Crusader Kings II PC

User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 749 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 749

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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.
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  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. 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.
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  9. Feb 5, 2015
    10
    After a couple of years of playing this game intermittently I think I have to say that CKII is a classic, and one of the best games to be released in the last decade. It`s a bit much initially, as Paradox` grand strat bonanzas tend to be. But once you get going there are just so many layers of activity that you can`t possibly even know about half of it, much less control it in anyAfter a couple of years of playing this game intermittently I think I have to say that CKII is a classic, and one of the best games to be released in the last decade. It`s a bit much initially, as Paradox` grand strat bonanzas tend to be. But once you get going there are just so many layers of activity that you can`t possibly even know about half of it, much less control it in any meaningful way. It really does feel like a pulsating Europe is living, scheming, marrying, reproducing and dying independently on your screen.
    On a geographical level, CKII is a feudal simulator more than a proper grand strategy game. There are armies, but more like the Risk armies than the ones from Europa Universalis; the more land you control and the more developed your holdings the bigger your army. Each county, owned by a count, has a few castles, cities or cathedrals. controlled by barons, mayors and bishops respectively. These are the vassals of the count. Several counties make up a duchy which is held by a duke and the counts in the duchy are his vassals. Several duchies form a kingdom and several kingdoms an empire. It`s all a giant pyramid, hopefully with you at the top.
    But the real meat of CKII are the characters. Europe consists of thousands and thousands of simulated little people, living out their lives while you play the game. And all of them have an opinion of you, ranging from -100 to +100. Most of them you never even see unless you look for them, while some of them will be trusted advisers and generals or hated enemies. Each one has a culture, a religion, six different statistics determining how well they will perform at various tasks and tons and tons of attributes, from innate traits like being a dwarf or ugly; virtues and sins like being charitable or greedy (Very Medieval that and a great touch) to many illnesses like smallpox and leprosy. You name a defect or a strength and it`s in CKII, affecting all sorts of things in subtle and not so subtle ways.
    Naturally you want your ruler (You, for the purposes of game play) to marry someone with desirable traits and high stats. Genius is the best available, adding six to all stats. But you might also want to marry the daughter of a powerful ruler to gain a beneficial alliance or even to have your son inherit his, and your, lands. Is it worth it to marry an inbred Saxon woman who is possessed, ugly and arbitrary just to get the Emperor on your side? Probably not, although who knows?
    Then again marriage can be a good source of income too. One example is if you end up with an old female ruler at which point opportunities are endless for marriage exploitation. By consistently marrying the oldest man in Europe I managed to marry away one such ruler 24 times, each time extorting a marriage gift from all my vassals. Sometimes the groom would die of old age three days after the wedding, and I could marry again right away. Good times!
    When your ruler dies you continue playing as his heir, unless the heir is of a different dynasty, in which case the game is over. Planning ahead is crucial to maintaining a dynastic rule over the nearly 400 years the game lasts. And because of the way the game works, a mistake early on can have ramifications throughout the rest of the game.
    And this is just the tip of the iceberg of awesomeness that is CKII. You have different political systems and religions and can change royal laws in various ways, which drastically affect the way your game plays out. If you want to play with primogeniture (Oldest son inherits) then you should not grant any lands or titles at all to any pretenders or even to any family members who might conceivably challenge your royal line. On the other hand if you want to play with elective monarchy you must seed family members all over the place over many generations to ensure that no one outside the dynasty can ever appear as a landed candidate. And this of course makes inbreeding hard to avoid after a few centuries, as every court in your realm consists almost exclusively of family members.

    Crusades, jihads, excommunication and witch burnings. You name it and it`s in CKII. Greek courts even poke out the eyes of people caught spying on them. Once you get past the slightly rocky and steep learning curve, it`s all totally magnificent and only grows with time. By far Paradox`best game to date, and only marred by the flood of DLC moneygrubbing. But the game is so perfect I can`t bring myself to lower the rating. It`s just that good.
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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.