Incest simulator ?
This is the title that many jokingly have given this game on the internet.
However this far from what the game is, can you perform incest, yes, however the deepth and dynamics goes far beyond mere incestual relations.
Main purpose or goal?
You are the head of a dynasty, at the beginning of the game, you can choose which dynasty, and who within that dynasty that you want to play as.
Do you want to take control of one of the powerful rulers of the mighty Karling dynasty?
Or do you want to repeat history by trying to bring a small count in Switzerland from an obscure family known as Habsburg to their glory, as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and spread the Habsburg from there on.
With the customize ruler DLC you expand you game a thousandth-fold, you will have to power to not only choose who you want to play as, but you can create you whole new dynasty and ruler. Want a genius hunchback who rules over the Arabian Empire?
Do you want to try and backstab your way to the top of the Byzantine Empire with a powerful spy?
It is up to you!
There is one indicator on how well you have done, that is your Score
which the game at the end compare with other great historical dynasties. You increase your score by having rulers with high prestige and piety, but also having other dynasty members in high positions, will generate prestige to your dynasty, giving newborn a higher starting position in life, when it comes to their prestige.
There are so many DLCs!
Many seem to get overwhelmed by the amount of DLCs this game has, however many of those are cosmetic DLCs, adding other graphics or sounds to the game.
The main DLCs that expand gameplay are:
I will rank them, with the top being the most important expansion to get first, by my own opinion.
- Ruler Designer - This will enable you to create your own ruler, only your imagination will limit the replayability of the game.
- Legacy of Rome - This expansion not only gives more deepth to the Orthodox rulers of the Byzantine, and greek cultures, it also provides new game mechanics, such as military retinues. (Also allow the possibility for castrating and blinding prisoners playing as a ruler of the Byzantine culture group)
- The Old Gods - This enable you to play the game from 867 CE, and also make Pagans and Zoroastrian rulers playable.
- Sword of Islam - Makes muslims playable, as The Old Gods each unique religion has its own mechanics.
- Sons of Abraham - Adds more deepth to the abrahamic faiths and also Judaism. Heresies for religions are also possible.
- The Republic - Want to try out the merchant life of Venice? With this DLC that will be possible, take control of a patrician family, amass wealth and control the trade zones around the shores of the known world.
- Charlemagne - Introduces a new starting time, at 769 CE, gives you the option to create custom Kingdoms and Empires.
- Rajas of India - Allows for control of the Indian rulers.
- Way of Life - Focus the life of your ruler towards certain areas of his life, want to became a great hunter to catch the fable white bear? Or became the greatest architech in the whole realm?
- Customization Pack - Customize your ruler ingame, change the beard, hair style, even the dynasty name or shield.
- Sunset Invasion - If you want to add an extra level of crazy to your game, only recommended for veteran players of CK2, what if the Aztec discovered Europe first? And decided to invade?
- Save Game converter - If you own Europa Universalis IV and want to continue your saga from CK2, this DLC will enable you to export your CK2 game into EU IV.
All the other DLCs are cosmetical.
Crusader Kings 2 has more mods, that will expand your game, one of the more popular mods is a total conversion into a Game of Thrones universe. Where you can encounter spoilers from the series, but it will also make you play out the stories in George R.R. Martin's universe in another direction, should Tyrion Lannister have the Iron Throne?
It has a steep learning curve, and the ingame tutorial only scratches the surface of possibilities. I would recommend picking up the game, and play with a friend online, or experiment as a count in Ireland.
But when you get a hang on it, it will grab you, and pull you deeper into a world of intrigue, murder, war, romance, and much more. In an forever going struggle for power over the realm, and the world.