User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 784 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 784

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  1. Oct 6, 2013
    4
    After about 25 hours I decided I'd had enough. I entirely appreciate the hard work and research that went into this game, but when I play a game I'm looking for entertainment, not a history lesson. The game's UI is overly complicated, and difficult to navigate. The tutorials are short and vague and don't really explain how to play the game. The gameplay is stiff and feels linear. When IAfter about 25 hours I decided I'd had enough. I entirely appreciate the hard work and research that went into this game, but when I play a game I'm looking for entertainment, not a history lesson. The game's UI is overly complicated, and difficult to navigate. The tutorials are short and vague and don't really explain how to play the game. The gameplay is stiff and feels linear. When I play this game, it feels like I'm staring and watching the game play itself most of the time. One of the more exciting aspects of the game is clicking on a button to send a diplomat to another country, so you can watch a number climb on the diplomacy screen.. wtf? Feels more like a spreadsheet than a game. Expand
  2. Aug 15, 2013
    4
    It may be a good game however there is one critical flaw. The text in the game (and this is a text heavy game!) is difficult to read at a resolution of 1900x1200 (native monitor resolution).

    Until UI scaling is implemented the game its unplayable for any prolonged period of time. It will give you serious eyestrain if you have a high DPI monitor.
  3. Nov 22, 2013
    4
    I have to agree with the posters that say the text is far too small, and really the whole UI is way to small. It's like paradox is trying to show off as much of their map as possible, but it's really unspectacular anyway. Horrible, tiny, little icons spread all the way around the map, things should be centralized to one side, or two at most.

    This is a really slow game, very hard to
    I have to agree with the posters that say the text is far too small, and really the whole UI is way to small. It's like paradox is trying to show off as much of their map as possible, but it's really unspectacular anyway. Horrible, tiny, little icons spread all the way around the map, things should be centralized to one side, or two at most.

    This is a really slow game, very hard to get into unlike other games where you can hop right in, pick it up more or less right away, and only have to learn about or research a few alien principals or gameplay mechanics. I'm sure it's satisfying for those that enjoy it, but it's DEFINITELY not created in a way that will appeal to a wider spectrum of gamers and gaming styles.

    Bottom line: both the game and the gameplay need to be a lot more inviting and user friendly.
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  4. Oct 17, 2013
    4
    Of course I realize that strategy games aren't for everyone. And people can be overwhelmed extremely at first. But this game I can proudly say fixed about every problem in EU3. It also made the game harder. Which I am happy of. The main great thing about this game is that not only it can take you an entire day to finish the game, but also each time you play it it's different. And not likeOf course I realize that strategy games aren't for everyone. And people can be overwhelmed extremely at first. But this game I can proudly say fixed about every problem in EU3. It also made the game harder. Which I am happy of. The main great thing about this game is that not only it can take you an entire day to finish the game, but also each time you play it it's different. And not like minor changes. I mean major changes that can change the entire outcome of the game. One game france can be a major superpower. The next it's the weakest country in Europe. Its the randomness that I love the most about this game. And of course the minor changes of graphics. But I can proudly say this is the best game ever made paradox. Expand
  5. Nov 28, 2013
    4
    A lot of gamers here complain that the game is hard and difficult to play, but the truth is quite the opposite !
    To me, it feels just like a complex version of Risk! Here lies the problem for me... This game could have been so much better it feels just like a remake of an european cult classic by the holywood producers...
    Where is the internal dynamics of the state there is none..
    A lot of gamers here complain that the game is hard and difficult to play, but the truth is quite the opposite !
    To me, it feels just like a complex version of Risk! Here lies the problem for me... This game could have been so much better it feels just like a remake of an european cult classic by the holywood producers...
    Where is the internal dynamics of the state there is none.. Where is the charm of the eras played through the game? (Renaissance, baroque) Where are the strategical and tactical elements of the battles played?... and so, on so on.. Nice graphics though..
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  6. Dec 27, 2013
    4
    I love Paradox, and Europa, Crusader Kings etc. However, this felt like a total disgrace to the series.
    It is awkward to begin with and yet it also manages to dump itself down considerably. But do not fear...
    We get coalitions! Which just doesn't work. I would be happy if neighbour states in fear of you formed these, but Ohhh no! It doesn't work by fear it doesn't work by how much
    I love Paradox, and Europa, Crusader Kings etc. However, this felt like a total disgrace to the series.
    It is awkward to begin with and yet it also manages to dump itself down considerably. But do not fear...

    We get coalitions!
    Which just doesn't work. I would be happy if neighbour states in fear of you formed these, but Ohhh no! It doesn't work by fear it doesn't work by how much you want to war with them either.
    It works by "over extension" ie. if you have too many uncored provinces.
    What?
    Yes! Totally understandable why say France, with no colonies is mad at me Britain, in having too many uncored colonies.. Ofcourse! This totally effects them.

    Don't worry though we still have a Austria-dominant HRE which is always formed.
    And don't worry! France always acquires parts of Spain, and Spain, Portugal.
    And don't worry! We get an over-powered Denmark who can quite easily form Scandinavia.

    Culture change is super easy now too, and no matter what, your nation will always end up technologically in-advanced.

    No new provinces are introduced as far as I can tell and even better we are limited to having so many relations!

    The only good part is the CK2 EU4 converter, everything else is the exact same.
    A waste of money. If you want this game: Buy Europa Universalis III
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  7. Feb 8, 2014
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The game is not horrible. But not what I expected there are a few things that get on my nerves when playing the game. One is that the game is very dark. not bright at all. Another thing is that the mac version is extremely laggy and delays when you try to move the screen. the time speed increase should be a little faster. And I don't like the new technology and nerfed buildings. I just pointed out some of the bad parts of the game. I do like the new relations and diplomacy system instead of there being a random chance of a nation accepting an alliance like in the third title. Expand
  8. Aug 23, 2014
    3
    Although this game is not as bad designed as HoI it still is very bugged and very poorly designed.
    There are so many key bugs in this game that are causing you to lose a battle and for a game that was released in 2013 you would expect a more finished product by now.
    Ones you play and therefor also test this product a little further ( which the developers did not do ) you come across
    Although this game is not as bad designed as HoI it still is very bugged and very poorly designed.
    There are so many key bugs in this game that are causing you to lose a battle and for a game that was released in 2013 you would expect a more finished product by now.

    Ones you play and therefor also test this product a little further ( which the developers did not do ) you come across some game breaking bugs.
    Moral values not working and manpower simply disappearing when a army is to big ( with the thousands a tick and without the message ).

    Those kind of bugs should have been fixed long before the game is even released, however this developer is more busy releasing dlc for this game and not fixing these bugs.

    Thats why this game gets a 3, the gameplay is poor and the fact that they give poor support on their product makes it so that they earn this score.
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  9. Nov 17, 2013
    3
    I'm done with this game. It's good at first but it is almost a copy and paste of the last game with a couple added features and a little better graphics. That's not my main issue though, the problem is the "random" negative events. The game constantly has one to take down my stability every time I get it up one. If I didn't re-load every time that happened, until I got an event thatI'm done with this game. It's good at first but it is almost a copy and paste of the last game with a couple added features and a little better graphics. That's not my main issue though, the problem is the "random" negative events. The game constantly has one to take down my stability every time I get it up one. If I didn't re-load every time that happened, until I got an event that didn't effect my stability, I would have quit much sooner. These events got more frequent the longer I play into the game to the point were the game is unplayable. This is either a bug or an idiotic development decisions, either way I've quit playing until this is fixed. Buy EU 3 instead or download it for free off pirate bay if you really want to try it out. Expand
  10. Mar 6, 2014
    3
    I've never experienced a game like it in its attention to historical detail. I've likewise never experienced a game like it in how little fun it is to play.

    Paradox has produced a game that will entice the student of history in you, but will likely bore the rest of you. To begin with, EU4's presentation is nothing if not opaque. This time they've made more of an effort to document the
    I've never experienced a game like it in its attention to historical detail. I've likewise never experienced a game like it in how little fun it is to play.

    Paradox has produced a game that will entice the student of history in you, but will likely bore the rest of you. To begin with, EU4's presentation is nothing if not opaque. This time they've made more of an effort to document the mechanisms of play in tutorials (and a fifty-page manual), but these efforts are still grossly insufficient to meet the punishing learning curve. Without constant reference to the wiki or official forums, a new player will be hopelessly lost. Despite what Paradox grognards seem to believe, this is not a positive feature.

    Ultimately, should you invest the 10+ hours needed to arm yourself with the basic understanding needed to play at all, you will be left with an intensely hollow experience. In the long run, it can be a joy to see your plans come to fruition, but in the interim, you will be left with a lot of clock-watching and empty busywork as the game continues to bombard you with trivial pop-ups for mundane tasks that, irritatingly, cannot be left on autopilot (the Curia control system is most egregious in this regard). The sheer volume of flags, however, belie their emptiness - there's very little fun to be had in maintaining your empire while waiting for your next opportunity to strike.

    For all the Europa Universalis series has been billed as part of the military strategy genre, the warfare is incredibly shallow. There are virtually no tactics involved in prosecuting a war; in some cases terrain may aid a defender, but neither logistics nor heroics are any match for economics in EU's world. Ultimately, this is a game of diplomacy - of decades-long plans to inveigle certain nations into attacking you only to be crushed, of forming royal marriages for the sake of later usurping that nation's throne, of excising provinces from a rival empire over and over again until it is small enough to be vassalized. That description gives the game an air of intrigue and mystery, but make no mistake: the game has all the mystique (and presentation) of an Excel spreadsheet.

    The actual mechanics of play are deceptively simplistic - success in this game relies on diplomatic strategy, but shaping a good strategy relies on an intense, almost professional understanding of the game's unexplained and often invisible logic. That's not even bringing the unfair and unpredictable nature of random events (such as the infamous comet) into the discussion. Ultimately, the best strategies are those that play to the AI's weaknesses and the idiosyncracies of the game mechanics. Though carrying out your strategy requires nothing more strenuous than navigation through a few menus, it is a long process of trial and error to determine which buttons to push and when, and the best methods are often counter-intuitive (if not totally illogical). For instance, the Overextension mechanics restrict the number of provinces you can hope to gain in war to such an extent that the only way to expand with any speed is by integrating vassals and junior partners - and God help you if you attempt to make use of those game mechanics without several hours of wiki-crawling and a few Paradox forum threads.

    The Metacritic score for this game is extremely misleading: despite Paradox's obvious attempt to reach out to new players with polished graphics and tutorials, Europa Universalis IV is not a game that anyone outside its niche will enjoy. Paradox's grand plan for its strategy game lines is essentially to sell slight variations on the same game over and over again to a hard core of devoted fans. Those who enjoy this game are those who do not flinch at the unforgiving, opaque, tedious, and frustrating nature of the experience. For players who are not willing to spend 100+ hours clicking flags, who don't mind watching dozens of hours of work go up in smoke after a couple of random events pop, or who have no objections to constantly alt-tabbing to outside information resources, this game must be Heaven. For the rest of us, it's reminiscent of someplace altogether different.
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  11. Dec 23, 2013
    2
    This is a potentially good title but not ready for prime time. Assets include the ability to take over the realm of your choice in the year of your choice and manage a lot of interesting contingencies within a realistic historical context. There's a lot not to like, however. Documentation is scanty and imperfectly grammatical. The interface is a kludge and not very intuitive for new users,This is a potentially good title but not ready for prime time. Assets include the ability to take over the realm of your choice in the year of your choice and manage a lot of interesting contingencies within a realistic historical context. There's a lot not to like, however. Documentation is scanty and imperfectly grammatical. The interface is a kludge and not very intuitive for new users, plus there are still annoying glitches after more than four months. The user forums don't notify you when a topic you're following is updated, and there is outright flaming of beginners from veteran users. Here's a representative comment: "Why don't you quit whining and learn to use a simple interface?" Perhaps the biggest problem is that the game mechanics are almost impenetrable in their complexity and the playing experience is like being nibbled to death by snails. Expand
  12. Jul 25, 2014
    2
    Out of Sync.

    There is nothing worse than wanting to play an advanced grand strategy game than connecting to the game with a friend and being unable to play. EU4 has not resolved this issue, and it has plagued faithful buyers for years. While this is one of my favorite series, with in-depth complicated gameplay, it is in effect a single player game. Anyone who suggests otherwise, has
    Out of Sync.

    There is nothing worse than wanting to play an advanced grand strategy game than connecting to the game with a friend and being unable to play.

    EU4 has not resolved this issue, and it has plagued faithful buyers for years. While this is one of my favorite series, with in-depth complicated gameplay, it is in effect a single player game. Anyone who suggests otherwise, has not played very far into a scenario. It works great for the first couple of decades and then disintegrates into a explosion of saving the game manually across the network and reloading from the last good save.

    If you want to play this game solo, its a 9/10. BUY IT...
    If you want to play with friends, please don't buy this game and quit reading the insane comments from people who have spent less than 10 hours playing the game. Do a simple google search for eu4 and OOS and find the hundreds of threads relating to this topic, that have persisted for several years in all of Paradox strategy games (Eu3, Crusader Kings, Victoria).
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  13. Sep 5, 2014
    2
    This is randomizer - not a strategy game. Random unpredictable game events, random battle results. Very bugged patch 1.7. Waste of time. Shogun 2 or CIV5 more playable than this "product".
  14. Jun 5, 2014
    1
    Loved EU3, even with the rather abruptly ending time-line. This? Ho boy.

    Paradox Interactive has decided after a repeated amount of failures to simply stream-line their product to a now shallow experience from what used to be an intensive and deep conquering experience. As EU3, EU4 features "Random events" that causes your countries stability to go down. The difference from this game
    Loved EU3, even with the rather abruptly ending time-line. This? Ho boy.

    Paradox Interactive has decided after a repeated amount of failures to simply stream-line their product to a now shallow experience from what used to be an intensive and deep conquering experience. As EU3, EU4 features "Random events" that causes your countries stability to go down. The difference from this game and the prequel is that you could spend your country's budget on increasing the country's stability, be it re-building things, bribing rebellious people or just getting things in order.

    What does this mean? Well, you sometimes had to pour every single ounce of your earnings into this as Stability meant more income and a happier populance and sometimes, the game could decide to be especially cruel and constantly ravage your country's stability. That was fine since you could be a careful ruler and prepared counter-measures such as a fat treasury or having the proper advisors. In EU4? Get unlucky with a lot of instability and you're boned by being utterly crippled by either not being able to research better governmenting or simply not gaining enough administrative power due to a rubbish leader. Rebels will also, comedically enough, everywhere at war-times, being many times the size of your country's total manpower as your entire economy also crumbles down to a shadow of It's former glory. The methods of reducing this? Wait around for administrative power. Yup. No budget relocation, no personal efforts from you and 100% impossible situations... Unless you Save & Load abuse, averting these random events.

    It removes depth, It removes customizability, It removes consequences from user input and It's simply a pile of streamlined garbage because Instead of crafting a proper tutorial to get new people into this game, Paradox decided to just slam everything down so flat, any handicapped idiot can walk over it and seeing all these 10/10's being thrown like poop from monkeys makes me believe that everyone either hasn't even tried EU3 or failed to understand even a fraction of it.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand what they were trying to do by making advisors be "point" generators instead of allocating budget.. But the thing is, advisors are vomit-inducingly expensive. At the start of my game, the year 51 after christ, I could have the option of hiring an administrative helper. He demands a down-payment of 150 gold. Understandable since he is good but the sinner here is the additional 9.3 gold EVERY MONTH. How much is that? Well, let's just say It's far above the maximum amounts you can pay to enough to fully maintain an army of about 100,000+ men when you can only maintain about 20,000 men.

    If you own 4-5 regions, you can expect a monthly income of about 2-3 gold discluding expenses. This means he either uses diamonds as toilet paper or has an incureable habit of breathing gold.. Just.... No. Try harder next time, Paradox Interactive.
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  15. Sep 12, 2014
    1
    I was utterly addicted to the game.. until the 1.6 & 1.7 that just made me quit it probably forever. It's one thing to fix bugs and adding missing features, it's another thing to modify the game mechanics again and again and again and actually making the game worse.
    Now it's pretty much pointless to play any non-European nation since they'll be utterly defenseless in late games, and
    I was utterly addicted to the game.. until the 1.6 & 1.7 that just made me quit it probably forever. It's one thing to fix bugs and adding missing features, it's another thing to modify the game mechanics again and again and again and actually making the game worse.
    Now it's pretty much pointless to play any non-European nation since they'll be utterly defenseless in late games, and westernization is much more excruciating with less benefits than before. If you don't westernize you are screwed; if you do you are still screwed, just a little bit less so. They might as well just stop wasting time on adding events/game mechanics for all non-European nations since there's no point in that. If I wanted to experience something completely historically accurate, I'd read Wikipedia on world history, thank you very much.
    Oh, and it's very irritating that, Monarchy Points, the one most vital resource to the game is nearly completely random, the super expensive +3 administrator means nothing when your ruler has 0 talent, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Nothing. At all. So instead of screwing around with working game mechanics, how about adding some sort of successor mechanics such that the player can select from a number of different successors, each with his own pro and cons.
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  16. Apr 10, 2014
    0
    Sadly, a lot of work was put into this game and I wanted hard to like it but no, it sucks. If civ5 is a little predictable, EU4 is soo random. EU4 is superior to civ5 as to diplomacy BUT: Constant clock watching and reading of mundane pop-ups of bad news. Very few units and buildings and 90% of that implies no visuals. Not to mention that the battles are devoid of any strategy besidesSadly, a lot of work was put into this game and I wanted hard to like it but no, it sucks. If civ5 is a little predictable, EU4 is soo random. EU4 is superior to civ5 as to diplomacy BUT: Constant clock watching and reading of mundane pop-ups of bad news. Very few units and buildings and 90% of that implies no visuals. Not to mention that the battles are devoid of any strategy besides terrain modifiers and adding generals and admirals (which is more of a choice than a strategy anyways). Overly hard, boring and complicated. Virtually no tutorials. Nice graphics though. Expand
  17. Dec 30, 2013
    0
    This is a game of bad news. For every one positive event you will have 100 negative events. Most people will tell you how good a dog turd smells on the internet. It really is sad that no one can make a good strategy game these days. This was my first and last experience with Paradox Interactive. Save your money Most people reviewing this product have played much worse games by Paradox soThis is a game of bad news. For every one positive event you will have 100 negative events. Most people will tell you how good a dog turd smells on the internet. It really is sad that no one can make a good strategy game these days. This was my first and last experience with Paradox Interactive. Save your money Most people reviewing this product have played much worse games by Paradox so this trash actually looks good to them. Expand
  18. Jun 14, 2014
    0
    It's the perfect and maybe most realistic strategy game ever.
    I knew that when I bought it, but didn't think about what it literally means. It means, you have to spend maybe years to conquere the World, maybe at least 3 weeks of intensive gaming, to double the size of your country. It definitely takes too much time, and in my opinion it definitely lacks an easy mode.
    I recommend you to
    It's the perfect and maybe most realistic strategy game ever.
    I knew that when I bought it, but didn't think about what it literally means. It means, you have to spend maybe years to conquere the World, maybe at least 3 weeks of intensive gaming, to double the size of your country. It definitely takes too much time, and in my opinion it definitely lacks an easy mode.
    I recommend you to play it, if you have at least two, or more lifes. If you only have one, do not waste 2 or more years on playing this game.
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  19. Jul 16, 2014
    0
    The game was good at the begining, but after each patch, its quality drop constantly. Developer make the game become more boring and prevent player from expanding by any tool they can imagine. Please don't buy this game.
Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Dec 12, 2013
    80
    Once players overcome the initial learning curve, Europa Universalis IV will prove a memorable strategy experience that provides as much fun stories as it does sheer tactical complexity.
  2. Oct 28, 2013
    90
    Somehow retains the series' trademark braininess and complexity while being clearer, simpler and far more fun. [Nov 2013, p.92]
  3. 100
    The ultimate strategic simulator of an early modern history state with wide options for both success and failure. Do you want to unite Britain under Scotland, thwart the Spanish Reconquista or maintain the Inca empire? Suit yourself. [Issue#234]