Explore one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy.
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Overall:
Very Positive (15,089 reviews) - 92% of the 15,089 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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

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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

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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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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

57 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

39 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.
Helpful customer reviews
1,016 of 1,066 people (95%) found this review helpful
709 people found this review funny
98.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
•Played as a Viking in the late 8th century.
•One of my more ambitious council members "has decided it's time" for me to leave this world.
•He begins a plot to assasinate me.
•The rest of my council advises me to righteously imprison him.
•Instead I notice the poor ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ is lonely and just wants to get married.
•Marry him off to another lonely girl in my court.

•She's happy.
•He's happy.
•I ask him kindly to end his plot to kill me.
•He agrees.

☺ I'm happy..

Best feel good simulator 11/10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
590 of 604 people (98%) found this review helpful
677 people found this review funny
500.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 7
My friend and I decided to play a multiplayer game of Crusader Kings II earlier. Never in my life have I ever been more frightened in a video game. Let me explain.

My friend and I decided to be counts in different kingdoms and empires. My character was a little interesting.

First Name: 12
Last Name: ISIS
Goal: Spread my "seed" to all corners of the world
Location: England
Rank: Count of Kent

I had set the goal of spreading my "seed" all over the world because I thought it would make for some interesting gameplay, and boy did something interesting happen.

The game started off normal, my friend was in the Holy Roman Empire as a Duke, and I was in the nearby province of Kent in England, not far from the border of the Holy Roman Empire so we were both well within diplomatic range. I started to spread my "seed" by seducing as many women as I could. I tended to seduce the women who had high rankings, such as the Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, the Queen of England, Queen of France, and other higher ranking women. My fertility was well above average, and basically any woman I seduced would have a child.

After a couple of decades having passed, my friend had become Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, and I spread my seed to almost every major kingdom and empire in diplomatic range (little did my friend know, he was actually playing as my illegitimate child that I had with the Empress of the Holy Roman Empire). You could always tell which children were mine based on their names. Most of my children had the most ridiculous names like, "THANKS OBAMA" or "Nigerian Prince Simulator". But, there was one child I had that would cause a lot of problems for everyone. His name was "Forgot the Condom".

"Forgot the Condom" was a normal child at first. He grew up till the age of 6 relatively normal, but then something went horribly wrong. While trying to seduce more women, I got a notification in the game. This is essentially what the notification said: "My son 'Forgot the Condom' is not like other children. He does not scream or cry or even get upset, but he observes the world with keen interest. This morning, he burst into bubbling laughter when a cook cut his hand badly and there was blood everywhere. Animals do not like him and he makes a strange buzzing sound when near other children. Courtiers whisper 'demon spawn' and the servants have started to avert their eyes and make covert signs to ward off evil." After telling my friend about the event (he had a lot more experience in the game than me), he immediately mentioned that I should stop whatever I was doing and kill my child. My friend exact words were, "Your son is a demon, you have to kill him or it will be too late."

"Too late?" I asked. My friend remained silent. At the time, the only way to kill your own child was to imprision them and execute them. So, I decided I would try to do that. Well, whenever I tried to imprison "Forgot the Condom", he ended up escaping and fleeing the country. I explain this to my friend and he tells me, "We have to kill him, somehow." At the time, neither my friend nor I knew about the character search tool in the game, so we had to manually find "Forgot the Condom" in all of the provinces. We looked for 30 minutes, and could not find him. After we finished searching, we decided to continue with the game as normal. "Let's just hope nothing bad happens", my friend exclaimed.

Five years pass, and I get a notification. It reads: "My dear daughter 'SWAGYOLO420NOSCOPE" must have suffered a stroke in her sleep last night. She was found drooling in bed, one eye bloodshot, mumbling about a small monster that stabbed her in the eye before it ran off. There are dark rumours about the so called 'demon child', my son 'Forgot the Condom', again... As always when something terrible happens, she does seem inordinately happy." I thought we had been rid of "Forgot the Condom", but he was back, with a vengeance.

I tried finding "Forgot the Condom" again in all of the provinces near me, but I could not find him.

Another year passes, my son "URLUCKYIDIDNTABORTU" dies. Then my daughter, "6 Salads" dies. My son, "Taco Tuesday" dies. At this point I realized, "Forgot the Condom" is killing all of my children. I entirely dedicated to finding and killing him. I'm looking around for him, and he is killing all of my children. We look for him for 2 years in game, when my friend says something.

"HOLY ♥♥♥♥, I FOUND HIM!"

"WHAT WHAT, WHERE IS HE?" I ask.

"Holy ♥♥♥♥, he.... he"

"What? What's wrong?"

"He is the ♥♥♥♥ING POPE."

I immediately check to see if he is right. My son... my son, "Forgot the Condom" is the ♥♥♥♥ing Pope.

My friend and I start to freak out, "How the hell did he become the Pope?!?!" "What do we do?" "HOW DID WE NOT NOTICE THIS BEFORE?!?!?!"

Immediately we start a plot to kill "Forgot the Condom". We have to kill him before it's too late. We have to kill him before it's too late. We have to kill him before it's too late.

We had 167% plot power, we were going to kill him, but then the worst thing happen. I get a notification: "My dear son 'Ebola Paitent 0' has died." So, what is so special about Ebola Paitent 0? Well, Ebola Paitent 0 was the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, aka my friend. My demon child "Forgot the Condom" killed my friend. At this point in the game, the entirety of my children and lineage, the ISIS family line, had been completely wiped out. Except for one person, except for me, "12, 12 of the family ISIS". I could no longer kill my son because you cannot plot against your children, I was stuck. I had no where to go. I was going to die, the ISIS family line was going to die.

I struggled to find any way to kill the Pope, my friend could not start a plot because his new character was a child. We had nowhere to turn. We were out of options.

Eventually, the worst came, "Forgot the Condom" killed me in my sleep. I was dead, the legendary "12 of ISIS" was dead.

The game ended. I had no heirs, and I was eliminated from the game. The game was also hosted by me so it ended for my friend as well.

"WHAT THE ♥♥♥♥ was that?" my friend said. I didn't even say anything. A few minutes pass, we were staring at the defeat screen the entire time.

"We must remember this in some way." I explained. "We must remember '12 of ISIS' and 'Forgot the Condom'. We need to memoralize them forever." "How do we do that?" my friend asks.

"I don't know, but we must remember them. They are legends and must never be forgotten."

TL; DR The game is ♥♥♥♥ing amazing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
321 of 336 people (96%) found this review helpful
321 people found this review funny
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
11/10 - Would become Earl Cadoc of Cornwall again.

CK2 – The Misfortune Simulator
The Life of Cadoc of Cornwall

William the Conqueror succeeds in his invasion of England, which is good as Harold was good for nothing.

In his wisdom, William decided to create the Duchy of Cornwall and NOT make me the Duke. I remain a lowly Earl.

Start plot to assassinate the current Duke of Cornwall, I want that position. Nobody likes me enough to join it. End of plot.

The only guy who actually liked me a lot and had great traits, my Chancellor, today died of depression. The only two suitable replacements look more like the living embodiment of the Seven Deadly Sins. I chose one of them with reluctance.

My wife is pregnant. Hopefully it'll be a boy!

My first daughter, whom is to be my heir, refuses to learn any of my traits. To this day, she remains Ambitious, and only Ambitious.

The child is born. It's a girl.

And to add the icing on the bitter Cake of Feudal Disappointment, my loving wife died giving birth to said child.

Got married again!

Wife insisted on becoming a Spymaster. Funny, both my wives have been Spymasters...

Treason! Rebellious scum have risen in Cornwall, and I am besieged. According to someone of little importance in my Council, this rebellion only had a 6.5% chance of actually happening. I should buy a ticket for the Great Monarch Lottery.

Duke Arsewipe of Cornwall has aided me in removing the rebellious scum that infested my lands. I still hate him.

Praise be to God! A plague of Typhus has swept Cornwall. Perhaps Duke Arsewipe shall be given a painful and miserable death.

Duke Arsewipe lives...yay.

My wife is pregnant, I hope it's a boy. I'm sure the saying goes “Second time lucky”.

Apparently the saying goes “Third time lucky”, and I am now the only man in a house of my wife and four daughters.

Instead of consoling me, today my Court Chaplain came to me to spread heresy. Naturally, I imprisoned him.

My Steward is dead, and there are no candidates to replace him. I now spend a portion of my day keeping the chair warm.

Today, I learned that Duke Arsewipe had a previous wife who tragically died of Camp Fever. I'm still unsure as to what the hell kind of name 'Hungifu' is for a woman. Those weird Anglo-Saxons.

My wife is once again pregnant. Since this is the 'third time', maybe I will be in luck.

My first daughter has married the son of the King of Denmark. We are now far more Prestigious, and Denmark are now my allies.

It's a boy! Cador is born!

My eldest daughter has given birth to a daughter.

My second eldest daughter has just married the son of the King of Navarra. We now have an alliance with Navarra. Duke Arsewipe better look over his shoulder from now on.

My niece has asked me to help her find a suitor to marry. Rather concerning is the fact that someone has put my newborn son on the list. I will choose her someone that isn't related.

I decided to hold a marvellous feast, with only the finest food. Unfortunately, I only have one guest. The feast went well.

Managed to convince my Bishop, whom was formerly my Court Chaplain, to become a Catholic once again. Upon doing so, I released him from prison.

I have started a new plot to kill Duke Arsewipe, and with a little (a lot) of coin, I have convinced two others to join me. At last, my enemy shall die!

For whatever reason only known to them, my two supporters backed out without telling me. To add insult to injury, Duke Arsewipe had the nerve to ask me to let a member of his family educate one of MY children!

Turned 50 today. Happy Birthday to me...yay.

Today, my WIFE discovered that my eldest DAUGHTER is planning to kill my only SON and heir. I think my family has finally hit rock bottom.

My wife is pregnant...

A boy has been born! This is becoming a big family, hopefully they won't murder each other.

Alas, sickness murdered my newborn son.

It's been twenty years since Duke Arsewipe became duke, and for some reason, he still insists on breathing more life into his wretched soul. I may be older, but I will outlive him!

My wife is pregnant...again. I really need to calm down in my old age.

It's a boy. The family seems to be evening out a bit now.

I have no idea how I do it, but I've managed to get my wife pregnant again. My Court Chaplain insists I stop these so-called “shenanigans”.

I am blessed with another son.

Duke Arsewipe has stepped over the line now. He has asked me to allow HIM to educate MY son and heir. May the Devil take him!

60 today. I insist upon outlasting Duke Arsewipe!

My eldest daughter's husband has died at the age of 31, and the circumstances are very suspicious.

My son and heir is now married to the princess of the Holy Roman Empire!

My half-brother, Dumnarth, died today. He will be greatly missed.

Insulted my wife by calling her gluttonous and a monster when it comes to table manners. I shall not be doing that again.

It is done. Duke Arsewipe finally had his last breath on August 1st, 1101 at the age of 69. I can now go to my grave a happy man.

At the age of 72, Earl Cadoc of Cornwall died after a period of illness on November 2nd, 1103. He succeeded in his goal of outlasting his mortal enemy.

Rest In Peace, Earl Cadoc of Cornwall.
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1,051 of 1,222 people (86%) found this review helpful
1,725 people found this review funny
6,386.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2015
This game is not very replayable.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
198 of 204 people (97%) found this review helpful
225 people found this review funny
232.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2015
Unlocked sibling marriage with marry_anyone command.

Inbreeding is now the most popular past-time in my Kingdom.

My oldest son kills me in a duel and marries my heir daughter, wife dies of depression and the whole family dies as inbred freaks within 40 years.

No other game lets you do this.


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