Upplagd: 13 april
I think it's time I write my first real review of a steam game--and I'm happy to make it this one.
Victoria II has a steep learning curve, but if you open yourself up: it's easy and addicting.
The attraction to Victoria II is not its asthetics, it's its offering to let you take on a whole new history.
Victoria II plops you into 1836, right before the crowning of Queen Victoria and at the height of the British Empire. The Hapsburg Monarchy still rules the Austrian Empire and Germany is still divided into many small states. The Tsars rule over the Russian Empire that still seeks its greatest extents and America is not even 100 years old. France emerges from the Napoleonic wars in defeat but a new spring is just around the corner. The Ottoman Empire is the "sick man of Europe" but with the right leadership can embrace the new age with renewed vitality.
And even more nations await emergence: Japan, China, and of course the oncoming rush for Africa will change the face of the world.
Any nation is playable in Victoria II. Even more can be released or formed. Almost every game is different.
War isn't the focus here. Though it is an intriguing aspect.
What will draw you in: is the diplomacy.
Now that may sound boring but pay in mind the dynamics here. Although the great powers rule and may keep you in-check, playing as one (or better-yet, using them to your advantage to gain power) will keep you thrilled.
The Great powers of the time compete to influence other, smaller nations. Intricate webs of alliances and spheres can easily turn a localized conflict into a world war.
Crises over disputed territories can cause Great Powers to go at-odds, lobbying other powers to join their side in the tension-packed period where the world can drift into destructive war.
Later in the game, these can mean "great wars" were defeat can mean total decimation.
In fact, each country is only one war-gone-bad from collapse.
Compete to establish puppet states who will obey your every whim.
Sphere nations to earn off their industry and almost garantee their support.
Colonize the unsettled worlds of Africa, the Pacific, and North America.
Keep other nations from doing the same.
Also there are different civilization levels. Primitive, Uncivilized, partially civilized, and civilized. Depending on what stage your in impacts your ability to function as a state as your technology will be way behind, you won't be able to build industries, ect. until you "westernize" and join the world as a modern-style nation-state.
This alone can be fun as you struggle to survive in the old ways or fight against your own people who resist your attempts to change their very culture.
Warfare itself is more fleshed-out than initially realized. Your armies' ability to do recconassaince, perform sieges, and fight in battle is dependent upon their specilized unit makeup and perhaps too-often ignored: their generals.
An army of 80,000 draftees can be thrawted by a smaller, diverse professional army and an excellently-chosen general who can earn fame by winning battles which will in-turn provide greater bonuses.
Naval power is a MUST to establish yourself as a colonial power. Blockades can WRECK your trade. And just as with armies: diversity and excellent Admirals can win you the day.
Trade itself can be largely ignored and should be automated unless you feel otherwise inclined.
Politics within your own country can grab your attention.
The availible government types are:
To better understand this, the political party in power decides your trade policy, your tax policy, your military spending, how you treat minorities, ability to intervene/control factories and industry, and your upper house (legislative body) will decide what reforms you can impliment.
Democracies are governments where the party in power is elected and they guide policy until the next election.
HM's Government are the same but you have the ability to change the government in power (though reforms will require the appropriate members in said upper house).
Prussian Constitutionalism is this wierd grey-area between Absolute Monarchies and Democracies though usually have elections.
Absolute Monarchies have no elections (which by the way are totally annoying and only nudge public opinion especially in large countries) and can choose the ruling party.
Then come the dictatorships which are usually single-party.
THE BEST PART IS YOU GET DIFFERENT FLAGS DEPENDING ON YOUR GOVERNMENT
SOMETIMES DIFFERENT NAMES.
An example is Mexico who, if they have a monarch, will change to the Empire of Mexico.
The United Kingdom will change to Great Britain if a democracy or the People's Commonwealth if a proletarian dictatorship,
These will also cause flag changes.
Rebels will lobby for reform changes or even radical government change. Sometimes you might want them to win. There's nothing wrong with letting the generals plot a dictator's downfall.
Now finally mods which really can give a lot of replayability to this game.
Mods are relatively easy to get though are not taken from the steam workshop but from websites like Moddb.
These mods have infinite potential offering different timelines, scenerios, new nations, new flags, new alternate timelines.
Some even add events to the more minor nations to make them more dynamic to play.
ONE MORE THING
Multiplayer IS possible, don't worry. And trust me, it's awesome with friends.
You can coordinate to carve up continents for your empires.
You can plot against each-other. A great game is Austria and Prussia competing for dominance.
Here's how we do it:
Download Hamachi which will allow you to create a network your friends can connect to.
They will use the Hamachi-provided IP address the host of the network has to connect to your game.
It's advised to put the game to save often. We do half-years.
Make sure you verify the integrity of your game cache every time you play together. And close out of the game entirely if someone crashes and do so again just to be sure.
You MUST have the same version to operate.
If you want to load saves, the host (and only the host) needs to disable their firewalls.
another thing: the Host should host the hamachi network AND the multiplayer game.
We haven't tried mods yet.
To conclude this review, make sure you invest into this game (and hope someday for another Paradox game that picks up where this one leaves off--1939 or somewhere around that era). It may seem overwhelming at first, but attack and google around if you're lost. Usually you can find a forum post where they have your question or you can start your own.
Find friends to join the game with you.
Take pictures. f12.