Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I haven’t checked in on Europa Universalis IV or Crusader Kings II for a while, but both games continue to expand in my absence. For Crusader Kings II, the Charlemagne expansion pushes back further into the early medieval period, with another hundred years added to the timeline and enough features to make the DLC equivalent in size to the gargantuan Old Gods expansion. EU IV’s Art of War expansion might be even larger and is certainly the grandest piece of DLC for Europa Universalis to date. As the name suggests, the focus is on military campaigns, but every system in these games is linked, so it’ll affect far more than the fracas. Videos below.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Ben Barrett)

Who will become the King of Fabulous (13)?

Humble Bundle are always going to be of varying quality – sometimes including only a single quality game with some bonuses, sometimes of no interest whatsoever – but the latest, titled Jumbo Bundle 2, is quite the bargain.

For the low, low price of whatever-the-hell-you’d-like you’ll get space 4X Galactic Civilizations II with its expansions, side-scrolling undead violence-applier Deadlight and isometric action RPG The Incredible Adventures of Ven Helsing. Beat the average price however ($6.32 at the time of writing) and you’ll also receive 2D survival exploration Terraria, combo-heavy high-skill fighting game King of Fighters XIII and the story-spawning strategy-RPG Crusader Kings 2.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I don’t think I’d mind if Crusader Kings II received fresh DLC for the next twenty years. Judging by the latest announcement, which I witnessed live at a fan gathering/press conference at Gamescom, the greatest medieval strategy RPG-sim of all time might soon be simply the greatest historical> RPG-sim of all time. The upcoming Charlemagne expansion brings the possible start date ever closer to the classical era, with the option of beginning play in 769 AD to follow the life and times of Big Chuck. EU IV is also set to expand, to the beat of a warlike drum.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

A logo, yesterday.

I really appreciate the efforts of the voiceover man in this launch trailer for the new Crusader Kings expansion, Rajas of India. He’s doing his very best to make the game sound exciting and dramatic, even as the camera pans slowly across colourful cartography and static menu screens.

Except, as we players of Paradox’s medieval soap opera know, this is> exciting. You don’t need to say it in a dramatic voice: Rajas of India adds the Indian subcontinent, three new religions, and a lot of new ways to commit lusty barbarism.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Rajas Of India is the next gargantuan expansion for 2012-2013′s best strategy game, Crusader Kings II. Your date with the Rajas is set for March 25th, which should give you just enough time to buy something nice to wear and book a table at that fancy restaurant that everybody keeps going on about. I’ve already gathered a wealth of information about what to expect, as well as thoughts on the expanded map, and new faiths and cultures. The ten minute video below contains much of the same information, delivered directly from the mind and mouth of Henrik F hraeus, the man who made the Middle Ages.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

I don’t think anyone at Paradox expected Crusader Kings II to spread into India with quite as much gusto as it will this March. The next expansion adds around 50% to the world map, with almost 400 new provinces, three new religions and a continent’s worth of new events, including the possibility of chained ‘reincarnation’ plotlines. As always with these generous chunks of DLC, a free patch will be released alongside the expansion and it will contain a surprisingly hefty amount of content, including the entirety of the expanded map, and Steam matchmaking and Workshop support. While it may not have the immediate appeal of the Old Gods to many (Vikings vs Buddhists anyone?), Rajas is the biggest expansion since. More details below.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Crusader Kings 2 is one of my personal favourites of 2013, as it was in 2012, but it didn t have a place in our calendar. It could been included using the Trojan Horse of DLC, as XCOM did thanks to Enemy Within, but it s hard to pick out the stand-out expansion for CK II. Even The Old Gods, which expanded the timeframe, felt like part of the whole rather than a distinct item. That is part of the brilliance of the design, but it also makes it much harder to say Crusader Kings II: Old Gods is one of the games of 2013 rather than simply saying, Crusader Kings II is one of the games of the year. Again. Here s why I think that argument is valid.>

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

If you enter in to Crusader Kings 2 with a plan to win, you’re going to be frustrated. It’s a complex turn-based strategy game set during the Middle Ages in Europe, with an overwhelming array of options available whether you start as a mighty King or a lowly Count. If you approach it as a role-playing game though, with an interest only in being interesting, then it’s an accessible, surprising delight to muddle your way through and craft your own stories.

That’s why any new expansion to the game is so exciting; every added layer of detail gives you a new role to perform. Sons of Abraham focuses on expanding the Jewish and Muslim faiths. It’s out now and there’s a new developer diary below. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Apparently, Crusader Kings II is still missing> something, which seems unlikely considering the amount of content that each major expansion has added. The Old Gods took the cake* – Forseti loves a slice of Battenberg – adding a couple of centuries to play with, a host of religions and new raiding mechanics mechanics. That’s not the end of the road though. It seems the one God and the diverse groups that claim to know Him best is a little jealous of the Old Gods and the Sons of Abraham expansion is hoping to make Him feel better by honouring “the big three in Medieval Europe: Christianity, Judaism and Islam”. More details below.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Paradox have sounded the news bugle to announce that Crusader Kings II, the game that has continued to expand and consume my days throughout 2013, is refusing to abdicate its crown. A polite ruler would step aside to make room for the next in line to the throne, but CK II has never been polite. It’s a devious, murderous omnicidal lord and it will never> die. Today’s grand strategy news is this – Europa Universalis IV will couple with Crusader Kings II via a save-game converter.

Fans of Crusader Kings II will be able to maintain the empires they have established and guide them through the age of exploration in an all-new strategic experience, continuing their personal stories of expansion and conquest.

There’s a very good chance I won’t be playing anything else ever.

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