|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Paradox Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Paradox Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-32||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Europa Universalis: Rome gives you the chance to change history. Perhaps you can topple Rome long before its inevitable decline. Maybe you could lead your nation to victory and become the new Roman Emperor. Of course these events are not historically accurate, but the elements and events leading up to them are about as accurate as you can get. Prevailing attitudes are factored into the gameplay and have a significant impact on developments. Religious beliefs, back history, ancestry, and diplomatic relations lend a human element to the gameplay that at times can be as unpredictable as human nature itself. Leaders will possess various personality traits such as ambitions, loyalties, rivalries, and personal background. Not all leaders are motivated by the same principals, nor are they all predictable. This adds an extra dimension to the gameplay.
Online games can apparently accommodate up to 32 players. Unfortunately I found it impossible to set up an account with the developer's "Metaserver," which required exchanging IP addresses with other enthusiasts. There just weren't enough instructions. I hope this is rectified in the future. The LAN works just fine, and I was able to play with two players, which is a far cry from 32, but at least we could see the potential for fun with larger numbers. If there is one main complaint about this game, it's that there aren't sufficient instructions for anything. Find some online nerds, and ask them to help you. That's why I had to do.
Graphically the game is little more than a map, although it has some decent animations. Details of the cities and the army are good, but more effort should have been put into the interface. It's just too jumbled to navigate efficiently. The battle sound effects are good, and the music is appropriate, but it does tend to wear on you after a while. There isn't a lot of variation.
Europa Universalis: Rome is not perfect, but it's accessible to a wide range of gamers. There's plenty of replay value, but don't get too excited about the online mode as it may require more effort than you're willing to exert.
CCC Senior Writer