Europa Universalis IV: Emperor Review
The new Europa Universalis IV: Emperor DLC is the latest expansion to Paradox’s flagship grand strategy game and it’s a whopper. Accompanying the Emperor DLC is one of the biggest overhauls that EU4 has had in a long time—welcome to the 1.30 patch. 1.30 imparts some major changes to the game, especially when it comes to how players manage their nations. So let’s dig in…
Before these new changes, estate management was sort of a bland affair. You’d simply show up every 20 years to collect resources and that was about it. However, with the new changes, you actually feel as though you are trying to strike the right balance between multiple estates and steer them in the direction you want them to go. It’s a little more time consuming but it also feel more organic and less “gamey.”
When it comes to all of the major religions in EU4, Catholicism has always been kind of lackluster when compared to the other ones. Not anymore. The Pope’s powers and influences have been greatly expanded upon, making it much more beneficial to be a Catholic nation.
By the time the highly volatile conflicts that marked the Catholic Church’s forceful reaction to the Reformation arrive, you’ll have different resources to draw upon in order to put down the various Protestant uprisings, granted you’re running a Catholic country, of course. This makes Catholic nations feel as though they carry more gravitas, instead of being limp and lame, as they were previously.
The Holy Roman Empire (HRE) has a whole slew of new content. This is a good thing, as playing them in the past felt shallow when compared to the rest of Europe (especially Western Europe) since most other regions have already been updated by Paradox.
If you are able to control the HRE enough to navigate through several tricky reforms, you’ll eventually be able to decide whether you’d like it to be a centralized or decentralized Central European power. If you’re the power monger type and go with the centralized model, you’ll consolidate all of the nations in the region under a single banner under your control.
Meanwhile, the decentralized path sees you keeping a more open approach to things—you’ll still be able to rouse your nations for wartime affairs, but you’ll also be able to assimilate neighboring nations with treaties. This comes with the new event system of “incidents” which makes managing your empire much more dynamic and engaging.
Just as with previous EU4 DLC, new mission trees have been added for many of the major and minor powers within Europe. Even the ones that have been upgraded relatively recently have been given the overhaul treatment.
Hegemonies are yet another big addition to the EU4 mix. In the past, expansions for the game have been in favor of making it harder to expand your nation too quickly. Hegemonies are the opposite. Although they take a ton of resources to trigger (such as 1,000 ducats per month, minimum), once achieved, they can pave the way for you to steamroll through any opposition you may face.
In the end, EU4’s 1.30 patch adds a wide array of new and exciting changes to the already addictive formula, and the Emperor DLC expands things even further, giving you plenty to do in the European theater for many (probably hundreds) hours to come.
Europa Universalis IV: Emperor Review has some pretty good looking graphics that make its strategy gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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