Reviews for Crusader Kings II


Grand strategy on a large scale

damaffin | Oct. 2, 2015 | See all damaffin's reviews »

Crusader Kings 2 is a great example of a strategy game, done right and it is that for multiple reasons. First off, the mechanics of the game are simply awesome, the politics and war system are extremely creative and inspiring. Secondly it has great replay value, because no two gameplays are ever the same, thanks to random instances, like your character dying from disease at a random point in the timeline. In my experience around strategy games, I've never seen a finer version of grand strategy like this and recommend it to every strategy fan out there.


Favorite Strategy Game of all time

palmtreebearer | Aug. 18, 2015 | See all palmtreebearer's reviews »

This game has the most hours played out of all the games in my Steam Library. I think it is up around 500 hours now, and that is probably on the low end for a lot of fans of this game. Admittedly, this game can be a lot more expensive than it looks once you add on all the DLC, but I played almost 50 hours before I bought my first DLC, and if you are going to put that many hours into a game buying a couple of DLC when they are on sale is a small price to pay. It takes a very unique look at the strategy genre where you are most worried about your dynasty, your character, not necessarily your country. I'll sometimes screw over my own country for an opportunity to advance the status of my dynasty. It is a very cut throat game where you will probably end up killing children and having innocent people excommunicated from the church and later executed. You will prey on the weak and betray people who were your friends. And the AI will also attack you at your weakest. But once you get over a learning curve, it is a lot of fun. For a military game that is only a very small part moving your armies around, I recommend this game.


Great Game with even Greater Mods and DLC

Moss20 | May 27, 2015 | See all Moss20's reviews »

Crusader Kings II is a great political strategy game that focuses more on your current character rather than your country. The game does have a slight learning curve and it make take a few game sessions to get the hang of it unless you look up guides or watch YouTube videos. The game gets kind of pricey with all the DLC available but there are only a few worth getting, such as the ones that allow you to play as different religions or have earlier start dates, stay away from the cosmetic packs. There is great mod support for the game and you can even play your own version of Game of Thrones.


Political Strategy at its finest

Zaggeta | May 8, 2015 | See all Zaggeta's reviews »

In order to appeal to mass markets, strategy games tend to cater to competitive battle gamers more than any other. Paradox has been the one company to prove that strategy gamers don't need optimised mineral production to keep them happy. They just need slowpaced gameplay, ludicrous scenarios and the freedom to mess up in hilarious ways. Crusader Kings II, the medieval cog in the Paradox lineup of grand strategy, is a medieval political simulator that sees the player arranging everything from territory and armies to family relations and drinking competitions. The level of immersion is immense but be warned that there is a steep learning curve. After that curve is climbed, however, you'll be knee deep in one of the most addicting strategies of our time.


A game about killing heirs and setting up weddings

smilzoboboz | April 24, 2015 | See all smilzoboboz's reviews »

Grand strategy, politics of the dark age. This game is one of the most detailed historical strategy games you will ever manage to play. You not only have to care about territories, but mostly you have to manage all your vassals, their wives and heirs, not to mention your wife and heirs. Not to mention the clerks. This game, like icing on a cake, features a really good and glorious soundtrack that makes you feel great. Even if this game is awesome I really have to suggest it only for die-hard fans of strategy games, there is a lot of plotting, scheming, politics and such involved and "outsiders" may not enjoy that.


A unique historical dynasty simulator

Pandita | March 27, 2015 | See all Pandita's reviews »

Crusader Kings II is a great historical “dynasty simulator” – a cross between an RPG and a grand strategy game, whereby players control the head of a European, Middle Eastern or Indian family from the 8th century until the 15th century. Since the characters are not immortal, players progress through different characters (the heirs of their starting character), unless there are no more heirs, at which point the game ends! Hence, diplomacy as well as martial power, plays a major role in the game – strategic alliances with other families, as well as favourable marriage choices (to produce heirs!), will affect a family’s ability to project power in their region. With a recent DLC (Way of Life), the roleplaying element is greatly enhanced, offering much more customisation as to character traits and so forth. Decent graphics, responsive developer, frequent updates.


Best Grand Strategy

ClassicUtopia | Oct. 14, 2014 | See all ClassicUtopia's reviews »

New to Paradox? Crusader Kings 2 has a rather steep learning curve - but it's definitely worth it! Ruling in Europe's feudal system as a count, duke, king, or even emperor, this alternative-history grand strategy game is like no other. With DLC including Sword of Islam, which lets you play as Muslims, Rajas of India, which lets you play as Indians, and The Republic, which lets you play as small city-state republics, you'll spend countless hours on this game - I have over 100 hours and even I'm still learning! If you're hoping for a quick game, this is not for you, but if you're willing to invest for depth and a rich, complex experience, you can't go wrong with this.


A great game

Dingusaurus | Sept. 24, 2014 | See all Dingusaurus's reviews »

This is the best grand strategy game that I have ever played. I have over 110 hours into it, and I still have yet to tire of it as a whole. My only complaint about the game is that it does get boring after a while, so I'd only recommend it if you got the demo, played around with it for a while, and liked it.


Of schemes and plots

lairdjaren | July 5, 2014 | See all lairdjaren's reviews »

Read Machiavelli's The Prince or watch Game of Thrones' Tywin Lannister and think to yourself, 'Yeah, I could do that." Well, you probably wouldn't survive a year in the medieval era, but at least with this superlative game you can hone your medieval statecraft and plot your way to glory all from the comfort of your armchair. No other computer game sinks you into the feudal mindset quite like CK2. Welcome to a time before the rise of nation-states. Your territories will be held together or disintegrate on the basis of vassal relationships. CK2 is a game of thousands individual characters, each with their own inclinations and motivations, and success or failure rides on how you can manipulate this feudal matrix. This basic setup also plays directly into mechanics that keep the game balanced in a way that feels natural. As you expand, conquest by external powers may diminish, but the threat of internal division grows as you are forced to dispense an ever-growing share of territories to restless vassals. Some minor quibbles include paradox's typically poorly crafted tutorials, but ck2 is very approachable and easy enough to learn after a little bit of effort. Oh, and there's a really nice mod that recreates the Game of Throne universe.


Kill your first two sons so number three inherits your kingdom.

m0rogfar | June 10, 2014 | See all m0rogfar's reviews »

The situation described above is a typical part of Crusader Kings 2. It could be for any reason. Maybe he had better stats? Maybe it was because if you have more children your death would cause your kingdom to be split up between your sons. Crusader Kings 2 is a game about family and medieval ages. You play as a noble in the medieval ages and you simply do what you want. You don't have to be the nations leader. You can also play as one of his (or her) vassals. There aren't that many limitations that cannot be overcome by waiting and doing other things. It is amazing! The feeling of freedom to do what you want is great. Another thing i love about this game is that the developers go quite a bit out of the way to support modding. This leads to many great mods that deserves to be checked out. Buy it. m0rogfar


Buy It Now

cgrozar | May 17, 2014 | See all cgrozar's reviews »

This game is amazing. I bought the demo, played a hour, then went and pre-ordered the game. I have gotten countless hours out of this game. Take control of a medieval dynasty and lead them to glory. You'll be involved in crusades, court politics, civil wars, ect. I could go on and on. It has great emergent story-telling, pretty good graphics, and is not too difficult to catch on to, but pretty difficult to master. This is a must have game for all strategy fans.


Ever wondered how to be a king?

RakuPL_Markolf | May 14, 2014 | See all RakuPL_Markolf's reviews »

Crusader Kings II is all about being a ruler. You can choose to start as a count, duke or even a king and guide your dynasty succesfully through the medieval times. You can even become ruler of a Holy Roman Empire. So grab it, create your own ruler (needs Ruler Designer DLC altough) and become the most eminent power of the world.


One of the best Grand Strategy Games

dagozu | April 24, 2014 | See all dagozu's reviews »

CK2 is a master piece from Paradox! You can play any country/nation/person available in the gameworld and choose your own fate. The depth of the characters in this game is stunning and the details available is massive. Getting the DLCs makes this game so much better, brings new units, events, characters, more time. I would recommend this game to anyone who likes history and strategy.


A unique strategy experience

Sganotak | Jan. 17, 2014 | See all Sganotak's reviews »

Unlike other Paradox games, Crusader Kings II focuses more on creating a dynasty than conquering the world. If you're new to Paradox's grand strategy titles Crusader Kings II is the perfect starting point as it is a lot easier to get into than Europa Universalis, Victoria or Hearts of Iron. It still has a steep learning curve and the lacklustre tutorials don't make up for it, but fortunately there are lots of Youtube tutorials and Let's Plays that explain the game mechanics The gameplay is a mixture of grand strategy and RPG. When you start a game you can play as one of hundreds of different characters, be it a King or a count of a small province. There is no end goal or objective in the game, which gives you the freedom to tell your own stories and do pretty much whatever you want with the game. Each character, has several attributes and personality traits than can affect his relationships with other nobles. There are also some random events that tend to repeat themselves some times. The AI is very realistic which makes the game more immersive There is also a wealth of DLC available for the game. Most of them are just (overpriced) cosmetic upgrades to the game like better portraits for the different races, or unit models, but there are also major ones which enhance the game and add a lot more gameplay options to the game, like playing as a Muslim, Pagan or creating a Republic. The game is very mod friendly and the modding community is very strong. I personally recommend the Song of Ice and Fire mod if you're a fan of the tv series/books. If you're a fan of strategy games and medieval dynasties, this is the game for you


Steep learning curve, ultimately excellent

averagestudent | Jan. 4, 2014 | See all averagestudent's reviews »

This is one of my most played games (180hrs on steam) for a reason- it is the best Grand Strategy game out there. Due to its sandbox nature you have to make your own goals, which I love, and work towards them over generations of your dynasty. It is much more in-depth than other strategy games such as CIV or Total War, as it has lots of modifiers and multipliers to keep track of, meaning the AI has a lot more factors to consider and making it more realistic. It is only an 85/100 because of the incredibly steep learning curve (not itself a bad thing) and because of the lack of a coherent and understandable tutorial. Watching an 8hr 'Beginner Series' on youtube is not something I would think I should have to do in order to do anything in this game. However, once all the controls and mechanics are learnt it is an incredibly detailed and fun game, and there is an amazing sense of accomplishment that comes from starting a lowly Scottish duke and working your way up to be the leader of the known world.


A fun and engrossing strategy

penddraig | Jan. 2, 2014 | See all penddraig's reviews »

CKII is a marvelously engrossing game driven by characters, roleplaying, intrigue, politics, and war. Unlike other strategy games, CKII pulls you in with the stories you can tell. In CKII, you can literally tell thousands upon thousands of unique, individual tales of dominance, murder, and even love. However, CKII is still a game of grand strategy and, despite the fact it is sometimes derisively referred to as “strategy-lite”, the RPG nature of this game should not deter hardcore strategists. The hallmarks of the best strategy games are all here. You can completely ignore the roleplaying but I personally feel this adds to my strategy. CKII is an open-ended game spanning hundreds of years of European, Middle Eastern, and North African history. The game has no end goal or mission system. It is completely up to the player to create their own goals or to play with none at all. Some people find this lack of structure boring and have no idea what the “point” of the game is. Again, I point to the character-driven nature of the game. The purpose is to tell your story how you want to. On the topic of DLC, many newcomers get very confused. There are many small and large DLCs and not all are totally necessary. For a comprehensive list, you can check the forums but in general, I would recommend the Big Five: Sons of Abraham, The Old Gods, The Republic, Sword of Islam, and Legacy of Rome. All of these add brand new features and systems that really add to the game. There is also an official save game converter to port your CKII game to Europa Universalis IV (if you have it), and a fantasy one called Sunset Invasion which adds invasive technologically advanced Aztecs. Alternatively, you can not get any of these. Paradox has an awesome policy where many features from DLCs are included free in the vanilla game. I strongly recommend this game.


A Great Grand Strategy game

ELELITHETERRIBL | Dec. 14, 2013 | See all ELELITHETERRIBL's reviews »

Crusader Kings 2 is one of the best grand strategy games i have ever played (not that there are too many of those but still). Crusader Kings as opposed to the other games from paradox focuses on diplomacy and relations between people, when in other games it doesn't matter who leads your state in crusader kings u don't play as a country you play as a dynasty when you die your son takes control and than hes son and so on. If you decide to pick up the game you should also pick up The Old Gods dlc which takes the starting date 300 years back and adds a lot of other really good things to the game. The new Sons of Abraham dlc is also very good but its not as important as The Old Gods dlc. Over all the game is great and you should definitely try it


One of my favorites

jesterx7769 | Nov. 3, 2013 | See all jesterx7769's reviews »

Easily one of my favorite games ever. I am going to give this game a 95 because it could use a little more action. However while this game may not be the most action packed fun game I believe it is one of the best developed. The way the AI works with all the different traits and character decisions is fantastic. You can just be a watch and the game will unfold in its own unique universe. The DLC for the game is also fantastic adding lots of value and different ways to play the game compared to the normal DLC that you get from games.


Strategy : one word, one world

McHawk | Oct. 31, 2013 | See all McHawk's reviews »

I started playing this game cause it was in a bundle, it came with a lot of other games, but it shined among all. You can start your way into this deep game playing the tutorial, and even if you are completely noob in grand strategy games (like me :) ) , you can acquire the basics and start to build your own name against other European rulers. You will have a lot of different ways to spread your name and conquer other countries (assasination, marriages, war). Graphics is nice, but you will work with a lot of static images; on the other hand,soundtrack is very good and immersive,with a lot of different epic tracks.


Change in Strategy

ethnarch | Oct. 30, 2013 | See all ethnarch's reviews »

Spent the most time on this game out of all my steam games. Its a good entry level grand strategy games. After playing CIV V and Total War, this is so much more in depth. Its a refreshing change to have to focus on my dynasty rather than state. The gameplay mechanics take a while, I suggest just playing around with it. If found playing the AGOT mod to be one of the best ways to learn as the mod feels more simple than the base game. Hardest part was getting into it because of the complex mechanics, but once you get over the learning curve it is a rich and in depth game.


grand strategy without the blobbing

gwynplaine | Oct. 23, 2013 | See all gwynplaine's reviews »

A common problem to a lot of grand strategy games is the tendency to blob. There’s a critical point where if you’re successful enough in Europa Universalis, Civ or Total War, the momentum keeps building and your color on the map keeps swallowing other parts. If you don’t abuse saves and loads in this game, it happens a lot more rarely. The family dynasty overlaid on top of empire building is a really exciting and nerve racking and frustrating game. Better for the hardcore fan who’s had enough of the other big strategy games. The DLC for this game is a big racket though and hard to keep track of. A lot of people do recommend this as a first strategy game but with the hours that it seems to take up, it’s ridiculous DLC and emphasis on dynasties, I think Europa is a better choice.


Amazing yet complex game

JoxerNL | Oct. 9, 2013 | See all JoxerNL's reviews »

This was the first Grand Strategy game i played, and the learning cuurve was extremely high, however if you sit through the tutorial, and do a few practice games you will have it under control in no time. The game itself is fantastic and very interesting, I never played a session that was the same, everytime i play a new session something new happens! Many hours of enjoyment in this titel, a definite -must have-.


Astounding Way to Lose Time.

iRagex | Oct. 3, 2013 | See all iRagex's reviews »

When I picked up this game I had no idea what I was doing. The outline of it all was confusing and I was lost in all sense of the word. Once I spent some time in the tutorial however, things changed. Crusader Kings II thrusts you into the role of a King, you have to worry about everything from plotting backstabbing family members to enemies with much larger armies. In the end your line of succession is dependent on exactly how you spend your time and how you play your role as the Kingdoms leader. War is no simple thing as it has been made out to be in other games. The game isn't stunning in graphics, it won't make your eyes pop with excitement from how pretty it is. But give yourself time and you'll be lost within the swaying of your sails and the marching of your armies as you ride for your enemies Throne.


Fantastic Dynasty Simulator

jep1138 | Sept. 9, 2013 | See all jep1138's reviews »

Crusader Kings II is the first grand strategy game I've ever really gotten into. The tutorials do a good job of explaining the basics, (which is more than I can say for some other Paradox titles), though the game still requires some level of autodidacticism. Once the learning is out of the way, the actual meat of the game is brilliantly enjoyable. It can get rather complex, managing the intricate hierarchies and familial relations of medieval Europe, but it is precisely this complexity, combined with the personal aspect of the game (as you are playing a character rather than a nation) that make it so much fun.


the best grand strategy game

Tomtekopf | Aug. 29, 2013 | See all Tomtekopf's reviews »

This game is a ton of fun, especially with friends. The way that you're the head of a dynasty rather than just the controller of a country really makes this game stand out. The way that you can go from count to emperor in a few generation really makes this game fantastic. Can't recommend it enough!


Good game, but complex

blofeld | Aug. 19, 2013 | See all blofeld's reviews »

If you have never played a game from Paradox before, you should really research this game before you buy it. It is complex, just as every Paradox game. It took me weeks of looking at youtube videos and playing trial and error before I somewhat understand the game, and I have played all other Paradox games before this, including CK1. Also, since the DLC policy of Paradox is worthless, consider that you need to get the 4(?) DLCs offered for this one in order to make sure you have a fully patched game. If you give it time though it is very rewarding. The role playing of your dynasty is oh so fun at times and the strategy is limitless.


Crusader Kings 2

Kablewy | Aug. 10, 2013 | See all Kablewy's reviews »

Really good game, but kinda a really bad tutorial; best to supplement your understanding with youtube or other sites. I've never played a grand strategy game, but I really took a shine to this one. I must admit I've spent 100+ hours on it, there is so much content and the difficulty can cause some major headaches when you are running a nation. That said, really hard to loose a game because of the grading system is being measured against the real life dynasty (I think) so as long as you're not as bad as the previous ruler you can get a good score. My best advice for new players is start off as a duke or a lord in the Holy Roman Empire and learn what you can or can't do and just fool around.


Countless hours of plotting, warfare and diplomacy

OdedFire | Aug. 7, 2013 | See all OdedFire's reviews »

For all of you out there looking for the Game of Thrones experiance, look no further. Crusader Kings II captures the same spirit of plotting, shrewd diplomacy and brutal warfare in a historically-accurate medieval setting. The game gets even better with each and every patch. with most content released for free independently from the DLC, which is also totally worth it. If you ever wanted to kill your grandchildren so your inbred idiot savant son can ascend to the throne of France, this is your game.


Great grand strategy

Mandemon | July 25, 2013 | See all Mandemon's reviews »

Games like this do not really exist. It's Role-Playing Game and Grand Strategy Game rolled all in one, with dash of Sims in. Sounds like a recipe for a disaster, but somehow Paradox has managed to create an awesome mix. Game has great amount of details in it and it can sometimes be confusing, but overall, game is easy to get in. Even after player fails, he will go "So THAT'S how it works", rather than "THIS IS BS!" which is always good. Graphics wise, the game is nothing big. Most of the time, player won't even look at the beautifully rendered map, but rather a color map showing counties, religions, nations, dynasties etc. However, this is good in sense that the game won't be GPU intense. Now, major downside for the game is that it does not really shine without all the major DLCs, these being Sword of Islam, The Republic and The Old Gods which make the entire map (sans theocracies) playable. There are also lots of optional graphics and music DLCs, which while not vital, are kinda immersion important. Game is very addicting. You can find yourself pouring hundreds of ours trying to build eternal dynasty and while technically succeeding, finding that the branch of the dynasty you were playing has lost all it's power. Game also offers, thanks to it's random nature, some of the best laughs that rise from the game. Such as British Isles, belonging to Egypt or some minor duke rising to control of massive empire. Game is good and great introduction to Paradox style grand strategy games. It focus on smaller portion, but offers the same scale as their other tittles.


Sims Medieval for big boys

mahon | July 23, 2013 | See all mahon's reviews »

I used to like strategy games from Paradox. They're much more serious and less 'gamey' than some other grand strategies, including the Civilization series. Now what I really liked about the first Crusader Kings game was that it was a kind of a medieval strategy sandbox. Now you got more of the same: Better, bigger, more! The game is not the kind of eye candy that RTS or Civilization V fans are used to. It's just a large map, some info boxes and charts. Plus text. Text, text, text and some more text. But it also sets no predefined goals. Yo'u are the master of your game, you set your goals, you decide if you achieved your objective or not. Then the game is more about the human element than other Europa Universalis style games. It's all about your dynasty, growing it, expanding it and tangling it into a web of connections and relations in the medieval world. About personalities of your characters, about their development. I often laugh that it's like Sims but for more serious players. There's one thing I hate about this game: it takes ages to load. Of course, it doesn't need to pause to load additional content in game, but the initial loading time doesn't encourage you to a quick 'only a few minutes' gaming session, but then the game was not meant for such. It's a deep immersion game and as such takes time to savour. Very addictive, very time consuming and very rewarding. Probably not perfect, but additional expansions make it even better!


Excellent open-ended strategy with an unusual spin

thingupstairs | July 23, 2013 | See all thingupstairs's reviews »

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.


Crusader kings 2 great game

ArmokGreyjoy | July 9, 2013 | See all ArmokGreyjoy's reviews »

Crusader kings 2 is one the best games I have ever played its really great and there's so much re-playability I spent so much time playing this game and still I haven't exhaust it also the multiplayer with friends can be very fun but at least in my experience more then 4 people and youre gonna have problems, the game might be hard to learn if you never played a grand strategy of paradox before but there are many lets plays and guides in forums that really help you to understand and how to play, also another great feature is the many mods which the community makes most of them are really well done and interesting if youre tired of the regular map there also mods with a fantasy twist like Elder Scrolls world or Westrose of the Game of Thrones book.


Paradox's Finest Strategy Game Yet

David732 | July 8, 2013 | See all David732's reviews »

Although the premise of a feudal dynasty simulator sounds about as boring as possible, Paradox has managed to build it into a compelling strategy game by offering you many tools (assassination, marriage, scheming, etc.) to execute your ambitions and place your house on top of Europe. In addition, the game has received a lot of development since its publication last year, with DLC's for Muslims, Pagans, Republics, and even the Aztecs (as a bit of a joke). If strategy games are your thing, this one should last you hours upon hours.


So Addictive

ShapEile | July 7, 2013 | See all ShapEile's reviews »

I have sunk 55 hours into this game in the past two months and I can safely say you will play it for hours on end. The game can be complex to some and even for myself the amount of options and menus was a little overwhelming and I have played a lot of strategy games but, you will want to learn the mechanics and play it because it is truly unique. Controlling your dynasty's survival is your main goal and you will conquer, bribe, cheat, assassinate and entertain other countries, Dukes, Counts and you will love it all. Playing as the Duke of Northumberland and York was the most fun I have had in months. The tutorial is rubbish but youtube can help you if you are new. Also, the GoT mod is also worth looking at. Great game even with the portrait bug that has remained ever since launch and the inconvenience of a discard all button for your 35 separate messages.


True Grand Strategy

YggdrasilsSword | July 6, 2013 | See all YggdrasilsSword's reviews »

Paradox Interactive's Crusader Kings II is one of the best Grand Strategy games on the market today. Its main competitors, such as Victoria II and the upcoming Europa Universalis IV, all share the distinction of also being made by Paradox. This studio mainly does one thing -- making historical simulation games -- and they do it very well. The main appeal of Crusader Kings II is the sheer extensiveness of the game. You can select any notable nation or province in any year within a 400 year span, and create a sort of "what if?" historical scenario by controlling that region's leader. There are, of course, the obvious candidates: kings and emperors whose names are in every history textbook. Of course, playing as a little-known duke or count can be interesting too, though your goals may be less grandiose. If you couldn't find something to enjoy in a history class, this probably isn't the game for you. On the other hand, college history majors can have a field day trying out every "What If?" scenario they've ever though of. By default, you can only play as the traditional medieval Christian nations, but the five major DLC packs each add a new culture to the game. Free updates have added the additional cultures into the game world for free, and purchasing the relevant expansion merely unlocks these new groups for you to play as yourself. With these packs, you can play as Islamic, Pagan, or even Aztec rulers, or eschew monarchy entirely and play as a republic. If you get tired of the traditional CK2 experience and want to try something new, playing as one of these alternate factions will definitely enrich your game. On the other hand, I don't recommend the little $1 microtransaction DLCs. They add background music for certain cultures, or special army models for certain cultures in certain time periods, or special banners for certain nations and ruling houses. They are highly unlikely to impact your overall gameplay experience, and would probably not even be noticed amidst the vast breadth of content already in the game. One last boon to Crusader Kings II is the great modding community. If you want certain nations fleshed out better, or if you want to play CK2 in your favorite medieval fantasy world, there may be a modder out there who has not only thought the same thing, but has already made that vision a reality.


Strategy gaming at it's finest

ConorEngelb | July 5, 2013 | See all ConorEngelb's reviews »

Never before in my gaming history have I felt so despondent as when my son died leaving me with my daughter, stuck in a marriage that ended our bloodline, my sole surviving heir. Crusader Kings II is full of such moments, but while they can be frustrating, they can also be highly satisfying when manipulated to expand your borders. While the learning curve is rather steep, and the tutorial of not very much help at all, once you get the hang of things (or at least a vague idea as to what you're doing), you'll know your time was well spent. Probably. Unless your son dies. But that daughter's husband is such a tempting assassination target, isn't he? After all, when you play the game of thrones you win or you die.


Endless possibilities

eXistenZ | July 1, 2013 | See all eXistenZ's reviews »

Although the tutorial is very lacking (as with all paradox games it seems), don't let that put you off. After a few tries you'll have understood the mechanics, and plot, fight and marry your way across Europe. The people you can play are almost unlimited (including the habsburgs, the hohenzollern and the paleologi), and no playthrough is the same. You'll spend 100's of hours on this, and still have the feeling there is so much to do. Worth every penny


Ambitious game

albero78 | June 12, 2013 | See all albero78's reviews »

I like history and strategic games. I bought this game because it was on sale and it was quite appealing to me. I read around enthusiastic reviews and I bought it straight away. I think the concept of the game is nice and very ambitious: reproducing medieval Europe on such a scale and allow the player to manage his/her kingdom is really a big challenge. The game gives you in effect the possibility to declare war, forge alliance, convert people to your own religion and arrange weddings to increase your power. It is very deep and complex. This is not a game where you can conquer the world by raising armies and destroy your enemies: it is very much about diplomacy. The problem is that being all this very complex a better tutorial is needed: I played several hours and I cannot say I manage well the game and often I have unexpected surprises that I don't know how to manage. The gaming interface is also not the best and doesn't help to ease the learning process. To conclude: I think it is a good game, but it is just for a niche of players that in a way or another learn how to master the game.


Amazing Straegy

ryanq | June 7, 2013 | See all ryanq's reviews »

Take control of a feudal lord ranging from a lowly count up to the Holy Roman Emperor. Manage you dynasty by arranging marriages, plotting (and foiling) assassinations, and warring with your enemies. Paradox has released multiple patches since release which only improve the game even more. Also I recommend the DLC's as well.


Fit for only the mightiest of kings

NewfieBullet | June 7, 2013 | See all NewfieBullet's reviews »

The grand historical strategy game Crusader Kings 2 from Paradox Interactive set during Europe in the high and late Middle Ages is not for everyone, but for the people who it is for, there is no better strategy game available. The game has a steep learning which may turn off some new players. Although there is a tutorial, it never really delves deep enough into the complex intricacies of the strategy in Crusader Kings 2. Although a quick Google search can find a number of very effective written and video tutorials, players just using the in game tutorial may feel lost and confused with all the mechanics. The graphics in Crusader Kings 2 are a mixed bag. The game has a very pleasant board game look, with nice looking portraits and an effective interface. The unit appearance and animation looks very second rate especially when viewed up close. Crusader Kings 2 will bore some, and thrill others. The complex strategy and backstabbing throughout the game is exhilarating, even with the steep learning curve and lacking tutorial, Crusader Kings 2 is a game people should play. Whether for 3 hours, or 300.


Excellent game, excellent policy

MitchK1989 | May 28, 2013 | See all MitchK1989's reviews »

Unlike most paradox games (I'm looking at you, HOI3) - this one remains a great buy. Previous paradox games have a nasty habit of basically punishing later adopters by having mandatory expansions just to keep the game up to date (like EU3 - try playing the base game today. Just try it. Or Vic 2. You need at LEAST AHD for vic 2 to be a decent game). Paradox's new system (for CK2, and later EU4) includes the 'must have' content of each DLC in patches, leaving you to only buy the DLC you are interested in. For example: Sword of Islam - The patch that came with sword of islam did a complete overhaul of how the unplayable muslim half of the map functioned - AS A PATCH (so even if you have no interest in playing muslims, you get the much needed updates to gameplay when you inevitably clash with them)... The only part that was DLC was the ability to play the reworked muslims (aka unlocking entirely new options that weren't there before). The DLC has all been reasonably priced too (I say this as I eagerly await my pre-ordered old gods expansion - which includes overhauled mechanics for pagans and a new tech system REGARDLESS of whether you buy it or not - but includes the ability to play pagans and a new earlier start date if you purchase)


This is a true strategy game!

ExpiredJordan | May 27, 2013 | See all ExpiredJordan's reviews »

This is one of the very few games nowadays that doesn't dumb itself down for a casual audience, and because of that it is deeply complex, has a huge learning curve, but an amazing payoff for even the simplest of things. I am still learning new features and I am nearly 150 hours into the game, that is saying something compared to other "grand strategy" games that get stale 20 hours in. The learning curve is much higher that other games because of these added complexities, so do not expect to just jump into this game taking over half of Europe. There are no set goals in this game for you to follow, so you need to set your own smaller goals like conquering Scotland or stealing your brothers titles and then build your way up from there. Overall I would give this game a 93. The only reason why it doesn't get a full 100 is because of the time invested trying to learn how to play, but trust me it is time well spent.


This is a true strategy game!

ExpiredJordan | May 27, 2013 | See all ExpiredJordan's reviews »

This is one of the very few games nowadays that doesn't dumb itself down for a casual audience, and because of that it is deeply complex, has a huge learning curve, but an amazing payoff for even the simplest of things. I am still learning new features and I am nearly 150 hours into the game, that is saying something compared to other "grand strategy" games that get stale 20 hours in. The learning curve is much higher that other games because of these added complexities, so do not expect to just jump into this game taking over half of Europe. There are no set goals in this game for you to follow, so you need to set your own smaller goals like conquering Scotland or stealing your brothers titles and then build your way up from there. Overall I would give this game a 93. The only reason why it doesn't get a full 100 is because of the time invested trying to learn how to play, but trust me it is time well spent.


A deep grand strategy game, you just have to look past its flaws

twigg | May 27, 2013 | See all twigg's reviews »

Crusader Kings 2 is a grand strategy game set in the Middle Ages (1066-1453) that allows you take over a particular noble dynasty and try to make them the most prestigious family possible. You do this by conquering land, marrying family members into other royal families, going on Crusades, and making/pressing claims for your families members for land. Because the setup of the game is based off history, there is no balance between the different families. Some will control whole empires, while others will barely have a plot of land to call their own. The game is unforgiving in it's depth, the ingame tutorial does an incredibly poor job of explaining what you can do and you will be spammed by so many in game messages that you will quickly lose sight of some of the more important ones. Other than some bugs and a steep learning curve, the biggest problem this game has is it's efficiency of scale. This game feels designed for the process of going from a simple count to an all powerful king, but not for going from a king/emperor to conqueror of the world. The interface just can't handle all the information you will get if you have even a medium sized empire. And there is so much micromanagement necessary to keep your empire from collapsing (because your vassals the most inopportune time to rebel with the great faction system the game has) that it quickly becomes a chore to continue progressing. Crusader Kings 2 is a game about your families medieval rise to glory, and while it is definitely rough around the edges, few games can capture that same feeling of achievement when you finally claw your way up to the top of your kingdom. Deus Vult!


Strategy at it best

Kowar | May 26, 2013 | See all Kowar's reviews »

Paradox has created a strategy masterpiece. You can rule your own historic dynasty and you have plenty to do. You'll need a lot of time and practice to master all facets of the game because it is complex and challenging. I recommend this game if you are willing to invest hundreds of hours. DLC's are needed to play Muslim, Republic and Pagan factions and trust me you want to play them.


Absolutely addictive

adiron | May 26, 2013 | See all adiron's reviews »

An absolutely wonderful game in every respect. Like other paradox games, it offers immense depth and a sometimes strange learning curve - but don't be put off by this, as it is always rewarding. The interface has been vastly improved compared to EU3, and not only does it look better, it is more usable. CKII's "personal touch", i.e. dealing with one dynasty rather than an entire "state" gives micromanagement an entirely new twist, as diplomacy gets personal. I recommend this to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the genre.


It's your duty,to yourself.

WildWest123 | May 25, 2013 | See all WildWest123's reviews »

In Crusader Kings 2,you can fulfill every dream you ever had about the medival age,become a king,a ruler,restore long lost kingdoms or just try and rule the whole world,you pick your goal and nothing except your in-game family's total destruction can stop you from getting to your goals,so really,just be the mighty king you are and do your kingdom a favour and get this game.


Alea iacta est

Sinma | May 25, 2013 | See all Sinma's reviews »

Do you like strategic games ? Is your answer yes? Would you like a challenge, a game that would constantly push you? If you answer is again yes this IS the game for you! Crusader Kings II is one of the best strategy games you can play, and the content and DLCs make it even better! You have to be open to everything, because the game literally throws everything at you. Diplomacy is the key of the game, and goals, oh, you can set them yourself ! Why not conquer ROME ? Or lets say the whole Europe! You can do that all by yourself. Super awesome great incredible epic fun.


Divide et impero

Pilgrim6 | May 9, 2013 | See all Pilgrim6's reviews »

Divide and conquer. That's the main strategy for playing this game. I am yet to find a game that paints the medieval politics better than CK 2. More often you will be fighting on the fields of intrigue and treacheries than on those of battle. Shall you marry the prince of Holy Roman Empire or rather someone else? What will you get from that marriage? Is your own son plotting against you? Shall you have him thrown him into the prison or even assassinate him? This and much more will be your daily bread. What comes with it, is one of the best strategy soundtracks I've ever heard and heavy addiction combined with endless hours before the PC screen. Careful or you might end up running to your friends yelling: "I have managed to inherit whole Byzantine empire for my son as a Queen of Georgia!" I have warned you.


Greatest srategy game ever

Hetzau | May 7, 2013 | See all Hetzau's reviews »

I'm a fan of strategy games, and have played eveything from Age of Empires to CIV to Warhammer 40k, and I must say that this is the best strategy experience I have ever had. It has depths, it is addictive as all heck and it is rather humorous especially if you get into the role of your ruler and play with other people. While this game does have graphics, I consider it a "menu game". This means that there are no glorious battles like in Total War titles, however they aren't needed in a game that aims to be a dynasty sim. Buy this game if you wish to have your own family, retarded sons who are hated everybody, and wives who want to kill your own kin (and of course, execute them accordingly). I have over 100 hours of this game, and I strongly urge you to buy it.



jango2210 | May 6, 2013 | See all jango2210's reviews »

Irl start Off By saying This Game Is not For everyone i is a very in depth game along the lines of Hearts of iron 3 and Victoria, while it is a hard game to understand at times it is very rewarding when you work hard to find a caseus beli (reason to go to war) and then taking over half their provinces and making them surrender. over all this game is very good if you like the grand stratagy style games you will love this one i hope this helped if anyone was on the fence about buying this title.


Not for everyone

RoundRogue | Jan. 18, 2013 | See all RoundRogue's reviews »

If you're a casual grand strategy gamer then this game may not be for you as it's tailored towards more hardcore players. The vanilla game is really good but their are loads of brilliant mods available for this game further enhancing the player's experience. You may get frustrated with the game sometimes as the AI can be a bit odd, but there are a few mods that help fix that.


Build a dynasty, kill your relatives

igzaustion | Dec. 31, 2012 | See all igzaustion's reviews »

As always, Paradox delivers a great grand strategy experience. CK2 combines this with the joy of threading your bloodline through history, by conquering, spreading your influence, plotting and killing your siblings. Diplomacy is more important than ever in this game, and micro managing skills are necessities. There is no clear goal, like there was is Sengoku, but setting your own goals and writing history is as enjoyable as anything.


Complicated but alluring

nairume | Dec. 29, 2012 | See all nairume's reviews »

The politics of the medieval period of the world is always a greatly interesting topic, and Paradox's Crusader Kings II provides players with the chance to put themselves in a dedicated simulation strategy that lets them take a shot at managing one of the many factions of Europe, Asia, and Africa as they all compete for power. This game offers a staggering number of possibilities to where the game is almost overwhelming at times. With so many stats, deep and rich mechanics, countless factions, and other various options, there are so many things that cause players to lose track of their place in the world. All the while, the game often does a poor job of conveying how to do things. Perhaps it is through this that Paradox has indeed created a near perfect simulation of medieval politics.


Best Paradox grand strategy game to date

acare84 | May 24, 2012 | See all acare84's reviews »

Crusader Kings II is the really addictive and best grand strategy game from Paradox Interactive. Game is complex but if you do tutorial missions and read the game manual you can play the game good and have fun. I played this game nearly +100 hours and still learning new things from the game. Every game you play is different from the before and really entertaining. You should get this game if you love strategy games and history. Pick the Crusader Kings II and learn how difficult is being the king. Thank you Paradox for this awesome game.


Intuitive and addicting.

meter1060 | April 23, 2012 | See all meter1060's reviews »

This game is very good. If you take time to watch the tutorials, read the hints and maybe a youtube video or two. After you play your first game (And fail horrible) you will get it and become addicted. Constantly being update with new content, bug fixes and balances. there are a few options you'll wish there was, but wishes come after 70+ hours of play.