Grand Strategy games. The one genre that continues to intimidate the hell out of me no matter how hard I try to get into it. As someone who can barely figure out how to play Civilization, the news that a new entry in the Europa Universalis series is coming out doesn’t mean all that much to me, but for millions of would-be Emperors around the world it may well be the most highly anticipated release of next year.
Yes, nearly six years after the release of Europa Universalis III, Swedish developer Paradox Interactive has confirmed that we can expect Europa Universalis IV out sometime towards the end of 2013.
Benefiting from the many years between entries and lessons learned from Paradox’s other strategy series, such as Sengoku and Crusader Kings II, EUIV boasts tremendous improvements over the last game, both graphical and mechanical. The look of the map has been greatly improved, rendered in 3D and now reflecting the changing seasons. Detail of individual units has been greatly improved from their rather belt-sandery appearance in EUIII. The trade system has been expanded on, and popular personality-based elements seen in Crusader Kings II will be adapted for EUIV in the form of the “Monarch Power” system. Paradox Developer Studio manager Johann Andersson promises greater emphasis on making the game “look better” and “streamlining interfaces without dumbing anything down” this time around.
Actual world history with have a greater impact on gameplay this time around. Andersson promises that players can expect to be regularly confronted by events that are unique to their nation, culture and time period. A well-implemented tutorial is also being promised, something that will hopefully help new players (like me) get into the game.
“We hope to make a tutorial that gives the gamer more a chance to learn by doing. But creating a good tutorial is always a challenge for a grand strategy game with a wealth of features that all needs to be introduced. But I promise, we are on top of it!”
Europa Universalis IV will be shown off in more detail at the upcoming GamesCom in Germany. Until then, gaze in wonder at these screenshots.