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Europa Universalis IV Release Date Announced; New EU4 Trailer Shows Off Graphics, Trade System

By Apolon on June 5, 2013 10:08 PM EDT 0

The Europa Universalis IV release date has finally been announced! The game is going to come out on August 13, 2013, with a simultaneous PC, Mac, & Linux launch. The sequel to EUIII looks like it has come a long way, and taken a good deal of inspiration -- not to mention the graphics engine -- from Crusader Kings II. Check out the trailer and then we'll go into what's new in EU IV.

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The Europa Universalis IV release date news comes hot on the heels of the release of Paradox's latest project, the excellent Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods. The two are in many ways opposites. The Old Gods extends the Crusader Kings timeline backwards by 200 years, to 867, the earliest of the mainline Paradox games (Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, Victoria, Hearts of Iron). EU IV, on the other hand, starts roughly where Crusader Kings II ends: November 11, 1444. And it continues until the late 19th century (after several expansions, EUIII ran from 1399 to 1821). As the semi-official slogan says, EUIV is about bringing "civilization out of the dark ages." That is to say, out of Crusader Kings II.

The Europa Universalis IV release date will bring a host of new features on top of the previous installment. The most obvious is the updated graphics. EU III is still wonderful; I've played it for hundreds -- yes, hundreds -- of hours, but it is painful to look at. EU IV uses a modified and upgraded version of the Crusader Kings II graphics engine, and honestly looks quite solid.

Europa Universalis IV looks a lot like Crusader Kings II, which is a good thing. (Image: Paradox)
Europa Universalis IV looks a lot like Crusader Kings II, which is a good thing. (Image: Paradox)

The Europa Universalis IV release date will bring about the departure of some beloved/hated features like spies, the daimyo system, domestic sliders, and cores. In their place come a host of new features, like envoys, which no longer require money or time to generate. Instead, they work more like the court system in CKII. Diplomats, missionaries, merchants, and colonists will be key to maintaining and growing a domestic and overseas empire. Core aspects of the game's economic system have also been overhauled. Most notably, neither tech nor stability are connected to economy anymore. The new monarch power system overhauls the previously lightweight monarchies.

Monarch power replaces direct statistical influence in Europa Universalis IV. (Image: Paradox)
Monarch power replaces direct statistical influence in Europa Universalis IV. (Image: Paradox)

Other classic features will get a huge overhaul on the Europa Universalis IV release date. The trade system is most prominent among these. National Ideas get a huge upgrade as well. And, like EUII but not EUIII, EUIV will have "a serious focus on historical events," through a Dynamic Historical Events system. And there are a ton of other features as well: there have already been fifteen (!) developer's diaries for the game.

Something worth mentioning on the Europa Universalis IV release date. Paradox sequels tend not to fix what isn't broken. That is, things that work, they leave alone. Civilization IV and Civilization V are wildly different games, with completely different mechanics in most areas. EU III and EU IV are more fundamentally similar. The game looks like it will be a dramatic improvement over EU III, and it has more than enough changes to feel like a full new game. But it doesn't completely change the paradigm; it is incremental, not revolutionary.

A completely new trade system is one of the most compelling features available on the Europa Universalis IV release date. (Image: Paradox)
A completely new trade system is one of the most compelling features available on the Europa Universalis IV release date. (Image: Paradox)

 The Europa Universalis IV release date is August 13, 2013, and the game is now available for pre-order.

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