User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 626 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 626

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  1. 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
  2. Feb 12, 2012
    10
    First of all, this game isn't out yet, so I am basing this on the demo, since there is a mod that allows you to play for 400 years, and a bug that allows you to play any character, the game is pretty much open. In Crusader Kings II, you play a character, not a country like other Paradox games. You are a noble in medieval times. The five tiers are emperor, king, duke, count, and baron. YouFirst of all, this game isn't out yet, so I am basing this on the demo, since there is a mod that allows you to play for 400 years, and a bug that allows you to play any character, the game is pretty much open. In Crusader Kings II, you play a character, not a country like other Paradox games. You are a noble in medieval times. The five tiers are emperor, king, duke, count, and baron. You marry, have kids, try to insure succession is of your dynasty. You rule the country, but with limits. You have vassals under you to control and revolt. Claims on countries are generated in many different ways. Just the demo, I have probably played 20 hours in the past 4 days. It is great spreading your dynasty, even loosing is really fun. Trying to regain my throne is one of the best times I have had. Plotting is a great aspect. All in all, the game is a must buy for anyone interested in Medieval times, or grand strategy games. Expand
  3. May 29, 2013
    10
    Based on continuous support, patching and DLC this game really earns 10/10. The game is hard, complex and intriguing. In some ways it's not that much fun, since the player rarely feels to be in control of anything, and is up against a diabolical AI where no one has any loyalty to anyone else. In a game based on loyalty the result is constant mind-numbing betrayals and civil wars. All partBased on continuous support, patching and DLC this game really earns 10/10. The game is hard, complex and intriguing. In some ways it's not that much fun, since the player rarely feels to be in control of anything, and is up against a diabolical AI where no one has any loyalty to anyone else. In a game based on loyalty the result is constant mind-numbing betrayals and civil wars. All part of the game's warped charm and brilliance. If nothing else CK2 will show you that there are MANY ways in which a fuedal family can lose its way. Enjoy the show because its gonna be CHAOS. Yet the sheer impossibility of really achieving anything with a faction finally becomes part of the game's charm. Truly impressive is the extent and the DETAIL of the historical research that informs this game. One can play CK2 as a means of studying the history culture and geography of Medieval Europe. Without a doubt the TRUE GLORY of this game would exist as a MULTIPLAYER experience with about 8 human rivals. Yet the multiplayer as it stands is totally obscure, with no open multiplayer lobbies or dedicated servers, and requiring direct connection by IP address. So impressive (and over-whelming) as it is, the game still needs work to get the best GAMEPLAY out of the engine. Well done Paradox! If we could only get a more accessible form of campaign multiplayer, this game would be EPIC. Expand
  4. 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
  5. May 22, 2012
    10
    One of the best strategy titles I played in my time (and I played quite a few).

    (8/10) GRAPHICS: They get the job done well, this is not a "visual" type game. Mostr of the time you stare at the map of of the world and switch between different cities,a rmies, other options, etc... (10/10) GAMEPLAY: This is where the game shines. Very deep, complex and satisfying gameplay. Although it
    One of the best strategy titles I played in my time (and I played quite a few).

    (8/10) GRAPHICS: They get the job done well, this is not a "visual" type game. Mostr of the time you stare at the map of of the world and switch between different cities,a rmies, other options, etc...

    (10/10) GAMEPLAY: This is where the game shines. Very deep, complex and satisfying gameplay. Although it might be hard to learn for a casual gamer, anyone who spends the time will be greatly rewarded. Also strategy veterans will not be dissapointed as the game delivers on almost all fronts.

    (9/10) SOUND: Music is epic (especially with the DLCs), but it does get annoying rather quickly so most will mute the music. Almost like with the graphics the sounds gets the job done well, it will not be winning any awards though.

    (10/10) REPLAYABILITY: This one has a lot of potential to be replayed over and over and over again....

    CONCLUSION: Get this game now if you love strategy, consider getting this game if you think you love strategy and contemplate about getting this if you like history, middle-ages, crusades and most of all being a ruler in a virtual world!

    This game is one of a kind and I strongly recommend it to any shall I say "mature" gamers who prefer real games instead of flashy Michael Bay type gaming trendy nowadays. FINAL RATING: 9 out of 10
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  6. May 25, 2012
    10
    this is a great game for someone who wants to rule over Europe with one person with difficulties such as rebelling vassals and jihads. the DLC is a bit off but it is a very good game nonetheless.
  7. Nov 13, 2012
    9
    Paradox is a special company, they always make strategy games that not only are fun, but they also challenge us and make us think about what we are going to do next, and one wrong decision can end the game. Crusader Kings II is no exception. This game involves not only military action like most medieval games, but also political, economic, and religious action involved with it too. FirstParadox is a special company, they always make strategy games that not only are fun, but they also challenge us and make us think about what we are going to do next, and one wrong decision can end the game. Crusader Kings II is no exception. This game involves not only military action like most medieval games, but also political, economic, and religious action involved with it too. First off the way they shape the character customization is great, no two characters in a game are alike. The way they look is good, but paradox also adds a lot of traits that define a character, and also have skill levels to show that your character is a good, I dunno, a good general, or a great diplomat, or a bad financer. Military action also is good. The war system is a bit elaborate, levies need to be taken into account, also diplomacy is quite hard to learn. Keeping vassals happy, along with maintains good relationships with your neighbors and your religious head, is just part of the diplomatic standpoint. My only concern with this game is that the learning curve is way too steep. I am good with learning on the fly, but someone who has never played a paradox game will not get comfortable the day, week, even month after getting it. The tutorials are also vague, and they take too long to get through. However this is blown aside once you start ruling the Byzantine Empire, uniting Ireland, or making the Russain Empire before the 16th century. The mods the community pump out are great too, but hard to get running. Also unlike most companies, the game's dlcs provide a lot for our buck. All in all if 9.5 were an option, then I would give it, but I sadly can't. Expand
  8. May 31, 2013
    1
    After playing some sessions I just can say “Omfg is that boring”. First you have to read for at least 2-4 hours guides or watch youtube vids before you understand the game mechanics. And after I played my first sessions I realised that even as a King I can`t declare war to who I want. I need a casus belli (reason) to start a war. So either there is a claim or I have to send my advisor toAfter playing some sessions I just can say “Omfg is that boring”. First you have to read for at least 2-4 hours guides or watch youtube vids before you understand the game mechanics. And after I played my first sessions I realised that even as a King I can`t declare war to who I want. I need a casus belli (reason) to start a war. So either there is a claim or I have to send my advisor to create a claim. And that claim is mostly only over one region instead of a whole country. So there is nothing with gaining huge territorial gains. How stupid is that. So most of the time you let your advisors do stuff and play the matchmaker for your relatives and vassals. It is basically a numbers game instead of a strategic game. Definitely my biggest mispurchase this year. Expand
  9. Apr 28, 2012
    10
    Reviewed this by mistake. I thought that I was reviewing Risen 2. SO now I am just going to leave it a neutral score and then write 150 characters in this box.
  10. Oct 20, 2012
    3
    The game is so close to being a good game that it's sad to be ruined by so many little negatives. If you got to play it, wait until the deep discount.
    Here's the game killers, in no particular ranking order.
    1) Pop up takes up the center of the screen, click okay so that you can handle what the popup was telling you and the game immediately unpauses. So time flies often with a new pop
    The game is so close to being a good game that it's sad to be ruined by so many little negatives. If you got to play it, wait until the deep discount.
    Here's the game killers, in no particular ranking order.
    1) Pop up takes up the center of the screen, click okay so that you can handle what the popup was telling you and the game immediately unpauses. So time flies often with a new pop up which has to be handled.
    2) Ships are there to only troop troops. No fighting naval battles, no blocking incoming invasions, and no real point after all the troops could just come with transport and keep this whole game mechanic
    3) Troop size is near stagnant. Sure you can build something that gives you maybe 50 more troops in a year. But when it comes time for war and your allies don't want to join (constant) or the liege dies and it's time to rebel again by every county.
    4) Rebellions: Constant inner rebel that after putting down instead of executing them or even putting them in jail your're just suppose to let them go otherwise you just make quickly make more rebels.
    5) When rebellions succeed and after the country splits, the counties that stayed have peppered cities, temples, and baronies that don't go with you. Instead you always have this land mine in your own county. AND YOU CAN"T REVOKE THE CLAIM IN YOUR OWN COUNTY.
    6) Far flung territories mean nothing to the enemy. Who expects you defeats 3x the amount of solders And counties to take his one across the map territory. 7) No family ties loyalty. And I don't mean little, I mean none.
    8) It's your fault if they desire something even when it's not in your possession.
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  11. Dec 7, 2012
    2
    I was really excited about this game when I heard of the dynasty concept and how you build your family. The focus is supposed to be on planning and resisting intrigue plots so you can further spread you dynasty. However its just a bunch of menus within a boring world with extremely boring characters. Characters are reduced to simple stats and there is very little if any relevant characterI was really excited about this game when I heard of the dynasty concept and how you build your family. The focus is supposed to be on planning and resisting intrigue plots so you can further spread you dynasty. However its just a bunch of menus within a boring world with extremely boring characters. Characters are reduced to simple stats and there is very little if any relevant character developments. To top it off, your expected to "get" the rules and UI without any real help. I spent two play sessions reading tutorials and trying it out to learn how to play as I do not have a friend to just show me. The learning curve on this game is way to high for what it is.

    I love strategy games, I do not understand how this game rated so high. Its a serious disappointment and financial waste.
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  12. Jul 18, 2012
    1
    Bought this for Macintosh. I have a MacPro way above the system requirements and this game runs like a slideshow - totally unplayable. I could run the windows version using bootcamp, but when you put out a Mac version, this is supposed to run without needing to switch to another OS. A lot of other people report exactly the same on the steam and paradox (restricted access here until you buyBought this for Macintosh. I have a MacPro way above the system requirements and this game runs like a slideshow - totally unplayable. I could run the windows version using bootcamp, but when you put out a Mac version, this is supposed to run without needing to switch to another OS. A lot of other people report exactly the same on the steam and paradox (restricted access here until you buy the game, you cant see all the bug reports! - very clever) forums. Also some recent graphic cards that are built into Macbook Air etc. are not supported. @ Paradox: I expect a fix ASAP - if you fix it, I will change this rating to 8.

    @ Windows users: The game itself is pretty good - with some more events this could be one of the better medieval simulations. It lacks a little bit with a lot of repeating events, that most of the time will have you respond the same - just to get the positive traits. Combat is unlike Total war series "just" little symbols of your armies, but I actually like this better, because I always want to play a lot of years and do not like the micromanagement of actual battles like in Total war series. The fun part about this game is more about intrigue and advanced planning of family ties that can enhance your position.

    Overall solid game, but NOT for Mac users!
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  13. Feb 14, 2012
    1
    With a high-end computer just for playing games, the first thing I experience after installing the game is the map going haywire with provinces flashing in and out of view for no reason at all, like the computer having a tantrum! You know the saying about you don't get a second chance for a first impression, well, that was not a good start. Well, it also seems like a counting numbers kindWith a high-end computer just for playing games, the first thing I experience after installing the game is the map going haywire with provinces flashing in and out of view for no reason at all, like the computer having a tantrum! You know the saying about you don't get a second chance for a first impression, well, that was not a good start. Well, it also seems like a counting numbers kind of game to me, I'm more of a visual gamer and so this is just not the game for me, I suppose. Expand
  14. Feb 12, 2012
    0
    Very complex, no user manual, had to get my housemate to teach everything. A bit of a yawnfest. Very slow to get into doing anything serious, had difficulty playing the game.
  15. 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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  16. Feb 16, 2013
    10
    This is probably the best strategy game I've ever played. It lacks in some departments (like customization and depth for specific countries/areas), but it can be played in so many styles so many ways. I've logged 434 hours, and many people have logged over a thousand hours; when's the last time you heard of a mostly single-player game where that was possible?

    This game is great for
    This is probably the best strategy game I've ever played. It lacks in some departments (like customization and depth for specific countries/areas), but it can be played in so many styles so many ways. I've logged 434 hours, and many people have logged over a thousand hours; when's the last time you heard of a mostly single-player game where that was possible?

    This game is great for making stories with all the different characters and possible interactions. A lot of room for modding, too. I would say this is a 'must have' title. It may seem complicated to anyone who hasn't played a Paradox game before, but its easy to learn if you have the intelligence to troubleshoot a PC.
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  17. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    If you're a strategy fan you owe it to yourself to try Crusader Kings II. It's the best strategy game of 2012. The learning curve is steep but you'll get through it by watching "let's play" on YouTube. TekkorGJC has made some excellent videos for this game. If you put in the time to learn the mechanics of CKII you'll be rewarded with one of the most satisfying strategy game experiencesIf you're a strategy fan you owe it to yourself to try Crusader Kings II. It's the best strategy game of 2012. The learning curve is steep but you'll get through it by watching "let's play" on YouTube. TekkorGJC has made some excellent videos for this game. If you put in the time to learn the mechanics of CKII you'll be rewarded with one of the most satisfying strategy game experiences of... well... of all time! Expand
  18. Jun 4, 2014
    3
    Poor UI makes the game more complex than it needs to be. Tutorials are outdated, and get bugs frequently. I had to restart the tutorials twice because of bugs. I then attempt to make a custom character (I have the ruler designer DLC). Immediately when I click start, I am treated with a game over screen. After reading around forums, I find it is because I made the character with aPoor UI makes the game more complex than it needs to be. Tutorials are outdated, and get bugs frequently. I had to restart the tutorials twice because of bugs. I then attempt to make a custom character (I have the ruler designer DLC). Immediately when I click start, I am treated with a game over screen. After reading around forums, I find it is because I made the character with a religion I have not yet purchase from DLC, even though nothing in the UI states this is a problem, or even states that I do not own it. Horrible DLC practices with an awful UI bring down what is an otherwise 'okay' game. Once I was actually in game, the gameplay was average. Deep in some areas, shallow in others. For example, having kids with their own traits and marrying them off is fun, but also diluted when the same random events repeat over and over within the first half an hour. Wouldn't recommend. Expand
  19. Nov 4, 2012
    10
    This one is amazing Strategy. Things is - it's all about intrigues and world works the way it suppose to work. So for example your vassals will naturally plot against you and you have many ways of plotting too. One of the greatest things here is a smooth, bugless gameplay. While HOI3 can be described as ultimate failure in QA - Crusader Kings II is a total win. Buy it - it's worth everyThis one is amazing Strategy. Things is - it's all about intrigues and world works the way it suppose to work. So for example your vassals will naturally plot against you and you have many ways of plotting too. One of the greatest things here is a smooth, bugless gameplay. While HOI3 can be described as ultimate failure in QA - Crusader Kings II is a total win. Buy it - it's worth every penny(just make sure you're not buying all the DLC in a pack, since some of them worthless) Expand
  20. Dec 19, 2012
    10
    All the complaints about this game have so far been about no instructions and so on. This is absolute crap.

    The game has a very neat tutorial that helped me especaily. The rest is realyl just complaints because they can't handle the difficulty
  21. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    I'm not going to lie, this game, at first, was difficult to grasp in the beginning, but after you get the hang of it it's great. You can play in the shoes of King Louis VIII or you can simply customize your own character to play as. Overall it's a great layout and you will spend hours upon hours playing this chivalry game.
  22. Dec 30, 2012
    8
    A great entry level into Paradox great strategy games.
    It's not overly complex, the visual design is well done, and the mechanics of inheriterance, claims and sucession are well thought.
    The downside is, as others stated, the point system isn't really relevant and you'll find yourself as always, trying to paint the map with your color. Also, playing the Kingdom of Jerusalem in it's
    A great entry level into Paradox great strategy games.
    It's not overly complex, the visual design is well done, and the mechanics of inheriterance, claims and sucession are well thought.
    The downside is, as others stated, the point system isn't really relevant and you'll find yourself as always, trying to paint the map with your color.
    Also, playing the Kingdom of Jerusalem in it's historical creation date (july 15 of 1099) is impossible without cheating, you'll be steamrolled by sunis and shias in a second.
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  23. Jan 18, 2013
    10
    I haven't been a long time, avid fan of the paradox titles like many of the reviewers. I am more of a casual gamer, often a FPS type gamer, with limited forays into the strategy genre, specifically the Total War series. But when this game was on deep discount on Steam, I had to take a chance on it, as it looked like Total War on steroids.

    Well, let me say one thing about it: I'm
    I haven't been a long time, avid fan of the paradox titles like many of the reviewers. I am more of a casual gamer, often a FPS type gamer, with limited forays into the strategy genre, specifically the Total War series. But when this game was on deep discount on Steam, I had to take a chance on it, as it looked like Total War on steroids.

    Well, let me say one thing about it: I'm hooked. I didn't expect much from the game, and maybe that's the secret into finding enjoyment out of a gem like this is not to expect much, and being so pleasantly surprised with the game that it's hard to put down. It does have a very steep learning curve, and the tutorial videos online and in game are a must (there's really no two ways about it if you're new to the CK/Paradox series), but once you get past the initial overwhelming amount of information thrown at you, every time I play, I find something new to explore, and it just keeps on delivering. The replayability of this game is what is so intriguing to me. You can start as the King of England or France, or as a count of a single county in Ireland or Spain, and the level of play and complexity can be almost identical. The dynasty building, the intrigue of family dynamics, and the desire to expand, expand, expand keep me coming back again and again. I'll be playing for many months to come, no doubt. Great game, best money I've spent on digital entertainment in a very long while.
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  24. Nov 15, 2013
    10
    This game turned the corner for me and Paradox Interactive.

    Until this I always thought of PI as a team of eccentric incompetents, trapped in the limitations of their ONE and ONLY game engine to forever build variations of the same terrible sausage machine. But this game finally broke the cycle, because after years of design failure they finally arrived at what can be called an
    This game turned the corner for me and Paradox Interactive.

    Until this I always thought of PI as a team of eccentric incompetents, trapped in the limitations of their ONE and ONLY game engine to forever build variations of the same terrible sausage machine.

    But this game finally broke the cycle, because after years of design failure they finally arrived at what can be called an objectively GOOD game. But they went one better. This is a GREAT game! Good art. Good FEEL. Good flavor. Good controls. This is good in all its parts and in total! Nice work Paradox.

    Exciting to think that It's not perfect. I mean. They can do better, even a LOT better. Suggesting that pretty soon these guys are going to give us a real BREAZTHTAKING game. I'm salivating at the prospect. The multiplayer is still an afterthought. The DLC comes in far too many dribs and drabs. The campaign has no real focus so the game kinds of drifts away from any kind of meaningful conclusion. However despite these caveats, which would sink a lesser game, Crusader Kings 2 is GREAT. Cudos go to those who earned them. Each piece of DLC has honed this game and made it better.

    I guess the fans have to be patient. Game Design is a complex art/science and it's an endurance test. It took many years of false runs and missed shots before Paradox got here! All strength to them to push on from here to the high plateau of design perfection.

    So tantalizingly close.

    Orctowngrot.
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  25. Oct 31, 2014
    10
    Hands down best strategy game on the market!

    It has a very steep learning curve which may throw off the casual gamer. My advice is to read and watch as many tutorials as you can. Once you have a moderate amount of knowledge....you'll be having fun for hours upon hours!
  26. Dec 29, 2013
    9
    Not a game for everyone, but if you enjoy a sense of realism and a hell of a challenge definately give this a go. It takes awhile to truly understand many of the game mechanics and the differences between Pagan rulers and Republics all very different game mechanics, but make the game different and exciting for those who love strategy games like this.
    I can't stand the way Paradox's
    Not a game for everyone, but if you enjoy a sense of realism and a hell of a challenge definately give this a go. It takes awhile to truly understand many of the game mechanics and the differences between Pagan rulers and Republics all very different game mechanics, but make the game different and exciting for those who love strategy games like this.
    I can't stand the way Paradox's updates all have to be paid for through DLC but for such a good game I'm ok to deal with it.
    Ironman for Steam achievements really renewed my love of this game aswell, making it way more challenging but way more rewarding.
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  27. Sep 14, 2013
    9
    My first "playthrough", that is, playing one dynasty from the beginning (867 with the Old Gods DLC) to the end (somewhere around 1450) took me 190 hours. This includes many false starts, and starting over, and also returning to previous saves because my noobness was making me wreck my dynasty. For therein lies what you need to know the most about this game, if you haven't played it yet: ItMy first "playthrough", that is, playing one dynasty from the beginning (867 with the Old Gods DLC) to the end (somewhere around 1450) took me 190 hours. This includes many false starts, and starting over, and also returning to previous saves because my noobness was making me wreck my dynasty. For therein lies what you need to know the most about this game, if you haven't played it yet: It is hard. Especially at first. There is such a steep learning curve. I also watched some videos to help me out in the beginning, and I am sure I am not halfway through being pro at this game.

    So, while there is a steep learning curve, which also means that at first you will have no idea what you are doing, or what to do and whatnot, there is a great deal of satisfaction to be had in doing the right thing. The game is pretty, although the visual element is far from the most important in this game, and it is very fun and addictive. The game is stable, rarely crashes, has few bugs, none of which impede on game play.

    My only 2 criticisms: The DLC is mostly an insult. You pay as much as the game itself (the game being $39.99 and the "full" version with all the DLC being $79.99. More to the point, purchasing all the DLC piecemeal will set you back an impressive $107.70, that is, plus the game itself) for what basically amounts to portraits, military unit models, and dynastic shields. Don't get me wrong, the Sunset Invasion, Old Gods, and The Republic are worthwhile DLC. I'll even accept the EU4 converter. But paying for portraits, unit models and shields that should be an integral part of the game? NO. No matter how good the game is, that's a big NO from me. So -1 for that. Perfect game 10, crappy money grabbing DLC scheme -1, final rating is 9/10.
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  28. Jul 26, 2013
    10
    After playing this masterpiece I'll have a hard time going back to the "Total War"-series. This game is so much immersive on all levels. Brilliant! Best strategy game I ever played. The multiplayer is also brilliant.
  29. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    This game is really special. It is one of the few games with such richness that the characters develop their own stories. The game is as much about the dynamics of dynasty as about conquering land. Assassination, double-dealing, forced marriages, forced imprisonment, and that is just dealing with your family. Try it and love it. To succeed you need to manage fractured relationships, andThis game is really special. It is one of the few games with such richness that the characters develop their own stories. The game is as much about the dynamics of dynasty as about conquering land. Assassination, double-dealing, forced marriages, forced imprisonment, and that is just dealing with your family. Try it and love it. To succeed you need to manage fractured relationships, and maneuver your way into having valid claims over any land you want to conquer. One particular dynamic I really liked about the game was that sometimes it can be effective to provoke a rebellion to ruthlessly crush your disloyal scheming subjects, rather than concern yourself with keeping them on your good side. So often in games where an approval system exists you are better off keeping people happy. So much pleasure to have options, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Expand
  30. Jan 2, 2014
    8
    This is a European Nobility and Feudalism Simulator. You play as a Noble of some rank or another (Count, Duke, King, or Emperor), and you must manage your realm and dynasty to see it through from 1066 (or 867 with DLC) until 1453. The game makes an effort to be historical in terms of starting points, but once you begin playing the game things can quickly become very ahistorical.

    Now the
    This is a European Nobility and Feudalism Simulator. You play as a Noble of some rank or another (Count, Duke, King, or Emperor), and you must manage your realm and dynasty to see it through from 1066 (or 867 with DLC) until 1453. The game makes an effort to be historical in terms of starting points, but once you begin playing the game things can quickly become very ahistorical.

    Now the pros of the game are that it's got interesting mechanics for most things. Combats only take place at the strategic level, it's not a game about battles really. Instead, it's a game about all the tings you do outside of battles. Fabricating claims so that you can declare wars, improving your holdings so that you can train more troops and collect more tax, plotting to kill those that have become troublesome, and so on.

    The game is very time intensive to learn. There's a lot of things going on, and small details are important. It can take hours of attempted gameplay to really begin to get a grasp of what's going on. You'll play a bit and start to get the hang of it and then everything will explode and you'll have to start over. Most of the time the game labels where numbers are coming from with clear tool-tips, and there's several nice wikis and youtube vids on the various concepts of the game to keep things clear. I wouldn't even say that the game is hard to learn, it just takes time and persistence.

    Now, all that said, this game will totally draw you in once you begin to get what's going on. The potential complexity of situations are exactly what make it great to me. The stories that you can tell about wild events are what make this game so charming. If you're the kind of person that can play strategy games in the first place, this game has dozens of hours of gameplay waiting for you.
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  31. May 4, 2012
    8
    Very enjoyable, no stability issues for me. Could do with more events and details (in addition to the already expansive events and details included already). As all paradox games as you get bigger and further into the game you can and will out perform the AI. As well it is still a bit RSI inducing for plots and inviting to court but patches have been improving this) For these reasons itVery enjoyable, no stability issues for me. Could do with more events and details (in addition to the already expansive events and details included already). As all paradox games as you get bigger and further into the game you can and will out perform the AI. As well it is still a bit RSI inducing for plots and inviting to court but patches have been improving this) For these reasons it only makes it to 8. Still it is very enjoyable Expand
  32. Jun 27, 2013
    9
    I love history. I love to ask "what if". What if Henry II's son survived to continue his father's dream of controlling both England and France? What if the Mongol Horde was not stopped by the Mamelukes? What if the Second Crusade was successful? The list goes on forever, and this game might have a wee bit of a, well massive learning curve, I love it.
  33. Jul 10, 2013
    8
    Crusader Kings 2 is not the AAA high action game. It may be the most exciting or fun but it is one of the best coded games. Once you understand the game it is very easy to get drawn in and addicted playing as your family and trying to expand. The dlc also does a good job adding new gameplay elements and texture graphics which few games do as most dlc is just a waste.

    Only real con is
    Crusader Kings 2 is not the AAA high action game. It may be the most exciting or fun but it is one of the best coded games. Once you understand the game it is very easy to get drawn in and addicted playing as your family and trying to expand. The dlc also does a good job adding new gameplay elements and texture graphics which few games do as most dlc is just a waste.

    Only real con is lack of military battles. The game is supposed to steer away from military battles which is kind of a shame. There are no Total War battles and most battles are simply who has more men which you can only really get by conquering other territories.

    Play the tutorials!!!!!!!!!

    Gameplay: 3/5
    Graphics: 3/5
    Story" 3/5
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  34. Oct 10, 2014
    9
    Strategic depth at its pinnacle. Crusader Kings 2 is a feudalistic grand strategy game which I can play for hours upon hours before I realise that its 4 in the morning and my brother has risen up half of my kingdom in rebellion. No other game has made things such as diplomacy, finance management and even marriage so enticingly brilliant. I'd call this game a Game of Thrones plot simulatorStrategic depth at its pinnacle. Crusader Kings 2 is a feudalistic grand strategy game which I can play for hours upon hours before I realise that its 4 in the morning and my brother has risen up half of my kingdom in rebellion. No other game has made things such as diplomacy, finance management and even marriage so enticingly brilliant. I'd call this game a Game of Thrones plot simulator but its so much more than even that. The only negative I can think of is the steep learning curve that puts of many new players, especially those new to grand strategy. If you can force yourself to hang on and learn the game then you're in for a hell of a time. Expand
  35. Mar 29, 2014
    9
    An almost flawless piece of gaming history. Paradox have created a very unique take on the strategy genre here, and it works a treat. This isn't a game of trouncing everyone in your wake and gobbling up province after province (although you can try that if you want), it's all about making sure your dynasty (house) survives through the centuries by using everything in your power.

    The
    An almost flawless piece of gaming history. Paradox have created a very unique take on the strategy genre here, and it works a treat. This isn't a game of trouncing everyone in your wake and gobbling up province after province (although you can try that if you want), it's all about making sure your dynasty (house) survives through the centuries by using everything in your power.

    The level of detail and depth is simply superb and the devs have at last found a way to make it accessible to the masses. It's not quite a pick up and play, but if you go through the tutorials and give it a few hours of game time you will quickly grasp the fundamentals. The hardest part I found was figuring out what all the historical terms in the game meant at first, but the tool tips do a good job for the most part here.

    If you are considering buying this and are not yet quite sure, all I can say is buy it and allow yourself the time to learn it. I guarantee you will be glad you gave this iconic strategy game a chance. Roll on CK3!
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  36. Nov 14, 2012
    8
    Very good release from Paradox compared to previous Vanilla game releases this does not require expansions to be enjoyed.

    So much replay ability and some great mods make this a must buy for Grand-Strategy fans.
  37. Mar 9, 2013
    9
    This game is so deep its unbelievable. No matter how many hours I put into this game there is some strategy I haven't explored, which brings up the reason this game is so good. It only tells you the basics of the game. This causes a very frustrating experience for the first hour or two. The plus side to this is that after hour 2 or 3 everything starts falling into place and for the nextThis game is so deep its unbelievable. No matter how many hours I put into this game there is some strategy I haven't explored, which brings up the reason this game is so good. It only tells you the basics of the game. This causes a very frustrating experience for the first hour or two. The plus side to this is that after hour 2 or 3 everything starts falling into place and for the next 150-200 hrs the player receives immense satisfaction. Anyone who gives this game below a 9 simple hasn't played long enough. Expand
  38. Jul 14, 2013
    10
    Crusader Kings 2 is perhaps one of the most addicted, yet difficult, strategy games I have ever played. Thrown into the world of Medieval Europe, you take the role of one of the many royal families of Christian Europe and attempt to put your name in the history books.

    CK2 is one of those games that has a learning curve that circles back onto itself, but don't let that get in the way of
    Crusader Kings 2 is perhaps one of the most addicted, yet difficult, strategy games I have ever played. Thrown into the world of Medieval Europe, you take the role of one of the many royal families of Christian Europe and attempt to put your name in the history books.

    CK2 is one of those games that has a learning curve that circles back onto itself, but don't let that get in the way of trying to play the game. The mechanics of CK2 makes every family on the map a complex and intriguing entity that can be your strongest ally or most dangerous enemy. Titles and lands are thrown around before your eyes as nearly every family vies for the power of kings. Your job is not only joining in on this game of thrones, but to drive your enemies from existence and place your heirs as the leaders of mighty holdings. Watch yourself though, you may suffer from infighting with your own family as they try to knock your avatar from the top of the feudal pyramid.

    What makes CK2 so fascinating is it's accuracy to the Medieval ways of 1066-1453 CE Europe. Every character has their unique skills and abilities, and not a single one is unimportant as you cross paths trying to gain power. Historical events like the Crusades, Mongol Invasions, and Story quests also add to the complexity and addictiveness of CK2. You will soon find yourself playing for hours trying to master the game.

    Crusader Kings 2 is hard, I will not lie, but once you become more proficient at the game you find it hard to stop playing and trying to become the most powerful family in Europe.
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  39. Dec 19, 2012
    10
    In the past few days I've killed my brother after he decided he wanted to be King, waged religious war against neighboring non-catholic provinces in the name of the pope, gave my eastern holdings to my 17 year old son who will one day be King of Poland, and took back those holdings when he dared to defy me resulting in a 10 year civil war, ending with me capturing and executing my own son.In the past few days I've killed my brother after he decided he wanted to be King, waged religious war against neighboring non-catholic provinces in the name of the pope, gave my eastern holdings to my 17 year old son who will one day be King of Poland, and took back those holdings when he dared to defy me resulting in a 10 year civil war, ending with me capturing and executing my own son. If you are still reading this and haven't gone and bought this gem already, do it now. It is graphically beautiful as they come, and as deep as any Paradox game out there, with twice the polish. Collapse
  40. Mar 12, 2013
    9
    Paradox, as always, ensures that the 'Grand Strategy' genre of their games is well named. Control a dynasty of europe throughout the middle ages. Beyond that, all goals are up to you. Will you control one of the kings of Europe? Or perhaps a lowly count? Will you fulfill the ultimate destiny of the Capet Dynasty, or restore the power of the Carolingians through their last living members?Paradox, as always, ensures that the 'Grand Strategy' genre of their games is well named. Control a dynasty of europe throughout the middle ages. Beyond that, all goals are up to you. Will you control one of the kings of Europe? Or perhaps a lowly count? Will you fulfill the ultimate destiny of the Capet Dynasty, or restore the power of the Carolingians through their last living members? But always remember that, sooner or later, there will be a certain series of historical forces coming from the East...

    The DLC expansions only add to your options further, although there are also cosmetic DLC that are only for appearances.
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  41. Dec 25, 2012
    9
    My favourite game of 2012 is a unique combination of court-life simulation, genetic breeding, diplomacy and strategy. Ignore the somewhat deterrent graphics and the steep learning curve and enjoy the best kingdom-tycoon game ever made.
  42. Jan 14, 2013
    9
    A great game made even greater with mods. There are only two problems with it: Once you play it too much, it becomes somewhat formulaic and the lack of naval combat. Otherwise, the best Paradox has yet offered.
  43. Jul 27, 2013
    8
    One of the best games from Paradox, Crusader Kings II has kind of a steep learning curve, but once you get into it, what you get is on of the deepest experiences in strategic games. What many people don't understand is that this game is NOT like the Total War series: you're not running a country, you're running a DYNASTY, thus meaning Crusader Kings II is less about waging war and (a lot)One of the best games from Paradox, Crusader Kings II has kind of a steep learning curve, but once you get into it, what you get is on of the deepest experiences in strategic games. What many people don't understand is that this game is NOT like the Total War series: you're not running a country, you're running a DYNASTY, thus meaning Crusader Kings II is less about waging war and (a lot) more about diplomacy, intrigue, political strategy and so on. You get a lot of choices about how to expand your dynasty and how to get more land for your heirs, with a RPG-like system that lets you improve your ruler abilities through random events. This game is not for everyone: if you're the kind of gamer that likes to rush through the map, using your army like a cannonball, this game is not for you.
    I would give this a game a 10, BUT: gets a -1 for the useless tutorial to learn every aspect of the game you'll have to a)experiment yourself b)look for a tutorial on the web. Gets also a -1 for the ridiculous amount of DLC content released, including "more dynasty shields DLC" or "new songs DLC": these DLCs should be free.
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  44. Feb 25, 2013
    10
    Amazingly compelling. Brilliant dynasty-based gameplay. Very hard to hard to warp my head around, but brilliant after that. Paradox appear to be the most responsive company on forums and in patching making your time investment worthwhile as the game just improves.
  45. Oct 3, 2014
    10
    Conquer territory, overthrow leaders, start a holy war, kill your children, learn to fly, sleep with your sister and get assassinated by your mother via manure bomb! Best strategy game out there, I don't think I will ever tire of this game. I paid $40 for the game and have 734 hours logged on, that's like 5 cents an hour, I can't recommend this game highly enough.
  46. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    I follow a familiar pattern with Paradox's strategy games: I pick it up, almost give up about half a dozen times trying to learn it, then eventually things start to click and I end up playing it for months on end. Crusader Kings II is no exception. It's an amazingly fun and detailed treatment of Medieval politics. The tutorials are atypically helpful for a Paradox game, which is goodI follow a familiar pattern with Paradox's strategy games: I pick it up, almost give up about half a dozen times trying to learn it, then eventually things start to click and I end up playing it for months on end. Crusader Kings II is no exception. It's an amazingly fun and detailed treatment of Medieval politics. The tutorials are atypically helpful for a Paradox game, which is good because the rules are amazingly complex. Thankfully the game does a pretty good job of making it clear what is happening and why. You would think the highly restrictive rules of feudalism would make the game less enjoyable, but the many ways to scheme both legally and illegally make for some very creative and rewarding strategies.

    A few notes about the (non-cosmetic) DLC that I have played. Sword of Islam is fun, but a bit shallow compared to Catholicism. Legacy of Rome is rather narrow in scope, dealing mostly with the Byzantine Empire, but is good for what it is. The Republic is probably the best one so far, but I think it still needs work and it doesn't promote the same variety in gameplay as the vanilla. Overall, I'd recommend only getting the DLC at sale/bundle prices; the base game is still where most of the fun is.
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  47. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    Crusader Kinds II does something I never thought I would see in a strategy game, it melds RPG elements seamlessly. Some may find the 'characters' a bit shallow compared to a true RPG but the strategy gamer will find themselves developing a deep hatred for certain family members, opposing families, and cultures. It is this emotion which keeps you playing. This is not a simple game. YouCrusader Kinds II does something I never thought I would see in a strategy game, it melds RPG elements seamlessly. Some may find the 'characters' a bit shallow compared to a true RPG but the strategy gamer will find themselves developing a deep hatred for certain family members, opposing families, and cultures. It is this emotion which keeps you playing. This is not a simple game. You will not master in one play through and each complete game can be very long. I have never gotten more play time for the dollar. Managing relations in your realm and out of it while amassing power is not easy. The stronger you become the more enemies you create. You will lose wars and suffer setbacks but these challenges only make it more fun. Re-playability is awesome as each Count, Duke, King, and Emperor supplies new and interesting challenges. Combat is simple but mastering the subtleties will win you battles you should lose. Combing racial units, levies, and retinues yet keeping a positive income is the staple challenge of all these games and CK2 does this very well.

    A solid play for serious strategy gamers and history buffs.
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  48. May 8, 2013
    8
    The concept of grand strategy has been redefined by Crusader Kings II. Paradox Interactive has crafted a wonderfully deep and complex strategy game that rewards you every step of the way. There is an amazing satisfaction that comes from building a huge and powerful kingdom in the heart of Europe. Buyer beware however this game will only appeal to strategy junkies who love complex games.The concept of grand strategy has been redefined by Crusader Kings II. Paradox Interactive has crafted a wonderfully deep and complex strategy game that rewards you every step of the way. There is an amazing satisfaction that comes from building a huge and powerful kingdom in the heart of Europe. Buyer beware however this game will only appeal to strategy junkies who love complex games. The learning curve can be quite brutal so be prepared to take a beating for the first few games you play. I have discovered that the best way to pick up the game's concepts quick is to play with experienced vets of the game.

    With over 450+ hours invested into this game I can safely say it's one of the best strategy titles to hit the market and with the Old God's expansion coming out it's only gonna get better. If you like deep strategy you must check this game out.
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  49. May 13, 2013
    10
    Das Spiel ist wirklich nicht Einsteigerfreundlich aber wenn man das Prinzip erst verstanden hat kommt man nicht los davon. Ich persönlich habe es schon um die 60 Stunden gespielt und habe noch immer nicht genug davon.

    This game is really hard to learn but if you know it you cant get enough from it. I self played it since 60 hours (total) and still dont get enough from it.
  50. Jul 10, 2013
    10
    After putting 500 hours into this game, I believe I am given the right to rate it a 10/10. Crusader Kings II does more that allow you to watch a nation rise or fall under your command; it gives you the power to role-play along with whatever result you want. If you want a game that will not only challenge you after countless play-throughs but also keep you wanting more, than this is theAfter putting 500 hours into this game, I believe I am given the right to rate it a 10/10. Crusader Kings II does more that allow you to watch a nation rise or fall under your command; it gives you the power to role-play along with whatever result you want. If you want a game that will not only challenge you after countless play-throughs but also keep you wanting more, than this is the game for you. Expand
  51. Aug 15, 2013
    10
    Paradox published a masterpiece when it published CK2, after years of being a niche publisher, CK2 pushed Paradox into more of a spotlight than before, opening the door for the massive preorders of EU4. CK2, upon release, was considered one of Paradox Development Studios (PDS) most polished games...However, the first versions of the game can't hold up to what CK2 is now, after steady, andParadox published a masterpiece when it published CK2, after years of being a niche publisher, CK2 pushed Paradox into more of a spotlight than before, opening the door for the massive preorders of EU4. CK2, upon release, was considered one of Paradox Development Studios (PDS) most polished games...However, the first versions of the game can't hold up to what CK2 is now, after steady, and consistent continued development. But what is CK2?

    Ck2 is a game of political intrigue in the medieval era. Fans familiar with other PDS games will be just as delighted by it as they are with their other games. But this game has mass appeal to people who haven't been interested in the strategy genre. It's a deep RPG that takes place upon the highest stage, the level of Kings and Queens and Emperors, where you vie for the power, and control of Europe during the dark ages. You must elevate your status through assassinations, marriages, or straight up wars of conquest. CK2 offers many "types" of games, where you can play peacefully, warlike, or in between. There's infinite replayability. Want to be the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1330? Go for it. Want to be WIlliam the Bastard, either when he was a bastard, or when he was the Conquerer? Go for it. There are endless possibilities for people to play as.

    The game admittedly does have a steep learning curve (though less steep than other PDS titles, such as HOI, or Victoria 2), once you get over the initial hump of "what the hell do I do", you can just jump in and play. The game features a deep, yet often frustrating event system that simulates life as a king. You must battle through whores, mistresses and unruly vassals. While the game appears to be just a bunch of text, most of the game takes place on the map, which was crafted wonderfully by their art team...Seriously, this game is one of the most deep games there are, buy it
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  52. Jun 6, 2014
    8
    This may be the first game about which my steam account says that I've spend 1000 hours with. Indeed this is for me the game with the highest "Wiederspielwert", or as I would translate it "value to play it again". If you like the middle ages and sandbox games this might become one of your favourit ones - once you understood the mechanics - and once you have preyed on a steam sale to getThis may be the first game about which my steam account says that I've spend 1000 hours with. Indeed this is for me the game with the highest "Wiederspielwert", or as I would translate it "value to play it again". If you like the middle ages and sandbox games this might become one of your favourit ones - once you understood the mechanics - and once you have preyed on a steam sale to get the huge amount of DLCs with wich one can build it's own game, related to one's historical interests.

    In Crusader Kings 2 you play as a medieval noble family and you try to steer them through the storms of history. At first the patriarch of your family might be in a political view a dumb and dull loser that doesn't achieve anything except making a lot of sons. His firstborn may be the true son of his father but a younger brother might be a brilliant, beautiful and devious mastermind who could lead your family to true greatness and an own chapter in the history books. And so the story begins...

    Multiplayer is big fun if you do have some patient friends that also have fun to create their own part of history - with the Old Gods and the EUIV Savegame Converter DLCs you can play from 867 till 1850s and reshape the maps with a huge load of characters never to forget.
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  53. Nov 18, 2013
    10
    Crusader Kings II is one of my favorite grand strategy games to date. The sheer potential for fun is overwhelming, ex that you control a realm with your dynasty either one already in the game, who has a lot of historical families, or one that you have created yourself.
    Given the time Paradox Interactive have used on developing the game with several patches and expansions, the core game
    Crusader Kings II is one of my favorite grand strategy games to date. The sheer potential for fun is overwhelming, ex that you control a realm with your dynasty either one already in the game, who has a lot of historical families, or one that you have created yourself.
    Given the time Paradox Interactive have used on developing the game with several patches and expansions, the core game have become gradually better. They have created a solid base for future PI games, which did not disappoint with the release of Europa Universalis IV, where they learned from the inputs they got from the player base. I think that a lot of the big developers could learn from PI, just because they are so good at communicating with their fans.

    There is of cause also negatives in the game, like bugs and chrashes, but it is so rare in my case that it never have been a problem to talk about. There is some problems with the tutorial part of the game, which is executed poorly, but PI have tried to improve on it. But if you feel it still is not enough, then look CK II up on Youtube, there are many very good explanation videos on the game.

    All that said, CK II is a bloody good game, and it deserves all the praise it gets.
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  54. Dec 23, 2013
    10
    Family strategy at its best. You have to let your family LIVE and be SUCCESSFUL... not your kingdom. That is seconday The game is extraordinarie especially with all the add ons.
  55. Dec 26, 2013
    10
    An amazing game. Very entertaining and has massive replay ability! Also one of Paradox's best titles. The game is a strange mix of, RPG and strategy. The main aim is, you are King/Ruler/whichever you want to name it, and you look after your Family name (your Dynasty) by any means you see fit. Marry into powerful families, fight of jealous siblings who are hungry for power! Conquer theAn amazing game. Very entertaining and has massive replay ability! Also one of Paradox's best titles. The game is a strange mix of, RPG and strategy. The main aim is, you are King/Ruler/whichever you want to name it, and you look after your Family name (your Dynasty) by any means you see fit. Marry into powerful families, fight of jealous siblings who are hungry for power! Conquer the world and turn them to your religion/culture and way of life. Or keep yourself quiet and just improve (or punish!) the life of your own nation, peoples and family.

    There are a few expansions now that are a must buy. They add so many new elements to the game play and make playing each race/culture/religion a very different experience.
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  56. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    A hidden jem!

    CK2 is similar to Europa Universalis only far better! You follow a family, dealing with succession crisis's, the looming threat of war, alliances broken only by the end of marriage, plots and intrigue while attempting to build up your county, your duchy, your nation, your empire. Form new titles and face off your own powerful vassals, in battle or in private. It's a
    A hidden jem!

    CK2 is similar to Europa Universalis only far better! You follow a family, dealing with succession crisis's, the looming threat of war, alliances broken only by the end of marriage, plots and intrigue while attempting to build up your county, your duchy, your nation, your empire. Form new titles and face off your own powerful vassals, in battle or in private. It's a masterpiece of historic accuracy (ish) and gaming!

    Also, there's an array of mods for it, from a Game of Thrones (which now includes Essos as well as Westeros) to the elder scrolls and lord of the rings!
    Brilliant!
    As a fan of a Game of Thrones and a Song of Ice and Fire it seems only right to give this game 10.
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  57. Dec 30, 2013
    10
    You start out probably not understanding how the game works, but if you're willing to get past the learning curve involved it will be well worth your time. Easily one of my favorite games to date.
  58. Feb 14, 2014
    10
    this is one of the best grand strategy games I have played in ages, playing as a king, duke, count and if you can do it empire playing as the heir every time a family member dies and there is backstabing and massive wars. Anyone who likes strategy games should love this and still be playing it to this day and many years to come.
  59. Jan 24, 2014
    10
    Crusader Kings II is a truly wonderful game, giving the feeling of being a medieval lord; well also being a supreme strategy experience. Recommended to the highest degree!
  60. Jun 5, 2014
    10
    Crusader Kings 2 is the best game since the year 2000 all categories confounded. It has depth, thought put into it, and above all replayability (what 90% of all games lack). It is even better than its more recent cousin Europa Universalis 4. You can choose ANY lord, especially with the expansions, and do whatever you like (be a tyrant, a conqueror, a crusader, etc.). This is how gamesCrusader Kings 2 is the best game since the year 2000 all categories confounded. It has depth, thought put into it, and above all replayability (what 90% of all games lack). It is even better than its more recent cousin Europa Universalis 4. You can choose ANY lord, especially with the expansions, and do whatever you like (be a tyrant, a conqueror, a crusader, etc.). This is how games should be made! Freedom of choice plus high replayability and fun!

    It's worth buying!
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  61. Jan 28, 2014
    8
    Great Work once again from Paradox !!!

    This game has me hooked, not very easy to learn even with the very complex tutorial, 30 hours later and I am finally beginning to understand some of the game mechanics, but it has definitely been 30 hours well spent. CK2 is by far one of the best and most challenging Strategy games I have ever played and I have played plenty. Also a lot more fun
    Great Work once again from Paradox !!!

    This game has me hooked, not very easy to learn even with the very complex tutorial, 30 hours later and I am finally beginning to understand some of the game mechanics, but it has definitely been 30 hours well spent. CK2 is by far one of the best and most challenging Strategy games I have ever played and I have played plenty. Also a lot more fun and a lot more options become available to you if you own most of the main DLC's.

    My Rating 8/10 - The biggest frustration is learning the game, I find myself browsing the Wiki almost as much as I play.

    Great Game, Thanks Paradox :D
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  62. Feb 11, 2014
    9
    This game is very very good. It is not for everyone though. What I mean its not for everyone, I mean its not for dumb dolts who don't want to spend the time on a game that is very complex and detailed. This game takes time to learn and requires a lot of decision making and devotion. If you are a dumb dolt that likes to point and click and have your "strategy gaming" be more towards theThis game is very very good. It is not for everyone though. What I mean its not for everyone, I mean its not for dumb dolts who don't want to spend the time on a game that is very complex and detailed. This game takes time to learn and requires a lot of decision making and devotion. If you are a dumb dolt that likes to point and click and have your "strategy gaming" be more towards the surface, then this is not for you. CK2 has a lot of different and deep strategy involved with it, and is a game that because of all the actions you can perform take a long time to see work come to fruition. Its ability for everyone's game play experience to be unique is amazing and like nothing else (for the exception of other Paradox Interactive games). Try it out and give it a shot. It is fun, just give it time. Again, not for dumb dolts Expand
  63. Feb 19, 2014
    10
    It's fun, it's rewarding, it can give you a nasty or nice surprise and it makes you work from the bottom to the top every time a king dies. As a emperor you can do anything. Dangerous factions for a kingdom you hold? Give the kingdom to a vassal and forget about it or prepare to fight a civil war.
    There are so many options to choose from. It's a very complex game, similar yet very
    It's fun, it's rewarding, it can give you a nasty or nice surprise and it makes you work from the bottom to the top every time a king dies. As a emperor you can do anything. Dangerous factions for a kingdom you hold? Give the kingdom to a vassal and forget about it or prepare to fight a civil war.
    There are so many options to choose from. It's a very complex game, similar yet very different from EU4.
    Once you start playing you don't want to stop. Oh just one more war... oops another 2 hours gone.
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  64. May 19, 2014
    10
    This game is like, a baby killing simulator. Before CKII I never even *considered* murdering all of my daughter in law's baby brothers in cold blood, but now it's an almost hourly practice for me. I usually try to be moral in video games - but when the future of your dynasty depends on bribing some maids in a far-off country to suffocate a baby with a pillow in its own cot, you'll do itThis game is like, a baby killing simulator. Before CKII I never even *considered* murdering all of my daughter in law's baby brothers in cold blood, but now it's an almost hourly practice for me. I usually try to be moral in video games - but when the future of your dynasty depends on bribing some maids in a far-off country to suffocate a baby with a pillow in its own cot, you'll do it and you'll *enjoy* it. The satisfaction you'll get when you manage to secure an inheritance in your favour because you murdered some poor child for nothing other than the status of his birth is unlike anything else. No game has made me feel this way about killing babies, ever. Expand
  65. 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.
  66. Jun 10, 2014
    8
    Uno de los juegos más interesantes que he visto dentro de la estrategia actual. Combina la sencillez de gestión de ejércitos y recursos con una profundidad en la gestión de la dinastía y las relaciones personales que es la envidia de Los Sims. Muy recomendable.
  67. Apr 17, 2015
    10
    I've played this game for 4 years, 300 hours so far. Amazing game, you get bored of the base game? Oh there's mods now, game of thrones, elder scrolls, etc. You get bored of those, new ones will pop up.
  68. Jul 21, 2014
    10
    In diesem Spiel versucht man die Gechicke einer Adelsfamilie, in der Epoche des Mittelalers zu lenken. Die Ziele dabei setzt man sich selbst - möchte man nur einen Grafen spielen und weiter aufsteigen oder möchte man als byzantisches Kaiser anfangen und die Gefahr der Abbasiden eindämmen. Kein anderes Spiel schafft es so gut die damaligen feudalen Beziehungen aufzuzeigen. Das Spiel istIn diesem Spiel versucht man die Gechicke einer Adelsfamilie, in der Epoche des Mittelalers zu lenken. Die Ziele dabei setzt man sich selbst - möchte man nur einen Grafen spielen und weiter aufsteigen oder möchte man als byzantisches Kaiser anfangen und die Gefahr der Abbasiden eindämmen. Kein anderes Spiel schafft es so gut die damaligen feudalen Beziehungen aufzuzeigen. Das Spiel ist zwar nicht grafisch ansehlich, strotzt dafür vor Details und lässt den Großteil anderer Strategiespiele, im Hinblick auf Komplexität weit zurück. Expand
  69. Jul 29, 2014
    10
    Crusader Kings II is all what a mediaval simulator strategy game should have, the game allows the player to control a dinasty during the mediaval ages, starting at 1066, with Stamford Bridge, unless you have the Old Gods, that allows you to start earlier, 867, and ends by 1440, in the game, you control almost every aspect of the life of your character, and your objetives are on your own,Crusader Kings II is all what a mediaval simulator strategy game should have, the game allows the player to control a dinasty during the mediaval ages, starting at 1066, with Stamford Bridge, unless you have the Old Gods, that allows you to start earlier, 867, and ends by 1440, in the game, you control almost every aspect of the life of your character, and your objetives are on your own, you can choose what to do, so every game is different, even with the same character, you have lot of decisions that will evolve your characters, making him a coward or a brabe is up to you, but not only that, if you're a child being educated, the tutor will react to your choices, this game is worth it, i would say it's a 9 or 9,5, i gave it a 10 because people rate it as 0 because they can't actually play more than some games to learn this game, if you ever try, play some games as a duke of the Holy Roman Empire or in France or as a independent count or duke in Ireland, after some tries, the game will worth it. Expand
  70. Oct 8, 2014
    10
    Probably, one of the best historical strategy games in the actual scene. The amount of countries that you can rule and the deeply immersion that the game offers, makes Crusader Kings one of the best options for that ones who are looking for a medieval age simulator. Highly recommended.
  71. Jan 3, 2015
    10
    One of the greatest title of all time without a single doubt,unfortunately it is a very underated game that deserves more atention of the gaming community,if you like history,mediavel fare,Game of Thrones this game is for you,don't get me wrong,not everything is factual on the game,but i am sure you will learn something about history.

    Another great aspect of this game is the
    One of the greatest title of all time without a single doubt,unfortunately it is a very underated game that deserves more atention of the gaming community,if you like history,mediavel fare,Game of Thrones this game is for you,don't get me wrong,not everything is factual on the game,but i am sure you will learn something about history.

    Another great aspect of this game is the modding,like the Game of Thrones mod who brings Westeros and Essos to life,there are another good mods and tweaking mods that set your game as you like it,the music is beatiful and the mechanics are complex,that is the only con with this game,the learning curve, it is hard to master this game but once you learn how to play properly the AI are no match for you.

    People whining because it's too dificult is really lame,yes the game is hard,and that's a good thing,just getting a beat on the ass everytime will teach how to play.

    But a warning before diving into this game,THIS GAME IS NOT FOR EVERYONE,if you like explosions,laser,graphics and COD,stay clear of this game.

    To simplify i will put the pros and cons(almost non existing cons):

    Pros

    - Great modding community

    - Tons of DLC's and new content,the vanilla is pretty good even without any DLC,and each DLC is worthy

    - The complexity,i will put the learning curve on the Con side but the conplexity of this game is wonderful,not for the complexity itself but for the deepness,that is rare today

    - Music is really cool

    - This game is hard,if you put some mods the game will be insanely hard

    - The concept of this game and the perfect execution shine,in all it's a perfect game in my view

    - Companies like Paradox should be more rewarded for the great games,proof is that to this day they launch DLC's for CK2 putting more depth into the game.

    - Game of Thrones MOD

    Cons

    - Graphics,ok not an issue with me but there are people who care,make no mistake this is no Total War,you don't see those badass battles but the battling mechanics are good and work really well.

    - Learning curve,the game has many mechanics,tribes,feudalism,republic merchant,tons of religions each one with it's on playstyle,your council,your family,your vassals,causus belli,holy wars,ploting,etc....yeah,there are a lot of things to do and while this is not a bad thing learning it all can be very dificult,but the reward is more than satisfying.

    - There is no naval battle...

    - Multiplayer has some issues
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  72. Sep 28, 2014
    10
    One of the best games I have played. It sucks you and you get heavily involved in the stories that you create with your characters. I would say however that it is quite complex and can be hard to get into initially. Once your there its worth it.

    Because of the expansions there are plenty of different ways to play and different parts of the world offer different challenges and have a
    One of the best games I have played. It sucks you and you get heavily involved in the stories that you create with your characters. I would say however that it is quite complex and can be hard to get into initially. Once your there its worth it.

    Because of the expansions there are plenty of different ways to play and different parts of the world offer different challenges and have a very different feel.
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  73. Jan 25, 2015
    10
    An excellent game. The combination of warfare/diplomacy and life simulation (especially with the "way of life" expansion) is really well executed.

    pros: -addictive -infinite replayability -getting your grubby little hands on the byzantine empire through a string of marriages and assassinations is imo one of the most rewarding experiences in any game ever -excellent modding community
    An excellent game. The combination of warfare/diplomacy and life simulation (especially with the "way of life" expansion) is really well executed.

    pros:
    -addictive
    -infinite replayability
    -getting your grubby little hands on the byzantine empire through a string of marriages and assassinations is imo one of the most rewarding experiences in any game ever
    -excellent modding community

    cons:
    -addictive
    -steep learning curve, at least at the beginning
    -suffers from a severe case of dlc bloat
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  74. Feb 23, 2015
    8
    First of all, protect your eyes. I have a 23 in hd monitor and I still feel reading is hard - small letters densely formatted.

    Secondly, it is an addicted game. The longer you play, the more you discover, the funnier it is. I spent around 1 hour to basically know what is it, another hour to figure out how to not lose my pants. After 40 hours I can say I begin to know how to use tactics
    First of all, protect your eyes. I have a 23 in hd monitor and I still feel reading is hard - small letters densely formatted.

    Secondly, it is an addicted game. The longer you play, the more you discover, the funnier it is. I spent around 1 hour to basically know what is it, another hour to figure out how to not lose my pants. After 40 hours I can say I begin to know how to use tactics or tricks in the game, but still have a lot to try. Of course, I am intrigued to try them.

    Thirdly, it is an European feudalism 101 class for me, I Wikied a lot to learn those monarchy titles, which you hear everyday on those pulp magazines regarding to UK but never really think about. Actually through playing I sort of to know what were they and how they used to work when they worked. Well, an emperor was... as powerless as a school president, actually even worse, given you really want you and your heir to be an emperor forever. In addition, never there is a game expand my vocabulary this much. Who know "demesne", "betrothal", "matrilineal" or "liege".

    After all, I like it. Hopefully it can improve its user interface to try not blind players who are addicted to it. By the way, I heard one can blind a prisoner, but never found this function somewhere.
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  75. Apr 1, 2015
    10
    I'm a mature gamer, the half century is behind me and I started playing computer games when you bought them on cassette tapes and loaded them into 64k machines through a crappy portable cassette player. I've been a games addict ever since. I especially like strategy games. I'm crap when its all about twitch mechanics but give me time to think about it and I’ll kick your ass. I love theI'm a mature gamer, the half century is behind me and I started playing computer games when you bought them on cassette tapes and loaded them into 64k machines through a crappy portable cassette player. I've been a games addict ever since. I especially like strategy games. I'm crap when its all about twitch mechanics but give me time to think about it and I’ll kick your ass. I love the empire building games where the goal is to build something epic not destroy yet another level boss. Everything from the first Civ games through The X series (shame about Rebirth) and everything in between. I played Europa universalis and although I enjoyed it, it didn't have the re-playability for me. Rush to the New World and if you get there first game over. So I never bought CK2 until just a fortnight ago when there wasn't much else happening on steam.
    In the fortnight it has took me to get a grip on the mechanics of this game I have to say I wish I had bought it on release. I thought there wasn't much else that could be done with strategy games. Thought I’d seen it all, just variations on a theme was all that I'm likely to see. But this is something completely left field. Its so different. The depth and complexity is both daunting and exhilarating. Its like peeling an onion. You think you have a grasp then all of a sudden you uncover a whole new level of complexity that makes everything you though you knew redundant and opens up new range of possible winning tactics and many time more possible failure modes. I have lost count of how many times I have restarted a game when something critical to winning/losing riddled its way into my game plan. I've never actually played more than 100 years in this game but I'm already dangerously addicted to it. I've even booked a full week of work to grapple with the more advanced strategies and spend half my day at work reading info on the forums.
    Nothing since the first Civilisation games has done this to me. and possible you even then. I'm not sure if I should be happy I found a brilliant, deep, complex, mind expanding game of worried I might have grabbed a tiger by the tail.
    It’s a shame that undoubtedly a lot of people will spend maybe a day trying to understand this game and give up. If that’s is you take it from me a day isn't nearly long enough and however long it takes it will be worth it. Just don’t plan on doing anything productive for the rest of you life ;)
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  76. Dec 19, 2012
    0
    In the past few days I've killed my brother after he decided he wanted to be King, waged religious war against neighboring non-catholic provinces in the name of the pope, gave my eastern holdings to my 17 year old son who will one day be King of Poland, and took back those holdings when he dared to defy me resulting in a 10 year civil war, ending with me capturing and executing my own son.In the past few days I've killed my brother after he decided he wanted to be King, waged religious war against neighboring non-catholic provinces in the name of the pope, gave my eastern holdings to my 17 year old son who will one day be King of Poland, and took back those holdings when he dared to defy me resulting in a 10 year civil war, ending with me capturing and executing my own son. If you are still reading this and haven't gone and bought this gem already, do it now. It is graphically beautiful as they come, and as deep as any Paradox game out there, with twice the polish. Collapse
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.