Europa Universalis 4: A Renaissance Masterpiece | Teen Ink

Europa Universalis 4: A Renaissance Masterpiece MAG

November 11, 2018
By LawHouts BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
LawHouts BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

You see your troops, fifty thousand of them, all represented by a single man. They engage with another stack – of 65,000. You have the more skilled general, but their combined armies have superior weapons and numbers. As you watch casualties amass you wish for luck. No, these are not the prayers of a crazed monarch, but instead, a glimpse into the game “Europa Universalis 4,” developed by Paradox Interactive.

“Europa Universalis 4” is part of the grand strategy genre, similar to other civilization simulators such as Sid Meier’s “Civilization” series. However, “Europa Universalis 4” is considerably more historically accurate. While it only covers a time frame of 1444 through 1821 AD, allowing one to lead their country through only about 380 years of history compared to the thousands in “Civilization,” “Europa Universalis” still contains miles more depth. It uses a concept known as an asymmetrical start in order to show true historical depth and gameplay balance. The difficulty is based almost completely on the country you play as. If one is to play as the Ottomans, it will be very easy to create a grand empire and thus succeed overall. However, if one plays as a German minor with only a single city to its name, one will have a very difficult time expanding even a small amount. This makes for an incredibly enjoyable gameplay experience characterized by one’s own skill and desire for challenge.

However, not everything is perfect about “Europa Universalis 4.” There is an incredibly steep learning curve; I personally had to play at least 30 hours to understand the game in the slightest, but I still enjoyed my more chaotic play-throughs. The most problematic part of the experience, funnily enough, is not part of the game itself. Due to downloadable content (DLC) released by the developers, the game can become incredibly expensive. While an easy solution would be to not buy it, that is not as simple as it sounds. While greedy companies such as EA and Activision release pointless and hastily put together DLC in bulk, Paradox-released DLC adds new and interesting features. Since the game has been out, a massive amount of DLC has accumulated, making it a rewarding experience, but also making it almost required to spend considerably more than the base price of $40.

Another spectacular feature of this game is the historical accuracy. In order to somewhat steer the experience into a possible alternate future, an event system is incorporated in which real-life political structure and happenings occur. These events are actually quite clever in their construction; they fit not only in actual history but also in the new canon created by you, the player. The dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, for example, could happen in 1806, but if one occupies the capital of all the electors and the emperor, they could end it in the 1400s, or it could never disappear at all. The game’s teaching ability is also quite impressive. Not only did I not know that Spain was once two states, I thought the Holy Roman Empire was considerably more centralized than it truly was – and I never knew England controlled land in France or Spain.

While this game was released five years ago, the depth and amount of content in only the base game is more than worth the price. It may be a deeply historical game, but when one is watching their own empire gain dominion over France, it is a surprisingly enjoyable experience. I wish you luck in your future conquests, whether they be as the Ottoman Empire or Ulm.

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This article has 1 comment.

CouLo76 BRONZE said...
on Nov. 16 2018 at 1:33 pm
CouLo76 BRONZE, Monticello, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
An argument without fact is a war without soldiers.

A great game and one you put some hours into it easy to learn, awesome review!