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Paradox grand strategy Europa Universalis 4 is currently free on the Epic Games Store

PC Building Simulator up next.

Paradox Interactive's sweeping historical grand strategy title Europa Universalis 4 is the latest freebie to grace the Epic Games Store.

Released back in 2013 and still tottering along today (its most recent expansion, Leviathan, was so disastrous its director issued an apology), Europa Universalis 4 gives players control of a country somewhere between 1444 to 1821 and lets them shape it into global significance through trade, diplomacy, colonisation, and war.

It's a supremely complicated beast (I ended up watching ten hours of YouTube tutorials before I could even begin to fathom its depths and make sense of its interface), but the core game is a dazzlingly rich thing, full of enthralling strategic possibilities, if you manage to crack its shell.

Europa Universalis 4 - Epic Games Store Trailer.

And if it does manage to get you in its grip, the good news (depending on your perspective) is there's an absolute mountain of additional DLC - currently totalling 17 expansions and a heap of smaller-scale stuff - to keep things fresh. Just, you know, maybe steer clear of Leviathan.

It would, of course be remiss not to mention that developer Paradox was recently accused of fostering a culture of bullying and gender discrimination after a union-led employee survey found almost half of the 133 staff who participated had experienced "mistreatment", with the issues said to be "worst for women". In response, Paradox pledged to conduct a "thorough audit" of its processes.

Europa Universalis 4 will remain free to download and keep on the Epic Games Store until next Thursday, 7th October, whereupon PC Building Simulator becomes Epic's latest freebie.

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.