As of 30/05/15 I have played much more Victoria 1 than 2 however that will soon change. Personally I love both games in short I loved Victoria 1 as it allowed me to function militarily or economically in huge detail, whereas most games only allowed me to do one of these in the detail I wanted. As in my review for Victoria 1 I would like to point out once again how this game is not for the casual gamer due to the deep and complex systems that you must learn to manage through error to be victorious in militarily, economic or political means.
The biggest advantage over Victoria 1 is the diplomacy this is more in depth and allows you to gain power by been wise and commanding of the world, instead of a rudimentary system where only alliances and basic trades are implemented. Most features of this game are easy to grasp at basic levels but to use them to their capacity a few games will have to be played to learn from the mistakes that you will undoubtedly do and suffer from. For most players the combat system in Victoria 2 is less complex than 1 I personally have not noticed much difference, however considering this game is about retaining power and control when it is slipping away from you been simpler is arguably the military commanders doing this. However for those who are to aggressive and don't exploit the other excellent features in the economic and diplomatic fields be warned of infamy.
In my Victoria 1 review I talked about the outdated graphics, whilst I still stand about how they are unique and you will get used to them the graphics on Victoria 2 are much better and I do prefer them by no means is this an ugly game. Whilst impressive graphics are not included they do their job and are not key for a strategy game. Another improvement over Victoria 1 is the population control instead of just assigning roles you can also influence what gets built and who wins the elections in a far more complex system which fits the game.
The fact you can play as any nation at the starting points allows replayability, but can you maintain your nations status or will you destroy the old powers? Build a new economic or military superpower which will have the old orders living in fear and the nations previously aligned to them at your will instead?
Militarist, economist or diplomat? New or old order? The world can be your oyster but can you make it?