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Beginning the same year that Christopher Columbus first sailed to the New World and running through to the rise of Napoleon, the Europa Universalis player leads a European nation throughout the continent's 500-year "Age of Exploration." With a strong emphasis on actual history, the game is full of famous leaders and events to provide a deep, rich context for the virtual conquest. Even the uniforms and coats-of-arms displayed by soldiers are historically accurate. Players can choose to lead the English, the French, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Russians, or one of several other European nations.
Europa Universalis blends the abstract strategy of turn-based games with the immediacy of a real-time strategy. The 2D map interface is reminiscent of empire-building classics like Sid Meier's Civilization, while the real-time action demands continued attention and quick decisions. Many gameplay factors, including the game's speed, can be adjusted to match the user's preferences. Multiplayer options allow up to eight gamers to cooperate or compete over a LAN or the Internet. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide