There was a time just a few years ago when the title of this post would have produced quite a few “huh?”s, but thanks to the recent mainstream success of Crusader Kings II, Paradox Interactive and their quirky grand strategy games have never been so in vogue.
Most of your time in a Europa Universalis game is spent staring at a map, which is admittedly not the most exciting sounding thing in the world, but that’s just scratching the surface – the EU games are all about digging into diplomacy, trading, colonization, and, of course, warfare. Someone who’s never played the games before might benefit from having it compared to, say, Civilization, but the playstyle of Civ and EU really couldn’t be more different from each other. Europa Universalis aims to be a more nuanced experience, and one that will keep you engaged for several times as long as a game of Civ will.
Europa Universalis, then, is a step up in complexity, designed for those who want more fine-tuned control than they’re going to get in most other empire-building games. And if that isn’t enough for you, you can graduate to Victoria II and then eventually even more grognardy war games, but don’t rush – Europa Universalis has enough to offer you for many months to come. So give the series a look if you haven’t already and if you’re a strategy fan.
Oh, and prepare to hate comets.