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Decade-old grand strategy game gets a full alternate history overhaul

Paradox grand strategy game Europa Universalis 4 gets a full alternate history total conversion mod with Gods and Kings, out now on Steam.

Europa Universalis 4 mod Gods and Kings is a total alternate history overhaul - A man with long hair and a moustache closes one eye to aim a rifle.

Civilization 6. Stellaris. XCOM 2. The best strategy games on PC all stand up fantastically on their own merits, but allow you to take it one step further with comprehensive mods that enhance, rework, or redesign entire parts of the game. Enter Europa Universalis 4: Gods and Kings, an alternate history total conversion mod for the decade-old Paradox grand strategy game that completely reimagines it like you’ve never seen before.

“Gods and Kings started out as a personal project between a few friends,” creator ‘Nitr0gue’ from the mod’s development team explains. At first, they wanted to create a mod for the grand strategy game that offered a “more expansive and better representation of various religions around the world” in the late Middle Ages setting of Europa Universalis 4, before the project “expanded towards an alternate timeline which can better serve the interests of showcasing different faiths.”

The result is one of the most impressive Europa Universalis 4 mods you’ll ever see, featuring a “completely redone world map, politically and demographically, with few regions left untouched.” It adds over a thousand provinces, and makes sure that basically the entire world map has “some kind of interesting way of playing out, either as a narrative or for potential gameplay.” There’s even a gorgeous new theme song from composer ‘Utopia.’

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Nitr0gue emphasizes that part of the team’s direction was to create something that felt “familiar but foreign” and put a less eurocentric focus on proceedings than the original EU4 does. While the core gameplay you know and love isn’t dramatically altered here, there are new institutions, trade nodes, and colonial powers on show, in particular focusing on “the rise of colonial powers outside of Europe, such as Mali and Japan.”

Given the mod’s origins, you can expect a huge number of new religions to explore. Each of them has its own unique mechanics, tweaked or reworked to best represent each individual faith. There are also a range of new mission trees, along with large-scale disasters such as the Hotoku War in Japan (a grand rebellion against its sitting Emperor), and additional flavor events.

Trade goods have been expanded, and a new feature titled ‘goods upgrades’ requires you to use specific buildings to manufacture supplies out of other resources – construct a winery, for example, and you’ll be able to transform a province that produces rice into one capable of producing the more valuable rice wine, diversifying your trade potential.

Europa Universalis 4 mod Gods and Kings - A set of religious iconography created for the alternate history total conversion overhaul.

First launched in December 2023 via the Steam Workshop, Gods and Kings just saw its first big update on Friday March 1, titled Messiahs and Monarchs (I really hope the team is able to keep up this naming scheme for future patches). It includes over a hundred new events and a dozen additional government reforms, along with a new religion mechanic, more formables, and some extra systems such as faction quests and currency minting.

That should give you more than enough to keep you amused, but if you still want more then we’ve got a guide to the best Europa Universalis 4 DLC. Alternatively, take a look through the best 4X games for even more large-scale strategic systems.

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