Europa Universalis IV

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EU4 redirects here. For more uses, see EU4 (disambiguation).
Europa Universalis IV
Europa Universalis IV
Cover art of Europa Universalis IV
Developer(s) Paradox Development Studio
Publisher(s) Paradox Interactive
Director(s) Johan Andersson
Engine Clausewitz 2.5 Engine
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux[1]
Release date(s) 13 August 2013
Genre(s) Grand strategy

Europa Universalis IV[2] (abbreviated EUIV or EU4) is a grand strategy computer game in the Renaissance Era in Europa Universalis series, developed by Paradox Development Studio[3][4] and published by Paradox Interactive.[5] The game was released on 13 August 2013.[6]

The game's content spans from 11 November 1444 to 2 January 1821.[7]

Europa Universalis IV has sold over 300,000 copies. [8]

Setting[edit]

The game is mainly set in the historical era of the initial European exploration and colonization of the New World. It opens against the historical backdrop of the tail end of the Hundred Years War and the decline of the Byzantine Empire, continues through to the Revolutionary periods of the United States and France, and concludes after the historical era of the Napoleonic Wars. However, as neither the player nor any AI controlled countries are forced to reproduce history exactly, the resulting game world may differ significantly from reality.

The time span of the game ranges almost four centuries, beginning on 11 November 1444 A.D. (the day after the defeat of the Poles and Hungarians by the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Varna, and the death of Władysław III of Poland), and ending 2 January 1821 A.D. (the year of Napoleon Bonaparte's death). The game map covers the entire Earth (minus the polar regions), and players are free to explore and expand into most of it except for certain lands such as deserts and tundra that are considered uninhabitable or unexplored historically during the in-game years. A large number of countries are playable in the game, both European and non-European. The principal constraint to playing as a non-European nation is that the game inherently is designed to replicate the dominance of Western Europe in this time period, thus non-European nations will tend to fall behind technologically as the game progresses. The player may also switch to controlling a different country within the same game world. While the game ostensibly starts in 1444, there are several different historical scenarios in which the players can choose to start the game, such as the discovery of the Americas in 1492, the Thirty Years War or the War of Spanish Succession, for example.

Gameplay[edit]

The underlying gameplay of Europa Universalis IV is similar to previous installments of the EU series. Players can choose to play single-player mode versus the AI, or multiplayer over a LAN or the Internet against a mix of human and AI opponents.

  • Exploration is dealt with by the use of terra incognita covering much of the world at game start. Players must hire explorers and conquistadors to travel into the unknown parts of the world. Or, after sufficient time has passed, world geography may be revealed as common knowledge through events.
  • Expansion can be achieved a number of ways. Players may gain territory diplomatically, through vassalization and annexation or inheritance by marriage, or militarily through conquest. Revolts of nearby provinces can also add territory to your nation if you share a common cause, such as having the same culture as the revolutionaries. Lastly, territory can also be gained as part of a program of colonization.
  • Exploitation of the world is accomplished mostly through the management of your national economy and the control of international trade. Players can also make exploits through the use of espionage.
  • Extermination, synonymous with warfare, can be conducted on both land and sea. Land armies and naval fleets can engage in battles, led by generals and admirals. The successful conduct of a war is measured through war score. Upon reaching a certain threshold in war score, the loser can sue for peace or the winner may be able to impose their own peace terms, which may include outright conquest and annexation.

A central feature of the game is the abstract concept of "Monarch Points" (MP), divided in three categories: Military, Diplomatic and Administrative, and which can be spent to perform various actions. Long-term investment in MPs consists of advancing your nation's technology, or the discovery of "ideas". Thus, someone playing as England, for example, may invest in various Naval technologies and Expansionist ideas to become a powerful maritime colonial superpower, or playing as Genoa the player may choose to invest in Trade and Diplomatic ideas to enhance its wealth as a merchant nation. Although there is no requirement to follow a particular path the game does include tailored idea groups for the major playable nations. These offer the player advantages for following particular paths and serve as a means to align the game world with the historical one.

MPs can also be spent on singular events, such as increasing the country's stability, constructing new buildings in each province, or even recruiting military leaders. Monarch Points, as the name suggests, depend on the skills of your national leader, with 0-6 scale for each MP category. Historical monarchs represented in the game have varying MP pre-sets (successful ones, such as Napoleon have lots of points, while weaker rulers such as Henry VI tend to be less competent), but as you start the game, the succeeding leaders will have entirely randomized stats. MPs can be increased by hiring specialized advisers or by new ideas.

For an effective management of any nation and its development as a regional or even a world power, the player must take in account several features:

Military

While the game is less focused on warfare than other Paradox games such as Hearts of Iron or March of the Eagles, unless the player picks an extremely isolated country, war is a fundamental aspect of the game. The size of armies and navies depend on your land and naval force limit, on available manpower and on the strength of your economy to maintain standing armies and navies. Manpower not only determines the number of regiments you can recruit, but also on their capacity of recovering losses in battle. Mercenaries can be raised, and do not cost manpower but do cost more money ("ducats"). Regiments consist basically of infantry, cavalry and artillery, while navies can be composed of large, trade, light and transport ships. Battles are affected by a multitude of modifiers, such as the skill of the commanders, terrain conditions and the troops' morale.

The discovery of new technologies and ideas through the game emulate the overall evolution of armies from the Late Medieval men-at-arms companies, through the regimental combined arms of the Modern Era, until the massed conscripted hosts of the Revolutionary period. Even for non-European nations, the military development overall tends to approximate their armies to the Western counterparts, emulating Europe's global predominance during the time period.

Diplomacy

EUIV provides a number of options for interacting with other nations, which vary according to the government type of that nation and the state religion. Players may form alliances with other nations, arrange royal marriages (if both nations are monarchies), influence cardinals to be elected to the Papal curia (if Catholic), or declare another nation a rival.

The previous EU games' mechanic of "infamy", which served to contain nations that expand too quickly, has been replaced by a system of coalitions. These are usually formed by the neighbours and national rivals of countries that expand aggressively. Coalitions are designed to simulate the historical notion of international "balance of power" such as the military leagues formed by Italian States or the coalitions against Napoleon. The annexation of new territory also results in "overextension"; large percentages of overextension increases the risk of revolts and destabilize the country, forcing the player to consolidate his conquests before engaging in another expansionist war.

Downloadable content[edit]

DLC[edit]

  • Europa Universalis IV: Call-to-Arms Pack
    • Winged Hussars Unit Pack DLC
    • National Monuments DLC
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order Pack
    • The 100 Years War Unit Pack
    • The Purple Phoenix Expansion
  • Europa Universalis IV: Digital Extreme Edition Upgrade Pack
    • The Stars and Crescent Pack
    • The Horsemen of the Crescent Unit Pack
    • The Conquest of Constantinople Music Pack 
  • Europa Universalis IV: National Monuments II
  • Europa Universalis IV: American Dream
    • Adds over 50 new, unique events, 10 themed event pictures, as well as several new unit models to the United States of America.
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquistadors Unit Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Native Americans Unit Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Songs of the New World
  • Europa Universalis IV: Native Americans II Unit Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Colonial British and French Unit Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Muslim Adviser Portraits

Free DLC[edit]

  • Europa Universalis IV: Songs of Yuletide

Expansions[edit]

  • Conquest of Paradise is the first expansion pack of EU4 which adds more native American nations, and a Random World generator which randomized the landscape of North and South America. It was released on 11 January 2014. [9]
  • Wealth of Nations is the second expansion pack for EU4 which adds significant improvements to trade and merchant republics, as well as a large balance patch. It was released 29 May 2014. [10][11]
  • Res Republica is the third expansion pack for EU4 which adds new improvements to governance and trade, while over hauling some events. It was released 16 July 2014. [12]

Requirements[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 87[13]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 95/100[17]
GameSpot 90/100[16]
IGN 89/100[15]
PC Gamer US 91/100[14]

Steam is required for installation, activation, updates and multiplayer functionality, though the core single-player game can still be played by launching the game outside of the Steam environment.

Paradox states that the minimal system requirements are:

  • XP/Vista/Windows7/Windows8/Mac OS X 10.6.8 or better/Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
  • 2GB RAM
  • Graphics accelerator: nVidia GeForce 8800 or ATI RAdeon X1900, 512 Mb Memory for Windows, ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required for MacOS and Linux.
  • Microsoft DirectX 9.0c for Windows, GLSL 1.3, OpenGL 2.1 for MacOS and Linux.

References[edit]

External links[edit]