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Publisher: Virtual Programming    Genre: Strategy & War
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: G5    RAM: 512 MB    Hard Disk: 700 MB    Graphics: 64 MB VRAM

Europa Universalis III
March 14, 2008 | Andrew Wasilow

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War is not the only feature of EU III, the social and government play of the game are far more intricate and detailed then the fighting portion. You the player has as much control over the entire government as you want. if you just want to play and let the game ride as it stands you can, but that is where all the fun is. You control how much to tax your citizens, how much influence the government will have on them, you can change the “national idea”, or the direction you want the country to head to rally support from the citizens and raise your approval ratings, or send them plummeting to appease your inner tyrant. If you want to explore new land in order to bring in new sources of income, you change your national idea to exploration and get your citizens excited over the idea of your country exploring new territories to place under your, ahem, their control.

You have the option of listening to advisors, and even choosing your advisors, that give you advice on where to best put your power, or whether or not to go to war, expand the country, whether or not it is better to increase friendly trade with your neighboring country, force them to trade with you, or arrange a marriage that would ease tensions between your two countries and increase trade. Different advisors will give you different advice that will determine how the history of your country will go.

Like a good book or engaging movie, Europa Universalis III draws the player in and does not let go. It is not the thrashing choke hold of an alligator, but more like the fish that uses an entrancing lure to catch its prey. At first it seems rather far away and impossible to get into the game, but as you get closer and closer to it you simply cannot look away or escape its shiny, glossy, bouncing lure. Except there is no large man eating fish at the end of the game, because, there is no end of the game. When you finish playing a story line that you like, or get tired of where you are headed with your country, you start again, and the experience will be different. This open ended game play is what places games like these in a sort of genre of titles that never get old and always hold new challenges. Long after its time, people will still be playing Europa Universalis III and introducing new people to the addictive RTS genre. Considering there is no subscription to play, the game play constantly changes, and also the 32 player online multiplayer mode available within the game, the value for money is outstanding.

Overall I found the game most enjoyable, after getting over the shock of the steep learning curve. Nothing caused me to want to turn it off, except out of frustration from my own bad mistakes, and the occasional sound glitch. This is the perfect escape for taking your mind off of those mundane everyday tasks and chores like dishes and vacuuming, and even from the same old RTS or first person shooter. EU III brings something different to the RTS table, without the usual game play.

• Different than the norm
• Detailed environment management
• Engrossing game play

• Lots of power for all the bells and whistles
• STEEP learning curve
• Sounds can get annoying

Europa Universalis III
Publisher: Virtual Programming
Buy Europa Universalis III now at


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