Crusader Kings II may represent the pinnacle of Paradox’s strategy titles, but it is Europa Universalis III that cemented them as one of the best developers of grand strategy. Since its release in 2007 the game has maintained its timesink status through various DLC additions, but every empire eventually falls to the march of progress and the recently announced Europa Universalis IV is proof of that.
Due towards the end of 2013, Europa Universalis IV was announced through Kotaku earlier today. As well as giving the series a graphical update, which can be seen in the screenshots below, the sequel will demonstrate the lessons that have been learnt from the success of Crusader Kings II. One of these lessons is rather unsurprisingly to do with the focus on “personality” that served both it and Sengoku incredibly well, but streamlined interfaces that maintain the game’s depth, a greater emphasis on making it “look better” and the importance of pre-release polish are some of the other considerations going into the game.
The events from Crusader Kings II will also be making an appearance but with a renewed focus on historical accuracy and relevance. The game will include culture and time period specific decisions as opposed to the rather generic events that players have previously been presented with. Similarly, the tutorial system has been improved in order to try and address the ridiculously steep learning curve that has plagued many of Paradox’s previous titles.
As beautiful as they are, I don’t think the screenshots below will be able to sustain me until Europa Universalis IV releases in 2013; However, they may suffice until the game is shown off at next week’s Gamescom.