This is one of my favorite strategy games of all time. It is fun and addictive and is a very historically accurate game (if you find games like Risk and Civ V long, I don't recommend it). Unlike other Paradox games, however, this one focuses a lot on internal improvements instead of war (thanks to the extra-restrictive infamy system). All land not available for colonization in the EU series is colonizable here. This makes for an even better game if you convert from CKII to EUIV to V2 as you get a near full historical timeline for one country. It is always interesting to see how the scramble for Africa plays out in each game (especially if you're involved in it). This game also characterizes the time period very accurately. It is full of many interlocking alliances/spheres with smaller countries along with great power intervention. The crisis system also demonstrates how many near-wars occured during this time over foreign affairs, but were solved through dipolmacy. You have the great powers oppressing the rest of the world taking over land from Asian and African nations for resources and strategic positions, as well. Also, the industrialization process makes up for the lack of war. However, this game does have some flaws. The infamy system restricts expansion greatly which is not exactly accurate to history. Perhaps if infamy was only gained when waging war against great powers or secondary powers. It really shouldn't cost 22 infamy to annex Haiti, Cuba, or other lesser civs. Also, there shouldn't be infamy for LIBERATING a county, something usually regarded as a moral action. Things like the Spanish-American war can't occur due to large infamy gains. Also, the in game tutorials are awful and teach you very little. It will take a long time to learn. Another thing is that, don't be fooled, unlike most other Paradox games, there are only two start dates. There is no full range of date choice. While this seems really stupid at first, it does make sense as if you could just start the game at any date, you will miss the whole industrialization process which is one of the main features of the game. Despite these flaws, this game is great. If you put the time in to learn it, you will love it.
*This review is for the full game with Heart of Darkness expansion