Europa Universalis IV
|Europa Universalis IV|
Cover art of Europa Universalis IV
|Developer(s)||Paradox Development Studio|
|Engine||Clausewitz 2.5 Engine|
|Release date(s)||13 August 2013|
Europa Universalis IV (abbreviated EUIV or EU4) is a grand strategy computer game developed by Paradox Development Studio and published by Paradox Interactive. The game was released on 13 August 2013.
The game is set in the period between the 11th November 1444 and the 2nd of January 1821.
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 and continues through to the Revolutionary periods of the United States and France, and concludes after the historical era of the Napoleonic Wars. However, during the course of play, player decisions will radically alter the course of history, so that by game's end, much of the game world may differ far from reality. Hundreds of nations from this period are playable, from superpowers such as Spain, France and England to regional powers like Persia and Bavaria to other groups such as Native American tribes or the far eastern nations such as Bali and the various Indian princedoms.
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 spans 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. There are 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.
Europa Universalis IV recycles and improves upon many features of the previous instalment of EU series, all while seeking to introduce a more streamlined and beginner-friendly interface, without alienating the more experienced fans. EUIV is within the 4X genre of games, because it permits a player to "explore," "expand," "exploit" and "exterminate". 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 is dealt with through a few different mechanics. Players may diplomatically gain territory, which can lead to the inheritance of an entire country. They may also militarily conquer territory through warfare. 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 defining 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 consist in developing new technologies to advance your Nation, or the discovery of "ideas". Thus, someone playing as England can, for example, invest in various Naval technologies and Expansionist ideas to become a powerful maritime colonial superpower, or playing as Genoa one can develop Trade and diplomatic concepts to enhance its wealth as a merchant nation. MPs can also be spent to short-term necessities, such as increasing the country's stability, constructing new buildings in each provinces, or even recruiting military leaders. Monarch Points, as the name suggests, depends 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:
While the game is less focused in 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. Regiments consist basically on infantry, cavalry and artillery, while navies can be composed of large, medium, 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.
EUIV has an interesting diplomatic component, with a number of available options of interacting with other nations. Monarchies in particular are able to perform dynastic actions, such as royal marriages, which can allow a member of your dynasty to assume rulership in the respective realm. If certain conditions are met, the countries related by a royal marriage can become a personal union if one ruler dies without an heir. If the heir has a weak claim, its possible for the more prestigious side to actively claim the throne. Indeed, if two nations claim the same crown, this in turn results in a succession war. The lesser partner in a Personal Union is effectively a vassal of the major partner, and might be eventually "inherited" – the lesser partner is annexed by the major one. Its possible, albeit more difficult, for a player seeking a "pacifist" campaign, to expand by diplomatic relations, eventually integrating vassalized nations.
Gone is the feature present in previous games of "infamy", which served to contain nations that expand too quickly, replaced by a system of coalitions, formed usually by the neighbors 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. Also, reckless annexation of foreign provinces is punished by "overextension", which increases the risk of revolts and destabilize the country, forcing the player to carefully consolidate his conquests before engaging in another expansionist war.
- Call-to-Arms Pack
- Winged Hussars Unit Pack DLC
- National Monuments DLC
- Pre-order Pack
- The 100 Years War Unit Pack
- The Purple Phoenix Expansion
- Digital Extreme Edition Upgrade Pack
- The Stars and Crescent Pack
- The Horsemen of the Crescent Unit Pack
- The Conquest of Constantinople Music Pack
- National Monuments II
- 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.
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 IV 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.
- "Europa Universalis IV - Steam Store". 5 July 2013.
- "Game Page". Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Paradox Development Studio". Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Official Press Release". Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- Haas, Pete (10 August 2012). "Grand Strategy Game Europa Universalis 4 Coming In 2013". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Europa Universalis IV - Paradox Store".
- "How Paradox’s Crusader Kings II to Europa Universalis IV save converter will work". Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- "Europa Universalis IV review". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "Europa Universalis IV review". PC Gamer.
- "Europa Universalis IV review". IGN.
- "Europa Universalis IV review". GameSpot.