Europa Universalis IV developed by The Paradox Development studio is a ‘real-time’ strategy game taken place in the golden age of expansion. 100’s of nations strive to make a name for themselves during the Middle Ages, guiding their people to explore and conquer the world. Fight wars and make alliances as every move you make contributes to the overall state of your empire.
The maps are highly detailed with touches like cloud cover and the lay of the land per time of the year; taking into account the weather of each particular region. For example, during the winter months your army’s attrition level is deeply affected. At first glance, the interface for Europa Universalis IV is very complicated. There are tabs for almost every aspect that you need to manage to maintain your country. There are also flags. Everywhere.
In Europa Universalis IV you attempt to gain victory by claiming as much land as possible and have the most dominant empire. It isn’t as easy as gathering troops and marching your army across the map. The game has done a very good job in imposing penalties for going to war. Every time you march towards another province, other countries are watching you, some of them watch in awe, and others become weary about your true intentions. You may end up going against a coalition of countries that find your expansion a great threat to their livelihood. You can and probably should make alliances with your neighboring countries, either by diplomatic envoys or through a Royal Marriage.
Keeping your army in large numbers will deter your enemies from attacking you, as there is definitely strength in numbers. Putting together a smattering of units together just because you want your unit numbers to rise will work on occasion, but as your nation expands it reaches a point of diminishing returns. If you are lucky enough to have access to the sea, maintaining a good fleet can be the difference. At times of war, your enemies will try to block trade from going into your port cities and without trade coming into your major cities, having extended war campaigns is harder to do.
World domination is not easy, and Europa Universalis IV has made a point to keep it that way. The game is complex from the very start, with a map that shows everything is happening at the same time. You got boats crossing the sea, caravans moving through deserts, countries making alliances, and countries declaring war. Then there are so many choices on how you want to approach your victory.
Europa Universalis IV gives you a more in-depth approach to conquering the world, forming royal Marriages, suppressing rebel uprising and creating or going against coalitions. Once you get past the initial fog of the interface, this game will keep you enticed.
Note: The Europa Universalis IV review was written based on the PC version of the game.