User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 620 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 620

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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 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
    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 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..
    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.. Expand
  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
    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 17, 2013
    3
    I'm sorry to say it but I really dislike this new title over the original EU3. Why? Because you have a significant amount of less, hard control. Before you could spend money on budget for research. Now everything has been boiled down to "Points" being regenerated, there now existing 3 of them. Administrative, Diplomatic and Military points. These are heavily dependantly generated on what your current ruler is so the game effectively went to enabling you to dedicate resources to something from hoping that you'll get a ruler for what you are trying to do. Sure, you could hire an advisor to make a research less costly (by 10%) but you are not guaranteed of having such an opportunity. Advisors now come and go as they please and nowhere does this get more annoying when you think you got, for example, a diplomatic edge and your 10% advisor suddenly dies with no proper replacement.

    Buildings are now, yet again, even more useless. Just like when they released Divine Wind, the effects of spending your hard-earned tax money on improvements are now even more weak where Barracks give as little as 25 manpower each along with marketplace only giving +1 local trade "power", costing about 50~ ducats. That's roughly an income increase of 0.05. Things take literally hundreds of years before they even remotely start giving back to their investments and having no concrete, hard ways to focus your efforts, EU4 remains a "Roll the dice" kind of game.

    The enormous bigger tendency for armies to die when attacked by a bigger force is an extremely needed feature along with the new inflation system but I can't really enjoy this game anymore since customization of a country has been skimmed down so significantly along with other features being downright removed, giving me no choice but to feel that the game has been streamlined. Paradox Interactive took the original EU3, chopped off a lot of the bad stuff but also a majority of the things that made the Europa Universalis enjoyable to play.

    I could bring up on how rebels are now 3+ times your maximum army size, how loading now takes literally 5-15 minutes, how the annex system has been made even more annoying or how trading is now borderline useless but then I would just be nitpicking.. Which would be a legit thing since there is a LOT to pick about. But at the end of the day, I recommend you stay away from this game and go back to EU3 with a couple of mods or get into EU4 with an open mind and little in the form of expectations.
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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 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
    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, 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. 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 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
  13. 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 so this trash actually looks good to them. Expand
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]