Explore one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy.
User reviews:
Very Positive (337 reviews) - 83% of the 337 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (15,249 reviews) - 92% of the 15,249 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 (61)

May 24

Development Diary #7: Get Sicker and die harder

Hello and welcome to another Developer Diary about getting sick and dying! Previously I talked about this in the personal sense, but today I will tell you what we have done to Epidemics.

In our upcoming but still unannounced DLC, we have added many more scriptable values to Epidemic diseases which allows us to do many more interesting things with them. I’ll skip the technical details here, but Epidemics can now spread along the Silk road when present, and are more likely to spread to rich and coastal provinces while being less likely to spread to poorer inland areas. Different Epidemics can have different speeds and likelihoods of spreading, as well as different maximum provinces they can spread to and durations to last for.

Epidemics also have another effect now, they can cause Depopulation in a province. Depopulation is a modifier on the province which reduces tax incomes, levy/garrison sizes, and supply limits. Different diseases have different chances of causing Depopulation, and the effects can remain long after the diseases have died out.

Of course, I can’t talk about Epidemics without mentioning The Black Death, since it was a somewhat notable event in the CK2 period. In the past, the Plague hasn’t been too impressive, but now… well now we have made some changes:

while it's possible for the Plague to come from central asia and bypass India, in this instance it arrived in the North-east of the subcontinent and spread throughout it and outwards. Meanwhile, England has Smallpox.

As well as making The Black Death larger and more deadly, we felt it was a shame you’d have to play until 1300 to experience it. So, in our generosity we made The Black Death more dynamic and there is now a chance for a major outbreak to occur 200 years into any game, regardless of startpoint (and the 1300 outbreak of course remains possible too). After a major outbreak has happened the disease becomes endemic and may break out again, but likely on a smaller scale. I should note that the dynamic Plague is a Game Rule, so if you want to restrict the first outbreak to 1300+ it’s still possible.

Is it all doom and gloom in this DLC? Well no, not entirely. As I mentioned previously, Court Physicians will try to treat your illnesses, and you will also be able to build Hospitals, and/or go into Seclusion to attempt to avoid infection - but those are topics for a future DD. Until then, contemplate your mortality.

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May 17

Development Diary May 17th - We Don't Talk About The Dead


It is my turn to write a DD for CK2 and it is about something that perhaps we don’t mention that often: Audio.

Or more specific for this entry; Death Screams & SFX.

For the new expansion I got an important task, it was to create new sound effects for executing characters and also create assets for other ways different characters can die in the game such as falling off a balcony or being mauled by a bear.

So basically for this task I did a bunch of research to see how cruel people were back in the days and how “creative” they could be when executing people.

I needed to create a lot of “gore” sound effects so to achieve this I went out and did some grocery shopping.

The leek and celery were to recreate some “sweet” and intense bone cracking sound effects while the pepper and salad were to create a “slow crushing” sound effect.

The big problem for this task was a major one; Screams. And a lot of them.

So I took the opportunity to do some internal auditions and invited co-workers to the torture chamber aka sound studio.

Another challenge was to get people to sound like they are… dying? I got to do a lot of “dummy” recordings where you could hear me die in different ways, and some of these recordings made their way into the expansion as well, so my co-workers could get to “dub” me or have some kind of a reference.

I’ll not tell you who is dying, that is up to you to guess. \m/

Here we have a female version of being impaled:

Here is a version from the Spanish method of garroting:

There could be a few hunting accidents:


Or sometimes people went kind of extreme with burning people:

Few causes when people were thrown down into a nasty pit:

Or just want people to suffer really hard before dying:

A bonus video of our dear CEO trying out for a role:


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Crusader Kings II Wiki
Developer Diary Archives

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“...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

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
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Very Positive (337 reviews)
Very Positive (15,249 reviews)
Recently Posted
Master Bates
( 1,054.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 24
I am King Énri IV 'the Great' Ivaring of Ireland, Wales, France, Castille, Galicia, and León. Son of King James Ivaring and Queen Marina Jimena.

My father was known to be a just man, many spoke of his name with praise. He managed to convince the Pope to grant him the right to conquer France, which was in a civil war. During the war whilst leading his glorious army he was maimed. Shortly after winning the war he died. At the young age of 2, I was crowned King.

I spent my childhood learning a various subjects, I did well in most of them but exelled in military matters. When I was 14, a civil war erupted in my realm, most of which were the angry French. This was the perfect oppitunity of using my skills that I learnt in the arts of war. Although I did not directly lead anyone, I was not far behind, with the greatest generals devising plans to win the war. The beggining of the war did not go well, but with my mother attacking from the south and I from the north, they could only fend off one. They went after me. The fools. Suddenly, the war leaned towards me, and soldier by soldier, the French armies depleted. Only 15 years old, I managed to win a war thought impossible, it was this that named me 'the Great'.

In the following years, the realm was at peace and was prospering under my rule. Many unloyal vassals were crushed and replaced with more loyal vassals. I did not expand the realm much by conquest but when my mother died I inherited her kingdoms, but this came with a heavy cost, yet again unloyal vassals. Another civil war happened, which was defeated with ease.

My rule is now coming to an end, I leave this world knowing that I have laid down the foundations for my decendants, for the sun will never set on my kingdom.

(( Just a note, this game is absolutely amazing and you should buy it, now. Also, get AGOT mod, it is really good. Seriously, you can ride a dragon, A DRAGON!!!!!!! ))
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Improper Use
( 8.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
At ten or so hours, I really do not know much about this game.

But that being said; here is why I am not playing it anymore.

1) The gameplay is loaded with excessive jargon, rules described with jargon and reasons stated in jargon.
The rules and gameplay never attempt beyond cursory explaninations - if you even get that, why you cannot do something.

2) The screen is often cluttered with interfaces, many commands require incessant clicking, and little in the way of shortcuts or shortcut listings.

3) I see way too many DLC. This means gameplay was stripped in favour of extra paid content it also fractures any assistance and commentary from others with varying states of game.

4) The tutorial is pretty bad.

Since I got the game very cheaply from humble I probably will never buy another from this devolper as the DLC scheme is a major memory incentive to remember the devolper in a negatitive light.

If you like memory and jargon related information, you may like this.
If you like the feeling of spending alot of monies on a product, you may like this.

I don't.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 28.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
Screw Ireland, Haesteinn of Nantes in 867 is the best starting character.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 212.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
Still ♥♥♥♥♥♥ at my son for cheating on me with my grandmother
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 318.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
7/10. Buy it if you're willing to make the commitment.

Essentially this game is a medieval story generator (albeit a very complex one). It takes a lot of time to learn, but can be very fun. It simulates family, friendships, rivalries, etc. Because of the complexity, it can be very intimidating for new players, so only buy it if you're willing to put in the massive amount of time it takes to familiarize yourself with the game's basic mechanics.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 10.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
+waging conquest war through casus belli (lat.: justified war)
+nations and ethnicities galore
+multiplayer (real-time-pause is weird though)

-oldish engine (lacks modern polish)
-so much dlc and some of it bad
-learning curve
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 770.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
I routinely play as the Byzantine Empire and eventually I restore it, only to be halfway cut off by rebellions and jealous relatives. To keep them pleased I marry most of my family to each other and by the 12th century their too stupid to try anything. Then the wars start with Islam, and the second downfall of the roman empire begins.
11/10 best game of 2012.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 1,092.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
Would I have 1090 hours on this game if it was ♥♥♥♥?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 267.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
So many good things to say about this game..

Long story short: Must BUY and an AMAZING game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 1,307.5 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
I like it, played over 1000 hours, buy it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 23.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Fantastic game! Complex... real complex. Once you get over that learning curve you'll have a blast! 9/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 46.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Amazing game. You'll need to dedicate sometime to this game to learn it but its well worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 15.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
I can kill hours in this game without realising it, if you like histrical games and grand strategy you'll probably like Crusader Kings.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 31.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
My character died from depression. In battle. No really, he was leading a group of 3000+ ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off tribal Prussian raiders into battle and he ♥♥♥♥ing died of depression in the middle of it. If that's not pure quality I don't know what is I mean Jesus Christ 7.5/10 not enough water.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 161.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Its a good. but it sucks if you dont have dlc
Helpful? Yes No Funny
( 641.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
One of the greatest game's if have ever played in my life.
I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys history and or any sort of littlefinger schemes, the only problem i have with the game is Conclave DLC is broken in my opinion atm.

will edit when i believe the dlc is fixed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Senzin | 46 & 2 [Alt-Tab.gr]
( 230.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 21
I start as a Count in a small tribal village somewhere in Scandinavia with a character that has the best traits available. Die at the age of 20. Getting a dynastic heir that is the emperor of France. 11/10 would die again!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
174 of 205 people (85%) found this review helpful
187 people found this review funny
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
108 of 116 people (93%) found this review helpful
103 people found this review funny
538.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
At the court of the newly founded German kingdom of Suckmahbutt:

"My king, my king, we have news!"

"What news you filthy peasant?"

"The Sarazens tremble before our great forces! Not long, and we will call Jerusalem ours once again!"

"Ah, good news indeed. But I have too many vassals already, don't I?"

"Yes, M'lord. Shall I bring you the chronicles?"

"Yes, nameless lowborn scum, do that. Find me a distant cousin of my dynasty whom I can declare ruler of Jerusalem once the city falls and the war is won. Can't have it to rule such a distant kingdom myself."

"But there are other news, still. The Permian nobles have risen up and hold their banner for independence."

"Well, what do I care? Where's Perm even supposed to be?"

"Why, it's a tribal duchy south of Siberia."

"Why do you tell me of the rebellion then? They're too far away for me to attack them anyway."

"Why would you wish to attack your own lands, my king?"

"MY LANDS?" The king starts laughing "How is this snowy outback tribal lectern of a duchy MY LAND?"

"Well, remember the cousin your grand grandfather married off to a uyghur warlord to get a treaty out of him?"


"Me neither. But apparently their entire clan went extinct after some crazy viking coastal conquest went down and... well, I dont know the details either. But it appears you happened to inherit those lands, and now they're ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off to be ruled by a German infidel."

"This is madness."

"Madness? No. THIS IS... nevermind actually. But we have it 1241, and you're related to pretty much every royal in Europe, so this kind of stuff happens, I suppose."

"What happens if I just ignore the rebels?"

"They'll win the war, you'll lose prestige and the big blue blob formerly known as France will probably take the chance to invade us."

"Well, we can't have this. Make peace with the Saracens. We go to war in... what was it called?"

"Perm, M'lord. Will you lead the troops yourself?"

"No, I have to outlive my firstborn son, after all. Put him in charge, if we're lucky this lunatic imbecile glutton dies in battle and his brother inherits."

"So it will happen, M'lord."

10/10 would marry uyghur infidels again
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
45 of 45 people (100%) found this review helpful
36 people found this review funny
106.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 14
At 16 got the crown from my Father "the great".

-Regency ended and decided to execute those whom my father held prisoner
-Enjoyed their screams, raised the crown authority to "High", this is my realm
-Due to my extreme attractiveness, wife loves me and became my spymaster
-Uncovered a plot to lower crown authorty.
-Laughed, imprisoned the nobles children, then his wife, then himself...
-Let him watch me murder them all, then threw in in oubilet to rot.
-Nobles and Vassals all hate me, raise the flag in 1st revolt.. crushed. All imprisoned along with their children..
-Murdered all...
-2nd revolt from the brother of one of those murdered, crushed, imprisoned..
-Have a few children...
-When children grow up see their fathers evil..
-1st child revolts, is crushed, and imprisoned..
-Tortured 1st child... killed..
-2nd child suffers same fate...
-3rd child is thrown in prison because i can't trust them anymore...
-3rd child thrown in oubilet, becomes a lunatic...
-4th child realizes his brothers fate, does not revolt and just waits for his evil father to die.
-More revolts crushed, nobles children killed. Or tortured, whatever i see fit...
-become Liveurncio "the Black"
-Ruled my realm for over 70 years....
-Die in peace in bed... After torturing and murdering those in my realm for 70 years..

Would torture and murder again
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
30 of 33 people (91%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
749.8 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


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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58 of 87 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
238.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
Ultimately, after 200 hours on a game (I'm not really a gamer so 200 hours is _insane_ for me to spend on a game) like this, you'd think I could recommend Crusader Kings II. Sadly, I am just not able to anymore. My view of CKII is pretty mixed, so I'll try to give the good with the bad. I'll start with the good first, since I plan to expand more on the bad.

-The map is gorgeous and easily the best looking of all of Paradox's games.
-Music, even without the music pack DLCs, is pretty great and I've never really gotten tired of it.
-The history is, at least on the surface, simulated pretty well and I enjoy having some of the weirder and obscure characters in history able to be played like the last Karling, a random Christian ruler in Seljuk Anatolia, and so on. It's nice that they'll include stuff like that even if you can only access it by skipping to a very specific year.
-The early DLCs, particularly The Old Gods, are genuinely fun. I love playing as the Norse during the Age of the Vikings and it's honestly one of the best parts of the game. It's to the point I almost wish The Old Gods was spun off as a different game (similar to For the Glory) to focus on just that era and expand more into Viking clans, religion, etc.
-Unlike most I've played Crusader Kings 1 extensively and while there are a lot of steps back from that game, I do like that the council does more than just improve ruler stats. Letting your council micro-manage your realm (before they ruined it with Conclave) is genuinely very fun and makes it feel more like an actual feudal state.
-It got me, someone who doesn't really like video games enough to be called a "gamer" (most of the games on my Steam are gifts are stuff I bought and never played), to play for 200 hours so that's got to count for something.

-First off, the DLCs. Holy ♥♥♥♥, the DLCs. Paradox, when I am expected to pay $15 to play as a Jew, when there are literally fewer than 10 Jewish players to even play in nearly _700 years_ of gameplay, how do you even justify that? Really, the DLCs have turned a good $60 game into a bloated mess that Paradox wants you to pay nearly $200 for. Even as someone with the means to do so, this game does _not_ deserve that price and is simply not good enough for it. I've bought strategy games for the PC that start at $100 retail because they are done with mind-boggingly amounts of research, study, and care. Crusader Kings II is not that good.
-Besides the price of the DLCs, which is crazy, the amount of content that you have to add on to the game is out of control. Not only does it mean the base game is almost worthless, but that you start to break your game the more you add on to it. It is simply ridiculous and is something that warns off new players when they see mountains of DLC.
-Patches that you have no control over that break your game. I am one of the poor people who bought Conclave on Day 1 and even though I have since turned it off like any sensible person, the forced patch means that I can't escape some of the worse parts of the DLC whether I want it or not. Paradox breaks your game for you and there is no real way to go back. I miss the days of the old Paradox games when I refused to upgrade EU 3 for over a year until better patches came around.
-Conclave. Just...♥♥♥♥ing Conclave. If you want to know why it's so bad read one of the other reviews but suffice to say it breaks any sense of believability or historical playability of the game and turns it into a game that is almost impossible to play if you are anything more than a duke, and a minor duke at that.
-Speaking of which...Paradox, either accept that your games are, you know, games or try to be more historical. You can't be either. Iqta government is not feudalism, CK II can't even begin to simulate medieval economies, and India. Didn't. Work. That. Way. I am a history nerd myself and that's why I enjoy Paradox games, but the way the game has been lately with the recent expansions it is almost impossible to try to play a game historically with the way that CKII works. Economy is a joke, armies don't work how they should, vassals aren't simulated anywhere near realistically, rebellions happen more often than they should for some countries and never for others (I have yet to see the Golden Horde have any problem ruling all of Russia past 1300 and often survives all the way to the end of the game fully intact).
-A lot of the bad things in the game feel like a step back from Crusader Kings 1, which is one of my best games ever to this day. Events are basically nerfed and pointless now which severely hampers roleplaying, different numbers for a vassal's opinion of you and loyalty are gone which makes holding empires together almost impossible, armies and economy are massively changed and almost never for the better, and in general CK II just feels...less in depth. In Crusader Kings I, despite a smaller scope, I could really get lost into the intricacies of day-to-day rule. By this point in CK II with all the patches I rarely if ever care who my king is and never interact with him. I can't remember the last time it mattered who I marry beyond alliances, even.

Overall, CK II is a slick-looking game with a ton of problems underneath. I keep playing it because it is, on a level, addicting, but it's far too broken and mismanaged for me to totally enjoy it or recommend it. Sadly, since the release of Conclave my playtime has taken a nosedive and it's unlikely I'll keep playing. EU4 is at least fun enough without Mare Nostrum to keep playing but with the forced patches and general unlikeability of the gameplay, I can't say I'd tell anyone I know to play CK II. Oh well, at least we'll always have CK 1.
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39 of 58 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
304.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 13
Paradox DLC Simulator. Good game, bad DLC policy.
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14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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.
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20 of 30 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
432.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 29
I like this game. I really do. It is well crafted, has phenomenal replayability, and is constantly being updated. The problem? The sheer greed and avarice of its creators. To gain access to the full gamut of features available to players of this game, you'll have to spend upwards of $200. Most of the "expansions" for this game are in the form of $15 DLC packs that add as much content as a minor patch for similar games such as the Total War series or even Civilization.

Long story short, don't buy this game unless you are willing to pay nearly $300 for the full experience.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
2,711.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 7
This game is awesome. Start out as a little guy in Ireland and become the Emperor of the British Isles, and then lose it all in a generation and you're a count again. Except this time you're a count somewhere in Germany because on a previous character you married some German count's daughter, and he had a feud with someone who murdered all of his sons and you ended up inheriting it. Well now I guess you're in Germany so you start all over again. You fabricate some claims, and invite some claimants and land them, allowing you to take land for them that will be added to your overall realm. Eventually you're big enough and you've bribed enough people that you manage to get yourself elected Holy Roman Empire. Now the might of the Reich is going to go down upon that upstart Duke who thought he could overthrow you as Emperor of Britain.

Every game can be this interesting. Try it.
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9 of 13 people (69%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
510.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 21
Great game, but Paradox needs to be punished for adding new expansion more quickly than correcting the bugs and flaws they create by doing so.

So it's a NO review, until they change policies.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
808.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 11
The CKII Experience:
1. Create an awesome looking character with so-so traits.
2. Marry a princess from some far-flung kingdom.
3. Sire some children (and ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s)
4. Use your so-so council to spread your influence over nearby lands.
5. Fabricate some claims, infuriate some nobles, and rise from a count to a duke.
6. Your character becomes depressed, stressed, and possesed.
7. You die in a Viking raid from some distant pagan chiefdom.
8. Your heir, despite your efforts, becomes a tyrant.
9. His councilors contstantly join plots to kill him and eventually his siblings rise up and, with the help of the freaking Holy Roman Empire, revoke your titles, imprison and execute you.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
525.3 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.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
118.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 11
Nothing like unifying Ireland and taking over England, Scotland and Wales.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
140.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
From the Chronicle of House af Munsö

879 A.D. - A ten feet tall woman was crucified in the province of Vermaland.


882 A.D. - People in Vestmannaland claimed to have seen two suns at the same time.

883 A.D. - A dragon was seen in the province of Möre.

884 A.D. - Villagers saw blood raining from the sky in the province of Medelpad.

885 A.D. - The earth shook for three days in Nerike, killing two hundred peasants and a priest.

886 A.D. - King Björn Ironside of Sviþjod died a natural death on 18 May, 886. His son, Eirikr, succeeded to the throne of the Kingdom with a grand ceremony in Håtuna.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
293.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
Incredibly addictive. The depth and the range of options are very impressive. Sometimes it feels a bit odd with the strict rules of family management (like, why can't I as an Emperor persuade my lackwit elder son that he's better off in a monastery than ruling; had to excommunicate him and then reconciled and sent him to monastery nevertheless).
Allows some really strange manipulations with history. I rebuilt the Roman Empire through heroic attempts of three consecutive female Empresses and finally a couple of decent male rulers. And that's a pretty tame story if you compare to what people are posting here and elsewhere.
Absolutely worth playing a lot.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
155.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
I was the King of Italy and my good friend was a duke under me. By the end of our session my friend had his dukedom stolen by a foreign host, he died a billion times, we reclaimed his dukedom, but I then had him assassinated so my family inherited the land.

10/10 Yes @Brokenbranch I killed you to take your land.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
107.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 15
Nepotism and Child Murder Simulator 2012

9 overpriced DLCs/10
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
842.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
A great game for roleplaying a dynasty in the middle ages. In this game you don't play as a country, but you play as the dynasty leading the country.
It is my most played game of all time and has given me hundreds of hours of fun
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3,782.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 12
Possibly the best game ever? I have sunk a LOT of time into paradox games in my time, but this is by far my favorite. Control a man and then a dynasty, enjoy intrigue and politics and strategic marriages. Build your empire and shape your world. Start as a count and work your way up to emperor, reunite the Roman empire, or even inherit Byzantium as the HRE. the amount of things that I have done and can do in this game astounds me, as does every new paradox game. 100/1/00
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