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Videogame Review: Europa Universalis IV

Updated on October 27, 2018
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

Europa Universalis PC game cover.
Europa Universalis PC game cover. | Source

Quick Info:

Developer: Paradox Interactive
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Released: August 13th, 2013
Availability: on PC only

What is Europa Universalis IV?

Europa Universalis IV is a grand strategy game where you take control of a country on the world map. You try to lead your country to glory, either through world domination or through the economy. You can play however you want.

Unlike Crusader Kings II, you don’t really control your individual ruler, but you have to do your best to keep your citizens happy or they will revolt. You can upgrade individual cities and you no longer have castles so you don’t have to manage as much, but you still have to manage a lot.

The Game Has a Major Learning Curve:

Europa Universalis IV is very similar to Crusader Kings II and it has an extensive learning curve. There are some things that are easier to learn than others. There is still a lot of management to do but there is also a technology tree, and while Crusader Kings II does have a technology tree, the one in this game is completely different.

This game is still difficult to learn and it took me watching YouTube videos to master the basics of this game and I know that not everyone is going to want to watch hours of video to just learn about how to play one game.

The game is immensely fun to play, but this is a major time sink to learn, so this game is not for everyone.

The Europa Universalis IV world map battle victory with military unit.
The Europa Universalis IV world map battle victory with military unit. | Source

It is Fun and Enjoyable:

This is a fun and enjoyable game, because there’s so much to do in game running your country, there’s plenty to keep you busy, between researching new technologies and building new buildings you’ll be busy running your country and trying to claim other territories to expand.

E3 2013 Europa Universalis IV - Pre-Order Trailer:

The Graphics Still Look Good:

The graphics still look nice, not just for the world map but for the soldier models as well. It’s about on par with Crusader Kings II, but not amazing or mind-blwoing. It looks good for what it’s trying to be.

The terrain on the world map is very detailed. It looks very nice for being on a world map. The wave graphics are very nice for the ocean.

Songs of Europa Universalis IV - Official Soundtrack:

The Soundtrack is Nice:

Andreas Waldetoft’s music is very nice, not quite as good as the music in Crusader Kings II but it’s an enjoyable soundtrack to listen to. It’s very fitting music for the game and it is a soundtrack that is memorable for this genre of game.

The Europa Universalis world map with countries.
The Europa Universalis world map with countries. | Source

There Are a Lot of Mods:

Like its predecessor, Europa Universalis IV has many mods you can add to the game. There are mods for Code Geass (my personal favorite mod), The Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire and The Elder Scrolls.

There are also mods that extend the timeline of the main game or add new ideas to research. There are thousands of mods to pick from, but some of them will require you to purchase DLC to play them, and that can be annoying.

I will warn users that if the game is updated mods may crash so you have to make sure that they are compatible with the recent update.

There Is A Lot of DLC for this Game:

This game has a lot of DLC, 14 DLCs have been released so far and there are no signs of Paradox Interactive stopping. The problem is the sheer amount of DLC and that it is all very expensive if you pay full price for them, the price of the DLC ranges from $1.99 to $19.99, so it’s very apparent if you pay full price for these DLCs you’re going to be spending hundreds of dollars on DLC that you might not like anyway.

There are also DLC that add more countries to play, many countries that gamers felt should have been in the base game. While many of these DLCs can add many new mechanics and countries, there are limits to what people are willing to spend on DLC for one game.

I only buy Paradox DLCs on sale because they are too expensive for me, and I’m not really a first adopter when it comes to DLC for Paradox Interactive grand-strategy games.

I wouldn’t recommend blind buying the game or DLC unless it is on sale, I will only buy DLC when it goes on sale because it is so expensive at full price. I would also recommend looking up what other people say is recommended DLC because it is so expensive to purchase.

Reader Poll:

Will you buy Europa Universalis IV?

See results

The Game is Fantastic, but Stupidly Expensive:

While I love this game a lot, and I do recommend it, I cannot recommend it to everyone because of the steep learning curve just to learn how to play the game and the ridiculous pricing of the game when it’s not on sale makes it hard to recommend to just buy it when it’s not on sale.

If the game were a little cheaper I would recommend a blind buy, but the base game itself is $39.99, and while that is cheaper than the newest AAA games coming out right now, the DLC makes it cost more than at least four games, and most people are going to balk at that price tag, no matter how nice the DLC is.

Quick Summary:

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Great gamplay
DLC is very expensive
Nice graphics
Steep learning curve
Good soundtrack
Outdated mods cause the game to crash

My Grade: A-:

Europa Universalis IV can provide gamers with thousands of hours of entertainment if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn the game.

If you’re willing to try the game, there is a demo, but this is not a game for everyone. It can be a blast to play, but you have to put in the effort to learn the game, and not everyone wants to sink a lot of time into one game.

There’s also the DLC, while it does add a lot of game mechanics to the base game, there is a lot of DLC to buy, which makes experiencing the game with a lot of great gameplay mechanics harder to do because the DLC at full price is so expensive to buy.

I highly recommend buying this game but don’t buy it unless it is on sale. While DLC is fine in most cases, the fact that some of the more interesting gameplay mechanics are behind a paywall.

If you just can’t wait to buy this game, you can go ahead and purchase it, but you’re better off waiting for a Steam sale because this is a title that always goes on sale during Steams’ seasonal sale or it will go on sale during the holidays.

If you’re looking for a fun grand-strategy game, this might be the one for you, but only if you’re willing to put in the effort to learn it and you are willing to wait for a sale or spend a lot of money upfront.

My Rating:

5 stars for Videogame Review: Europa Universalis IV

© 2018 ReViewMeMedia

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