EU1 vs EU2 vs EU3?

24 posts in this topic

So which do you think is better? Oh, and please if you could take the time to explain why you thought EUx was better.


I'm looking to buy one of them, just want to get the "best" one. I've only played 1 and 2, and actually preferred 1. :)

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I've only played 2 and 3, and I preferred 3. I think that's because I bought the collectors edition, that came with a strategy guide, so it was less of being thrown in the deep end than in 2. Still a difficulty curve made of a concrete wall, but better than 2 where I went without any help at all.

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And I've only played 1 and 2. I'd go for 2 out of them. EU is a good game but it was refined and expanded upon for 2. As its been a round a while the patches have been pretty complete and then there's mods like the Grand Campaign.


I've looked at 3 but it doesn't seem to have grabbed people the way 2 has and there seem to be so many of them i'm not entire sure which combination offers the best play.

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I have played all three of them a lot (being one of my favorite franchises and all), and I would say that EU3 have finally become better than EU2 with the latest expansions (and is probably going to be even better with the Kamikaze-expansion this december).


The original Europa Universalis was great when I got it on release back in 2000, and was finally a game that brought some fresh ideas into the rapidly stagnating strategy-marked who was dominated by real time strategy-games like the C&C-games and -craft-series. However, Europa Universalis II, who run on the same engine, was everything the original Europa Universalis was - and then some. Historical events, deeper politics, more provinces, nicer map. EU2 did nothing revolutionary, but simply made small improvement on everything that was already good in the first one, and it made the first one feel more like a beta-version. Now, when EU3 arrived in spring 2007 it was a complete mess, buggy as hell, and with a lot of strange decisions (a bit like the way Civ5 is now imo). Also, the new 3d-engine looked terrible compared to the boardgame-feel of the old games, and it also did not run very well on my new computer bought specifically for that game. So I played EU2 for a few more years until I think two or three expansions down the road, when I got back into EU3. Now, I would say that EU3 is finally the better game as the possibilities have been greatly expanded. You have much more choice of doing different things in EU3 than in EU2, and ultimately, choice if what defines a strategy-game. The graphics are still worse than EU2 in my opinion, and while a lot of central gameplay-elements like the war-system have stayed virtually the same, there are a lot of small improvements to areas like politics, diplomacy, colonization and development of you nation. However, EU3 have also lost some things that I found fun in EU2, namely the historical flavour that was so apparent in EU2. The historical decisions do not play the same role anymore, for better or for worse. Also the protestantism will not spread historically, and so on. This makes the game loose a bit as it was fun to read about the historical events and decide if you would move your capital or open a center of trade, but it also puts development more into the hands of the player, which is ultimately a good thing in a strategy game. Last, EU2 is probably a bit easier to get into, which should also be taken into consideration.


Ultimately, I would recommend EU3 as the better game, but if you want a more historical flavour and an easier to get into-experience, go with EU2. EU1 should IMO be out of the debate altogether as it is simply a less good version of EU2.

Edited by KaiserIsak

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I played 1 and 3 (with no expansion packs).


1 with mods is much better than basic 3.

-It runs faster (both in terms of loading and in terms of game progress). I'd rather not purchase expansion packs to make EU 3 playable.

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I've played 1+2, of those i came to both late and ended up with fully/latest patched versions. I preferred the features of EU2. I also was thinking about EU3, but decided to go for EU:Rome(Gold) in the end, which i found very unsatisfying to play; more complex in some ways than EU2, but also with less depth of play and after a few games to try to get into it i've not gone back to it.


I've not played EU3, but from reading around i'd say the period around EU2 was probably Paradox's 'high point' as a developer. Crusader Kings is my all time favourite Paradox title, and i think HOI2 was also from that era.

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You should give EU3 a chance with all the expansions, its actually a very enjoyable game. The new expansion seems to be reintroducing the board game-look as well :)

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>>You should give EU3 a chance with all the expansions, its actually a very enjoyable game. The new expansion seems to be reintroducing the board game-look as well


I just find it insulting to have to buy expansion packs to make something playable-


If the Xpacks are adding something useful like in the Civ series, I'd be glad to buy- otherwise I won't pay for a game twice unless I enjoy it.

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Well, the XPs are adding useful stuff.

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There is a mod for EU3 - Magna Mundi, that I played recently.

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MM is good, if a little harsh. The devs of that mod is developing a new game with the same name under the Clauzewitz engine btw.

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It's pretty much a new game in its own right, although within the hard coded limits of the game. A lot of its ideas has been taken up on by the devs for the last two XPs, including the coming one. Of course, the devs can do more, but the MM team have done some serious changes. New HRE system, new Japanese system, naval system, reputation system(you will learn to dread the "you've got FRAMED!" event...), building system, and the list goes on. Myself, I find it a little too harsh on the players, but it is a great mod and among the most popular.

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I played hundreds hours to EU and thousands to EU2. And minutes to EU3, magic of the game was gone with the last one.

EU is not to be advocated. It's too poor on events, and you can select a country on a very short list (Austria, England, France, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Russia and Turkey iirc). EU2 has improved the system (political sliders, area culture), made all nations playable, and offers thousands of events. The main countries of the time have dozens of events during the game, some good, some painful (every one played Chinese ?).


EU3 was too much a revolution from EU2. I never liked it, and as my choice of games is growing year after year I quickly ended to select a new game.

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Jojo.... What can I say. You are wrong. All nations are playable in EU3. At any given date between 1399 and 1789 or thereabouts. Much, MUCH has been done since 1.0, both before and after the XPs(which by now is a must. Still well worth the hours of playing and fun you'll get, and the Complete edition(with everything except the coming XP) cost only 28 euro/dollar on GamersGate. That's the main game and three XPs. The event system is different but not gone, it has been improved a lot over time. Modding is heaven in EU3 compared to previous titles. There are lots of good mods around for every taste.:) And finally, the game is much, much more stable than EU2.

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Nikolai, sorry, I'm not.


I never gave any hint about what EU3 is but about what EU is.


About EU3, well if it's better than it was when originally relased, fine. I'm not fond of games needing zillions of patches/expansion packs or mods to be enjoyable. I do prefer game enjoyable as released.

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As I said, you can play any country in the world, at any given date within a timespan of about 400 years. That's not less than EU2, which you said. You even said you could only play a "very short list". That is EU1.;)


As for games being playable on release. Well, that was never PI. If anything, they've become way better than they were in that regard. EU1 was extremely unstable even when EU2 hit the shelfs. EU2 was still quite unstable when it was at its end of life with the release of EU3. EU2 was extremely buggy even at patch 1.05(that is the fifth patch, released months after release. First with 1.06 things really began to improve. EU3 was stable at release, but a little bland. A few patches later, it was a whole new game. Just as EU2 was btw.

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As I said, you can play any country in the world, at any given date within a timespan of about 400 years. That's not less than EU2, which you said. You even said you could only play a "very short list". That is EU1.


Please Nikolai, reread what I've written. I've never said anything about what EU3 allows or not. Only spoken about EU and EU2.

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I did so. On the second reread, I got it. Sorry.:)

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Nikolai is completely right on this one. Unfortunately, complex games like Civilization and Europa Universalis are more often then not unstable on release. That is unfortunate, but since the new releases in the grand strategy genre is so slim, I tend to be happy that we get these games at all, even if we must wait a bit for them to be fully playable. Europa Universalis 3 is the best strategy game by PI imo, it is also the third best strategy game of all time in my humble opinion, second only to Civilization 2 and Civilization 4. If you like strategy you would do yourself a disservice not to give it a chance.

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I got the following mail from Paradox today:




Paradox Interactive presents Cyber Specials!


Christmas is coming early this year.


Below is a list of currently scheduled deals.

All the Europa Universalis specials are ongoing until the 13th of December!


All the best,

The Paradox Team



Paradox Cyber Specials on GamersGate (Digital Download):

The Europa Universalis offer ends on Monday the 13th of December.

The other offers on ends on Monday the 6th of December.


Europa Universalis III 70% off



Europa Universalis III Napoleon's Ambition expansion 70% off



Europa Universalis III In Nomine expansion 70% off'



Europa Universalis III Complete 70% off



Europa Universalis III Heir to the Throne expansion 70% off



Europa Universalis Rome 70% off



Europa Universalis Rome Vae Victis expansion 70% off



Europa Universalis Rome Gold 70% off



For the Glory - A Europa Universalis Game 70% off



Europa Universalis II 70% off



Europa Universalis II Asian Chapters expansion 70% off



Europa Universalis I 70% off



Crown of the North 70% off



King Arthur - The Role-playing Wargame 70% off



Knights of Honor 70% off



Rush for Berlin 70% off



UFO Extraterrestrials 70% off



Paradox Cyber Specials on The Paradox Webshop (Retail boxes):

The Paradox webshop offer ends on Sunday the 5th of December.


Victoria II 50 % off



Lionheart: Kings' Crusade 50% off



Commander: Conquest of the Americas 50% off



Mount & Blade: Warband 50% off



Ship Simulator Extremes 50% off



Sword of the Stars Complete Collection 50% off



Elven Legacy Collection 50% off



East India Company Collection 50% off



Reason for the EU offers ending on Dec 13th would be the last XP being released on the 14th.

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Interesting...perhaps when my current game of CK ends, i could continue it in EU3...how good are the converters? Do they work with the expansions, and also include expansion specific features? I read that the previous expansion added dynasties...would be nice if i could convert those from CK...no idea how similar the concepts are though, so it might not be possible/logical.

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There are fan made converters, but I haven't tried them myself. The dynasty concept is not comparable though.

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