Victoria II: Demo I

Tim Stone! Come quickly!

Paradox’s Victoria II – the 19th century political strategy game – is out in three days. In the meantime you can find out if you’re interested in industrialisation, political reforms, military conquest, and colonization, by checking out the demo. And because you’ve been good, there’s a trailer below.

Here’s a snippet of information I just discovered on the game’s Wikipedia page. There’s a bet within Paradox that the game won’t make a profit. So much so that if it does, Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester will shave his head and post pictures of the result on their forum. It seems 70,000 copies will need to shift for the development team to receive their victory. It’s obviously a very specialist game, so it’ll be interesting to see whether the boss gets a severe haircut.


  1. Nimic says:

    Victoria is even more specialist than the other Paradox games. I love Europa Universalis 2 and 3, Crusader Kings, and Rome. I couldn’t quite get into any of the HoI games, but they have a certain appeal. But Victoria never did it for me. I tried, oh how I tried, but the POPs and this and that was just a bit too ‘special’.

    I’m prepared to give this one a go, though, if only because I think Paradox deserves it. Oh, they usually require a patch or two or nine to make the game as good as it can be, but they usually get there in the end. Some developers let unfinished games remain unfinished – Paradox at least recognize that they are unfinished. They’ve gotten better at it lately, though.

    But I digress. The other reason I’ll give this a go is that I’ve read a bit on the forum, and it seems like some of the more.. annoying features of Victoria have been soundly reworked.

    I think this will shift 70,000 copies easily, but it will be far from the best selling Paradox game. Now if only they can get around to announcing Crusader Kings 2, and I’ll be a happy fanboy..

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It will be a buggy, unplayable mess until two years from now when they release a Complete edition that contains the full game and two expansions. You know this, right?

      (PS: HoI is totally more specialised than Victoria. I just can’t wrap my head around managing IC and production lines and aaaaaaargh the numbers. Never played Vicky1 but Victoria seems to require less number-crunching. Plus, socialist utopias.)

    • Nimic says:

      Nah, I’d say Victoria beats HoI for “speciality”. HoI 3 in particular isn’t really THAT complicated, it just throws a lot at you at the same time.

      And you’re sort of right with the expansion comment, though I found EU3 to be completely playable before any of the expansions. Oh, it wasn’t half as good as it eventually became, but it wasn’t half as bad as some people make it out to be. Compared to other developers, Paradox aren’t really that bad. The fact that they always keep releasing patches (and expansions) doesn’t always mean that it was an unplayable mess before, sometimes it just means that they found some way of improving on an already good game.

      But, yeah, Paradox. You never know. Bless ’em.
      Heir to the Throne wasn’t necessary at all, for example, but it was still worth the price.

    • goodgimp says:

      Regarding about it being buggy/unplayable for years, I think they actually learned their lesson from HOI3. They actually hired an outside professional QA team to run compatibility testing on various hardware to find crashes, and have had a fairly extensive beta with community members for gameplay tweaks.

      Lets just say that prior to the Vicky2 demo, I never in a million years would have thought I’d refer to a Paradox game as “slick” or “polished”, but this demo is both. Really looking forward to Friday!

      I will say, though, if you download the demo or buy the game, for the love of GOD please play through the (extremely helpful) tutorials first, or you will be beyond lost.

  2. Alexander Norris says:

    Apparently, if Manhattan has a communist revolution it’ll form the Manhattan Commune as an independent nation. :D

  3. Gritz says:

    I’m actually more excited about this than Civ 5. I took my first dip into the Paradox world this summer with EU3 and have easily lost 100+ hours in the last three months.

    In an industry that’s become obsessed with “streamlining” and reaching the broadest possible audience, Paradox has earned my respect for doing what they do best without compromising.

    If they had better QA and were a bit less offensively Euro-centric, they might just be the perfect PC game company.

  4. Ben says:

    Not a frequent commenter here, but had to post this to ask – did the Paradox marketers get bribed by the CEO?

    In the trailer, the taglines / subtitles “Unite your culture under one flag”, and “Become a great world power”, are overlaid on top of … the conquest of Italy. Yes, the Garibaldi revolution was spectacular, but couldn’t they come up with ANYTHING more historically sweeping than … the conquest of Italy? Like the US? Like the British Empire? Like the Prussian wars? I mean ffs…

    “Starting from the last two decades of the nineteenth century, Italy developed its own colonial Empire. Italian colonies were Somalia and Eritrea; an attempt to occupy Ethiopia failed in the First Italo–Ethiopian War of 1895-1896.”


    Exciting. Keep the head shears in their case, Paradox.

    • John Walker says:

      I believe you can play as any of 200 countries, from 1836 to 1938. I’m not sure your peculiar fury is appropriate. Unless it’s directed at their choice for this one particular trailer. In which case it’s still extremely peculiar.

    • pepper says:

      Please forbid them from showing something different!

      A John said, there games can be played in any way you please, right now im conquering south America as Cuba in HOI3, and capturing Europe in EU3 as the mighty country of Holland.

    • Collic says:

      I think the whole point of showing that conflict was a clear nod to history buffs that every nation and conflict of the period is represented, no matter how well known. Another game showing us the American civil war wouldn’t really convey the same thing.

      I would have thought that approach and detail would please history enthusiasts. Either you’re one of those people and your reaction is just.. very odd, or it wasn’t really aimed at you.

  5. Zwebbie says:

    Well, I just played the demo, and the tutorial, at least, is much improved from Paradox’s previous games; I was pretty lost in EU3 and HoI3’s demos (which is why I never bought them), but V2’s is rather good enough and I just played 5 hours straight, annexing pieces of Mexico until Jacobins rose up all over the USA. Fun!

  6. Dr Snofeld says:

    Victoria II: Demo I

    Wolverhampton 1: Newcastle United nil

  7. Durban says:

    I loved the first Victoria, I must of spent hundreds of hours playing it, but I’ll have to pass Vicky II. I can’t buy it, not when the patches cost 30€ and are either labeled as expansions or sold as new games.

    Paradox has become yet another shovelware PC developer-publisher…

  8. Nakki says:

    Yeah. The game will probably be awesome in a year or so after an expansion or two. While expansions do add stuff that is expansionish enough to ask money for, they also have been FIXING STUFF THAT SHOULD DEFINATELY BE PATCHED FOR FREE (massive engine optimizations in first expansion in EU3 and from what I hear, define threatre button or something like that in HoI3) and asking money for that, which is plainly disgusting.

    Also, the games and even the patch-expansions you pay for have often been released in a ludicrous state. Original EU3 was nigh unplayable on computers which actually filled not only the minimum but also the recommended specs. The second EU3 expansion was ludicrously buggy with the new specialized revolters going completely overboard with really interesting results, like landlocked Swizerland getting some reformed colonies from the Caribbean in a revolt. Oh yeah, and almost guaranteed Byzantine Empire success due to Ottomans dying in violent revolts. Original Victoria also had some really stupid math problems – for the few first versions of the game you could just buy luxury factories, buy all the materials from the world market and profit like hell. I actually even made a Krakow – a single province minor nation between Austria-Hungary and Russia – AAR succesfully due to the ability to make fortunes with any civilized nation.

    Still, Europa Universalis 3 is great, but only thanks to 3 expansions. If you’re going to try it, for the love of god, atleast buy the first two expansions, preferably all three.

  9. Nisse says:

    Tried it, and enjoyed it. It was stable and I did not feel that it was incomplete. It is most likely the best release that Paradox has put out so far. Still I will have to wait for the actual game to be released to make a final judgment.

    There seem to be a significant amount of people that have negative preconceptions about the game, based on Paradox previous releases, which is not surprising. So if you are worried I would recommend trying it out, before spitting out venom about the sad state it is probably in. It may surprise you, or it may not. The demo is reasonably extensive, so I think it can be a good indicator about whether you will like the final release or not.

    But I think it is worth giving it a try.

  10. Tetragrammaton says:

    Huzzah! Downloading, fingers crossed.

  11. Jae Armstrong says:

    Goddamn. I’ve just lost eight hours to this. Lots of fun, and as stable as a rock. Bit rough around the edges; the tutorial was very obviously written by someone not at home with English; there’s this odd text bug involving generic state events; the US hurtles toward the civil war far too rapidly… But the core gameplay, that’s sound.

    Anyone scared that the game will be a horrible buggy mess on release day has nothing to fear. :D

  12. Vinraith says:

    Vicky 2, Elemental, and Civ 5 all in the span of a couple of months. How’s a grand strategy fan to keep up?

    • Snall says:

      I plan to not play Civ 5. That should work…unless it turns out to be awesome of course….but I’ll burn that bridge when it’s in front of my enemies.

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, that’s my solution too actually.

    • Schaulustiger says:

      Gah, I nearly forgot about Elemental.
      I will most likely pass on Vicky 2 and get it after the first expansion. Or a few patches. Or, like, right now! Aww, I’m so tempted. I’m currently reading Jurgen Osterhammels history of the 19th century, 1500 pages of distilled historical knowledge and I’m so eager to play a game about that era.

    • Torqual says:

      Thank you for mentioning Elemental, Vinraith. I wasn’t aware of this project.


  13. rhizo says:

    While in a way I understand their decision to restrict the demo to only playing the US (big market, being able to colonize and industrialize early on etc.), I can also see the complexity of playing a great power demolishing some of the budding interest in this game, at least for many newcomers. Being a long time Victoria veteran myself, I still felt a bit lost with the new design while having to control one of the larger nations for my first game. Despite having my ass handed to me by Santa Ana in the battle for Texan independence, the gold version seems like good fun. I’m probably still going to wait for the friday release before starting another game. I really want to get to know the game mechanics playing some smaller nation where it’s a lot easier to recognize the consequences of your actions. I definitely recommend going through the tutorials before starting up the demo game, especially for those new to the series.

    Still I’m anxiously waiting for the mod community to get their hands on the full version. If what they did to the first Victoria is any indication, this game is very likely to become a top two strategy title for me.

  14. Ragnar says:

    Already pre-ordered.

    I could never get into the first one, but this looks really promising.

  15. ugh says:


    That trailer had about much excitement and curiosity-generating-power as a tax sheet.

    Also: HOI 2 severely > HOI 3.

  16. Zsinj says:

    *Hundreds of hours* of what you found to be an enjoyable, engaging game isn’t enough to get you to buy a sequel that may or may not take a few patches to improve upon?

    The weakest part of Victoria has to have been the UI and from all accounts that’s been massively improved from the sequel. Well, I’ll be buying it at least.

  17. Tyra Banks says:

    I will certainly be looking to buy this game at some stage.

    People whinging about Paradox are going overboard.

    e.g Nakki stating you need a top end machine to play EU3. That is simply not true I was running it on a 6yr old machine without experiencing any problems.

    It is also false to say the game was unplayable without the updates. I never bought any of the EU3 updates and yet I was able to have hours of fun with the game in its original state.

    You should think twice before making over the top attacks on Paradox, they are a great company, their heart is in the right place and yet you seek to talk them down. Do you want them to go out of business?

    • Davian says:

      You just can’t argue with Tyra Banks. Her arguments are as firm as her….well.

      Really looking forward to Vicky 2, and judging by the demo it’s going to be a great game.

  18. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    Mexico is really strong.

  19. Nimic says:

    All of this is true…. but I would still buy the EU3 expansions. At least up until In Nomine. They really do improve the game something fierce. It’s now my all-time Paradox favourite.

  20. Evolution101 says:

    I think we could manage a draw at least with Wolves…

  21. Ginger Yellow says:

    Demo crashed three times in the tutorial. Although, to be fair, it hasn’t yet in the main demo.

  22. MU says:

    Heya Mister “People whinging about Paradox are going overboard”

    First gamebreaking bug for V2 – surprise, surprise! – discovered: infinite bureaucrat flooding.

    As witnessed
    link to
    and here
    link to

    the game engine completely botches it’s own balancing and reward/redistribution system and basically screws over you and your economy.

    Another fail well done Paradox!


    Please include this in the wot-i-think-about-the-stink-that-is-Vicky2 whenever you go and do it.
    Seems it’s particularly bad, but not restricted to, Prussia.

    Who’da thunk allowing people to read would have such dire consequences that they’d work for free.