Reviews by thingupstairs

90

Excellent open-ended strategy with an unusual spin

thingupstairs | July 23, 2013 | Review of Crusader Kings II

Not having played the original incarnation I'm in no position to judge how much of what makes Crusader Kings 2 so compelling was already present in the first game, but the core mechanic of playing a dynasty is the most entertaining spin on the strategy genre I have seen in a very long time. There are the usual components of managing your realm's economy and military strategy and conquest (albeit not overly complex), but the heart of the game lies in politics, intrigue and dynastic planning, as you are given control of not a single character but a whole line of successors - you will soon find out that even though your current ruler managed to conquer a whole kingdom, without proper planning you might find on his death that you are now control a very young, inept and unpopular heir whom all your former allies will almost immediately turn on. You need to plan years or even decades ahead and there are so many events that may come into play that you are never quite sure of the outcome. This is what truly makes CK2 stand out and make it both fun and addictive.

The open-ended character of the game (and even more so the addition of major non-cosmetic DLCs, in particular The Republic, The Sword of Islam and The Old Gods) actually makes each individual game palpably different based on the region, culture, starting year, leader and the ultimate goal you choose at the beginning: the replayability is excellent. All in all, highly recommended.