For those of you that consider picking up this game:
Europa Universalis: Rome is a game I like very much at the moment, I have not played any other Europa Universalis games and some of them might be better (after I bought the game I heard from people that 3 is better) I however do not regret my purchase since I like the ancient world theme a lot more than almost anything else set in the real world and is for me a tie with the cold war.
Why did I like this game?
I think It is mechanically very sound, the combat mechanics are very limited but unlike for example civ 4 I do not find it annoying to fight wars and the combat does not distract too much from what works really well with the game.
So what does work really well in the game? The economic gameplay in the game is solid, it is less about buildings than for example Rome total war 1, however there are various other things that have an influence on the economy such the governors of the province that you can select (very much like Rome total war 1) but also stuff like the people you have chosen to take positions in nationwide politics, the laws you have passed, religious blessings, trade and the kind of civ you have( for example dictatorship monarchy and various kinds of democracies).
That brings me to something else that works pretty well in this game, Politics. The game has 5 political factions that battle (sometimes in case of civil war literally) over political control of your nation. Each factions power can grow or diminish depending on your actions, the populist party will for example gain more political attraction if either peace or war last too long, while the religious faction can grow from invoking blessings on your nation or sacrificing to the gods, but all factions grow from having representatives in important functions for (for example the research positions) the people taking these functions are chosen by you. But on the other side the factions can also influence your decisions, if you don't have the political support in the senate you can't start wars or make use of various other mechanics in the diplomacy interface.
What doesn't work?
The game doesn't do such a good job of explaining to you what various mechanics in the game do and how they are calculated (I for example still don't know fully how diplomatic skill is calculated) most of it however isn't that annoying and can in a way even increase your enjoyment, since you get the feeling that after your first playthrough you really got to know the game, therefore also giving you an incentive to try another one. It also isn't that bad, now after some wiki reading I think diplomatic skill is the only thing I do not really understand that I would like to understand. The game could however do a better job of presenting its information, the game could for example tell you what the traits characters could gain during events do before you need to selects them. Also I think the game could have been better if the people of your nation belonged to larger but fewer families and give you a better way (for example the family tree in Rome total war 1) to look at these families and their relations to other people in your nation
In the end I sill liked this game very much but it could have been better
Posted: December 1st, 2013