Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man (PC) Review

By Ian Soltes 12.11.2016

Review for Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man on PC

"When a game's players are happy, neither ignorance or distress is to be found among them, its play free of cheaters, its gameplay leaving none begging, the older gamers are not in want, the DLC is not oppressive, and rational developers are the friend of happiness… then may that game boast its quality and greatness. Gameplay is the gamers' happiness, the players are their country, and their religion to find good games". Thomas Paine's original words in the original Rights of Man may be heavily modified here, but does the ninth expansion in the series help Europa Universalis IV hold true to them, or will the irresistible nature of truth need to appear?

Thomas Paine's 'The Rights of Man' is considered one of the key texts within the founding of the free world known today. Though not in the same league as many of the more well-known pieces, it holds its place. Why bring this up? Well, Europa Universalis IV has decided to use it as the title of their newest expansion, and that's about it. Well, this is not entirely true as the piece of literature helped to overthrow corrupt governments and, switching nobles for lazy developers and publishers, gaming may need its own French Revolution, but that is a different matter entirely.

Screenshot for Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man on PC

On-focus, however, Rights of Man, being the ninth expansion in the franchise for the increasingly price-walled Europa Universalis IV, is given a huge undertaking: coming up with something new and worthwhile to do in a game with eight prior expansions - coming up with something new and worthwhile to do. Should it fail than it may fall into being another cog in the 'corrupt government' that its name suggests it tries to oppose… And with that, the final reference to the actual document has been had, and no more reference to it shall come.

So, how does it seek to accomplish this mighty task, and does it succeed at doing so? Well, on the most basic level Rights of Man is mostly focused on both the diplomatic and individual level. With this expansion some new and unique aspects come such as leaders, previously being little more than figureheads with stats, developing their own, unique, personalities. The removal of the previously very limiting technology groups has been implemented and, in its place, institutions have come forth with their own unique impact that encourages alternate versions of history to play out, and many other overhauls have happened that, well, make Rights of Man a pretty good expansion, as opposed to a simple tack-on.

Screenshot for Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man on PC

Make no mistake, those whom seek to play the game without it will not find themselves lacking for capability, but with it, a large step has been made in the right direction. A prime example of the new changes is the aforementioned institutions. Previously this title was heavily tilted in favour of the European powers. One can argue that this is a historical accuracy and, thusly, should remain true. However, the counterpoint to this is that trying to play as anyone else ended up being unfairly challenging, with westernization being the inevitable conclusion.

Institutions change that by allowing various things, such as the printing press, to appear once certain conditions are fulfilled, and to slowly spread throughout your nation. Such a thing is pretty nifty on the whole, as it allows a reduction in tech costs, letting non-European nations to actually develop and become their own force to be reckoned with, without having to embrace those pesky European ways.

Screenshot for Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man on PC

Ruler personalities and changes to several other religions and cultures, such as the Coptic Christian faith (which is now actively encouraged to regain Christian holy sites for example), also bring much more to the table. Good rulers can make wise choices that will help out, bad rulers will have a tendency to try and insult that major nation with three armies more than double the size of anything that their nation can put out, and is just waiting for an excuse to gobble them up. Though that may not play out in the manner that would seem obvious as great powers, super strong nations are now capable of actively swinging their weight around and pressuring smaller nations into various (though sometimes useless) things, such as breaking alliances.

There are plenty of other little titbits as well, however, the ultimate question is this: is it actually any good? In a word, yes. In more words, it's not some godsend expansion on-par with the likes of Beyond Earth: Rising Tides, where the game is fundamentally altered by using it, but ignoring it for those wishing to move beyond the surface of the core game would be a very foolhardy move.

Screenshot for Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

In the end, Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man simply doesn't deliver the stunning shock that would make one cry out that it is a must-buy. That, however, makes it in no way a weak expansion either. In fact, this is more where expansions of this kind should be; which is to say a good thing which will be missed out on even though it does not shake the foundations of the core game's foundations.

Developer

Paradox Development Studio

Publisher

Paradox Interactive

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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