As a consumer I always try to avoid buying games that will not get play time. It's not fair to the game or my dollar. I bought this on sale for a very small amount and it no achievements so I was okay with it being a loss if thats what it turned out to be. This game was not a loss, it was my addiction for a week. (considering opportunity cost... it may be a loss)
This game stood out on the market place because of its Age of Empires II graphics coupled with a seemingly total war "esk" strategy dynamic. Upon reading reviews it had a zealous fanbase. (always a good sign) When this game booted up I was suprised to see that this was published by Paradox Games. That was when I knew, that I would be in for a treat.
This game's most valuable asset is the real time mechanic. Most often I avoid real time stategy like the plague because I like to take my time playing stategy games, however Knights of Honor had a real balanced approach to real time and made it a real fresh experience in my primarily stategy based game library. With a trading system much like Settlers of Catan Knights of Honor frees you to focus on the land grab and military aspects of the game. Plus, this game is not so much do or die, or do and die any way. Most games I play: Crusader Kings II, Dark Souls II, LoL, require very well planned and finesed approach to everything you do. They will stress you out after a while. This game was the first one in some time that I have not needed to instantly consult a guide or index to navigate. The game handles a lot like Sid Meiers Civiliation, its got a relaxed approach that gets only as serious as you want it to be.
Another gem within this game that must be recognized is the randomization of resources. I cannot tell you how many games are limited by having areas, characters, or strategy that is the best or OP. The randomization frees you from the burden of starter placement. It gives you a reason to expand, instead of being passive. It gives the game all the replay value and ultimately drives the game.
Honestly, this game could be charachterized as Sega's Total War + Settlers of Catan dressed up as Age of Empires II masquerading as Crusader Kings. A very powerful combo.
If this game had only received a better name and more marketing it would have been a gaming Giant.