Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan
As I mature in life and diversify my interests, I tend to not have as much time to dedicate to PC games as I used to. Therefore, I tend to occupy my time with games that tend to challenge my mind. What that means is that I hardly play first-person shooters anymore (survival/survival horror games being the exception in some cases) and instead prefer strategy games, where I get to look at the big picture and make equally big decisions that affect thousands (and sometimes millions) of digital lives.
Paradox Interactive, the masters of grand strategy, are pretty much a natural fit for me. Thusly, I can never see removing Stellaris, Hearts of Iron IV, Crusader Kings 3, and of course, Europa Universalis IV from my Steam library.
Every time that Paradox drops a new DLC for Europa Universalis IV, it’s like a grand nerd event since everyone is waiting with baited breath to see what sort of goodies they’ll contain. Their latest one, Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan, is no exception.
Suitably titled, Leviathan is the most rotund expansion yet, packing a girthy 92 new nations and a whole slew of changes to the gameplay. There’s also a ton of diplomacy options available that will drop the jaw of even the most jaded of strategy enthusiasts.
As someone who likes to play Native American tribes, this expansion is right up my alley. Formerly, all of the Native American tribes played too similarly. None of them had any unique missions. With Leviathan, each tribe now has its own playstyle and personality. Not only are there lots of new tribes (the Iroquois have finally been split up to reflect historical accuracy), but certain tribes have certain traits, such as being a Migratory tribe that travels around the map and feeds off of the most favorable lands.
Southeast Asian has also some serious changes. Certain nations have traits like Concentrate Development, Centralize State, and Expand Infrastructure—in essence, factors that can let people play them small and tall, while still being mighty.
More influential nations can curry Favors with others to gain political power or valuable resources. This transforms EU4 from merely being a man painter, where you just amass a huge army and take over the world, and instead get the chance to dominate from a single state.
Even the single Migratory “states,” or nomadic tribes can roam map from province to province, scoop up each one for the resources they need, and then move on in a stronger manifestation of itself and its peoples. Combined with the new Concentrate Development trait, where you get to vampirically drain Development from vassal nations, I was able to transform my Native American into a powerhouse before the Europeans arrived—let’s just say a little alternate history comeuppance was the result.
Favors is a great new mechanic that made me wonder why it wasn’t in the game all along. Using it, you can trade accumulated Favors for all kinds of Ducats, political hijinks, and even Development. However, this mechanic depends on how formidable your relationship is with each nation.
There’s a ton of content on hand in Leviathan to be enjoyed for us legions of strategy geeks. There are a few bugs here and there, but as usual, Paradox is quickly destroying them like the Terminator T-1000 developers they are. Leviathan adds a ton of individuality to many of the underexplored corners of the earth, and it has paid off.
Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan has some great graphics so you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. Therefore, you may just want to invest in a superior gaming rig:
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