Crusader Kings II – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Platform: PC, MAC

Crusader Kings II – Review

Site Score
7.8
Good: Enormously deep strategy game, great use of diplomacy.
Bad: Cluttered menus, steep learning curve that will scare off many people.
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

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You might all still remember Crusader Kings II, a game released well over a year ago. Back in 2012, this was one of the deepest strategic experiences you could hope for.

Sadly, I never got around to playing Crusader Kings II. Until now that is. Within the next few weeks I’ll be taking a closer look at the game and its expansions.

Story

There’s no real story in Crusader Kings II. Sure, plenty of historical figures make an appearance, but without any goals or any plot to speak of, you’re essentially left to write your own story.

There are no real goals to accomplish and the only thing that comes close to a story, Is the screen filled with statistics, that’s presented after finishing a game.

Graphics

I can imagine many people ignoring this game because of its graphics. A sterile map is used as your battlefield; while the majority of your screen will at some point be invaded by hordes of menus.

I do think the game could have done a better job at keeping everything clutter-free. There are too many tiny, similar icons, in places where a more designed lay-out would have kept things easier to comprehend.

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Sound

I can -and will- be short when it comes to the game’s soundtrack. In the past I’ve already made clear how I feel about music in strategy games and I still stand by that reasoning.

Music should just complement the game’s setting and Crusader Kings II’s themes do just that.

Gameplay

Simply put; Crusader Kings II has you conquering land as one of many European feudal lords.

There’s more to it of course, a lot more. Aside from managing your troops and your naval fleet, you’ll be spending quite some time on diplomacy, intrigues and keeping your brothers, sisters and other heirs to the throne satisfied.

Because, you know, it’d be no good is some two-bit usurper tried to take away all your glory.

Especially diplomacy is not to be underestimated. Well-timed threats or rumors can topple entire fiefdoms or start a brutal war between two rivaling countries.

When it’s your own turn to fight things out in the open, you’ll be sending troops all over the map, mostly while trying to overwhelm the enemy with superior numbers.

I’ll be honest: your first hours, possibly even days, in Crusader Kings will only net you a lot of confusion. Even after going through the entire -lengthy- tutorial, it’s still easy to lose sight of things.

It doesn’t help new players that there are no real goals either. You don’t really have to conquer anything, if you really want to, you could just focus on satisfying your own dynasty.

As long as your country survives until 1452, the year the game ends and offers plenty of statistics comparing your efforts to actual history.

Once you do get the hang of things, it’s rather easy to lose track of time.

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Conclusion

I honestly can’t recommend Crusader Kings II to everyone, not even to most strategy-fanatics. The game’s part of a certain sub-genre that requires a lot of spare hours, just to get a hang of it.

Dozens of menus will scare away many people, but those who stick around will eventually discover a great and deep strategy game, well worth your time.

 

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Crusader Kings II - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

5 Comments

  1. […] it? Go read our earlier review of the base game. Instead let’s focus on everything that’s […]

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  2. 3rd-strike.com | Contest: Crusader Kings II
    November 19, 2013, 1:40 pm

    […] Be sure to check out the review by clicking here. […]

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  3. […] 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 […]

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  4. […] Enemies to the east, enemies to the west, enemies to the south, enemies to the north. It’s a never ending story for any king or queen trying to hold on to their power. But lets just focus on the east for now since that’s where the dragon is coming from. Crusader Kings 2 will be receiving an expansion which will introduce the empire of China. This great power provides additional rewards but also great danger as the dragon is a volatile creature.You can find our review of the original game right here. […]

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  5. […] might make great additions to your own little empire. You can find our review of the original game here and its previous […]

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