Game Info:

Victoria II
Developer:Paradox Interactive
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Version Reviewed: 1.2
Platform: Microsoft Windows, Mac OS 
Release date: August 13th, 2010
Genre: Real-time grand strategy
Mode: Single-player, Multiplayer
MSRP: $29.95

Thank you GamersGate for sending us this game to review!

While some strategy games place you in command of a general/hero in relatively fast-paced action, Victoria 2 helps you create the bigger picture, by giving you the opportunity to create or change a country’s history during the Victorian time period. Simply put, you’ll be playing as if you’re the leader of a specific country, working on making sure that the country survives wars and other catastrophes.

Victoria 2 is a grand strategy game which places the player in command places the player in command of almost any country from the Victorian time period from 1835 to 1935. The tutorial partly helps the player conquer the steep learning curve and once you get past the first few years of game play the game gets addictive. The game places a lot of power through politics, diplomacy and warfare at your disposal. The progress of the country you’ll choose and survival of its citizens will depend on the decisions you make on these areas.

The game consists of a Grand Campaign and Multiplayer, though multiplayer is for hard core fans that have a lot of time on their hands. Additionally, you can only play the game in a Multiplayer option through the use of third-party programs, such as Tunngle, Evolve, or Hamachi, or use the host’s direct IP address. The Grand Campaign, on the other hand,  is filled with events like reforming your nation, gaining prestige from a successful expedition in Egypt and improving relations with your neighbors, that will keep you busy and wanting more. Whether you want to free Britain’s colonies or just humiliate China through defeating them in an unjustifiable war, the globe is yours. Remember, your goal in the game is simple – you have to successfully build a nation through the age of colonization, modernization, and industrialization. How you’re going to achieve that goal is up to your strategies.


Strengths: The re-playability; game play depth; great variety of events; open ended.
Weaknesses: Occasional bugs; steep learning curve; requires patience; repetitive soundtrack.
Moral Warnings: None!


The game play interface is based on a regional based world map where the regions contain information regarding the population, workforce, ideology, culture and the amount of armies that can be built. All of this information is available when you start the game, so you can easily come up with a plan on how you’re going to build a nation and solve problems that will occur in the future. The game uses a real-time system where the speed of the game can be set to the player’s liking. Armies are simple to command, battles are resolved by the AI and the resupply system is also automated. You can control the production, budget, research, politics, trade, diplomacy and the military of the nation. The production mainly consists of building factories to produce goods for trade or war. The control you have over your production depends on the country’s state economic policy. The budget interface lets you set the tax rate for poor, middle and rich classes. This game is easier to control than its predecessors (Europa Universalis series and Hearts of Iron) because of its automated features.

The income provided from the mines, tax etc. is used to allocate spending for things like education, administration and the military. As you play the game, you’ll have to allocate this resource carefully to ensure that the nation you pick continues to progress for the next years. The technology interface shows the literacy rate and research points of your nation which determines the effectiveness and speed of research. The politics interface is used to implement social and political reform. The availability of the reforms mainly depends on the willingness of the Upper House to enact them. You can also release a nation, choose the ruling party and make decisions (which create modifiers, like an increase in population). The trade is automated, but there is an option to buy or sell goods if you don’t trust the AI. Diplomacy options include declaring war, forming an alliance, increasing/decreasing relations and requesting/granting military access.

Another important factor is influence - a degree of influence over what decisions other countries make, either because they like you a lot, or they fear you a lot. The current wars and great powers are also available in the diplomacy screen. Last, but not least, your military is one of the more exciting elements of Victoria 2. Unfortunately for some, the military doesn’t completely revolve just around buying armies, the country has to have a large enough population to sustain and build armies. Mobilization is possible, but the quality of the mobilized troops is not as effective as with sufficient troops. You also have to bear the Casus Belli system (war justification) in mind. When starting a war, you set a war goal and if you don’t have justification, whether you win or lose; you gain infamy which tarnishes foreign relations. Planning is very important when occupying territory, especially when engaging a large country, because of the siege process involved.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Game play: 18/20
Graphics: 5/10 
Sound: 3/5 
Stability: 4/5 
Interface: 5/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence: 10/10
Language: 10/10
Sexual Content: 10/10
Occult/Super Natural: 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: 8/10

The enemy AI is challenging and your allies tend to stay loyal as long as your relations are good. It is also notable that rebellions randomly rise up later in the game, but the 1.2 patch seems to fix it.

The game has a good soundtrack, but addicts may want to place the music on mute after a few days. There are some minor stability issues, but the game runs smoothly for the most part. The interface is user-friendly. The interface is user-friendly and the menus help the player keep a close eye on everything from construction to occupying/losing territory, though the pop up messages may become an irritation after a while.

Victoria 2 is a fun game to play. But, if you want to win, you need to set goals from the start. Keep in mind that when you play the game, you’ll only have 100 days to live and survive – and each day matters. For instance, you need to determine which weapons to use during the US Civil War and The Franco-Prussian War.

But, just like any other online games, it’s always best to experiment and take the time to learn the ropes. With Victoria II, you can just jump right in and pick any country you want – Belgium, France, Spain, and Brazil are great options to start.

Conclusion: with just a few minor problems and a looping soundtrack, the game offers a fun and satisfying experience. The replay value will keep fans coming back for more, though a lot of people might be put off by the steep learning curve and the patience required in becoming a true and virtuous ruler, sweet talking politician, or an egomaniacal tyrant.


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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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