Review: Crusader Kings 2

Paradox Interactive bring us dynasty/Kingdom simulator, in which you pick a leader to control from the medieval times in Europe, your goal is to build your empire up around you. The game has no end game as such, instead you kind of make up your own end game. Game over can occur if you/when you die and you have no heir to the throne. lets take a look at how this game plays out.

Pros:
  • You get to pick a leader from some of the most important times in history. You don’t like how things went in 1066? then now you have the chance to change it
  • You will be in charge of managing the council, enforcing and even changing the laws of your land
  • Hiring your staff around you, giving them missions to help you like spreading lies or taking out soldiers on the borders
  • Planning attacks or defending your land, its all down to you and the army you have amassed and trained. placement is going to help you
  • You can build castles, defenses and really become the top dog
  • Your first real goal though is to find a wife and have a son, for having a son means your legacy will live on long after your death
  • Your tactics for victory can get very dirty and under handed. I sent a chancellor into a country to spread lies about their ruling methods and his spending, this caused a revolt between the people and the kingdom. I then merely waited until they were all wiped out then swooped in and took control, all the while looking like an opportunist rather than a war threatening tyrant to the rest of Europe
  • Keep a watchful eye on your people around you though, for they can be a back stabbing and even deadly opponent
  • Randomly generated every game mechanic, meaning every time you play a new game even if you pick the same leader, things will be different. I had it where in one game I had a girl from the off, she landed up wanting to marry a guy who in the previous game tried his darnest to attack my kingdom at every opportunity
  • The game is huge and full of menus allowing you to tweak and raise taxes, change the laws to your hearts content. My second game went on for well over a week of solid play
  • You wont realise just how much power you have. I had it where a guy who tried to kill me, was on my staff and landed up getting extradited to a island far far away, with only a few crazy criminals to keep him company. I saw a 10 year old boy get married to a 60 year old queen so i stayed away from her I can tell you! its these random events that really keep you engrossed
  • The tutorials do a good job of giving you the basics and helping you understand how to get through your first few games
  • Has multi player but I was unable to find any opponents due to a problem my end
Cons:
  • While the tutorials will help you some what, you cant help but feel a few more more simply put tutorials would of been a benefit, especially to new players
  • Your first game will be the most daunting experience, the sense of being overwhelmed, unsure of anything is common
  • So many menus and buttons to click, you have the power but without clear guidelines you don’t know what half of them do
  • To get the game moving, relies heavily on your button presses in the many menus which is where the confusion is born
In summary once you have gotten over the vast array of menus, you have a solid huge game. Loads to do and tactics is key to winning the war and take over the whole of Europe. Its the little things that make the game experience though, with its random marriage proposals for your kids to a wife that hates you and wants you killed. Its like a medieval soap opera and everyone wants you to be the victim! I had a lot of fun just letting things play out and trying to wind the pope up as much as possible. My only son I had in game turned out to be gay and I couldn’t get the law changed to allow him to succeed me so my dynasty died with me.
Stick with the game and it will reward you.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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