Europa Universalis IV - Analysis

Author: Juanma Castillo
Date: 2020-07-30 16:45:13
We review the latest major release from Paradox Interactive, Europa Universalis IV, a continuation of one of the most acclaimed historical strategy sagas by fans of the so-called 'hard' strategy.

That a game gives the absolute reins of the rise or fall of any nation in the world to the player, allows him to express his administrative policies and military strategies freely before an active and dynamic artificial intelligence, and that for four hundred years loaded with events and infinite possibilities achieves linking it to an exploration, trade and war project is something that we can only see in Europa Universalis IV .

The Swedish company Paradox Interactive has once again turned its full potential into a title that we can catalog without fear of being a true masterpiece. The demanding public of the most purely administrative strategy will encounter surprises that will be well above their expectations, all surrounded by a halo of historical events that will allow us to shore up the direction we want to take with our empire.

Thus, in Europa Universalis IV , we will be fully responsible for what happens to our nation during those almost four hundred years of history (1444 - 1821), our decisions being the ones that weigh and those that, in a framework of absolute freedom, go conditioning the evolution of our country. The options are many and very diverse, and at no time will we find a script that guides us on what is the best way to approach our management. As we say, freedom is absolute and this is supported by a system that allows our country to adopt ideas oriented to trade, bureaucracy, the army, the navy, religion, art or exploration, among others, thus discovering ways with which to consolidate a small state in an authentic military bastion where national defense and the quality of the troops are its benchmarks, or an Arab colonial and commercial empire that spreads its discoveries throughout Africa and competes with European powers for control of this area, among many Other options.

For those who have played Europa Universalis III or previous titles, we will say that Europa Universalis IV is largely based on the concepts accumulated after patches, expansions and other fixes that finally forged in Europa Universalis III , in versions 5.1 and 5.2. . However, this infrastructure is improved and tuned with the introduction of a series of elements that totally transform the gameplay, give meaning to the game and make us understand at all times what we are doing, especially in the case of commerce. Let's see step by step what those main changes are and how they affect the game mechanics.

First, we have to refer to the appearance of the point system. This mechanism revolutionizes the way of managing familiar concepts of previous installments such as stability, nuclei or cultural adaptation, which will now depend solely and exclusively on the investment of these points. Divided into three groups, administrative, diplomatic and military, they will form the main skeleton of technological advancement in our nation that will have to invest a specific number of these points to advance levels of technology and investigate general ideas that, again, grouped in administrative, diplomatic and military ideas, they will grant us interesting bonuses that we will unlock in exchange for points.

As we unblock these generic ideas that any nation in the world can choose, the unique national ideas of each country will be unlocked and they have tried to be a reflection of its historical dynamics. Most major nations will have initial bonuses that will be joined by a last and generally powerful bonus only unlocked when we have accessed all of their national ideas. For example, once Sweden has accessed all of its national ideas, its military leaders will enjoy an extra point of shock, much in line with previous bonuses focused on a powerful ground army, or Portugal, whose colonial and exploratory approach will get it an extra 20% of overseas income, and so with many more nations whose structure of ideas allows us hundreds of variations that will make each game, despite being with the same country, unique.

In order to experience rapid and stable growth, insistently linked to the number of points that we accumulate and invest, the figure of the monarch, duke, bulldog, sultan or tribal chief reappears on the scene; in short, the leader of the country. In a very minor role in the previous installment, the king of our nation is in Europa Universalis IV an articulating element not only of the number of points we earn monthly but also of the internal and external policies that we carry out. My experience in this regard is exemplified very graphically in one of the first games I carried out, under the banner of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. Venice has a somewhat particular regime in Europa Universalis IV, that of a republic, which forces a change of leader unless we accept a loss of the valuable republican tradition, every four years.

Republican leaders are chosen from three possible candidates; the bureaucrat, the diplomat or the military. If we keep the previous bulldog, the republic will lose republican tradition but in return it will increase its government skills. In my case, I decided to keep a military candidate whose skills were giving me a major boost in the military. Under his command I began a series of expansions over the northern Italian city-states, which had the protection of the Austrian emperor and his powerful armies.

Read on for our review of Europa Universalis IV for PC