Europe is in turmoil. The lands are fragmented into petty fiefs and the Emperor struggles with the Pope. At this very moment the Pope has declared that those who go to liberate the Holy Land will be freed of all sins. Gather prestige and piety and the world will whisper your name in awe.
User reviews:
Mixed (90 reviews) - 63% of the 90 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012

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About This Game

Europe is in turmoil. The lands are fragmented into petty fiefs and the Emperor struggles with the Pope. At this very moment the Pope has declared that those who go to liberate the Holy Land will be freed of all sins.

Gather prestige and piety and the world will whisper your name in awe. Will you co-opt other monarchs, and the Pope, under your leadership to liberate the Holy Land? Do you have what it takes to become a Crusader King?

Key Features:

  • Take control of one of the Great Christian Dynasties of Europe and forge the bonds of your vassals from a circle of friends into a Nation
  • Increase the greatness of your lands and your treasure coffins, build Cathedrals and Castles, and combat Highway Robber Bands and defecting vassals
  • Historical multiple-choice events will spawn from the actions of your monarch
  • Engage in the campaigns of the Hundred Years War, the five Crusades and the Mongol Wars during 400 years of gameplay
  • Reenact the crusades, defend against the Mongol onslaught, and form feudal nation-states in Europe
  • Introduce laws, set taxes and interact with hundreds of courtiers and nobles
  • Experience realtime grand-strategy based on the engine used by the award winning Europa Universalis-series
  • Engage in an evolutionary combat system
  • Play all religious orders – choose between the Knight´s Templars, The Knights of St John, The Teutonic Order or the Order of Calatrava and the Order of Santiago
  • Engage in fierce multiplayer battles with up to 8 players

System Requirements

    • OS: XP
    • Processor: Pentium III 450 MHz
    • Memory: 128 Mb RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 600 MB Free Hard Drive Space
    • Video Card: 4 Mb Video Card
    • DirectX®: 9.0c or better
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
Customer reviews
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Mixed (90 reviews)
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66 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
141 of 165 people (85%) found this review helpful
71 people found this review funny
216.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2014
I took over Scandinavia as Norway,then sailed into Ireland and made them my ***** ,conquered land in modernday Russia and Italy and i am the papal controller,oh and my ruler is a demented madman with schizophrenia who is the king of Norway,Sweden,Denmark,Lithuania,Wales,Ireland,Scotland and Sicily,i battled Muslim sheiks and emirs in the Sahara desert,liberated Roma from the Seljuk Turks who have a province in the middle of the Scottish Highlands,England is in a alliance with Poland and Burgundy toppled the Holy Roman Empire and became the second largest country in Europe,just behind me
oh and my wife is insane aswell and my son is a fanatical priest who killed his uncle for no reason
♥♥♥♥ Game of Thrones Norway is where the action is at baby!
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63 of 70 people (90%) found this review helpful
43 people found this review funny
42.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 24, 2014
The King of Sicily went heretical and rebelled against himself, the King of Sicily, which in turn caused a massive revolt across my kingdom. Was unable to put down said revolt and the King's Grandson went on to defeat his grandfather and claim the title King of Sicily for himself.

I still have no idea how any of that was possible but I'm having too much fun to care.
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122 of 163 people (75%) found this review helpful
51 people found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 28, 2014
Hard to learn
Odd controls
Odd interface
No pause
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40 of 43 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
152.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
The Grandness of Paradox Grand Strategy titles is not a misnomer. Shame the grandeur tends to also come with a small helping of bugginess. Crusader Kings 1 is perhaps the poster child for that. The title was initially developed by an outside studio, with a similar style to Europa Universalis but in the Middle Ages with a focus on families instead of nation states. Unfortunately, the outside studio kind of screwed some things up. Even with all the fixes eventually given to the title, there are still random quirks that don't work like they should.

Still the grandeur honestly makes up for many of the blemishes. It is a pleasure to lead a family of small time counts to the head of the known world. Unfortunately, once you know the mechanics, you really have to hold yourself in line to not use them all. It's extremely easy to min max your way to a thorougly boring second half of the game. Don't give in to temptation, and you're treated to stories that can be great fun to remember and share, like the count who went mad, killed everyone, then just sort of sat there with no heirs til you inheirited from the people who were grateful to not have to put up with him or his heirs. Stories that grow out of the gameplay are really the draw from this title.

Also try looking up the Dynastic Glory program. It lets you parse your save game, and compare your family tree to those of other great families. It opens a whole new way to make a mark on the world, spreading your seed far and wide to have your namesake, if not yourself directly, as the top of all the houses of Europe.

Overall, Crusader Kings represents a really interesting game style that should be experienced at least once. You may want to go for a less buggy or more accessible model though. Try Europa Universalis 3, for example. 3/5
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82 of 111 people (74%) found this review helpful
30 people found this review funny
200.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2013
Not a good idea when trying to complete a dissertation.
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36 of 40 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
259.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 31, 2013
Crusader Kings in many ways is a biographer's wet dream. It has mechanics of Europa Universalis 2, the warfare, the economics, the diplomacy but unlike that grand strategy epic, this grand strategy epic portrays you not as some nameless entity ruling your nation through the ages but as the head of a noble medieval family, your faith not tied into the success of the nation you rule but the rulers themselves.

You start the game by picking which family to control, you can start off as a great King yes but you can also choose to play as a powerful Duke or even an impoverished Count. You then set about forging alliances, mostly through marriage, produce offspring that can one day take over the mantle of leadership and assert your claim to various noble titles. As you grow in power and influence new challenges will arise. Conquer too quickly and others will see you as a warmonger, your vassals may grow too powerful and seek to claim your titles for themselves and should you have too many children they may differ over who should rule when you are dead.

Each character has a set of characteristics and traits that wouldn't feel out of place in an RPG. Some traits are purely positive while others make you an inept ruler. Each trait also has an opposite, brave to cowardly and so forth and characters with opposing traits will often dislike each other and this all works together to create a great web of intrigue that makes holding together a great Kingdom a real challenge.

This great seat of intrigue and dynasty building is not without it's flaws however, the lack of any sort of proper tutorial and the rather extreme wealth of information you get showered with from the moment you start up the game makes it near impossible for newcomers to get into the game and even veterans of Europa Universalis 2 will find themselves struggling to keep up with the flow of information.

All in all Crusader Kings is an extremely complex dynasty building game that more often than not throws you into the deep end and see if you can figure out the diplomacy of marriage politics before you die without an heir or have to resort to incest. It is a fun game, once you learn it but unfortunately most people will quit long before that.
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24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
435.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 16, 2014
Love this game. It's a little difficult to understand initially, but once you pick up on the essentials it's really fun and pretty tough. Hint: your chancellor is your most important council member.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1,511.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
As some have said, this game has an extreme learning curve. But if you want a game that is super detailed in how much control you have over every aspect of your empire/kingdom, this is a game you want to try. From deciding who marries who to pass on good traits to their offspring, to what buildings each province has, to what type of armies you want to command. I thoroughly enjoy this game from time to time. WARNING, game does tend to crash when using cheat codes, so save often. Also, upon loading a game, you need to wait at least 6months game time before going to war so your troops lose an unknown coward/flee debuff. All in all, great game for the cheap price I paid during Steam's summer sale.
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18 of 18 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
38.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2015
Crusader Kings it's a good old classic game, for a 2004 game, it still holds up very well. In the last month and a half I've been playing CK for about 100+ hours (initially purchased in GoG), and this game got me hooked so bad that I have not even touched the new StarCraft Legacy of The Void expansion, and by the looks of it, I'm going straight to CKII after I finish at least one full game, from 1066 to 1453.

In CK you manage a royal dynasty, a Monarch and his blood line, and of course his kingdom, and his religion. You can conquer as much land as you want, bringing the Catholic faith to the heathens at the same time making sure they have the ruler they need, that means you and your descendants.

CK is a Grand Strategy game, players from the Civilization series, or Total War series, won't be having hard time enjoying it, but this doesn't mean the game is just like those games, or any other game for that matter (well, maybe except for Crusader Kings II or Europa Universalis), The blend of strategy, royal dynasty simulator and the random events create a unique and fun game, even the story telling that is created every time you play a game is a big part of the fun. One time I got my father and my grandfather beatified and sanctified, and later on the pope made me Emperor.

The game sessions are not shorts, and this may be a turn off for some people, you can easily spend 80+ hours in one game, specially if you start in 1066 AD, but this kind of games can create a very deep story of your royal dynasty.

The game plays much like a board game, you will be looking at a big Europe and its surroundings A LOT, looking at your lands and the lands of your enemies and possible targets, you will be spending a lot of time looking at your family, making sure your successor is a worthy one, because when your current monarch dies, the successor will be having th time of his life trying to hold together the great kingdom that just inherited together, some of his vassals may find they don't like him very much and will try to declare independence. These are the times you will know the meaning of ruling with an iron fist.

Even if there is Crusader Kings II, this game deserves the chance of being played. Even if you just play ONE full game, with all its faults and weird design decisions, CK is worth playing.

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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
21.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 16, 2015
Crusader kings 1 loses the fight against Crusader Kings II, but it is still fun and a cheap game. I like it and the only negative thing in this game in my opinion is that you cannot play as a pagan ruler, which I would really like to do.
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Recently Posted
0.1 hrs
Posted: October 5
Unintuitive controls.
Graphical errors display map and tooltips.
Don't every try alt-tabbing...
The worst thing being the load times.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
465.2 hrs
Posted: September 23
I wouldn't recommend paying more than $2 for this. I think I got it for $1, & I guess I got my money's worth of play out of it, though the 1st few hours is exasperating trying to figure out how to do everything. Dislike that pop-ups appear on top of each other; many times I clicked something I didn't want to or even see what it was because it popped over something I was currently clicking. I cheated every way possible & it's still barely playable(albeit strangely addictive). It's funny how the creators must hate kids...every one in the game is always being annoying, just like real life.
Battle is atrocious, & moving troops is painfully slow. Also, you lose huge chunks of your army as it moves so it's , at best, 1/2 the size it was when it arrives. Army of 50k leaving England will have maybe 10k when it gets to Jerusalem. Add to that the annoying Pope telling you to crusade against behemoths like Egypt or the Seljuks. Yes, as Denmark with my small armies that will be tiny before I get anywhere near the hundreds of thousands of Turks whose armies never seem to diminish. I wish I could turn Deus Vult off, then maybe it would be almost ok.
Warning to nuubz, NEVER ally with anyone. This is just a nuisance, as they will continuously drag you into petty squabbles, or worse, war with a monster country like Germany, England, or France.(I was England allied w/Scotland & they tried to suck me into war w/ France & their ally Germany) Never ally w/Hungary, they're ALWAYS at war. Best countries to be, crusadewise are Croatia & Sicily, as they are centrally located.
If by some miracle heathens take Rome, conquer it, it makes large armies (6-12k, iirc). The other best places to hold are Alexandria & Byzantium(these 2 get 20-30k troops), Giza's not bad , most of Sicly has decent numbers, Cordoba & Valencia are ok. Most places 3-4k troops is alot, many are under 1k or even 500.
I've never made it to the endgame, my empire just becomes unwieldy at some point & I quit & start a new kingdom. My best was 13 Kingships, I forget all of them but Byzantium, Jerusalem,Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Germany, France, Sicily,Lithuania, Burgundy, Africa(either Ireland & Wales, or part of Spain) were among them, that was when I started as Croatia(Ithink duke thereof).
Overall I'd prefer ANY Total War. Mostly the things that happen in the game , though "realistic", are just annoying, mostly.
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3.1 hrs
Posted: August 25
I never played this game and I just can't get into it now. It's wa-ay to outdated. The only reason I bought this is because I love CK2. CK2 is my favorite game and I wanted to see how the franchise started. For me this game is just a novelty game, the one you purchase and immediately put on the shelf to dust - just to check the check mark.
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16.0 hrs
Posted: June 25
Historical gaming primarily focused on family management (yes, there is war and conquest but I end up spending more time managing family affairs than managing armies and territories.) It feels very "Darwinian" going through the list of brides in the general ledger, searching for the stats and traits that will improve the descendency for your family and your courtier's families.

Having played this and CKII I have to say I find the original more enjoyable. The graphics are less polished and it is simpler but this simplicity can actually be an advantage in terms of how much fun is it to play.
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0.8 hrs
Posted: May 13
One of the most complex and hard games out there. Yet once you crack into the game it is amazing.
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12.6 hrs
Posted: March 27
Why is this game?
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Marshall Tigerus
19.2 hrs
Posted: January 18
While Paradox typically makes great games, and this is one of their older titles, the steam version has some bad crash to desktop moments. As it is an older title for them, the UI is lacking and the game is a lot of waiting around, with poor design decisions like going to the options menu to change the game speed. I highly recommend most other Paradox titles, but not this one.
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49.8 hrs
Posted: December 23, 2015
lot of people complaining about complexity, lack of graphics, tutorials or problems with graphics.
all of this is complaining is worthless.
the game is reaaly great. imagine somthing like mount&blade (im still big fan M&B. look at my hour counter) as pure strategic simulation of medieval feudal life for the cost of graphics and personal involvement into a battle.
no tutorial ? so what. everything is described in game. it is enough to read all descriptions. after half an hour of gameplay i knew basic rules how to play. rest is an experience or wikia.
if you cant run the game you really loose a lot of fun but this is morelikely problem with your OS.
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Oddski Boddski
22.8 hrs
Posted: December 15, 2015
Inherited Kingdom of Hungary and Croatia after my king fell onto a pike during the seige. New King promptly declared war on half of his own realm, was excommunicated, and then got ♥♥♥♥♥-slapped by France after losing all his men trying to seize Rome. Good times.
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