Europa Universalis III is a grand strategy computer game by Paradox Interactive. The main game was released for Windows on January 2007, and was later ported to Mac OS X by Virtual Programming on 2 November 2007.
The original game without expansions starts in 1453, right after the Fall of Constantinople, and continues to 1789, just past the beginning of the French Revolution. The player controls a nation and handles matters concerning war, diplomacy, trade, and the economy.
Europa Universalis III has a 3D engine which requires the system to meet the Pixel Shader 2.0 specification. The map has 1,700 land and sea provinces encompassing most of the world, with 250 playable historical nations. The game also uses elements of other Paradox games such as Crusader Kings, Victoria, and Hearts of Iron II.
The main features of Europa Universalis III are:
- Players can decide their own form of government, the structure of their society, trade policies, etc.
- Players can take up 'national ideas' to steer their nations in different directions.
- People such as Sir Isaac Newton, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, or René Descartes are available to the player as advisors (as generic advisors, they have no unique abilities).
- A topographic map in full 3D allows for a complete world view and contains more than 1,700 provinces and sea zones.
- Rulers can be converted into Generals.
- You can proclaim royal marriages and send insults.
- Players can choose between any of the 250+ nations that existed during the time period anywhere in the world, such as England, Scotland, Kazan, Bohemia, Bali and Mutapa
- 4,000 different monarchs as well as 1,000 other individuals appear in the game.
- More than 100 different unit troops are available in the game.
- Co-operative multiplayer mode to allow several players to work together to control a single nation.
On 3 May 2007, an expansion named "Napoleon's Ambition" was announced by Paradox. It was officially released on 22 August 2007, on GamersGate. The Windows version of the expansion is available as a download from GamersGate or as part of the Europa Universalis III Complete retail package, and aims to expand on EUIII, with an improved interface, enhanced trade system, expanded options, and greater content to cover the extended time period. Virtual Programming published the Napoleon's Ambition expansion pack for Mac OS X on 7 December 2007.
Some of the features of Napoleon's Ambition include:
- The timeline has been expanded by 33 years to 1820, encompassing the French Revolution and Napoleon.
- New leaders, rulers, advisor wars, countries and national ideas have been added as well as dozens of new units to give more tactical choices.
- In addition to hundreds of new events, players will be able to see their rulers, leaders and advisors appear on the accurate historical dates.
- A ledger has been added displaying information on colonies and leaders, and a detailed trade map for each province has been added.
- The new option to move capitals enables the player to focus more on certain areas of his nation. Also, centres of trade can now be added or removed.
- Players are able to select a trading centre to be concentrated on; the game will then automatically focus on the centre. Also, players must now engage in diplomacy or war to send merchants to overseas markets.
- More options have been added, enabling customisation of gameplay. Players now have options for "No Inflation", "Free Colonization", "AI Aggressiveness" and many more.
On 5 March 2008, a second expansion titled 'In Nomine' was announced. It was officially released on 28 May that same year. Features include: a further extension of the game's time frame, the addition of the Byzantine Empire, a revised AI which focuses on strategic toplevel goals, and completely reworked rebellions with their own goals and abilities. Virtual Programming published the In Nomine expansion for Mac OS X on 18 August 2008. The game now starts earlier, starting in October 1399, at the coronation of Henry IV of England. Expanding the game time by 50 years, this means the game includes the Byzantine Empire, Tamerlane and the end of the Hundred Years' War.
A key variation of the expansion is the ability to make the decisions that will shape the future of the country. For instance, a player can choose to create the United Kingdom, make Paris "worth a Mass", or institute an East Indian Trade Company. They can now implement decisions on both country and province level, with the new decision system, including hundreds of different decisions depending on situation (for example state religion), and country.
There is a new mission system, where the player and AI will both be given goals to achieve, such as conquering Ireland (for England), vassalising Lorraine (for France), liberating your countrymen, or reclaiming stolen territory. In Nomine also features 'rebels with a cause'. There are countless types of rebels (Religious, Patriotic, Peasant...), with different goals, and different abilities. For example, patriot rebels mean 10 years more nationalism if they take control of a province, and are more likely to defect. You may get colonial rebels in your colonies determined to get representation or independence, you may get reactionary nobles rising up to put the serfs back where they belong. You can now choose between crushing them by force, negotiating with them, or leaving them and watching them enforce their demands on your country. Religious tolerance now depends on the ideas and decisions you take (rather than the more usual sliders), making it a new layer of strategy, although choices are few and far between. As cardinals stay loyal longer, the power of the Papal Controller has grown, as he can now excommunicate rulers, and call crusades against infidels (giving bonuses for any Catholic nation fighting them). It also features a colonial system, where there is a key metric - the distance between where you want to colonise and the nearest core port. Elections in Republics, scorched earth & new spy missions also feature.
Both Napoleon's ambition and In Nomine as well as the original EU3 were sold in the Europa Universalis III Complete edition.
Heir to the Throne
On 19 August 2009, a third expansion titled Heir to the Throne was announced. It was released for Windows on 15 December 2009 and includes many features requested by members of the forum and as the title explains will mostly be focused on royal family dynamics. Virtual Programming published the Mac OS X expansion on 24 May 2010.
Some of the features of Heir to the Throne include:
- New Casus Belli system, where wars have specific aims from start to finish.
- Monarchs now belong to dynasties, with far-reaching effects on the diplomatic model.
- More involving and powerful Holy Roman Empire and Papacy options.
- Special diplomatic options for Merchant Republics.
- Set your National Focus in a province to enhance growth and strengthen your hold in the region.
- Permanent Terra Incognita removed and replaced with impassable regions.
- Cultural Tradition allows better advisors in the same way that Military Tradition allows better generals and admirals.
On May 27, 2010, a poll was created on the Paradox forums by a developer in which users could vote for a new expansion. Options included expansions to Europa Universalis III, Europa Universalis: Rome, Hearts of Iron 3 and Victoria. With 46% of the votes, the poll was won in favour of a Europa Universalis III expansion which is to focus on the rest of the world. On 9 September, Divine Wind expansion was announced. It requires Europa Universalis III Complete and the expansion Heir to the Throne in order to play.
- ↑ Europa Universalis III Released. Inside Mac Games (November 2, 2007). Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
- ↑ Napoleon Invades Europa Universalis III. Retrieved on 2007-05-06.
- ↑ Europa Universalis III: Napoleon's Ambition Available. Inside Mac Games (December 7, 2007). Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
- ↑ Europa Universalis III: In Nomine Available. Inside Mac Games (December 7, 2007). Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
- ↑ Europa Universalis III: Heir to the Throne Now Shipping. Inside Mac Games (May 24, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-08-20.
- ↑ Europa Universalis III: Divine Wind announced. Paradox Plaza (September 9, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-09-09.
- Europa Universalis III (official home page)
- Europa Universalis III (official forum)
- Europa Universalis III Wiki
- Gamespot's article
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