Europa Universalis IV for Linux Review

very good
key review info
  • Game: Europa Universalis IV for Linux
  • Platform: Linux
  • Gamepad support: No
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
  • Show system requirements
Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis IV is a game developed by Paradox Entertainment that tries to provide a simulacrum of the medieval period, but still leaving some freedom for the players who are not interested in just reenacting history.

People are calling Europa Universalis IV a historical simulator, but that would be an understatement and an insult. It would be more appropriate to call it a Europa Universalis type game and be done with it.

It's hard to explain something that is so complex, and it would be even harder to summarize in just a few words how the game is played. First of all, let's get some technical details out of the way.

I played the game in elementary OS 0.2, which is based on Ubuntu 12.04. I didn't encounter any graphical or stability problem, but I do have a good Nvidia graphics card and an Intel i5 processor.

Installing the game in the Steam for Linux client doesn't require any technical expertise, so it's not necessary to go through that.

I do want to mention the recommended system requirements, because they are a lot bigger than you can imagine, at least for this type of game:

• OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

• Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)

• Memory: 2 GB RAM

• Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required

• Hard Drive: 2 GB HD space

• Other Requirements: Broadband Internet connection

• Additional:GLSL 1.3, OpenGL 2.1. Controller support: 3-button mouse, keyboard and speakers. Internet Connection or LAN for multiplayer

There is one thing you'll have to understand from the get-go. This is a game requiring commitment and a lot of time. You will not be able to just pick it up and play, hoping you'll understand it along the way.

A complete set of tutorials are available and they are a must before you can even begin to hope to play it.

As I said in the beginning, the player can choose one of the great nations in medieval Europe, like the British or the Spanish, or he can choose from one of the smaller powers, like the tribal nation of Mutapa, from Eastern Africa.

A set of predetermined scenarios are available, but the important aspect you need to understand is that the game doesn't actually have a difficulty level. The difficulty of Europa Universalis is given by the player’s choice.

Getting a weak nation right from the start will spell doom for the player, even if the game spans for a duration of almost four centuries, from 11 November, 1444 to 2 January, 1821.

The gameplay may seem chaotic at first, but the player can choose what to do in the game. Given the time period, explorations are really advisable, but you will need to gather money and resources to actually make a difference.

Europa Universalis might seem a little too similar with another game from Paradox Entertainment, Crusader Kings 2, but this is due to the fact that the two titles are sharing the same engine.

I, for one, started with the British and I was fully convinced that I could do a better job at uniting the island. Even though I won a few of the first wars, the people were rebelling a lot more than I could ever manage, and in just 100 years I lost more than I ever had.

I decided to start again, with a more devious plan. Let them keep their lands, I only need their money. This has proven a far more successful tactic, and with very little bloodshed I managed to get a few more territories, I got my heir to marry with a French princess, and I fooled the Spanish with diplomacy and trinkets.

This status quo, with small border skirmishes, provided me with enough time for some basic research and building (which is done fairly easily in a couple of windows), and to gather troops.

They didn't know what hit them, but I failed to realize that the Prussians were also a force to be reckoned with, not to mention a few other European powers. I lost again.

The lesson to learned here is that I will need to spend a lot more time in the “Excel-like” sheets and options of the game in order to even hope of mastering it.

The diplomacy options alone are enough to give me a headache and I only skimmed what can be done with powerful skills in this domain.

The Good

  • Realistic politics and gameplay
  • Unexpected turn of events
  • Detailed tutorials

The Bad

  • Punishing difficulty
  • Requires too much time to learn and master


There are very few games that require this kind of dedication for development and play. It's hard to recommend a game that I failed to understand at every level, but at the same time I feel compelled to say that it would be foolish of me not to recognize the quality of Europa Universalis.

If you think you have the skill, the time, and the fascination for the real history of humanity, Europa Universalis IV comes as close as possible to a real simulation.

story 0
gameplay 9
concept 8
graphics 8
audio 8
multiplayer 9
final rating 8.4
Editor's review
very good
NEXT REVIEW: Lost Planet 3

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