User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 768 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 768

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  1. Nov 7, 2013
    7
    Crusader Kings II was my introduction, and eventual conversion, to Paradox Interactive. The depth of the dynastic strategy is amazing though it will take many hours to fully appreciate and exploit the tools given to you for conquering Medieval Europe. While there are some flaws within the game the only real "game breaker" would be multiplayer support. Crusader Kings II plays very wellCrusader Kings II was my introduction, and eventual conversion, to Paradox Interactive. The depth of the dynastic strategy is amazing though it will take many hours to fully appreciate and exploit the tools given to you for conquering Medieval Europe. While there are some flaws within the game the only real "game breaker" would be multiplayer support. Crusader Kings II plays very well single player but it truly shines when you play with others. Unfortunately, Paradox's metaserver is nonfunctional and unsupported, which leaves you with having to play through your own IP which is extremely difficult for friends and family who have no network experience. Expand
  2. Jul 29, 2013
    7
    This is by no means an easy game to master not helped by poor tutorials that don't really teach you how to the play the game. That said if you persist with Crusader kings you will be rewarded with a challenging game which will test your strategy and planning. Unfortunately the combat is particularly lackluster and the interface is poor.
  3. Jun 3, 2013
    7
    Love Paradox games and this started out as no exception. It's big, complex, and detailed. Once you get the hang of it you can chug through rather nicely. For me, the game fails miserably when it comes to a King/Queen dying. Historically, you didn't see wars stop due to a death or rebellions pop up after every death. In CK2 however, all aggressive expansions immediately halt upon death andLove Paradox games and this started out as no exception. It's big, complex, and detailed. Once you get the hang of it you can chug through rather nicely. For me, the game fails miserably when it comes to a King/Queen dying. Historically, you didn't see wars stop due to a death or rebellions pop up after every death. In CK2 however, all aggressive expansions immediately halt upon death and rebellions are far too common from the ensuing loss of stability. Tends to create boring dead zones of time where you can't really do much other than wait for loyalty to solidify to expand again. It's just tedious and boring rather than challenging and entertaining. Really frustrating when you get unlucky and run through multiple rulers in a short time frame. Overall the game isn't bad and is worth grabbing if you're into complex strat games. Expand
  4. Mar 27, 2012
    6
    Not an easy game, sometimes frustrating, with a slow learning curve (if you expect to master it). You ll have to make many mistakes before understanding most of the game mechanics and be successful. Certainly not a game for everyone. But if you can go through that, you ll find a jewel that worth your time. The political system is very complex and the backbone of the game, it's all aboutNot an easy game, sometimes frustrating, with a slow learning curve (if you expect to master it). You ll have to make many mistakes before understanding most of the game mechanics and be successful. Certainly not a game for everyone. But if you can go through that, you ll find a jewel that worth your time. The political system is very complex and the backbone of the game, it's all about relations between members of your family/vassals, not so much about war and conquests. Very deep game. Expand
  5. Jan 2, 2013
    5
    Another almost fun game. Super hard to understand. Very little help to learn. Even when something happen bad, you dont know what it is and how to improve it. The game keep you very very busy, taking care of 1000 details. But whatever you do, it doesn't change so much the results. Even when things seem to go well, you can be bite by a serpent or fall from a balcony or many other reasons outAnother almost fun game. Super hard to understand. Very little help to learn. Even when something happen bad, you dont know what it is and how to improve it. The game keep you very very busy, taking care of 1000 details. But whatever you do, it doesn't change so much the results. Even when things seem to go well, you can be bite by a serpent or fall from a balcony or many other reasons out of your control and then the end of the game might follow. You got TWO choices : you help the computer to beat himself OR you face it and be crushed slowly to instantly. Expand
  6. Jul 19, 2013
    6
    I hate to give this game a poor review; as people seem to love it so much, and there seems to be some great aspect to it that I just don't get, but the game just simply seems to have no redeeming factor to me.
    I'm quite all right with relatively bland UIs but this one just takes the cake it's a simple map (that strangely gives me frame rate drops on 'terrain' view) with some very basic
    I hate to give this game a poor review; as people seem to love it so much, and there seems to be some great aspect to it that I just don't get, but the game just simply seems to have no redeeming factor to me.
    I'm quite all right with relatively bland UIs but this one just takes the cake it's a simple map (that strangely gives me frame rate drops on 'terrain' view) with some very basic animations that take place when two armies engage.
    As far as I'm aware, planning out a dynasty is the main 'goal' of the game, although it's a bit more ambiguous than that essentially, you achieve what you wish to achieve in the game. I'm quite all right with the concept, but with such little to motivate and drive you, I ended up asking just what exactly I was playing for as I was in no way engaged a similar occurrence to what can happen when playing Minecraft.
    I will say this. I thoroughly believe if you are a strategy fan, you will enjoy this. I got some enjoyment out of Starcraft 2, but I have determined real-time strategy games are not for me. Perhaps this is what so hazily masks the appeal for me.
    However, if you're on the fence about playing this, my review will likely apply more to you. As a lot of people have stated, there's a giant learning curve to this game I believe understand the concepts, but I don't understand how to 'play' it. I keep my vassals happy, make sure my ruler has a royal heir to succeed him and... then what? I have to wait years upon years to get a claim upon a county? Perhaps I'm blind, but the game feels like just one huge waiting fest.
    I regret this isn't the game for me as I was granted it as a gift after showing some interest in it. I merely hope those of you who do purchase get a lot more entertainment out of this than I did, as for me I wasn't motivated in the slightest to continue my campaign any actually achieve some form of major goal within the game.
    Playing as historical rulers (or characters from a Song of Ice and Fire, if that's your thing) is cool, though.
    Expand
  7. Jun 6, 2014
    7
    Great game!

    Yet:
    - It may be too "basic", want to see some more "creativity" regarding to the subject: history, intrigue, worldmap (continents), battle, politics

    Maybe a sandbox solution? So the game can be very "basic" and very "deep", at the same time?
    Just a thought.
  8. Apr 25, 2017
    6
    Decent game, very detailed campaign, lot's to do. But the UI is a frustrating mess that ruins it for me. This is the sort of detailed campaign I could only ever hope for in a Total War game.
  9. Jul 16, 2016
    5
    This used to be my favorite game. Used to be. Back during Rajas of India or somewhere along there I would have rated it 9 out of 10.

    Then they broke it. Inexplicably ruined it, trashed it, let some junior designer or idiot know-it-all producer or a committee of dunces--I have no idea what happened there, in Sweden, behind closed doors--utterly trash the game with the broken, worthless,
    This used to be my favorite game. Used to be. Back during Rajas of India or somewhere along there I would have rated it 9 out of 10.

    Then they broke it. Inexplicably ruined it, trashed it, let some junior designer or idiot know-it-all producer or a committee of dunces--I have no idea what happened there, in Sweden, behind closed doors--utterly trash the game with the broken, worthless, unplayable steaming POS that is the Conclave DLC. I hope someone got fired for that, but now that I have Stellaris, I don't think that person got fired. I think they got promoted.

    Seriouisly, WTF happened to Paradox? Did their best game designers quit or something? Because this once-great strategy company has gone to the dogs.
    Expand
  10. Apr 25, 2017
    7
    Mind you, my grade for this game would be 10/10 if 2 DLC's never happened. I will just review old version of the game, then add some minus points in the end.
    CK2 as a game allows you to heavily roleplay and enact the wonder scenarios you always dreamed of reading about history. Reverse Manzikert? Check. Make pagan religion of choice (or all of them) survive? Check. Make Islam/Christianity
    Mind you, my grade for this game would be 10/10 if 2 DLC's never happened. I will just review old version of the game, then add some minus points in the end.
    CK2 as a game allows you to heavily roleplay and enact the wonder scenarios you always dreamed of reading about history. Reverse Manzikert? Check. Make pagan religion of choice (or all of them) survive? Check. Make Islam/Christianity win or fail miserably? All possible. Have sex with your cousin? Check. Be a mediocre ruler, like hundreds in real life before you - possible. Have your country ruled in succession by alikes of Alexander or Napoleon and leading it to glory? All possible.
    In addition, your history knowledge with this game will skyrocket. I wouldn't complain about hard to play, because you can just use some cheats as training wheels early.
    Now here come bad things. Imagine if playing GTA it took you 2 minutes to steal a car, and police would chase you forever like in real life. Is this more realistic? Yes. Does it kill the game for you? Yes as well. CK2 had 2 bad dlcs that while had some redeeming qualities, destroyed the fun out of game.
    First one is Charlemagne, which makes retinues useless (only like 2% of cultures in the game have good retinues). Want to feel forced to reform religion so you will basically never play as a king OR unreformed for prolonged time - hell yeah, because you are some crap called tribal now. Now let's get to conclave. What are the most fun times in the playthrough? Well, first 100 years, when you are consolidating power, or maybe going from the count to emperor / multi king. Which hours of conclave suck the most? The same hours, because your council has almost everything in their favour and it takes you 5/10 years and 500-2000 gold each time to allow you to actually rule kingdom, where you'd possible need/want to do somethings like: you have right to banish bad people, you can revoke titles from traitors, you can grant YOUR titles to someone else, you can imprison bad people and many others!
    Expand
  11. Apr 29, 2012
    10
    As a student of medieval history, I find this game extremely intriguing. No other strategy game set in the middle ages have captured my imagination quite as CK2. I love TW:Medieval 2, but after playing CK2, Medieval 2 feels somewhat unsatisfying. In Medieval 2 for example, you play a nation, which is probematic in a society ruled by feudal dynastic leaders. In CK2, you play as a singleAs a student of medieval history, I find this game extremely intriguing. No other strategy game set in the middle ages have captured my imagination quite as CK2. I love TW:Medieval 2, but after playing CK2, Medieval 2 feels somewhat unsatisfying. In Medieval 2 for example, you play a nation, which is probematic in a society ruled by feudal dynastic leaders. In CK2, you play as a single person (count, duke, king or emperor) and are faced with all the challenges of society which is based on personal relationships, not on abstract notions of homogenous nations. Therefore, the focus is not so much on warfare, but on these relationships which may well shatter your whole dynasty if they turn sour. Your power is never absolute: if your vassals don't like you, they won't provide you with money or troups, or will even raise their flags in rebellion. Years and years of civil war are no rarity in this game.
    Medieval 2 let you conquer the whole of Europe with relative ease in a short span of time, and, more importantly, without good reason. In CK2, wars even against much weaker enemies are expensive and dangerous. In my last game playing as kings of France, I spent 300 years, plotting and warring, until I managed to take back all counties held by England in France. Also, you will always need a reason for declaring war on someone. Claims on certain counties, dukedoms or even kingdoms are inherited through marriage, fabricated or granted by a liege lord or the pope.
    I very much enjoy this game and I can recommend it to anyone interested in the medieval period, or strategy gaming in general. Its focus on individuals give it a fresh and personal feeling, and the plethora of small stories and tragedies unfolding in the course of centuries is captivating.
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Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Jan 24, 2013
    80
    It might look like a daunting game to dive into, but stick with it and you'll find one of the most engaging and addictive strategy experiences available.
  2. Oct 27, 2012
    80
    Crusader Kings II is quite unique. It's focus on dynasties and family leads to original and entertaining gameplay with great depth and variation. If not for a steep learning curve, it would be close to perfect.
  3. Oct 17, 2012
    80
    Crusader Kings 2 isn't a traditional RTS. The countless intrigues, relationships and family issues that you have to deal with, might make it seem more like a relationship-manager than an actual game. Still, it's quite refreshing and thanks to the countless choices it makes for a great political playground. Every play session is different and opens up a new story, but in return it requires a lot of insight and empathy.