IV has retained much of the core gameplay that has made the franchise a favourite amongst strategy gamers, but is also a slightly less daunting undertaking for newcomers to the series. The tutorial could definitely be improved, but after playing for a few hours most players should have little trouble keeping their empire afloat and the missions do a lot to help guide players along the right path. The screen can feel a little cluttered though.
Pros: Grand scale, great musical score, some functions have been simplified
Cons: Still has a quite a steep learning curve for newcomers to the series and the tutorial is woefully inadequate
Conclusion: So, Paradox have done it again – learning from the design of Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis is an excellent starting foundation. From here, we hope the game receives the content and support that CKII got, and we can’t wait to see what else they can do with the game. EU3 fans are obviously going to feel right at home here, and whilst we’d encourage newcomers to try it out, since there’s no ‘face’ to game (As it’s about nations, not people), it might not seem as...