Apocalypse Then: Victoria II – Heart Of Darkness

Victoria II’s Heart of Darkness expansion focuses on the colonisation of Africa but also bolsters the possibilities for smaller nations to meddle in global affairs. The enhanced colony mechanics include escalating crises, improved naval combat and expanded diplomatic negotiations, all of which will also impact on other nation-building activities. The expansion will be available on April 16th and pre-orders are now open, with a variety of digital shops, prices and incentives already listed. In other news, the stuffed shirts in Paradox’ Department of Serious Historical Matters refused to join in with the lies and deceit merriment of April Buffoons’ Day but did announce Europa Universalis: The Musical, which you can see below.

Bring it to the stage, I say. The songs are actually available for download – check the links in this forum post.

Here’s the Victoria II trailer.

It’s now that part of the day where I realise I’m excited about ‘authentic period newspapers’ appearing in a game. It’s the part of the day that tends to immediately precede my first swig of something that burns the throat and cleanses the mind.


  1. Core says:

    “In other news, the stuffed shirts in Paradox’ Department of Serious Historical Matters refused to join in with the lies and deceit merriment of April Buffoons’ Day”

    I wish the zombie dlc for CK2 was real.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Yeah, me too. Though I loved the confused people in the official CK2 forum who just couldn’t decide if it was a real DLC, and if they should be angry or not.

    • RedViv says:

      Personally, I found the East vs West Women’s Edition quite fun and charming.

  2. Schaap says:

    I’m pretty excited about this, looking at the dev diaries they added some nice new features (crisis system and industry tweaks seem fun) and some ui improvements copied from CK2. A house divided transformed vicky2 from an ok game to a good game, I’m itching to see what this’ll do.

  3. Kasab says:

    Coventry really is the heart of darkness.

  4. Mordsung says:

    Real life me: Man, the colonization of Africa by Europe was rough and brutal.


    • Gap Gen says:

      Just finished watching the Battle of Algiers yesterday, and had a fruitful discussion with Monty re the issue of torture in counterinsurgency versus the coolness of shades in military officers.

    • Smashbox says:

      And Adam called it “nation building”. Not quite, methinks.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    Looking forward to the new unit type, the Couple of Guys with Machineguns.

  6. Doctor_Hellsturm says:

    I really love Europa Universalis and I tried to love Vicky II, but I found the trade and economy too advanced. The fluctuating world market did me in. Has anything changed radically with the two expansions?

  7. Captain Joyless says:

    So European involvement in Africa led to atrocities on the level of the Holocaust, particularly in the Congo Free State, where forced labor and death penalty for opposition (or even for failing to meet work quotas) killed up to 10 million. (See, for example, King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild.)

    Thus it bothers me that we will get an ultra-sanitized version of this time period that, given Paradox’s policy in every other game, is pretty much guaranteed to just pretend none of this ever happened. With World War II, it’s questionable but at the same time almost everyone knows about the Holocaust and has seen movies like Schindler’s List or Europa Europa. By the same token, most people know “USSR/Stalin = gulags = bad.”

    But here we have an equal evil that is less well-known, and Paradox is still content to simply ignore it and pander to the nationalistic fantasies of its Western fanbase. Even without questioning the motives of many of the players, it’s disappointing that Paradox continues to ignore anything that might be remotely problematic in history. In fact, things like pogroms and Jews have been INCREASINGLY written out of Paradox’s history games (including their recent decision to exclude historical Jewish Khazars from the CK2: The Old Gods expansion).

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      While I don’t disagree that we shouldn’t be whitewashing history like this, Paradox’s specific problem here is that a not insignificant portion of their playerbase, the ones who are most in favour of simulating this sort of thing, are in favour of it because they want to lovingly simulate the genocide of their least favoured ethnicity. Paradox, I think somewhat naturally, balk at becoming purveyors of “Ethic Cleansing 2013” to neo-nazis. D:

      • Rangerage says:

        What’s wrong brother?
        Not up for a taste of kebab removal?

    • iridescence says:

      While I sympathize with your sentiments about colonialism, I’m wondering how you expect them to portray an event like this with full moral outrage? Sure I guess you could have a mechanic where you torture African slaves or something but not only would it not be fun for any sane person but it would be kind of exploitative in its own right.

      What else can you do then? PSA popups in the middle of the game telling people what really happened? I don’t really see the point of that. Of course Paradox games present a sanitized view of history and warfare because that’s what pretty much all games do. It’s like those crazy people who really think playing GTA or Call of Duty will turn people into mass-murdering sociopaths.

      If you want to really an unsanitized view of history, go read a book about it (or rather read several books by different authors). Don’t expect to get a completely accurate portrayal of history from a game.

      Also, the vast majority of people in Paradox’s target audience know that colonialism was bad and killed millions of innocent people just as much as they know about Hitler and Stalin.

  8. Sine says:

    But the question is, have they improved on that horrible, horrible westernisation mechanic? If yes, might buy…

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Depends what you’re looking for. It’s still based on research, but military-focused countries can now “steal” RPs by conquering territory (the more developed, the better). That allows the player to be more proactive in pursuing westernisation.

      But on the other hand: V2 is not exactly a target-rich environment for an unciv.