Europa Universalis IV

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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 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 is set in the Early Modern Period, with content spanning from 11 November 1444 to 2 January 1821.[7]

Setting[edit]

Europa Universalis exists in a finite timeline, starting on the 11th of November, 1444 and ending on the 2nd of January, 1821. A player may choose any starting point between these two dates and begin a campaign as almost any country which existed in the world at the time.

The entirety of the geography of Earth is represented and able to be owned, conquered, and colonized - with the exception of some regions of desert, jungle, or tundra, which are considered to be uninhabitable.

While players may choose any custom date that they desire, the game features bookmarked starting points with the intention of having the gameplay replicate some of the most dramatic events in human history. Instances of bookmarks are the Discovery of the New World, the European Wars of Religion, and the French Revolution and subsequent reign of Napoleon.

The game is, in short, an interactive world history simulator focusing on the time lapse between the Late Middle Ages and the Napoleonic Era.

While some historical events like the Dutch Revolt or the Protestant Reformation are mandated to occur during gameplay, there is no set course and thus each play through can result in a different outcome.

Gameplay[edit]

The game itself is an interactive map of the world divided into the provinces that compose a nation. Each of these provinces contributes to their country either positively or negatively, as provinces can both provide resources to a nation and serve as a point of unrest and rebellion.

The gameplay requires the player to lead a nation by finding a balance of military, diplomacy, and economy. The player does so through their choices as sovereign of their nation, and through the spending of resources available to them; Prestige, Stability, Gold, Manpower, and Monarch Points (Administrative, Diplomatic, Military).

Players can choose to conquer the world by military might, become a colonial superpower, establish trade dominance, or anything else they can imagine. The game is a sandbox environment and while there is no strict rule on winning the game, a loss occurs when the player's nation is removed from the map.

Diplomacy is a large aspect of the game, as creating alliances and vassal states, improving opinions and monitoring expansion and coalitions is vital to a player’s survival. Espionage can also be employed against enemy states in order to claim their territory, or incite rebellion in their provinces, as well as other dubious methods.

Combat can be done on both land and sea, and it attempts to simulate real world factors such as morale, discipline, competency of leaders, terrain, and supply lines.

Many major religions are present in and influence the game and provide distinct bonuses to their practitioners. Players can employ missionaries to convert their provinces, or engage in policies of universal religious freedom. The Catholic faith makes use of the Papacy, which can allow a nation to have control over the Pope, or use their influence for other rewards.

Technological advancements are invested in over time, and will require the expense of monarch points.

  • Administrative technologies unlocks advancements such as increased productivity, new forms of government, new buildings, and the national idea system.
  • Diplomatic technology unlocks advancements such as naval units, improvements in trade, new buildings, and improved colonial expansion.
  • Military technology unlocks advancements such as land units, improved morale, combat tactics, and new buildings.

Gameplay is largely influenced by random events that arise each year for the player. These events can be either helpful or a hindrance. Some of these random events are driven by factual history pertaining to an individual country, while some are there to force a player to make tough decisions, and otherwise to enhance the flavor of the game.

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. Single player also has the option of “Ironman” mode which removes control of saving the game from the player, but allows achievements to be unlocked.

Expansions and Mods[edit]

Several minor expansions to the game are available as downloadable content. Larger expansions include:

  • Conquest of Paradise, which adds more native American nations, and a random world generator which randomizes the landscape of North and South America. Released 11 January 2014.[8]
  • Wealth of Nations, which improves the game logic for trade and merchant republics, and patches the rest of the game for balance. Released 29 May 2014.[9][10]
  • Res Publica adds improvements to governance and trade, while overhauling some events. Released on 16 July 2014.[11]
  • Art of War focuses on the Thirty Years War, while making changes to vassal mechanics and naval management. It also increases the number of provinces on the game map, in regions which previously lacked detail, such as Asia and Africa. It was released on 30 October 2014.[12]
  • El Dorado introduces a custom nation designer, as well as changes to native Central and South American nations such as a doom counter for the Central American tribes, exploration and trade fleets. It was released on 26 February 2015.[13]

Aside from the official expansion packs, third-party mods are freely available. Among these, MEIOU and Taxes received a favorable review on The Wargamer; its name references the MEIOU and Death and Taxes mods for EU3, by the same makers.[14][15] Other popular mods include the 'Extended Timeline' mod, which changes the starting date to the 1st January 54. The new ending date becomes 31 December 9999. It also adds over 500 new countries, each with historical territories and rulers at any given date, along with 100 new provinces, which remove all wastelands, and many more.[16] Another popular mod [17] is the 'Veritas et Fortitudo' mod.[18] The map overhauls most of the vanilla gameplay aspects, adding many features, including a new map, with over a 100 new countries, including more formable ones such as the Celtic & Angevin Empires, adds a significant reduction in download size through optimization of graphics files (70MB smaller), and more.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 87[19]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 95/100[23]
GameSpot 90/100[22]
IGN 8.9/10[21]
PC Gamer (US) 91/100[20]

Critical reception[edit]

Europa Universalis IV was met with generally favourable reviews, receiving a score of 87/100 on aggregate website Metacritic. T.J. Hafer of PC Gamer described the game as an "engrossing simulation that conquers the common ground between your average Civilization V player and the long-time devotees of grand strategy".[24]

In 2013 Europa Universalis IV won the prestigious "Golden Horseshoe" award in the category of "Game of the Year" on the Polish website gikz.pl.[25]

Sales[edit]

As of February 2014 Europa Universalis IV has sold over 300,000 copies.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Europa Universalis IV - Steam Store". 5 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Game Page". Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Paradox Development Studio". Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Official Press Release". Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Haas, Pete (10 August 2012). "Grand Strategy Game Europa Universalis 4 Coming In 2013". Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  6. ^ "Europa Universalis IV - Paradox Store". 
  7. ^ "How Paradox’s Crusader Kings II to Europa Universalis IV save converter will work". Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Paradise Pre-gained: Pre-orders Available for New World Expansion for Europa Universalis IV". Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Europa Universalis 4's Wealth of Nations expansion detailed by Paradox". Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Paradox announces Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  11. ^ "Europa Universalis 4 targets trade and governance in Res Publica mini-expansion". Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Art of War Expansion for Europa Univeralis IV Arrives October 30". Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Savage, Phil (20 January 2015). "Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado expansion announced". Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  14. ^ James Tanaleon (14 November 2013). "PC Game Review: MEIOU and Taxes - The Europa Universalis IV Mod We Were Waiting For". The Wargamer. 
  15. ^ James Tanaleon (18 September 2014). "Interview: MEIOU and Taxes Exclusive Sneak Peek Interview". The Wargamer. 
  16. ^ Details of the 'Extended Timeline' mod (in Steam Workshop) by user qwerty
  17. ^ http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/browse/?appid=236850&actualsort=toprated&browsesort=toprated&p=1
  18. ^ Details of the 'Veritas et Fortitudo' mod (in Steam Workshop) by user PENGUINTOPIA
  19. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". PC Gamer. 
  21. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". IGN. 
  22. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". GameSpot. 
  23. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". Destructoid. 
  24. ^ "PC Gamer EU4 Review". PC Gamer. PC Gamer. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  25. ^ "Wielkie Derby - Gra Roku". gikz.pl. 
  26. ^ http://www.destructoid.com/how-paradox-interactive-found-success-in-a-niche-market-269887.phtml. Retrieved 9 October 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]