a powerful simulator
Victoria II seems to be the turning point for a break with this bad tradition. Gameplay is solid from the first release. A gigantic tech-tree, unlimited options at diplomacy, a very clever representation of market mechanics, and a very deep interplay between social-poltical-economical sections make this "game" a real powerful simulator of the societies in modernity era. Options at tactical battles are on a pretty standard turn-based level -nothing new here.. but the overall attempt feels more like a recreation of history rather an exact representation of historical events.
Graphics have a very impressive zoom effect, models and map from very near cam reminds me Civ IV (but a little more detailed and much less cartoonish). Music is a flawless attachment to the whole theme of the Victorian age.
With a word: many sleepless nights ahead...