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Submitted by Derek dela Fuente on August 6 2004 - 14:23

Paradox, the Scandinavian developer, is well respected for their deep, taxing and complex strategy games and over the last few years their reputation has grown, although the user base playing these games may have stagnated. Like their UK rivals, Slitherine, whoâ??s recent release was Spartan, the intricacies and immense amount of detail that have gone into selecting a period of time - which in this case is 1066 to 1453 - and presenting a period in turmoil for the player to turn around and build upon is best suited for the serious PC gamer. Nevertheless taking control of one of the Great Christian Dynasties of Europe is an engrossing and gratifying exercise, especially if you are successful! Building and expanding through warfare and a big dose of diplomacy are prerequisites of gameplay.

It would be futile to say this game is easy to play but if you have a love of history then things become slightly more intuitive. Also, RPGers will also find a number of facets within the game very comforting.

We will not delve deep into the mechanics of the game, its factions and endless nuances and parameters, but it was only after a good 2 hours of play did we start to feel comfortable and progression began to kick in. It would have been nice to have an â??early learnerâ?? tutorial to the game but gamers who will have played Europa Universalis 2 will know the kind of polish and learning curve on offer.

Yes, this is a specialised game and with so many sub standard strategy games floating around this one shines out!

Superb grapics, although some may call them minimalistic, an easy to use interface and fleshed out time line/period mark this down as a genre leader for those with an acquired taste.

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Overall Score: 8/10

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