gamers (100%) found this review helpful
Sorry but to say Victoria 2 sucks because "you have nothing to do" only proves that you didn't put the time in to learn the game.
Victoria 2 is NOT a city building, castle building, or "Civilization" style game. It's not Sim City. It's not Civ5. It's not Rome: Total War.
Victoria 2 IS a grand strategy game with the emphasis on GRAND. There is plenty to do as you are tasked with making decisions that shape your governing style and ultimately your nation. The goal is to become a world power. This kind of thing doesn't happen overnight.
I started as Japan when it was "uncivilized" and was easily able to not only get the nation to "civilized" status, but eventually to great power status. Admittedly the game can seem slow and tedious, especially when your actions are limited because of your size, but all you have to do is speed up the pace of the game and it moves along nicely.
Victoria 2, like most Paradox grand strategy games, has a steep learning curve so if you're looking for a game that you can just load up and conquer the world the first time you sit down, this isn't it. But if you want a game that focuses your attention on the intricacies of nation building with an eye towards 19th century history, this is the game for you. The learning curve is well worth the effort.
And this was the FIRST grand strategy game I've ever played, so if I can learn and enjoy playing anyone can if they put in the effort.
I've had a love/hate impression of most of the games in the Europa Universalis "family," and this is no exception.
First, the good: the detail is breathtaking. Everything from commodities to trade to religions and other demographics gives you far more depth in managing your empire than you find in other franchises (like Total War). The graphics are not whiz-bang in terms of FPS or animations, but are quite serviceable, giving the map an authentic "old school" look and feel quite adequate to the task.
Now the bad: there's not much to DO with any of this. I started playing as Japan-- a mid-level nation, not a superpower of the 19th century, but no slouch either. I began to look around my provinces, so I could begin building and developing.
Only, there was nothing to build or develop. Here I am, king of Japan, and I can't build a road, or a Shinto shrine, or a harbor, or a smithy, or a farm, or public baths. Nothing, nada, zilch. I can't even build a fort (though, mysteriously, one exists in my capital province of Edo). That the game designers overlooked the fact Japan had a fine castle-building run in the Medieval Era was rather disappointing, in view of the attention paid to historical detail elsewhere.
So I went about researching the technology to build a factory. Agonizingly slow. Finally, after several game-years, I get the technological requirements to built a furniture factory, except I can't build factories anyway. The game won't let me, because Japan is an "uncivilized" nation. And one of the reasons it is "uncivilized" is that...Japan has no factories. This sort of Catch-22 is bad design, and, unfortunately, there's a lot of it here.
A cardinal rule of game design is that players need to have things to do. If they don't, the rest is largely for naught. It's a test that Victoria II, sadly, fails.