In a game of win 3 time is absolutely relative. Pausing it, accelerating it, letting it pass naturally or managing it as we are most interested is one of its great resources. Our actions, however, write history, but not in stone.. We will be able to influence politics, the economy or the transformation of society and even the most subtle changes serve a very definite purpose. But the best thing about Paradox Interactive’s new big bet on historical strategy is that we are the ones who set ourselves a more or less defined objective… If we want to have one.
As Martin Anward, the game director himself, told us before being able to play his latest beta for days, despite win 3 intertwines the mechanics of strategy games with a brilliantly captured and structured historical context, in reality we are facing a Society Simulator. A terrifyingly absorbing sandbox that invites us to reshape, settle and prosper an entire society. Not from scratch, since our starting point in the game is very defined, but in an integral way.
The result: Victoria 3 is the return through the front door of the great historical strategy. Those kinds of games called to drive the great fans of history and strategy and management video games crazy. An experience that, by the way, leaves the second installment in its infancy: as we mentioned, the use of time is essential in the Paradox game, and the 12 years that there is of margin since the launch of win 2 they are very visible. And for good.
At this point it is time to talk about the essentials: what does win 3 to the PC gamer and to the passionate about strategy and, by extension, how it is played. The first question is easily resolved: Paradox puts us in charge of any country in the world in a period from 1836 to 1936, the Victorian Era (hence the name, of course). All with their own background. From England, Spain or the United States to countries with Belgium or Chile. In fact, these last two are perfect examples of the nature and the enormous ambition of the game and we are invited to start playing with them.
A turning point for all humanity… With us at the forefront!
If you come from other strategy games and you don’t know the Paradox saga, it’s time to make the presentations: win 3 it is much more aligned with the essential Crusader Kings 3 than with milestones of the caliber of Age of Empires, Tropico 6 or Civilization. Different models of how to manage a country or a civilization, logically, but in our case the presence and weight of politics, industrialization and the context of society it gives much more fascinating and rich nuances to the whole. There are common and unique elements between the three that the new game from the Victorian era knows how to masterfully absorb to gain strength and identity in the face of this long-delayed third installment.
Regarding the version that we were able to play, and when starting a game, we can choose between what we can call three main objectives (or specific challenges) that consist of economic domination, hegemony and the search for a Egalitarian society. To give an example, in the latter case we will be recommended specific nations that, due to their real historical context, lend themselves wonderfully to experiencing this cause -France, Russia, the Qing Dynasty and Mexico- although, for practical purposes, just below we are given the option to choose virtually any country.
We can go off the rails whenever we want, but our goal will determine our priorities in the game: we will choose a specific country that is going through a certain and very defined situation. It may be undergoing a process of change, reacting to that of its neighboring countries through inertia or recovering from an internal crisis. In addition, of course, to everything related to colonization in this period so prone to great changes and revolutions.
In any case, we must take the reins and, based on management, redirect the situation with one foot placed on the needs that must be a priority and the other in the direction of the future we want to create. Which implies from proposing new policy models to negotiating with our primary resources.
Modifiers matter in win 3, and a lot. So we can adjust the start of our game as we please, even bet on the classic Ironman mode of the Paradox titles, and even disable the option to switch nations on the fly. Because, by default, it can be done.
That said, and despite the fact that there is a game mode dedicated entirely to its essence of sandbox -perhaps the greatest attraction of the game- what really gives win 3 that push that ingeniously dodges routine is the impact of our decisions. How politics, economy and influence with other countries ends up penetrating the ordinary citizen. Something that can hardly be found so well embodied in other alternatives.
Victory 3: a whole world of possibilities
From here it’s time to talk about something absolutely basic and essential: it doesn’t matter if you’re new, the game accompanies you from the beginning and guides you, but it doesn’t take you by the hand beyond the initial bars so that you know where each stuff. In fact, when starting a new game there is a mode specifically based on Learn the Game in which we are given the choice of four nations with a very defined and unique context, perfect for understanding the greatness and possibilities of the game. Logically, if we want to start playing and learning we can also choose the country we want in this mode. Well, with some exception.
Out of our reach are African countries with a decentralized power structure. Something that, logically, breaks head-on with the structure and premise of the game: allowing us to adjust society, the economy and the internal and external relations of our country to our own ideals, our whims or the needs that arise. And taking into account all the great events and revolutions that took place in the dizzying 19th and 20th centuries, it is an essential part of the experience.
As we discussed, the context of win 3 It gives nuances to the games that are very difficult to offer in other similar games: the relative establishment of the vote and the doors that this opened in the West with the rise of the industrial revolution itself or the great advances in science. All coinciding with the traditional models of production or the way of being of countries that have past quarrels or are directly in conflict with the outside world. Russia, China, the United States or a very disunited Old Continent are pressure cookersbut also exceptional blank canvases.
We have not forgotten the basics: the gameplay and our way of interacting with the world. More would be missing. In fact, it is another of the great successes of win 3: The interface is displayed in the form of a huge world map that gains amazing details as we zoom in. From a distance it looks like a map of the time, but if you zoom in enough you can see very detailed views and even find, if you go from a steady shot, cities in the form of small bases like Malaga in Andalusia, southern Spain. And what is more important: you can break down on screen what happens in it and what relations there are with the country you control at that minute.
And the same thing happens if we go unannounced to Tehran, the capital of Iran, and see what kind of relationship they have with our country and what possible business alliances they can come up with.
As we mentioned at the beginning, despite the fact that strategy is the predominant element, Victoria 3 is a society simulator and Victoria 3’s control scheme is based on direct interaction with all of its structures through windows, text boxes, and diplomatic resources. At first glance it could be overwhelming, in fact, it’s normal, but the organization of the interface and the possibility of managing the passage of time in a simple way make it intuitive. That it be translated into Spanish even more, and that -in addition- Páradox has included a vickypediaa huge glossary that we can refer to or that will appear when moving our cursor over a term, breaks down any possible wall.
Ahead: all the possibilities that can be expected from a Society Simulator game at a time when we must learn to speculate with the prices of our exports, be judicious with our investments, keep in mind the ideologies of those with whom we share an office and the needs of those who live on the street before giving a radical turn to our country and, of course, being creative when rewriting history. Because each game lasts approximately 100 years, but the replayability of Victoria 3 is absolutely limitless.
The next great obsession of those passionate about historical strategy (and politics)
It is still too early to have our final impressions on victory 3, whose launch is scheduled for the end of this year, but it has already become clear to us that it is that kind of strategy game that manages to stand out and add additional value to our decisions. That they catch you in an irremediable way. That have you thinking about the next step in your game even with the computer off. And that, whichever way you look at it, is already more than what other similar games can say.
Throughout the days in which we had access to the beta, we experienced a dozen revolutions. Some turned out better than others, of course, but we learned from all of them and drew invaluable lessons on what not to do and why. Sometimes by reason and sometimes by force. With everything, and in the part that corresponds to us, we are left with a pending thorn in the game experience that we hope to compensate in our next game: the multiplayer.
win 3 It has a system in which we can host or join a game between several players, which has enough potential to make it the most interesting society and political simulator of the year.
And, at the same time, a master class to learn history, economics and even empathy: As we were told in Paradox, every inhabitant of your nation is simulated, be it a farmer or employee, capitalist or craftsman. Because if we have made it clear after getting into a thousand eggplants in countries scattered throughout the content, it is that the money given to priority or ideological causes is not cultivated, but the corn is. And besides, you eat.
the launch of win 3 It is scheduled for the end of this year on PC, already being a superb reinforcement to the catalog of a specialized Swedish company and convinced that the great historical strategy deserves to be treated and evolve with the same ambition as the rest of the great video games. Although that means the irremediable and worrying appearance of dark circles for those of us who like that coffee for coffee lovers.
- Platforms: PC
- Multiplayer: Yes
- Developer: Paradox Interactive
- Company: Paradox Interactive
- Release: October 25, 2022