Today, Paradox has announced the latest entry into the Europa Universalis strategy series; Europa Universalis IV. The game will be released towards the end of 2013. The latest in the Europa Universalis series will continue to offer the same nation and empire building gameplay as before, allowing players to use trade, diplomacy and war in order to develop their nation. However, a couple of things have changed since the release of EU III in 2004.
Having the benefit of Crusader Kings II and Sengoku under its belt means that Paradox Interactive has been able to improve the Europa Universalis series greatly, including the addition of trade routes instead of centres of trade, visual improvements to the map that now take into account seasons, but perhaps more significantly, an emphasis on ‘Monarch Power’.
The new Monarch system is a feature which heavily draws from CK II, as explained by Paradox Development Studio manager Thomas Johansson:
“To a certain extent it was inspired by CK2, especially how great persons gives you a personal connection to your country and how monarchs of different types will nudge your country in different directions. But you don’t play the monarch, you play the country.”
Many choices that are made in the game will be influenced by the type of monarch at the head of your nation. This is explained further by Johansson:
“When you have a strong military monarch you have more power to take military initiatives, then his son comes along who is more of a peacemaker and your armies won’t be as flexible any more but perhaps your country can have what it takes to make more and better deals with others.
History is shaped by people, and we want the player to feel that his country is shaped both by the geographical and economical conditions but also by the people that lead it.”
The game will boast over a thousand historical leaders and over 4000 monarchs, so the player will have plenty to choose from. However, this historical accuracy is not just limited to the monarchs and leaders in the game. EU IV will boast historical events that are unique to the culture or nation that they affect, which differs from the randomly generated events in previous titles.
Also, in terms of multiplayer, EU IV will support up to 32 player including co-op, and will have full mod support. Johansson’s portrayal of the action sounds nothing short of enticing:
“I guess a game of EU is both, really: you build your country in competition with others. Then you band together with others to contain that guy who is growing really fast, and the moment you realise that your ‘ally’ only has your country to expand into and it’s on to plan ‘backstab.’”
Europa Universalis IV is poised for release in Q3 2013, but look for it in action soon at Gamescom. In the meantime, check out the announcement trailer and some screenshots below. (Note: the screenshots are from a pre-alpha build.)