User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 509 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 34 out of 509

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  1. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    This game is just awesome. After having played the original Crusader Kings game which was quite good but nowhere near being my favourite Paradox game, i wasn't very excited about this game at first. But once i tried the demo i was completely amazed. It's one of the most exciting games i have played in years! It is also quite hard at first because there is so many things to do and keep in mind.
  2. Jun 5, 2013
    10
    A genuinely unique game that does everything it tries very well. It captures why the breeding focus of the nobility of old occurred, well within plausibility. Supreme range of action. Fantastic freedom of choice.
  3. 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
    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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  4. 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.
  5. Sep 24, 2013
    10
    Superb game that is difficult to explain to others. Like with other Paradox games, there is an insane amount of depth. Honestly, it took me a few months of starts and stops before I finally figured out how to play. Once I did though my time was quickly enveloped by the game. One of the great moments in my gaming memory is finally forming the Empire of Britannia for the first time, rising from a humble earl to emperor.

    I want to thank the developers for supporting Linux as well. Although we are the 1%, we appreciate your attention and support for this platform
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  6. Oct 27, 2013
    10
    This game is one of the best games i have ever played and honestly at first to a gamer it would seem to be crap to the average gamer. If you give the game some time and watch tutorial youtube videos, you will probably like this game a lot as it offers a interesting perceptive into gaming and even history. In all this game is great and even has amazing mods like game of thrones and elder kings to back it up. Expand
  7. 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: 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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  8. 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.
  9. CBZ
    May 27, 2013
    9
    Fantastic game! This game is all about personal relationships and not about empires and trade. It focuses on the people and this is what makes it so unique. The depth of the relationships and the level of detail and number of variables are on par with Paradox's standards and will not disappoint you.
    I'm very glad I gave CK a chance. This game can provide an endless amount of hours of
    gameplay due to the random nature of the events. Expand
  10. Jan 19, 2013
    9
    Possibly at the same time the best and the worst Paradox game I`ve played. Amazing depth of diplomacy and feudal management, without being either boring or overwhelming (this is a lie I think, but It`s all in a good cause), is combined with a hair-raising lack of stability and control, especially as you expand. On my third go my Norwegian king - the grandson of the first king who conquered Britain - was hit on the head while besieging Jerusalem and got brain damaged, leading his reign into a tailspin. Then his heir was assassinated two months later forcing both thrones to go to his hunchback nephew with every negative trait in the game.
    Civil war against half of Britain ensued with all my troops stuck in Ascalon, and the loss of all the gains of the first three rulers in less than 12 months.
    If this sort of virtual self flagellation appeals to you as much as it does to me, sort of,, go buy CK2 immediately. If it doesn`t then perhaps Europa Universalis 3 might be a better option for you. Whether you leave it in anguish after a few games or stick with it for weeks or months you`re likely to get your money`s worth if you can just get to grips with it initially however, since each game takes about 40-60 hours, depending on the game speed you`re using.
    Now I`m off to reconquer Britain....
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  11. 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, 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
  12. 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
    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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  13. 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 it only makes it to 8. Still it is very enjoyable Expand
  14. 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.
  15. 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
    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. Expand
  16. 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
    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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  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 experiences of... well... of all time! Expand
  18. 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 every penny(just make sure you're not buying all the DLC in a pack, since some of them worthless) Expand
  19. 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
    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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  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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 next 150-200 hrs the player receives immense satisfaction. Anyone who gives this game below a 9 simple hasn't played long enough. Expand
  23. 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
    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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  24. 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. 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. Expand
  25. 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? 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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  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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
    historical creation date (july 15 of 1099) is impossible without cheating, you'll be steamrolled by sunis and shias in a second. Expand
  29. 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.
  30. 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
    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. Expand
  31. 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) 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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  32. 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.
  33. 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 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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  34. 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. 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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  35. 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 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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  36. 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.
  37. 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 the game for you. Expand
  38. 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, 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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  39. 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
    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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  40. 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
    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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  41. 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.
  42. 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 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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  43. 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
    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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  44. 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
    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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  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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!
  48. 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
    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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  49. 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 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
  50. 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
    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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  51. Jul 14, 2013
    0
    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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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.