EUIV is one of those games I’m not 100% in reviewing. Not because it isn’t good (it’s great) and not because I haven’t played a lot of it (I have), but it such a massive game with so much content to see and play, I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point where I can say I ‘understand’ it. Europa Universalis IV by Paradox Development Studio is one of the more extreme examples of the strategy genre, allowing you to pick any country or province to play as over an almost 400 year period in history. Your objective from their is to conquer, trade, colonize, and negotiate your way to dominance in your corner of the globe. You’ll have to contend with conflicts or religion and culture, curry favor amongst rivals and neighbors, and all the while keep your own populace in line and your claim on the throne secure. There is so much going on at any given time, and for a newcomer like me, it can be downright daunting.
All that said, I really can’t stop playing EUIV. Seriously, I’ve got 50 hours under my belt in just the past few weeks, and I still have only begun to scratch the surface. I’ve yet to make it out of the 1500’s, I’ve only played as a handful of european and middle eastern countries, and I’m not even close to finishing out the tech tree. There is so much to see and do, I imagine those that claim dominance in the game must spend years mastering the nuance and challenging their skills with unorthodox starting nations.
EUIV is played from a top down perspective of a world map, similar to many global strategy games. You recruit regiments of units to march across land and build fleets of ships to conquer the seas. The majority of the time, you will have a handful of neighbors that either love you or hate you, and its on you to decide which will make the best alliances and whose territory you wish to seize. Beyond outright warfare, you can also spend time establishing royal marriages and courting provinces to join you as vassals, giving you another way to grow your empire by integrating them or seizing the throne from their illegitimate heir. As you progress through the ages, you’ll gain access to more advanced forms of play, such as the ability to colonize uncharted lands or spread your trade range around the world.
The wealth of starting nations is one of the biggest selling points of the game in my opinion. EUIV will recommend starting countries to you that have historical relevance to the scenario you choose, but you can also pick small provinces and backwaters if you seek a challenge. Care to conquer Africa from 1875 via the Kongo? Go right ahead. Want to take over North America via the Aztec before Christopher Columbus gets a toehold? You’re welcome to try. Some scenarios, I suspect, are virtually unwinnable, but just the fact that they’re available is a really fascinating decision from a gameplay perspective.
I’m no expert, and I doubt I ever will be, but if you enjoy strategy games with a dose of history, check out Europa Universalis IV. If it seems daunting, hop on over to YouTube and look for some ‘Let’s Plays’ to give you an idea of how it works. I recommend Quill18 personally; his African Succession Synergy series is what finally won me over and got me into the game. Give it a watch and drop him a like or subscribe; he works hard for them.
Got an opinion on EUIV or a story to share? Leave it in the comments below, and as always, thanks for taking the time to stop by.