Game Info:

Victoria II: A House Divided
Developed by: Paradox Interactive
Published by: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: February 2012
ESRB Rating: Teen
Available On: PC, Mac
Genre: Grand Strategy
Mode: Single/Multiplayer
Price: $19.95

Rewrite history once more with the next Victoria 2 title “A House Divided”.

This expansion mainly focuses on the American Civil War, but also adds a few more features and upgrades.

The grand campaign lets you basically take control almost of any nation in the world during the Victorian age between 1861 and 1935. Countries are once again historically accurately portrayed with unique leader names, political parties and events.

The gameplay basically stays the same, except for a few minor changes. You can no longer immediately declare war on another nation. If you have no war justification you have to fabricate a justification. If your enemy discovers the fabrication while in process, you’ll gain a lot of infamy, and you will lose the element of surprise. Uncivilized nations can also make more national decisions to be able to compete with bigger nations. An extra national focus has also been added. It is now possible to steer the political preference of population groups. 


Strong Points: Very re-playable and open-ended campaign, more events and national decisions, easy navigation in the GUI
Weak Points: repetitive soundtrack 
Moral Warnings: None

Politically, the game stays more or less the same. You can lead a democratic nation, you can stick with a conservative movement, or you could choose to run a radical communist country. All these decisions link up with the consciousness and content/discontent of the people in your country. Being too liberal can lead to dangerous political ideas and being too radical can lead to anarchy. 

Nothing has really changed in the military module, but I have experienced fewer bugs in wars and it is somewhat easier to wage wars against mightier foes. Diplomatically, you can form alliances, improve/worsen relations, increase/decrease public opinion, call an ally during war and ban other countries’ ambassadors in your future dominions.

There are some notable changes in the GUI. There are more sprites, the map looks more polished and some panels have changed tabs in order to make navigation easier. 

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

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 2/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

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

One element that irritated and pleased me at the same time in the original game was the soundtrack. To my surprise and disappointment, no tracks have been added to the game. This also means that the soundtrack will be as repetitive as the last one and I will probably add my own tracks to the game later on.

Overall, a House Divided doesn’t really live up to its expectations. The unchanged soundtrack and paralleled graphics can be expected from an expansion, but the overall unchanged gameplay leads me to think that this should have rather been a mod or patch, and not an expansion. The bundled minor tweaks and fixes improved my gaming experience, but it wasn’t enough to keep me going. It was all Déjà vu most of the time.

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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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