Explore one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (388 reviews) - 85% of the 388 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (15,108 reviews) - 92% of the 15,108 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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Buy Paradox Grand Strategy Collection

Includes 4 items: Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron III, Victoria II

Buy Paradox Platinum Pack

Includes 6 items: Cities in Motion 2, Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV, Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition, Magicka, Warlock 2: The Exiled

Buy Crusader Kings II Collection

Includes 43 items: Crusader Kings II, Crusader Kings II: African Portraits , Crusader Kings II: African Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Byzantine Unit Pack , Crusader Kings II: Celtic Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Celtic Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Customization Pack, Crusader Kings II: Dynasty Shield II, Crusader Kings II: Dynasty Shield III, Crusader Kings II: Dynasty Shields, Crusader Kings II: Europa Universalis IV Converter, Crusader Kings II: Finno-Ugric Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Hymns of Abraham, Crusader Kings II: Hymns to the Old Gods, Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome , Crusader Kings II: Mediterranean Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Military Orders Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Mongol Faces, Crusader Kings II: Norse Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Norse Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Persian Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Persian Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India, Crusader Kings II: Ruler Designer, Crusader Kings II: Russian Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Russian Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Saxon Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Songs of Albion, Crusader Kings II: Songs of Byzantium , Crusader Kings II: Songs of Faith, Crusader Kings II: Songs of India, Crusader Kings II: Songs of Prosperity, Crusader Kings II: Songs of the Caliph, Crusader Kings II: Songs of the Holy Land, Crusader Kings II: Songs of the Rus, Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham, Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion, Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam, Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods, Crusader Kings II: The Republic, Crusader Kings II: Turkish Portraits, Crusader Kings II: Turkish Unit Pack, Crusader Kings II: Warriors of Faith Unit Pack

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Recent updates View all (59)

April 26

Surprise Development Diary - The Rules of the Game



Well people, what do you know? I needed a break from the Stellaris crunch, so here’s an unscheduled dev diary! All the hubbub about Defensive Pacts and Shattered Retreats got me thinking about an old ambition I’ve had to improve the game set-up screens in order to allow players to customize their experience without having to resort to modding. The idea is inspired by games like Civilization and the Second Wave DLC for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which allow players to change various advanced options and settings for a different experience in the game. I really like such options and typically make good use of them myself.

Now, of course there is such a thing as “the way the game was meant to be played”. That is, how the designers made the game and like to play it themselves. However, variety is the spice of life, and after 11 Crusader Kings II expansions things are not as clear-cut anymore. It’s actually pretty funny that I’ve been using a small personal mod for CK2 for awhile myself. There are some downsides to modding and using mods though:

  • It requires awareness that it’s possible, and where to find existing mods. The modding scene is a jungle.
  • It takes a modicum of extra effort and skill.
  • It might not feel quite legitimate (it can feel a bit like cheating) and you might not get any Achievements.
  • Mods typically do not have the same level of support as the base game. Many become fossilized or are otherwise problematic.
For these reasons especially, I think that adding a bunch of Paradox-approved, fully supported in-game rule variations is a good idea. Thus, when you start a new game, you are now presented with several interesting options. Most of them are simple flavor variations, but some are more fundamental and will disable Achievements in Ironman mode. Here’s the list of options we are currently showing in the new screen (still a work in progress though):
  • Sandbox vs Ironman
  • Shattered Retreats: On/Off
  • Defensive Pacts: On/Off
  • Gender Equality: Default/Historical/AllPlayers
  • Sunset Invasion: 13th Century/Random/Off
  • Mongol Invasion: Historical/Random/Off
  • Raiding: Historical/Unrestricted/None
  • Epidemics: Dynamic/Historical/Deadly
  • “Supernatural” Events: On/Off
  • Adventurers: Normal/Rare/None
  • Provincial Revolts: Normal/Rare/None
  • Regencies: On/Off
  • De Jure Drift: Default/Restricted/Off
  • Dynamic Kingdoms and Empires: On/Off
  • Diplomatic Range: On/Off



Our new rule system is itself fully moddable, so that modders can use the same system with pretty much any options they might want!



I look forward to your thoughts and comments. Are there any rule variations you think we’ve missed, or that you would really like to see?

Useful links
Official Website
Crusader Kings II Wiki
Developer Diary Archives

58 comments Read more

April 5

Development Diary #4: Don't Call me Shirley



Hi again folks!

We are still discussing how to proceed with the dev diaries for CK2 and what we can and cannot talk about before the next expansion is actually announced. So, we shall see what next week will bring… One thing I can talk about though, is something that has been a bone of contention since the release of the the previous expansion, Conclave. I’m thinking of the “Call to Arms” mechanic that we cut from the game. As you know, since the Conclave update, allies are automatically dragged into wars and given no option to refuse. Now, I have explained why we did it and what we hoped this would achieve in another post, but the fact of the matter is, it was a poor decision. That’s why we are going to add the old system back, though with some adjustments… Declining a Call now has very serious consequences:

  • The Alliance and the Non-Aggression Pact are broken.
  • You lose half your current Prestige, plus 200 (same as truce breaking.)
  • Adds an “Alliance Breaker” Character modifier lasting 15 years that lowers the opinions of all vassals by -10 and all foreign rulers by -25.
  • You get a -50 opinion penalty with the calling ruler and his or her close family (including the spouse that allowed the alliance in the first place.)
The AI will basically never dishonor an alliance, but we will see what we can do about it stupidly over-committing troops (which has always been a problem, really.)



On a somewhat related note, we will also add an action to break a Non-Aggression Pact. It has similar effects to breaking an alliance, but slightly less severe. It also adds a one-year truce.

That’s about that… Now then, as some of you might know, these days we actually have a dedicated Audio Director at Paradox; a fact I think you’re soon going to notice even in good old CK2. I’ll leave you with this sample of his depraved work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaK2QIfVl3w

That’s all for now. Next week… who knows? :)

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Useful links
Official Website
Crusader Kings II Wiki
Developer Diary Archives

40 comments Read more

Reviews

“...playing is winning, and there’s something quite satisfying about leading your house to power and glory through whatever means you can, for as long as you can.”
9,5/10 – Strategy Informer

“In short, Crusader Kings II is a majestic feudal sandbox, the greatest generator of hilarious medieval soap opera ever created and Paradox Interactive’s best title to date.”
90/100 – IncGamers

“It's perfectly possible to have made a few too many enemies, anger the Pope and find most of Europe out for your blood. That's really what makes the game so damn fun.”
9/10 – Destructoid

About This Game

The Dark Ages might be drawing to a close, but Europe is still in turmoil. Petty lords vie against beleaguered kings who struggle to assert control over their fragmented realms. The Pope calls for a Crusade to protect the Christians in the Holy Land even as he refuses to relinquish control over the investiture of bishops - and their riches. Now is the time for greatness. Expand your demesne and secure the future of your dynasty. Fill your coffers, appoint vassals, root out traitors and heretics, introduce laws and interact with hundreds of nobles, each with their own agenda.
A good lord will always need friends to support him. But beware, as loyal vassals can quickly turn to bitter rivals, and some might not be as reliable as they seem... Stand ready, and increase your prestige until the world whispers your name in awe. Do you have what it takes to become a Crusader King?
Crusader Kings II explores one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy. Medieval Europe is brought to life in this epic game of knights, schemes, and thrones...

Key features:

  • Start a game at any point between 1066 and 1337 and play until 1453
  • Pick a Christian lord and make sure his dynasty survives as you play a succession of his descendants through the ages
  • Gain Prestige for every successive character you play, furthering the glory of your Dynasty
  • Expand your feudal domain - and keep it from falling apart
  • Unravel the plots of your courtiers and vassals, each with their own opinions and agendas
  • Take up the Cross and fight the Moor, the Heathen and the Heretic.
  • Defend against the onslaught of the Mongol Horde
  • Struggle with the Pope for control of the bishops
  • Relive the Middle Ages with up to 32 other players in a competitive multiplayer mode

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: XP/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
    • Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900, 512mb graphics memory required.
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Sound: Direct X-compatible sound card
    • Additional: 3-button mouse and keyboard
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce
      9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: IntelR PentiumR IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory: 2 GB
    • Hard disk space: 2 Gb
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce
      > 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (388 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (15,108 reviews)
Recently Posted
EkO
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
i liek gejm rely god wan
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PitBen
( 203.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Targaryan simulator 2k12
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tabs
( 958.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Sets the standard for grand strategy RTSs while at the same time having some nice RPG elemenents. Quite a few paid for updates over time though!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dracgnar
( 357.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Prepare to put a lot of hours into this game and its expansions/mods
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Post Mourinho Era
( 43.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
Product received for free
Great game, minus the occasional crash when you start it up.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Juice @queclub
( 490.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
You know, I feel like ,compared to some of the great players (e.g. those mad tings' with 2000+ hours invested into the game) I really haven't experienced that much. In fact, I haven't even managed to run through a full game yet, that is both from the DLC-given 769 Charlemagne starting date and the vanilla 1066 date, and I like to consider myself a competent player - atleast I would hope so by this point... BUT, by my sweet black baby jesus' grace, it was when all of this hit me that I decided to write this review.

That is ♥♥♥♥ing amazing.

400+ hours of gameplay, nearing 500, and I still haven't managed to finish a game?

CK2 is the ultimate strategy out there. It doesn't recquire particularly acute battle-planning however, that is all done by a simple combat simulator and AI Martial Ability, no. This sort of strategy is that of court intrigue, seducing the Queen of Lombardy and marrying her so your heir becomes King of Italy whilst also coming from a family of barbaric Norse pagans?

What? The predominantly Catholic Italians don't like the idea of having a Pagan King and try revolt against you? Beat them down then, that's what your well groomed retinues are for.

But still your Council might find themselves growning a tad bit agitated with your ritual sacrifice of their fellow Christians and might attempt to, instead of overthrowing you competely, limit your power with diplomacy and the use of a strange concept. Democracy. Well, ♥♥♥♥ them, send your spymaster with his seditious intent to capture or kill them.

All this in the meagre period of twenty years.

Who knows what other trials, tribulations and resounding triumphs, await you upon your purchase of this game?
Well to answer that. No-one. Because the possibilities are, literally, absolutely infinite.

Oh and I also suggest shelling out, legit, everything in your wallet on the main DLCs, which are everything exluding Aztec Invasion.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Saka Boto
( 28.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
You can cut a kid eyes out along with cheating on your wife with 20 other women

10/10 ign
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Remmie
( 2.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
I have bought and refunded this game four different times and I can't find what makes it fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
:|Helghast|: Device3435
( 69.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
Bought this cause i liked total war, and generally enjoyed politcal sciences.... So i sat down and played the "How To" missions, after that i still had no real idea How...to...not die, SO i decided to finnish staining by staircase, shortly there after i realised i trapped myself on the bottom floor....so i decided to play Crusader Kings II. Started up as Bavaria, learnt most of the dynamics of the game, and continued on my plan to not die like every other time.
8 hours later i got up from my chair, fell on the floor...Quickly realised i was "High" on paint fumes....sooo clumsly walked back upstairs, fell asleep outside, then woke up hours later thinking i was poisoned...

9/10

Would get dangeriously high while playing CKII again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Nyhammar
( 4,219.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
Great game. Complex, frustrating at times and very engaging. For someone with a intrest in dynasty-management this is well worth your money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Septimus Cankers
( 37.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
My King became depressed because he was a homosexual and he got married to a woman.

10/10 would commit suicide again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MerkyMoo
( 0.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
Like Skyrim without guns
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PhattieM
( 647.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
I've spend 600+ hours in this game, and I still cannot "beat" it, or truly ever understand it. I still routinely start in Ireland and attempt to conquer everything. I have all the DLC and I have tried in other locations, but there are just so many things left to do. I cannot stress this enough, BUY THE GAME.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
rh27un
( 37.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 3
It's ♥♥♥♥
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Phennder
( 23.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Corey In The House
( 475.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
the only time i get to bang all 4 of my sisters, my neighbors daughters, and my son and get away with it. 10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dorito Pope
( 143.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
WTF? What a bad game. There are no anime cat girls. SMH

0/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tyru l 陈子健
( 31.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
Created the Kingdom of Slamberry --> ruled by Ethan Slamberry.

-Took over Ireland before being succeeded by his son Vape Nation of Slamberry
-Usurped and assassinated rulers until only kids ruled all of Scotland
-Vape Nation died and now Slamberry is in Civil War

This all replaced English history from the year 850- 1020 (so far). What the ♥♥♥ have I done.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Error 404 - user not found
( 417.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 1
played a bit

was fun

10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
200.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 20
"Sleeping with your son's wife is just sound strategy. Sometimes they just won't breed and you need to take matters into your own pants." A Crusader Kings 2 player strategy. This is pretty much all you need to know.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
76.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 3
Started an Empire at age 16. In the span of 28 years, I founded 4 kingdoms, 2 more empires, had 4 mistresses, and kicked Frances ♥♥♥ 3 times.

When I died of old age, my son took over the empire, barely securing his power by 1 vote. In his first battle he had to put down a peasant revolt. The first thing that happens is he gets hit on the head and becomes actually ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.

10/10 would recommend.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
785.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 5
While Crusader Kings II is a good game in overall and by itself, it was severely screwed up since the release of the last DLCs.

Note that the major DLCs are not the problem, but the patches that came along with them. Since Rajas of India, the game went downhill.
While I can run the game normally (not as before, but still), some people that once could, cannot run as they used to due lack of optimisation.
Another problem Paradox have with their DLCs is that they do not acknowledge, or even accept failures even when most of the players are against the features. While the game has been patched up to deal with bugs and problems the last major patch has brought, they still maintain their decision not to take away things that were and are not well-welcomed since the beginning, even before releasing.
The last patch(which came with Conclave) brought with it Coalition and Shattered Retreat, features known to EUIV players and many CKII players were against them and just some liked (not counting the fanboys every game company has).
* Coalition was something that could be considered a joke - a system that when you grow, even against those against your faith (ie, Christian expanding over Muslims), can bring every realm, including those similar to you against you. It has been patched, but it's still rubbish. So if you are Jerusalem and expand over the Fatimids, expect Rome to go against you.
* Shattered Retreat was a bit more welcomed but it still doesn't make a lot of sense and was considered broken.

There are many more problems from patches from other DLCs, but as since I don't play much since Rajas and when I do, it's just with mods, I'm not really aware of them. But yet, Paradox seemingly does nothing to -really- deal with them.
In the past I could recommend this game, and would say it's one of the best I've ever played, but at the moment it's not really pleasant without mods. The way the game is today, I can say I have more fun playing CKI than playing CKII.

If you have never played CKII before or a game like it, you might enjoy as you won't see the difference from what it was at the beginning, but know that when it was released, or at the time of Old Gods, it was a much better game than what it is now and that is really a shame. CK2 is reaching its end, but if you're new to Paradox, be careful with your next deals as they might be just the same, now more than never.
I won't be buying anything from them any longer, at least until they stop doing what they are doing not only to CK2, but to EUIV, hence I expect the same from the new titles, such as HOIIV.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
1,611.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 11
Played Game of Thrones mod.
Losing war with White Walkers.
Aztec invasion happens.
Aztec doomstack defeats White Walkers, conquers the North, leaves me alone.

10/10 would be helpless bystander again
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
975.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
>Plays as the Byzantines
>Reconquers most of Asia Minor
>Pope gets jealous and declares a Crusade against me instead of a crusade to reconquer Jersualem
>Defeats the Crusade and captures the Pope in Battle
>Blinds and Castrates the Pope

10/10. Would blind and Castrate the Pope again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
I have no idea what I'm doing but I feel important
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
699.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 14
It's a really good game, but ruined by poorly implemented AI.

AI is just dumb, insanely stupid, extremely unintelligent, absolutely witless and simply vapid.
Moreover, AI tends to cripple itself with decisions normal person will never even consider.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
139.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
Our review begins in The year 1080- The Norman king Bohemund rules over all of Sicily.

Early in his reign, Bohemund falls ill, and it is thought that he will not survive. One fever-sick night, the king is struck by a sudden apparition: a strange man stands before him.

"King Bohemund, my name is David, ruler of England, ♥♥♥♥er of pigs, leader of the Conservative cult and the first of his name. I bring grave news"

Bohemund looked into the darkness through weary eyes, but even his plagued mind could distinguish otherwise. "Thy mistakes himself sir, a fellow norman, William, rules England."

David gave Bohemund a smug nod of the head. "Perhaps in your time, but I rule many centuries from now. I have travelled through time to bring you warning of what's to come."

Bohemund coughed, his body shook. At first he appeared not to hear, but then he said "What hath gone so terribly asunder that thee hails me upon my deathbed?"

"You are not to die yet, king Bohemund. It shall be you that saves Christendom itself."

Bohemund's eyes widened. "What is this task thou sets before me?"

"The year will be 2016, the moral authority of Christ is failing throughout Europe, and greivious heresy has spread through the kingdoms. Yet the unstoppable tide of Islam advances." David regarded Bohemund sincerely. "Once again the Caliphs wage Jihad before us, yet no Christian coalition can muster."

"Good God." Muttered Bohemund.

"Instead the defence of the realm is left in the hands of a corrupt and oppressive puppet regime of Islam that goes by the name of: "The EU."

"Blasphemy! These be-eth lies thou puts before me!" The king cried.

"Alas, not." Assured David. "What's more, a terrible heresy known as "Socialism" has rooted itself in our lands, and it is the work of Allah to be ascertain." David paused, Bohemund looked at him with awestruck eyes.

"Together, the scourge of the EU and socialism have led our once great nations to surrender before The Jihad and allow open borders to the heretics."

"But you, sir. Thy claimeth the king of England, surely you must lead the Crusade if no one else!"

"Not king, no, but I won't go into those details." Said David. "I am but a vassal of the tyrannous EU. They subjugated my once great nation near on half a century ago."

"Alas. Alas." Bohemund resigned.

"But all is not aloss..." David permitted.

"How so?"

"You, Bohemund. You must lead the Christians, as king of Sicily conquer all of Africa and crush the self proclaimed "Fatimid Caliphate". Only through your actions can the Dark Ages of the socialism heresy and tyrannous puppet empire of Islam, "The EU" , be avoided." David began to fade before Bohemund's very eyes.

"But David, how do I-"

"Do not fail me Bohemund. Do not fail your Christian brothers. You will know when the time is right."

"But David, David wait!" But David was gone, and Bohemund was left alone in his chamber.


And king Bohemund followed his call to arms. Great swathes of Africa fell to Sicily, and it seemed that the terrible fate of 2016 was never to be. Alas, Mighty Allah stood by his subjects, and used the vile sorcery known to many as "War ended inconclusively (Casus Belli no longer valid)."

It would be five years before Sicily's armies be ready to strike again, yet in that time much would change. The wrath of Allah did not end there, the "Deus Vult" driven Bohemund was struck down by "natural causes," and history was doomed to the present which we see before us.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
234.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
This game is epic. But i suggest you watch this game on youtube before buying, so you know what it's all about. Becouse the price of the game + all dlc is very expensive. Google, to see what dlc are most recommended. :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
216.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
Love this game, looove it

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
740.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 28
Do I recommend this game?
Yes, truly I do. Its an awesome game. It develops every single aspect of a strategy game set in the past that are left out of other games. You can have families, friends, allies, non-aggression pacts. You can imprison, execute and banish annoying vassals, you can marry yourself with the daughter of the King of England, and through the descendants of that union get a claim on his lands. The game is varied, as you an set your game in various time periods across history with hundreds of different factions. You can be a Mongolian Khan or a Holy Roman Emperor just as much as you can be a count in Iceland with no wealth, armies or power. In most strategy games, who YOU in an empire is mostly irrelevant. In the CIV series you're simply a great leader of your nation that rules it forever. Or in the Total war series, you can have a defined character bu everything about him is mostly out of your control or irrelevant. in CK2, all the focus is on your family, as it should be. Your daughters can be married to secure alliances or become great rulers in their own right. Your sons can lead your armies, and can be giving titles you win through war. Some of your sons will love you, others will only try to seize power for themselves. Every single character as a personality, related to their trait that ACTUALLY MATTERS. Be a jerk, become a tyrant and people will hate you, resent you and might even try to murder you This world feels organic and you truly feel a part of it. For all of those reasons, I recommend this game

However

It cant be denied that this game unfortunately has TONS of issues that affect game play. The kind of which will make you want to scream at your screen at how stupid what just happened was. Complete nobodies who actually like you will have you murdered for no reason or will get themselves 20000 men armies out of nowhere to attack you even tough they don't have a penny on them or apparent claims on your lands.

The AI can be incredibly stupid! They cant ever hold on to a king title without being crushed by continuous groups of rebellious vassals. After a century, ever single important christian kingdom will have an elective system of law. Why? Because its what theirs vassals want and the AI cant handle rebellions. You want to battle certain foreign dynasties across history? Too bad, the AI is also incompetent at keeping themselves alive for any long periods. Most great houses in say, 1066 will have disappeared in a bout a century which COULD be considered historically accurate but at the same time it makes you feel like you're playing this game alone with no actual competition. The AI for the pope can be brain dead. Calling crusades against Kingdoms in India, forcing crusaders to cross the Persian desert to reach their target!

The DLC in this game is horrendous. Its DLC whoring that's EA worthy. You have to pay for portraits and songs in the game!!! PURE AESTHETICS STUFF THAT DOESNT CHANGE GAME PLAY. Are you sick of hearing the same 2 god damn songs in repeat? Pay money.
The worst about those DLC is what they offer. Without paying extra, you cant play pagans, you cant play Indians, you cant play muslims and you cant play republics. Thats right, more than half of the starting areas are impossible for the player to play unless they pay extra. Others are simply broken and as such are complete rip offs AND THANK GOD I never bought some of them!! They allow you for 5.49 $ to customize your ruler on regular mode BUT not on Ironman mode. But, thats something you could ALREADY DO THROUGH THE CONSOLE. Its vastly useless! The Way of life DLC makes every single male in your kingdom horny dogs that go after your wife, your heirs wife etc... which means, in a game about dynasties ruling across history, your son might just be the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ son of some random count who, thanks to the seduction focus, repeatedly slept with your wife 35 times right under your nose. The ONLY way to make sure your wives don't end up sleeping with every single man in the Kingdom is to pick a chaste one (trait that I rarely see and that they often end up losing) or a lesbian. Apparently, according to paradox, all women were ♥♥♥♥♥s in these times! Seeing how they refuse to truly fix this, thats the only conclusion I can arrive to. They tried to with a new "reject seduction attempts" system but since theres always a few master seducers running around it doesn't stop anyone.
The conclave DLC makes the game way harder and sooo much less fun. The Republic DLC forces you to use seniority succession and nothing else! Always playing 75 years old? isnt that fun???
The Sword of Islam dlc should've been in the base game, same for the old gods. There's no excuses to leave so many factions unplayable even at an 1066 start.

Theres also new updates. Lots of complaints about the new update regarding coalitions that can make pagans, muslims and christians band together against you because you took a duchy through a religious war. They NEVER make coalitions USEFUL agaisnt the AI, this feature is SOLELY used to stop the player from expanding, forcing you to wait 30 f*cking years for infamy to go off unless youre willing to fight 8 nations at the same time. Shattered retreats make your enemies armies magically undestroyable while they basicly have safe conduit back to their territories. Which means, wars now drag for SO FREAKING longer than they need to because you can't kill their armies! You cant pursue them either because you will never have enough supplies and risk losing men needlessly. Sometimes, your own armies will retreat at the WORST POSSIBLE PLACES. When you raid a coast with boats and your raiders gets defeated, they sometimes retreat further in the AIs territory even tough their boats is RIGHT THERE. Theres as of date NO OPTION to turn those off. You dont like them? too bad. You have to use mods on the workshop and disable ironman mode to be able to play without them

In short?? This game offers SO much and at the same time sucks the fun out of the game with questionable design decisions, horrible dlc, and annoying AI. Is the game fun? Yes. Of course it is. But after several hours, you realize all the shortcoming of this game and you're bound to be annoyed by them.
Btw, buy this game on a sale, that game is often on sale at 40% or 30% off (cant remember the percentage) Yet every other day its over 200$ to acquire the "full experience". Just wait a little while and get it on sale
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
806.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 10
This game and the many mods build for it are absolutely terrific, if you love maps & roleplaying medieval history, this game is for you.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
412.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
This is one of the best Strategy games ever! I am a HUGE fan of Medieval History and this game allows you to turn history on its head.
Only in Crusader Kings 2 can your youngest child simultaneously be the Uncle and Half-Brother to his elder sister.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
28.5 hrs on record
Posted: April 9
It's quite impressing game. Compared to Europa Universalis IV it is more focused on running your very own family business instead of ruling an empire. Nevertheless map is small then in EU it feels quite more into-depth when picking best mariage partner for your sons and doughters which will (hopefully) go on with your struggle to found an empire. Probably new 'Stellaris' will be a mix out of both?

Waited long to buy this title, as I doubt it is a never ending progress with all that DLC out there. Catched a quite impressive bundle, but still 2-3 DLC's missing...well the newest ones, which I hope to get in a sale ...hm... the other year probably.

What lately brought me into buying this was the impressive workshop with it's huge mass of very interesting mods. It starts with some UI and color changes, upgrades with items, mechanics, fantasy mods and others and results in complete conversation mods like 'A game of thrones' or Stellaris like 'Sci-Fi' scenarios, which pretty much change every aspect, including map, of the game.

With my current ~20 hours gameplay I'm just playing arround to find out all one could do, but looking forward to start my very own dynasty next. :)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
46.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
So there are plenty of reviews that focus on the game's steep learning curve, its tremendous depth and immersive game mechanics. Then there are all the anecdotes that you can only experience in CKII.
If you're still torn if you should invest in the game and the peer pressure that comes with the frequent DLC releases, maybe my story will help you make a decision...

"It's 789 and you - the King of Bavaria - just added the Kingdom of Bohemia and Germany to your realm. Things are looking good until the stress of keeping three Kingdoms together eats you up alive and you die to severe stress. Surely your heir will do better. Nope. He's a depressive little weakling that commits suicide at the age of 32. Surely your heir will do better. Well, kind of. Until the Pope calls for a very early crusade and the gleaming glory is too much to resist. You die on your first day of battle. Surely your heir will do better. Indeed. As a strong young man you crush the revolts that try to tear the triple kingdom apart. Only problem is you become a bit too full of yourself and die in a duel...by impaling yourself. Surely your heir will do better. An heir with a pagan mother. 'Devil Spawn' they whisper, but a Genius nevertheless. Humming and trembling in the company of other children. Birds die around you and hoarse voices whisper in your ears...or is it in your head? Congratulations you've become a dangerously smart, lunatic Übermensch [we're talking 30+ in every stat, with 50 martial.] that prays to Lucifer and in his young age has already acquired every single one of the seven deadly sins [My only real complaint about the game is, that there is no achievement for that!]. Plus it turns out you're homosexual so bye-bye breeding program for a stupendously high chance to get another genius heir, that is a little bit more...socially acceptable. Being a cruel monstrosity of a human being you try to conquer the North of Italy. A last minute alliance between Italy and France proves to become a real challenge, even for you; Lucifer's chosen one. Things look grim. But wait what is this? 3000 loyal Lucifer devotees rally to your aid! You take land and prisoners alike, but the triggered moral consciousness events don't even give you the chance to release your prisoners. No no no, because you are f**king Ramsay Snow and torture every single one of them. Casualties in your dungeon are almost as high as on the battlefields. You die from a lucky blow of a raiding adventurer party, but not before you could successfully impregnate your wife - following social conventions rather than your personal preferences - and father a genius son. Surely your heir will do better..."

10/10. No questions asked.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
316.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 6
Strategy game, where you might actually care when a piece on your board dies. (Short version)

Pros: it's a Great strategy game. Complex, and we'll thought out. It's the kinda game you would want to put down roots with you current territory, before foolishly beginning your quest for world domination.

Cons: incomplete without these 30 other dlc. It really feels that way, like your missing out on half the game. I get what companies do that for, buy buyer beware, they aren't cheap.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
88.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 15
Summary
An amazingly complex and engrossing game that can make the hours fly by.

Review
Crusader Kings II is difficult to classify. It’s a grand strategy game, a sandbox game, and in some ways a political simulator. It also happens to be one of the best role-playing games I've ever played. I’m not even sure where to begin describing it, but what I can say without reservation is that it’s extremely immersive and fun, which is quite a trick that developer Paradox Interactive pulled off when you consider that the vast majority of the gameplay takes place in menus.

The premise is deceptively simple: you play as a king (hardly a surprise given the game's title), and your number one goal above all else is to have an heir in place who will claim your throne upon your death. When your character dies, you assume the role of his heir, and so on down the line of succession. Die without an heir and it's game over.

But of course it’s not quite as simple as that. As a king, you’re naturally going to want to expand your realm and accumulate wealth and prestige, and this is where you find the meat of the game. When you start, you can choose to play as anything from a lowly vassal like a duke or a petty king ruling a single province to a monarch of an entire country. This also serves as a secondary way to adjust the game’s difficulty since a duke or petty king is going to have a harder time of it than the ruler of an entire nation.

And this is where things get interesting. I call Crusader Kings II a role-playing game because it’s all about navigating the treacherous path of court intrigue and maintaining relationships with the other characters in the game. Sometimes you might want to have a good relationship with someone, or sometimes you may want them to think very poorly of you, and there are numerous means for doing both, from performing favors, or handing out honorary titles (including Court Jester, which never makes the recipient happy), or even straight-up bribery. If you have a troublesome vassal, you can try and woo him back into your good graces, throw him in jail, or plot to have him killed. Any action you choose will always have long-term consequences, for good or ill. For instance, if you arbitrarily throw someone in jail, or attempt to have them murdered and it’s discovered, you’ll take a relationship hit with other characters almost across the board, and this could be a problem if allies refuse to come to your aid during war, or you end up with a revolt on your hands, or other characters hatch their own plans to kill you or your heir! It all becomes a delicate balancing act as you try to keep your friends (and enemies) happy while scheming to steal land and titles out from under their noses.

In addition to good old fashioned political intrigue, you will also encounter a number of random story vignettes that present your character with various choices that create a short, branching narrative, the ultimate consequences of which could be positive or negative, depending on your decisions.

When things come to blows, and they inevitably will, it’s time to raise an army and clash steel. Unfortunately, this is not the most engrossing part of the game. Your armies march around in multi-unit “blobs” represented by a single soldier sprite with a number indicating the size of the army and a small line representing its morale. Essentially, if your numbers are higher than an enemy army’s numbers then you’ll (most likely) win the battle. And that’s pretty much all there is to it: march your “blob” around, defeat other blobs, and lay siege to enemy provinces until your war score reaches 100% and you can force your foe to concede to your demands. I’m not saying this is necessarily easy, and wars are extremely costly, and sometimes you’ll be thrown an unexpected wrinkle that will turn what you thought was an easy victory into a crushing defeat, but you’re not going to find detailed tactical gameplay here (although full disclosure compels me to mention that I’m not an expert in this game by any stretch, so there may be some nuance here that I’m missing). At any rate, the simple combat mechanics are adequate because war really isn’t the focus of Crusader Kings II even if it is an important aspect given the setting.

Crusader Kings II plays in real-time, but you can pause at any point if you need breathing room to untangle a particularly difficult political conflict. You can still interact with the game when it’s paused, but your orders won’t take affect until you start the clock again. This prevents the game from becoming overwhelming even when things get complicated, which can happen very quickly and often without warning. Thankfully the interface is very well laid out and places the copious amounts of information you need to manage your empire within easy reach, usually no more than one or two mouse-clicks away. However, it is a very complex game, and even with over 80-hours under my belt to date, I feel like I’ve still barely scratched the surface. In order to understand Crusader Kings II, you need to have a basic understanding of Medieval politics and laws, and this isn’t something that most people possess. For instance, a pop-up will inform you that you have a “Wrong type of holding in demesne”. What does that even mean, and more importantly, how do you fix it? Or you might discover that your kingdom is at risk of fragmenting into the hands of multiple petty rulers when your character dies because of a potential succession crisis. Why is this happening, and what can you do about it? The game’s manual and tutorial missions do a rather poor job preparing you for your career as a crusader king, so you’ll probably want to find some “Let’s play” videos or a strategy guide or two. I also suggest keeping a web browser handy while you play because you’ll inevitably have questions throughout the course of the game.

Graphically, Crusader Kings II is probably about as attractive as a game like this can be with the majority of the display occupied by a vast interactive 3D map. Details are added and subtracted depending on your zoom level, so it’s easy to pull out for a quick overview and then zoom in close enough to see individual cities and holdings dotted across the landscape. It also runs beautifully in Linux, which always scores extra points in my book. Sound effects are pretty basic for the most part, but you’ll mostly be listening to the music anyway which is period appropriate orchestral selections. It can get a little bit repetitive, but there are several music packs available as DLC to expand the score.

Speaking of DLC, if you’re contemplating a purchase of Crusader Kings II, you might be staggered by the fact that there is, at the time of this writing, nearly $250 worth of full-priced DLC currently available, and you may find this off-putting, but consider this: the vanilla game offers a complete experience in and of itself and can give you hours of entertainment. In fact, I would recommend you play it sans DLC at first to get a feel for the game and to decide which DLC actually appeals to you, because not all of it will (and you should probably wait until it’s on sale anyway to get the most bang for your bucks). I personally only have around half of the available DLC including several expansions and some of the unit and music packs, but I don’t feel like I’m missing out simply because the other content doesn’t interest me. I should also note that when Paradox does release a major expansion, it's always accompanied by a patch that adds new features and content to the base game for free.

This review could easily be three times as long, and I still wouldn’t feel like I had given a comprehensive description of Crusader Kings II. So let’s make this simple: It’s a great game. Buy it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
173.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
Crusader kings is a great game, but there is just to much DLC. You should definitely buy this game, but if you want the DLC buy it on sale.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
150.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
This game is unbelievable it truely is. I only play the game of thrones mod for it and its incredible, deffinatly a must buy!!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
615.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 22
Best strategy game currently available.
This game scores very high on depth, interesting theme, satisfaction, and fun factor.

Crusader Kings 2 today is like what Sid Meier's Civilization 1 and 2 were to strategy games in the 1990s. Warning, you'll lose a lot of your life to this game, but you won't regret it. It's a great way to relax on weekend mornings.
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