Europa Universalis IV – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Platform: PC, MAC

Europa Universalis IV – Review

Site Score
Good: Great evolution of the franchise, fantastic interface, deep gameplay that will get you hooked.
Bad: Not for those who lack patience.
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)


Ah, Europa Universalis, Paradox Interactive’s flagship. Its crème de la crème, the franchise that renders any strategist catatonic from the excitement.

Unlike that other the studio’s other series, Crusader Kings, this is the one game that even gamers outside of enthusiast communities have heard of. The question remains, then, if this fourth entry manages to live up to its name.


There’s something about historical games that leaves us wanting for a more fantastical plot. Not that humankind has ever lacked its share of bloody murders and intrigue, but the entertainment value of any historic fact can be considered non-existing thanks to boring textbooks that leave almost no room for critical -and brilliant- minds.

Not so when playing through the Renaissance-era yourself, be it as a Mongol warlord or a posh British elite.

Europa Universalis IV takes you through the ages once more, urging you to either conquer the world with the help of quick thinking, a healthy dose of wits and brute force.

There are, of course, plenty of scenarios, trying to emulate real historical events, but those are nothing but a light appetizer.

The real story in this game is not about a war between the French and the British, but about your own actions, how you make sure your kingdom gets to the top of the ruling class and stays there.


At first you won’t notice any real difference between Europa Universalis IV and Paradox other games. Anyone looking at a random screenshot would be forgiven for mistaking this game for, let’s say Crusader Kings II or March of the Eagles. It’s still one big map, featuring all nineteenth century regions of the world, units are still drawn larger than some countries and colorful borders divide plenty of fiefdoms.

That said, the world looks crispier, something that’s especially noticeable when you zoom all the way in. For the first time in a Paradox RTS, textures seem like they were really made for the high definition area.

The world map, for instance, is much more detailed, with trade routes showing a lot of activity between nations, all the while adding the feeling that this digital Europe is actually alive and kicking.



I’d like to refer to my previous reviews of Paradox RTS’s, because once again, this game offers the same bombastic orchestras the studio is know for.

Read: the game offers sweeping tunes when mixed with a playful and at times calm soundtrack. Perfect for this kind of game.


I’ll immediately throw this out in the open; Eurpa Universalis IV manages to bring intrinsic and complicated gameplay to the masses. This game really shows how far its developer has come over all the years. Every bit of information has been cleanly and elegantly contained within a great and understandable interface.

That’s not to say this iteration of the franchise was dumbed down to satisfy a more casual crowd. Don’t be mistaken; you’ll need every ounce of brain cells in order to succeed. It’s just that this time around, you get a deep strategy game that knows how to present itself without becoming a convoluted mess.


A quick mention of the basics: you move armies and other unites around a world that’s still divided by war-torn borders. There is, naturally, more to it, more on that in the next paragraph, but essentially Europa Universalis is a more complicated version of Risk, with more options aside from total war.

As in previous games, Europa Universalis IV doesn’t offer just one surefire way to victory. War isn’t the only answer, often playing the second fiddle to royal intrigues that determine the longevity of your dynasty, or even to the various trading mechanics that employ merchants and trade routes to keep your treasury flooded with gold, jewelry and other glittering luxuries.

Another strength of the game is that it acknowledges that not every country is another one’s equal. Translation: no matter how much you like the idea of playing the Aztecs, getting them to survive against the Spaniards or other European superpowers is nigh impossible for all but the most experienced of players. It adds a natural difficulty curve that feels believable and adds a real challenge that will last you the entire game.

On more major improvement I’d like to talk about is how the AI has now become that much closer to perfection. Enemies will now hunt your weaker legions down, in order to slowly tear away at your forces, eventually ripping them apart while spelling out certain doom.



When all is said and done, Europa Universalis IV ends up being the natural progression of its genre. It’s an evolution, rather than a revolution, a game that might not reinvent the wheel, but manages to polish it to perfection and beyond.

Any fan of historical and somewhat more hardcore strategy games, will certainly be left fulfilled thanks to this awesome, game that was clearly made with a whole lot of love and understanding.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
Europa Universalis IV - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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