Crusader Kings II
Third party DRM: SteamThis game requires a free Steam account to play.
"It's an incredibly dynamic game that seems to perfectly simulate the state of flux that Europe and the Middle East were in during the Middle Ages." - Destructiod.com
"Through a complex system of diplomacy and backstabbing, Crusader Kings II makes every power struggle an engrossing one." - GameSpot.com
Europe is in turmoil. The lands are fragmented into petty fiefs, the emperor struggles with the Pope, and the Holy Father declares that all those who go to liberate the Holy Land will be freed of their sins. Now is the time for greatness.
Increase your lands and fill your coffers, appoint vassals, battle traitors, introduce laws while interacting with hundreds of nobles, and create the most powerful dynasty of medieval Europe. A beleaguered king will always have friends to support him. But beware, as your rule and realm may find trouble when a loyal vassal becomes a bitter rival. Stand ready, increase your prestige, and listen to the world whisper your name in awe. Do you have what it takes to become a Crusader King?
Start a game in 1066 and forge 400 years of European history
Take on the role of a Christian noble and carry them through the ages from Count to Emperor via the line of succession
Gather Prestige for every successive character you play, furthering the glory of your dynasty
Expand your feudal domain at the expense of your rivals
Unravel the plots of your courtiers and vassals, each armed with their own agendas
Re-enact the Crusades, defend against the Mongol onslaught, and form feudal nation-states
Struggle with the Pope for control of the bishops
Relive the Middle Ages with up to 32 other players in a competitive multiplayer mode Screens
A unique strategy experienceSganotak | 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 excellentaveragestudent | 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 strategypenddraig | 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 gameELELITHETERRIBL | 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 favoritesjesterx7769 | 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.