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For the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Crystal Empire Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 2 - 32 (Online)
Genre: Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

Similar to Hearts of Iron III, For the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game isn't for everyone, but the select few it appeals to will be more than happy with what it has to offer. The result of Paradox making the Europa Universalis engine available to a group of fan developers, For the Glory is a labor of love it shows.

Graphics are not one of For the Glory's strong suits, and it really doesn't have to be. Like other games in the series, or really any strategy game of this type, the real game is embedded in numbers, menus and a few pawns scattered across a map. Sure, big, bright 3D things and Google Earth quality maps would be great, but ultimately unnecessary. It's easy to find things on the U.I. menu (through the map presents some issues), identify things on a map... you really don't need any more than what For the Glory gives you.

Music is equally subdued. It's appropriate for the time period (or what I would imagine is appropriate given my limited knowledge of music history) and offers something in the background as you work your way through the campaign. You may even find yourself humming a few bars, or at least I did.


Gameplay:

For the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game is a grand strategy game that takes its history seriously, but isn't a complete slave to it. Gameplay is similar to Risk, only slightly more complicated. Taking control of one of 180 playable countries, you guide your people through 400 years of history (1419 - 1815) and see how you would handle similar situations. You'll balance issues between classes, deal with other countries, hear offers of royal marriage... For the Glory gives you everything you could ever want in a history-based strategy game. It's amazingly addictive, and if you get into it, you may find yourself skipping meals or even testing to see if the "Only 2 per day" warning on the back of the 5-Hour Energy bottle is merely just a suggestion.

Much of the game revolves around taking over territories and navigating close to 10,000 historic events. Taking over territories is a little trickier than running an army in and grabbing land (though you can... but at a price). Before taking action, you'll first need to assess the types of available providences, what they'll bring to the table and what problems they'll create with other countries. For instance, marching your troops into enemy territory means greater losses for you, leading to a bigger drain on your economy. It's a neat touch amongst a number of really neat touches that elevates For the Glory a little beyond a generic strategy game. Everything seems to happen in a logical manner, ultimately giving you more control over what happens.


Difficulty:

If you want a good tutorial, let a bunch of players decide it. Of course, I can't fully back up the claim, but I like to think it's a reason why For the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game is accessible. The tutorial is fantastic and gives you a great overview of where everything is and how to play. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but its something few strategy games of this nature get right. They'll show you the basics, but leave everything else for you to figure out as you go along. I'm not saying its perfect, I still fumbled around a bit early on, but I had a much easier time adjusting to For the Glory than other grand strategy games.

For the Glory does, however, require some trial-and-error before you really get things right. Your first go at playing monarch will probably end in defeat; not because the game is hard, but because you haven't trained yourself to think globally and plan ahead. A full-frontal assault on a country might seem like a good thing, but then you have to consider how much of a drain it is on your population and economy. It's good to be the king, but it isn't an easy job.


Game Mechanics:

For the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game is all about power and, more importantly, money. Each country begins with a different start condition and aims for the same thing, to become the most powerful country in the known world. This requires politics, war and doing anything you can to stay on top of the food chain.

As stated earlier, For the Glory is not a hard game to play. The tutorial is great at getting you into things quickly and the U.I. is easy to understand. It does, however, run into a few minor roadblocks. Though they don't ruin the flow of gameplay, they do make some things a little harder than they otherwise would be. For instance, it is hard to determine what's going on in certain countries with a quick glance of the map. Instead, you need to get in close and look for flags or other icons. Additionally, keeping track of all your troops when they're scattered across the map is tricky. There's no way to quickly look up what you have.

For the Glory is, once again, not for everyone. This is strictly for hardcore strategists who would rather micromanage an entire country than a small army.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 2000 / XP/ Vista; Pentium II 266 MHz; 256 Mb RAM; 1 GB Free HDD; 2 Mb VRAM with Direct X support; DirectX compatible Sound Card; DirectX 8 or higher
 

Test System:



Windows 7; 2 GHz Dual-Core processor; 4 Gig RAM; 120 GB HDD; GeForce 8600 GT; Broadband Internet

Related Links:



Nintendo Wii Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 Sony PlayStation 3 God of War Collection

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated