Europa Universalis IV

Europa Universalis 4 release date and pre-order bonuses announced

Europa Universalis 4 release date and pre-order bonuses announced

Digital Extreme Edition has extra gubbins.

Europa Universalis 4 launches on 13th August 2013, Paradox Interactive has announced.

The ultra-hardcore empire-building game will be available on that day for PC, Mac and Linux.

If you pre-purchase you get the 100 Years War Unit Pack DLC for free. This adds new unit models to the nations of the 100 Years War, including England, France, Scotland and Burgundy.

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Europa Universalis 4 preview:  The whole world in your hands?

The Europa Universalis series represents the grandest of grand strategy, and while I'm sure there are strategy titles out there that are even more complex, I can't say that I'd ever want to try them. EU's real-time strategy was quite enough for me, frequently stretching me to my very limits, and the same was true for its peers, that stable of strategy that Paradox Development Studios has been rearing and carefully crossbreeding for over a decade now. Games like Victoria, Hearts of Iron and Crusader Kings had me so lost in their menus that my friends had to send out search parties.

That changed with the release of Crusader Kings 2. Paradox tidied up the interface and paid particular attention to presentation, something that helped players get a much better grip on the game. After spending a couple of hours with an early build of EU4 my experiences were very similar. A revamped interface made a considerable difference to my efforts to reshape the Renaissance, though EU4 remains an enormously deep, rather niche strategy game and as studio director Johan Andersson explains, he would rather not compromise on complexity for the sake of popularity.

"To be honest, I just want to make the games I want to play myself," he says. "And I want them to be profitable enough that I can have a big enough team to do it all again." He adds that EU4 certainly isn't any lighter than its predecessors and as I took control of the relatively modest nation of Portugal I still managed to lose myself in a wealth of administrative decisions, balancing my budget, directing my armies, keeping tabs on my scientists and philosophers.

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