Victoria 3 is a revolution that will take time



For tester Reiner Hauser (similar to illustration), Victoria 3 is his game of the year. His massive eight-page review leaves out no detail about the strategy game.

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The 19th century is full of revolutions. Never before in history have the lives of so many people changed so fundamentally and in such a short time. However, the period is overshadowed by the great wars and conflicts before and after. The French Revolution and the two world wars left deep marks in the collective memory.

And yet what we now call the “industrial revolution” was more relevant to normal, everyday life. Driven by the energy of fossil fuels and the power of the steam engine, productivity and yields in industry and agriculture reached unprecedented levels, nearly doubling the world’s population in a hundred years.

The upheavals that such changes bring are evident in the rise of emerging nation states, first parties and social reforms. They appear in the form of large migration flows from country to city and from rigid societies in Europe to the so-called free America.

Reiner Hauser

Europa Universalis: Rome, Europa Universalis 3, Europa Universalis 4, Crusader Kings 2, Crusader Kings 3, Stellaris, Hearts of Iron 4 and now Victoria 3. Author Reiner Hauser has played them all extensively and spent a significant part of his life in great strategy games Sweden sunk. After all, he can now rightly call himself an expert in the field and therefore also tests everything that has been developed by Paradox Interactive and that is not in the tree at three o’clock.

And now there is a game that wants to make this change playable in as many facets as possible: Victoria 3. Of course the predecessors have already tried that, but just like Crusader Kings 3, Victoria 3 is more than a sequel. With better graphics, understandable menus, more explanations and focused gameplay, this niche series is finally opening up to a wider market.

Victoria 3 Gameplay: We start a new game and admire the world






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Victoria 3 Gameplay: We start a new game and admire the world

And that’s not the only reason why Victoria 3 is part of a minor revolution. Paradox Interactive’s new title manages to make domestic politics and the economy so exciting that I don’t really want to go to war anymore. Yet with new ideas come problems… as with all revolutions. So get on the train of feelings that this test represents.

For the perfect introduction to the game, we also recommend our guide to Victoria 3, which is also good for preventative help and preparation before the game starts:

Victoria 3: 11 tips the strategy game won't tell you


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Guide

Victoria 3: 11 tips the strategy game won’t tell you

Suits you if…

  • … you always wanted a strategy game with a focus on economics and society.
  • … you can optimize or set your own goals.
  • … you’re excited about the time of the industrial revolution.

Doesn’t suit you if…

  • … you are put off by complexity and a high barrier to entry.
  • … you are looking for the thrill of exciting wars.
  • … you need a lot of role-playing games.

Nothing works without analysis and planning

Victoria 3 starts in 1836 (and ends in 1936, but you can keep playing) because then Texas became independent from Mexico and the developers wanted to keep this war with the American market in mind. Queen Victoria of the same name, with her 63-year reign, did not ascend the throne until a year later.

But economics often take precedence, which brings us to the core feature of Victoria 3. Unlike all other global strategy games, Victoria 3 focuses on managing the economy, society and politics away from war.

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