entmoot's Conquest of Paradise (PC) review

I'd Rather Develop Paradise, thanks.

Suffering from scurvy, hunger, and desperation, the intrepid explorers aboard my Portuguese flotilla were desperate for landfall on an unseen paradise. Traveling for almost a month straight, the toll of deep waters and insufficient supplies had made the prospect of discovery slim. Yet, as the sun mercilessly beat down upon their worn ships, a sailor notices an odd shape off of the horizon. Beckoning the crew and their ships forth with sweet breezes of ripe fruit and cool mountain filtered water, the ships lurched forward.

“ I think I see something. I think I see… Paradise” croaked a sickly sailor.

Paradise —well, that’s one way to put it.

A jumble of awkward landmasses and snaky islands that have a closer resemblance to splattered spaghetti sauce than to a naturally formed area of land is not the traditional image of paradise. A paradise that places the Cherokee nation in an arctic wasteland and the Aztec’s on a secluded egg shaped island.

You see, this is Europa Universalis IV’s first DLC, Conquest of Paradise. In CoP, players will have the chance to find a totally new and random world — and I mean random. This is the first time that a Paradox Interactive game has let players work and play in a randomly generated land; specifically, the Americas. In this new world, the Native tribes will be numerous, their federation strong, and the land unforgiving.

The changes that have taken place are nuanced additions to an already deep game: federations and a much needed advancement to Native American societies, colonial subjects that have unique attitudes and needs with their mother country, and a few new weather and trade tab to boot. Although the game title might tempt you to conquer paradise as native hating, discovery doctrine spouting superpower, you would be missing the best part of COP; The revamped and empowered native tribes and federations.

While you might not be prematurely sailing to Europe with your glorious sunset invasion (which is a new achievement), you might be able to stand up to those European bullies for a little bit longer. Depending on your preference of native tribes, you might be migrating your people across the land searching fora suitable place to call home. Or, as I did, you might choose an established tribe, like the Creek, and decide to extend your power and benefits to other tribes through the ability of federations.

Even if you are at war with one of your neighbors, and this will happen often if you want to gain power, you are still bound by your federation bar no one is kicked out before the Europeans discover “new” land. As the federation leader you will be given large bonus’s to your army and upkeep while allowing you to rally all of the nations of the federation to repel foreign invaders, if you so choose.

In this, the beauty of Europa Universalis lies: Historical and Ahisotrical ruminations. And with this the new random map mode just doesn’t sit well with me. Paradox Interactive games work so well under their historical premise; altering the flow if history to your heart and strategic content.

The somewhat sloppy landmasses that make up those randomly generated worlds not only take away from the pleasure of playing these games but it also seems to diminish the role of a Grand Strategy game as well. Luckily you can just turn it off. Phew.

The most important part of Conquest of Paradise is it’s new focus on colonial powers and native federations and tribes. The real fun comes from the sense of pride when you can wipe the America’s clean from those pale skinned foreign oppressors.

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