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Europa Universalis IV[2] is a grand strategy video 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] It's a strategy game where players control a nation from the Late Middle Ages through the Early modern period (1444 to 1821 AD),[7] conducting trade, administration, diplomacy, colonization, and warfare.

Europa Universalis IV
EuropaUniversalisIV Packshot edited.png
Cover art of Europa Universalis IV
Developer(s) Paradox Development Studio
Publisher(s) Paradox Interactive
Distributor(s) Steam
Director(s) Thomas Johansson
Producer(s) Linda Kiby
Designer(s) Johan Andersson
Programmer(s) Niklas Strid
Artist(s) Fredrik Toll
Composer(s) Andreas Waldetoft
Series Europa Universalis
Engine Clausewitz 2.5
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux[1]
Release
  • WW: 13 August 2013
Genre(s) Grand strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Contents

GameplayEdit

The game itself is an interactive map of Earth divided into the provinces that compose nations. Each of these provinces contribute 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 (Ducats), Manpower, Legitimacy for Monarchies, Republican Tradition for Republics, Devotion for Theocracies, Horde Unity for Hordes and Monarch Power (Administrative, Diplomatic, Military).

Players can choose to conquer the world by military might, become a colonial superpower, establish trade dominance, etc. 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, or annexed, from the map. Diplomacy is a large aspect of the game, as creating alliances vassal states and tributaries, 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 can 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 to 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 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 locks several settings such as difficulty, and removes the control of saving the game from the player. This means that any mistakes are irreversible. It is, however, the only way to receive any of the achievements that can be won.

Expansions and modsEdit

All DLCs are optional, and may be applied to the base game in any combination. The largest DLCs come in the form of expansions, which significantly alter the mechanics and features of the game. There are also flavour packs (which add new events and minor mechanics, usually specific to one nation), music packs (which add more backing music) and cosmetic packs (which affect unit models, portraits and the map). There are also three e-books which have no impact on the game itself, but coincided with the release of expansions.

Expansions are often accompanied by a coinciding free patch to the game, which as well as adding fixes to the mechanics, also adds some content in the theme of the expansion.

Conquest of ParadiseEdit

Conquest of Paradise focuses on the New World. It adds an expansion to the mechanics of tribal nations, most prominently Native American ones. It also adds a random new world generator which randomizes the landscape of North and South America. The accompanying patch also added colonial regions, protectorates and new starting nations as well as many other small additions and fixes. Released 11 January 2014.[8]

Wealth of NationsEdit

Wealth of Nations includes new mechanics for trade and merchant republics. The most prominent additions also include trade companies, privateering, and construction of the Suez, Panama, and Kiel canals. The accompanying patch included a new rival system, policies, and extra ship designs. Released 29 May 2014.[9][10]

Res PublicaEdit

Res Publica focuses on governance and trade. New mechanics pertaining to elections are introduced, along with election events for the Dutch republics and a national focus. The Republican Dictatorship form of government is also included. The accompanying patch included extra idea groups and Merchant Republic factions. Released on 16 July 2014.[11]

Art of WarEdit

This expansion focuses on military mechanics. It expands on the Thirty Years' War and the Napoleonic era, improves diplomacy (especially surrounding conflict and peace treaties), expands vassal mechanics and adds new options for waging war. The accompanying patch amongst other things overhauled rebel mechanics, improved the map and added large interface, AI and gameplay improvements. The map improvements increased 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 DoradoEdit

El Dorado, named after the mythical El Dorado, improves largely on the nations of Central and South America. This includes Nahuatl, Inti and Mayan religions, a "doom counter" for the Central American tribes, improved mechanics and added events. Exploration and colonisation of these areas is also expanded upon - for example, the Treaty of Tordesillas is added and conquistadors can explore into terra incognita to search for the Seven Cities of Gold. A custom nation designer is included. The accompanying patch included new events for South and Central America, improved terrain and general improvements to gameplay. It was released on 26 February 2015.[13]

Common SenseEdit

Common Sense, named after the famous pamphlet written by Thomas Paine, focuses on diplomacy, religion and internal development. New religious gameplay is added, focusing on Protestants and Buddhists. Parliaments are added, and a special parliamentary government is granted to England. The coinciding patch included new religions, improvements to the peace system and a reworking of the fort system. The number of building slots were also decreased, but the existing ones made more powerful. It was released on 9 June 2015.

The CossacksEdit

The Cossacks, named after the East-Slavic region, adds additional diplomacy options and a wide variety of internal politics for peacetime. Primarily this is represented through the "Estate" system, which allows provinces to be assigned noble landholders, the church, burghers, and more in return for various bonuses and modifiers. Additionally, The Cossacks adds mechanics for horde government types and adds mechanics to the Tengri religion. It was released on 1 December 2015.[14]

Mare NostrumEdit

Mare Nostrum, translated as "Our Sea" in Latin, was the Roman name for the Mediterranean Sea. As its name suggests, this expansion introduces new content connected to naval warfare, trade and espionage. Now one can put ships on a naval blockade mission or on a hunting naval mission. One can also create trade leagues, offer Condottieri to other countries to fight and a new timeline feature where one can at any point through the campaign click it and watch how the world has evolved throughout the game. The accompanying patch made significant changes to espionage, added new map modes, two new systems for states, territories, and corruption, as well as various new provinces for Ireland and Africa. It was released on 5 April 2016.[15]

Rights of ManEdit

Rights of Man is the ninth expansion for Europa Universalis IV. It was announced on 19 August 2016. It was released on 11 October 2016 along with the 1.18 "Prussia" patch. The DLC and patch included a new Great Powers system where the eight most powerful nations were listed as "Great Powers" and could access new diplomatic features such as making minor nations break their alliances with other Great Powers. The patch also included new governments for Prussia and the Ottoman Empire, and a massive reworking of the technology system called the Institutions, which add penalties to any nation which hasn't embraced a given institution (such as Feudalism, Renaissance, etc.), and made the process of 'westernization' obsolete.[16]

Mandate of HeavenEdit

Mandate of Heaven, named after the ancient Chinese political concept, focuses on improving the East Asian region and contains new mechanics for Ming China, along with the ability of surrounding states to claim the title of the Chinese Emperor. There are also new Chinese meritocracy mechanics, the ability of Manchu tribes to raise banners, and a new Japanese shogunate system with events that allow Japan to become more isolationist or open in character. Outside of East Asia, there are now 'Ages' that focus gameplay on distinct historical periods in the Early Modern era, including Ages focusing on the European discovery and colonization of the Americas, the Protestant Reformation and religious conflict in Europe, French-style political absolutism, and the 18th century revolutions occurring in France and the Americas. The free 'Ming' 1.20 patch includes a new absolutism mechanic along with a province devastation feature. The expansion was released on 6 April 2017.[17]

ModsEdit

Aside from the official expansion packs, third-party mods are freely available. Most mods are available from the Steam Workshop. The mods can modify or remove existing features, and add new features, such as new unit models or new gameplay mechanics.[citation needed]

Europa Universalis IV has a large following of modders. Popular mods include Extended Timeline (which added history from 2 AD to 9999), A Song of Ice and Fire (which adapted the world from the Game of Thrones series into the game), and complete overhauls such as Veritas Et Fortudo.[citation needed]

ReceptionEdit

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 87/100[18]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 95/100[19]
GameSpot 90/100[20]
IGN 8.9/10[21]
PC Gamer (US) 91/100[22]

Critical receptionEdit

Europa Universalis IV was met with generally favourable reviews, receiving a score of 87/100 on aggregate website Metacritic. Critics praised the improvements from Europa Universalis III, especially the new mechanics and graphics.[23][24] 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".[25] Negative feedback focused on the tutorials, combat mechanics and bugs. Nicholas Pellegatta acknowledged these bugs and other issues were likely to be addressed in later patches and expansions.[26]

In 2013 Europa Universalis IV won the "Golden Horseshoe" award in the category of "Game of the Year" on the Polish website gikz.pl.[27] It also won "Best Strategy" and "Best Historical" in Game Debate's 2013 awards.[28]

SalesEdit

As of February 2014, Europa Universalis IV had sold over 300,000 copies.[29] By January 2016, over 900,000 games were registered on Steam.[30] As of June 21, 2016, over 1 million copies have been sold.[31]

Pricing adjustmentsEdit

In May 2017, Paradox Interactive normalized the prices of the game worldwide and its other products to account for the games being cheaper than intended in many non-western nations. This has led to massive backlash and boycotts by people from the affected nations, including a massive increase in negative user reviews on Steam in the following weeks.[32]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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". PC Gamer. 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". PC Gamer. 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". PC Gamer. 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". PC Gamer. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "Europa Universalis IV: The Cossacks Release Trailer". GameSpot. December 2, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015. 
  15. ^ Paradox Interactive (2016-04-05), Europa Universalis IV - Mare Nostrum Release Trailer, retrieved 2016-04-13 
  16. ^ "New Europa Universalis IV expansion will bring the Rights of Man to Renaissance Europe". pcgamer. Retrieved 2017-02-20. 
  17. ^ "Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven". Paradoxplaza. Retrieved 2017-04-04. 
  18. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". Metacritic. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  19. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". Destructoid. 
  20. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". GameSpot. 
  21. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". IGN. 
  22. ^ "Europa Universalis IV review". PC Gamer. 
  23. ^ Bitterman, Tom. "Europa Universalis IV". Gaming Nexus. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  24. ^ Brown, Fraser. "Review: Europa Universalis IV". Destructoid. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "PC Gamer EU4 Review". PC Gamer. PC Gamer. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Pellegatta, Nicholas. "Recensione Europa Universalis IV". Everyeye.it (in Italian). Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  27. ^ "Wielkie Derby - Gra Roku". gikz.pl. 
  28. ^ "Europa Universalis IV". Game Debate. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  29. ^ Aziz, Hamza (2 May 2014). "How Paradox Interactive found success in a niche market". Destructoid. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 
  30. ^ "Europa Universalis IV". Steam Spy. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  31. ^ "Paradox Interactive Announces Grand Successes for Grand Strategy Titles". Paradoxplaza. June 21, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Price Increase". ParadoxPlaza.com. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 

External linksEdit