Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome – Sunset Invasion – Sword of Islam – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Platform: PC, MAC

Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome – Sunset Invasion – Sword of Islam – Review

Site Score
Good: Lots of depth, Sword of Islam might be one of the best expansions for a game in a long time.
Bad: Avoid Sunset Invasion like the, err, plague. Extra content can make CKII feel cluttered and bloated at times.
User Score
(0 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)


Today I’ll be shaking up our normal review-format. Yes, no there will be no division between story, graphics, sound and gameplay this time.

There’s a reason, of course. Today I’ll be reviewing three complete expansions for Crusader Kings II all at once. Legacy of Rome, Sunset Invasion and Sword of Islam are all decent games deserving that are worth mentioning, but there’s no sense in wasting space on a graphics or sound debate. I already said everything I needed when it comes to those points.

Missed it? Go read our earlier review of the base game. Instead let’s focus on everything that’s changed.

Legacy of Rome


Let’s begin with the Roman Empire, traditionally the most well known expanding faction throughout both real and videogame history.

Legacy of Rome’s main attractions are its revolts. Neglect your vassals and you’ll find yourself in the middle of some nation-wide turmoil. In other words: if you’re unlucky you will end up fighting a war on two fronts.

The tables could be turned, though. Play as some bumpkin-lord and usurping the throne won’t be a distant dream anymore.

The whole system adds another layer of depth to an already ocean-deep game.

There’s more, a new faction set-up allows you to (a)buse your allies to overpower long-time foes. Generals also actually matter this time around, so sending a random lord into battle won’t guarantee an easy win anymore.

Legacy of Rome also adds more rulers and regions to divide and conquer. Constantinople, for instance, enters the fray and Roman regions receive more events to spice things up.

All in all Legacy of Rome makes for a decent update for Crusader Kings II. My only real complaint is that the addition of so many extra details, means that the map can get really crowded, really fast.

Score: 7.2

Sunset Invasion


Let’s talk Sunset Invasion next, the second expansion from our trio. It’s also the weakest of the bunch.

This expansion basically adds two things: -overpowered- Aztec invasions and a disastrous plague that WILL kill off entire regions.

Evidently this translates into tons of historical inaccuracies, which is pretty damning for a game that prides itself on its reenactment of the past.

There’s also a sense of finality behind the entire Aztec invasion of Europe. Once it begins, there’s not much left but to hope the gods of chance are feeling generous enough to spare you the ongoing onslaught.

Read: Aztecs are though, and will most likely ruin whatever long-term strategy you had planned. They make up their lack of technology with huge amounts of troops. Even if they only land on European shores late in a scenario, it can be too much to tackle.

Then there’s the biggest letdown: no way you get to play as those American pagans yourself.

Take our advice, skip Sunset Invasion, unless you don’t mind quite a bit of suspension of disbelief in your historical war-games or if you are absolutely sold on Crusader Kings II and want to experience every single bit of content it has to offer.

Score: 4.7

Sword of Islam


Lastly we’ve got Sword of Islam. This last expansion -naturally- adds another religion. Yup, you guessed it, you can now play as a Muslim.

“How’s that different from those dastardly Catholics and Orthodox”, we hear you ask. In the first place you’ll need four wives as a Muslim ruler in order to keep your Prestige up to par.

While polygamy might not sound like a real game-changer, you’d be surprised about the actual impact it has on gameplay.

First of all, four wives also means four times as many children, four times as many mouths to feed and four times as many pesky potential heirs that won’t hesitate to assassinate their loving father.

Then there’re your wives, who are all striving for the number one spot. Read: the seat next to your own throne.

Managing families thus becomes a full time job, making Sword of Islam perfect for those who love intrigues.

Another major addition to Crusader Kings II is Decadence. Your ruler and his family will grow fat and lazy over time, resulting in an higher upkeep -probably to pay for all the golden palaces and plates full of food- and a decrease in morale -because who really wants a lazy slob for a ruler-.

Tournaments and religious events like a Ramadan or a trek to Mecca will decrease your Decadence, resulting in loyal troops and a healthy treasury.

Lastly, Sword of Islam adds some nice flavor to combat, making individual lords better at managing different troops and situations, adding yet another layer of depth to Crusader Kings II.

Score: 8.6


If you’d ask me to recommend a single piece of DLC to get for Crusader Kings II, I’d confidently answer ‘Sword of Islam’. It’s by far the best entry reviewed in this article, adding the most depth to the base game.

I’d tell you to ignore Sunset Invasion and opt in on Legacy of Rome in case you feel like splurging.

I’ve got one remark on expansions for Crusader Kings II in general though. This is already a game that requires an enormous amount of time spent to become and remain familiar with all its intricate details. Adding more layers to its design will evidently cause some players to feel overwhelmed by the amount of content, scaring them off, while leaving a game that seems bloated to the eye of the uninitiated

Such may be the fate of historical games like Crusader Kings II though, sacrificing accessibility for depth, content and replayability.

P.S.: I’ve added a general score, for what I feel a bundle of these three expansions would deserve, look below each expansion to find the individual scores.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

1 Comment

  1. […] start of by conveniently linking to our Crusader Kings II review, along with its previous expansions. Consider it laziness on my part, but the base-review will tell you all you need to know about how […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.