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Europa Universalis IV Demo Now Available on Steam

By on August 8th, 2013 11:40 am

Europa Universalis IV | Paradox Development Studio, Paradox Interactive

A Europa Universalis IV playable demo is now up on Steam, just a few days before the game’s official release. Pre-release demos are, unfortunately, a rare commodity these days. So, it’s always nice to see one for EUIV. It could be interpreted as a sign that the developers and the publisher, Paradox Development Studio and Paradox Interactive in this case, are confident about their historical real-time 4X strategy game.

Along with the demo release, Paradox also announced that EUIV will support Steam Workshop and that multiplayer will be cross-platform, which should allow players across Windows, Mac and Linux to play together.

Paradox says that the demo they’ve just released allows you to play with one of four available nations: Venice, Ottoman, Portugal or Austria. It will last for the 28 in-game years and includes a tutorial. There’s no multiplayer and you can’t save/load.

Europa Universalis IV will launch officially on August 13th for PC, Mac and Linux, but pre-orders are already open for the brave souls. The rewards for those being the 100 Years War Unit Pack DLC and Purple Phoenix DLC as well as a free copy of Crusader Kings II and a saved game converter to allow you to play CKII saves in Europa Universalis IV.

Expect a review soon, hopefully still in August.

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  1. evrett says:

    Gamers should avoid this practice of charging full price for a new game which is actually the same game with a few ui and script updates

    • salvo says:

      no offense, but that’s certainly not true

    • Njordin says:

      ehm… are we talking about the same game? i read all the dev diarys, saw all videos and i can assure you: it´s definitely not the same game, it´s totally worth the price.

    • Towerbooks3192 says:

      Have you played the game? It looks the same because all their games are set on earth. Its just a different time in history and different mechanics for the time period.

    • killias2 says:

      If you want to be a troll, that’s fine. If you’re legitimately unaware of the differences, you may want to check out a PDF Paradox has posted. It lists all the differences between 3 and 4.

      It’s 44 pages long. Here:

      Short version: entirely different trade system, entirely different tech system, reworked monarch system, more CK2-style diplomacy, reworked manpower system, a huge number of UI changes, big AI changes, the old policy sliders have been dropped, minting has been dropped, advisors have been reworked, missionaries have been reworked, coring has been changed completely, etc. etc. It’s probably the most thorough reworking EU has ever received. EU3 was a pretty big reworking, but, from what I can tell, EUIV is bigger.

      In any case, this is what I -want- from Paradox. I want them to take my favorite thing (EU) and keep finding new ways to make it even better. I don’t want them to go out and reinvent the wheel every three years and end up making a hot mess Civ V-style.

  2. Suikostinger says:

    Cool, now if only the “Download Demo” button actually did something…

  3. AstralWanderer says:

    Quoting from “Just the facts, ma’am” thread at! :

    – The game will only be available in a Steam version
    – Paradox doesn’t like to have DRM on their own titles when they can avoid it.

    So despite a past DRM-free record with EU (physical copies of EU1-3 were all DRM free), Paradox have chosen to impose Steam’s activate-on-play DRM for EU4. I’ll be boycotting EU4 (and any other similarly-encumbered Paradox title) due to this, and thankful that the likes of Kickstarter are helping more enlightened developers produce DRM-free content.

    • Towerbooks3192 says:

      I think you could run Paradox titles offline if you will open the launcher instead of steam. I played my steam copy of CK2 a couple of times without opening steam and without steam running.

      I know I don’t want DRM as well but the thing is most stuff have DRM in some sort of way but its just a matter of choosing the less intrusive ones.

    • killias2 says:

      As a result of going Steamworks, it’s also going to have far better multiplayer than other games in the series (finally!), full cross-platform play support for Linux and Mac (!), and Steam Workshop support. But, yeah, let’s all bitch because there isn’t a shitty GamersGate version this time. Bleh.

      • AstralWanderer says:

        Not sure how a GamersGate version helps matters – GamersGate use DRM as well (though activate-on-install rather than activate-on-play).

        Features like multiplayer and cross platform support doesn’t need DRM (and doesn’t need Steam either) so don’t justify any DRM. The ability to be able to play what you bought without having it disabled by arbitrary account termination (Valve) or system closure (EA) should count for more in my view.

        And while saying “I don’t want DRM” is well and good, publishers only give a damn about sales. Someone who buys a DRMed product is, in their eyes, happy with DRM regardless of what they post elsewhere.

  4. Towerbooks3192 says:

    Never spent a lot of time on the demo but based on quill18’s video:
    – Expansion is different and trying to grab all the territories some huge repercussions.
    – The new warscore system makes the AI a bit more reasonable. Even getting like 30 o 40 against the Ottomans as Byzantium in EU3 will not even get you a single province.
    – I love the elimination of the slider like with the stability slider in EU3. I feel more control that you have to spend some points to stabilize and loss of stability events really affects you a lot.
    -Spending points to core a province gives you more thing to do on peace time
    – Peace enforcers would keep OPMs in check and will be annoying if lets say you are Byzantium and Ottomans will enforce peace.

  5. Suikostinger says:

    Pretty good game, I’ve played CK2 but never a EU game. When first booting up the game and hearing the sounds It hit me HARD that it looked EXACTLY like CK2. After playing it a little, I LOVE it!

  6. Quirken says:

    As a strategy buff, I really wanted to like EU4 enough to preorder. It was fun. But unless I’m missing something, it seems more like the kind of title to pick up when it’s in the bargain bin. (I got CK2 and Victoria2 in a dirt-cheap bundle but never played them because the UI made me want to cry and I wasn’t going to watch an hour of youtube videos to learn to play)

    SO, I went in with high hopes. The tutorial was fairly good and for the most part made the UI make sense.

    I played for about 3-4 hours today, always as Portugal. I seemed to be achieving my objectives just fine – by the end of the demo, I’d conquered all of Morocco, which had been my goal.

    But – and here’s the big thing – I feel like the game has a lot of subtle mechanics that are “under the hood” and don’t require direct player intervention most of the time.

    The vast majority of my playtime was me just waiting for things to happen.

    This doesn’t seem like the kind of game where “every turn” you will have something to do – more like you spend your idle time thinking about what to do next.

    And on that point – am I missing something? Because my initial impression was “Dang, this is overly complicated.” But after a few hours, I started to feel like there was just not enough going on.

    (One other note: After many hours of playing, I still have no idea how seiging a territory works, or the best way to allocate merchants. The UI for those two things is pretty awful)

    • Towerbooks3192 says:

      To tell you the truth mate, one can never learn a paradox game overnight or in a short amount of time. If this is your first paradox game then it may take some time for you to learn it. The best part is that once you mastered one, you are familiar with how paradox games are and just have to master the focus of each of their game (like the monarch system of CK2 and etc.).

      Depending on which country you play with, there may be some waiting time in between peace for things to happen. Bear in mind that the demo is on a later part of the game and things are different in the 1444(? I think the EU3 start date was 1399 but I haven’t clarified the one for EUIV). In EU3, if let’s say you play as Castille, things might go fast when you rapidly expand on lets say north africa and then you have to wait for some time to fix your nation and gear up for the next war or work towards your next goals. If you play as Muscowy or Byzantium, you may be involved in early wars to try to survive.

      Back in EU3, I did have that feeling that not much is going on when in fact I have a lot of things that I haven’t grasped yet like trading and such. Based on the LPs of EUIV, the AAR I read on the beta, and the little time I spent with the Demo, there seems to be a lot of things to do especially when they eliminated sliders. I feel that there will be more involvement from the player this time compared to EU3 since before, on things like stability, you only have a slider and wait for it to fill up to 3 but now you have to manually spend points for it.

      Its really unfair to judge a game’s demo especially when a start date could make tons of difference in this game. Most of PDS games are really worth the full price. If you have questions, please feel free to PM me or go to paradox forums and ask there. If you really love strategy then you will see how great paradox games is.

      By the way, you said you are a strategy buff, what other strategy games you have in your library? You might have some strategy games that I missed or something that is not mainstream or only known to its own circle of people like most wargames.

      • csebal says:

        “Its really unfair to judge a game’s demo”

        The whole point of a demo is so people can judge the game before buying it.

        If the demo is not representative of the final game’s quality or feel, then its not serving its purpose.

        Other than that though, you are right. Most paradox games are easy to learn but friggin hard to master. Playing around is easy enough, but to learn the deeper intricacies of the various game systems, now that takes some time and effort.

        Also its virtually impossible to create a proper demo for a game that encompasses several centuries, without giving away the full game as a demo.

        Most Paradox strategy titles have highly varied pacing. Meaning that in game years or even decades can pass on the fastest speed level, while you do nothing but build stuff, followed by a years of intense fighting, that can easily take as much real time as the entire century before it. Much like in real life.

        • Quirken says:

          I think the important thing is to distinguish between a beta and a demo. These days, betas often really mean time-limited demo or stress test, since the product is mostly finished.

          I think the reason demos have been cited as lowering game sales is because often times, it is the buggier games that release demos. Good demos of good games usually encourage a purchase. But a bad demo makes me think, “ehhh.”

          So, it’s fair to form impressions of a game based on a demo. Yeah, there’s more to the full version, but your impressions are likely to scale fairly well with the scope of the game.

          EU4 definitely seems easy to learn but hard to master. It does seem like the different countries play rather differently.

          I decided not to bite on EU4 at this time, although I’ll get it when it gets cheap.

          I really dig the historical setting, but the number of alliances active in this period is insane, and it makes conquest very difficult, since you’re going to piss off a lot of countries no matter what you do.

          There IS an appeal to that, but the way the game is right now, there’s no good map setting that shows alliances (basically, a political map that instead of showing country boundaries, shows who is likely to join a fight together), and the game makes it really hard to figure out where different allies are without a lot of clicking and good short term memory.

          Also, I had a really hard time keeping track of my smaller / further away colonies. Some of those islands are so tiny! And the game doesn’t make it particularly easy to find them unless you already know where they are.

          I did figure out how seiges work, but I didn’t figure out how to blockade a port.

          Anyway, the game is good, but right now, I think I would personally wait until the inevitable cheap bundle of the game and DLC is out.

        • Towerbooks3192 says:

          I have to agree that the Demo’s purpose is to let people decide whether the game is something that they will like or not. In my opinion, I find it unfair for people to really dismiss the game because of things that they don’t like in the demo when the demo is truly limited and locking some of the features that could have persuaded people to try the game like the countries.

          In EUIV, start dates are pretty crucial and the time between bookmarked dates may or may not change the present playable nations thus changing how the game is going on. The fact that the demo is only a number of nations and most of them are sort of in a “middle game” stage where they are either fighting for trade routes or for the new world, which I think is an advance stage for someone who let’s say never touched a paradox game in his life.

          The Castillian Campaign in the tutorial is a great place to start and could be considered as a taste of things to come, however, I reckon the events are scripted for you not to fail in the tutorial (I might be wrong though) and sort of eliminates the random things that might go wrong in the opening stages of the game. It would cause people to think that it is pretty boring just to jump from one mission to another compared to an unscripted start where a lot of possible things might happen like Morocco jumping in to protect Granada in the Reconquista and later on, Aragon/Portugal might prey on you when you are weak from fighting a protracted war.

          All in all I reckon the Demo might give the wrong impression to people who are uninformed about the game and might take it the wrong way. The nations available plunges you in a middle of something and due to its limited time, the actual consequences and/or fruits of your actions may or may not be experienced withing the time given in the demo.

          Lastly, I have to admit that I kind of confused beta with demo due to the many early access games these days but I still stand in my opinion that the Demo might give the wrong impression about the game when you are only given a pretty limited demo.

        • Quirken says:

          I feel like the demo did a pretty good job, as demos go. Yeah, you didn’t get some of the choices. But I didn’t feel lost and I definitely got a sense of some of the unpredictable stuff that can happen.

          I feel like the biggest restriction of the demo is how many years you get to play for. I know this is a big, epic length game, but having a limited number of years (vs real playtime) definitely affects the way I play.

          The demo told me that I like the game, but not enough to buy at full price. I’m pretty sure that’s what I would have gotten from playing the full game at a friend’s, too, even if I might have enjoyed playing as, say, England, more.

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