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Generally favorable reviews- based on 581 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 581

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  1. Jun 12, 2012
    Crusader Kings 2 is very, very complex, and very, very satisfying once you get the hang of it. Weasel your way into a marriage, then have your spouse assassinated to inherit their lands. Fabricate some false claims for casus belli. Alter laws to determine who inherits what. Imagine my chagrin when I started a new game only to find my spouse was inbred. This game is crazy detailed, and makes other strategy games look shallow in comparison. For some of the negative reviews floating around out there, all I can really say is I don't think you're the target audience. It's a medieval dynasty simulation game -not even the first in the series!- so complaining about graphics and such is kind of inane. Now back to figuring out what I need to do in order to have Ulster inherit the Holy Roman Empire Expand
  2. May 29, 2013
    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 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
  3. Feb 9, 2012
    After a string of (frankly) stinkers (SotS2 being the stinkiest and saddest stinker) we finally get a game worthy of the "old" Paradox name. I loved the original CK. It is a totally different sort of strategy. It is to Medieval strategy what Football manager is to the soccer genre. While Total War does the "Fifa 012" bit "Football Manager" is all about the people, their abilities and their relationships. Well same here.
    Crusader Kings 2 is a VERY sold and attractive game, it even co0mes with a decent tutorial (saints preserve us - Paradox realising that MAYBE some gamers don't want to spend 2-3 days working out what everything does - the challenge should be in PLAYING THE GAME...not WORKING OUT HOW TO PLAY THE GAME)..Anyway CK II sorts this out. The relationships are fantastic, the character traits very believable, the bloodlines mingle in ways that seem entirely realistic (you don't always get what you want - but you always understand why you end up with what you have) Pity it's almost Spring, this game could have kept me going all Winter. An excellent game - the best I've played in 2012 so far
  4. Feb 14, 2014
    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.
  5. Nov 15, 2013
    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.

  6. May 30, 2013
    It's a Total War game without the 3D battles. To be honest, I used to skip those battles anyway so Crusader Kings 2 is a far deeper game to play. It's not easy to get into and initially I found the amount of things I had to remember daunting. But the music and game play draw you in. Hours are soon gone and lessons learned. Superb.
  7. CBZ
    May 27, 2013
    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
  8. Feb 16, 2013
    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
  9. Feb 26, 2012
    Was very hard to get into my first game since I tend to skip tutorials. The interface and gameplay isn't what I'm used to, hence I was a bit clueless at first and nearly gave up on the game. Then I went back and did all of the tutorials and it completely changed my view of the game.

    Long story short, do the tutorials or you'll regret it, unless you've played similar games in the past.
    Also this isn't a Total War game, the battles are simple, the complexity is in the way you manage your duchy, kingdom etc, and dealing with all the different characters in it. It's a fun and addicting game once you get into it. Collapse
  10. Jan 19, 2013
    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....
  11. Feb 10, 2012
    Paradox back on form at last after some dubious game releases, if you like this genre, this is pretty much the best there is. Loving it. Definitely worth a buy!
  12. Feb 7, 2012
    At the first glance very complex, but after 1h of tutorials you can get into the game. Amazing graphics, great sound, runs smooth, very complex political system, absolutely perfect!
  13. Feb 19, 2014
    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.
  14. Jul 26, 2013
    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.
  15. Jun 5, 2013
    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.
  16. Sep 16, 2013
    Really fun and enjoyable strategy game, and a great entry for newer players to paradox interactive titles. A Lannister always pays his debts, as such I find it appropriate to assassinate, castrate, and blind nearly all the enemies of out great house. Hear me Roar!
  17. Mar 1, 2012
    Very, very well done. Extremely polished with very few bugs and those are fairly insignificant. The game play is solid and the game is extremely fun. Paradox has really nailed it with this game.
  18. Jul 10, 2012
    This game is simply amazing. There is something about good games that don't make you feel good by making everything easy. When you succeed in CK2, you've earned it. I give the game a 9 because it didn't fulfill all of my personal tastes, but it's still an amazing game all around.
  19. Sep 14, 2013
    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.
  20. Jun 14, 2012
    A wonderfully rich and immersive historical strategy, definitely worth a look for anyone interested in medieval grand campaign games. It feels like more of an RPG than any previous Paradox title, and encourages you to feel an affiliation with the wealth of characters from your dynasty and surrounding historical figures. Play as anything from a lowly count to the Kaiser himself, ensure your family line survives amidst religious and political turmoil, and try to keep in check the myriad of plots and intrigue your subjects will throw at you. A truly addictive game that will devour your spare time. Expand
  21. Mar 19, 2012
    Don't pay attention to the dweebs and noobs that give this game a zero or 5. It's so great 10 isn't enough. I've spent weeks since it's release playing just it and no other game since Medieval Total War origional keep me playing as long. Most games get dull and boring after a few hours or maybe a day or two but this game just keeps on giving and there's something new discovered just about everytime I play. Of course it's not perfect but it does deserve a 10 compare to the cheese crap that has been coming out getting 9's and 9'5's. This should be game of the year and at least strategy game of the year. If you don't have or get this game in your library then you are just a fool. It will steal your life away and sleep too. ;) Expand
  22. Mar 29, 2012
    Fantastic game, even better than the original which surprised me. Anyone who was a fan of CK1 should love it. There are a few nitpicky things which I don't like; you get excommunicated all the time via some no-name count which is ridiculous, assassinations are too easy to do and happen way too frequently, HRE is stupidly powerful if you start from the beginning, etc. However, these issues aren't gamebreaking by any means, and the rest of the game is so fantastic that I'm not too bothered by them. Expand
  23. Jul 16, 2012
    This is the type of game that requires time and investment to be able to play successfully; if you expect to jump in and win right away then the game will take great pleasure in destroying you thoroughly.

    You absolutely will need to read the manual which is online as a PDF downloadable from where you purchased it, or from the Paradox forums. And you may even need to consult the online
    FAQs for assistance.

    Which seems like a lot of work for a game doesn't it?

    Honestly though if you persevere it is completely worth the effort. Wouldn't say it was perfect, but with the ability to mod out the things you don't like and mod in the things you do? It is pretty damn near it.

    Paradox's best effort yet. Defo worth a 9 out of 10.
  24. Jun 2, 2013
    What a rush. So much time consuming. This game is so good.
    If you enjoy medieval strategy games, with tactical gameplay, this is a must buy. If you don`t, watch some youtube gameplay videos and multiply the sensation by x1000. It is that good.

    A gaming session will swallow you for hours and hours into the night, cause it is that addictive.
    Buy it, try it, you won`t regret it. The DLC
    is nice too. Expand
  25. Jul 18, 2012
    It's like "Game of Thrones" meets "The Sims". Each playthrough is unique and offers a ton of variety. That said, this game has a MASSIVE learning curve and the tutorials aren't very helpful. Expect to struggle near the beginning. But once you muscle through it, the game is very, very rewarding.
  26. Oct 10, 2014
    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 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
  27. Dec 25, 2012
    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.
  28. Oct 27, 2013
    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
  29. Dec 26, 2013
    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.
  30. Dec 4, 2013
    An incredible game. But for the right people. If you do not have a good 10 hours just to barely learn the basics and maybe survive for 100 years then you should probably look elsewhere. Also the goal of the game is to really just survive, so if you are thinking of expanding and taking over the whole map then I would suggest going for Europa Universalis 4. In this game while you might take over half of Europe and beat back the Muslim horders, in 20 years you might be lucky if you've got like 2 provinces somewhere in Norway praying your nephew doesn't imprison you and execute you. Expand
  31. Jun 25, 2013
    So my review is my latest game: I started as the duke of munster with 2 territories. Territories and combat are a little bit like risk territories in that the more you control, the bigger your army is and the more you can expand. In 1066 AD, the Holy Roman Empire is gigantic with about 40 territories comprising of an emperor and dozens of barons, dukes etc. France has about 20 territories, Islam has spread deep into what is now Spain.

    As my tiny little dukedom in Ireland, I decided to scratch and claw my way to greatness with the goal of forming the Kingdom of Ireland. When you play, the character you control and their stats are key to your survival/expansion/success. The goal is to play for score through "prestige" earned by accomplishing ambitions you choose such as getting married, having a son as an heir, improving your skills, etc.

    I went along the path of getting married and having an heir. I had a plan to take 1 neighboring territory and build up my military to seize all of Ireland (about 15 territories) and making myself king. I was progressing well until my wife killed me with a night of passion with my wife at age 45. At this point I was sold. The game continues as I take over with a 20 yr old heir who's slothful, not that great and completely unprepaired. My vassels hate me, my tiny kingdom is on the brink of disaster. Im desparately trying to marry vassels off to get them to like me, or give them honorary titles or whatever i can do. Really, this is where the game is fun. Something epically bad and random happens that ruins your plans and you SCRAMBLE to survive as vassels, brothers, sisters, former allies, everybody tries to take your lands, titles and power.

    The game really isnt about combat on the map, its about developing your count/duke/king into a great leader, forming alliances, murdering opponents through treachery, ensuring your lineage, and preparing for your death and your heirs turbulent ascension to whatever throne you have.

    Having played Hearts of Iron 3 (liked it alot) and Europa Universalis (didnt like it) and having paid $20 during a recent steam sale, I can say this is worth my money and worth a look by everybody else. Once past the hard learning curve, this game is really deep.

    I'm going to only mark it off 1 pt for the way the DLC is done. 3 separate buys for the celtic nations shields, characters, artwork. Comeon! stop nickel and diming us.

    Really though, this is about the most strategic single player experience you are going to get. Running and expanding your empire is like peeling the layers of an onion as you discover what works and what doesnt. When you finially turn a 2 territory Irish petty kingdom into a sprawling 10 territory Kingdom of Ireland with the illegitimate heir of your third daughter with your second wife, you will know the meaning of the word satisfaction.
  32. Mar 30, 2012
    I never played the original Crusader Kings, but Crusader Kings 2 had me hooked instantly. That said, it's DEFINITELY not one for everyone. The graphics are minimal (you just stare at a map the whole time), battles consist of little more than numbers decreasing for each side and a single game will takes hours upon hours to finish.

    But if the above hasn't put you off, CK2 is a compelling
    game. The comparisons with Football Manager et al are pretty much spot on; this is a definite case of substance over style. Building up your dynasty is great fun. You need to scour the world for suitable mates, deal with unruly vassals or ungrateful lieges, put down regular rebellions, come up with tentative justifications to go to war, cozy up to the pope, and so on. There are many different ways you can approach the game, and you'll need to vary your tactics several times over the course of the game as circumstances dictate.

    I do have a few gripes though, but nothing major. Finding a particular province or person can be tedious at times, and it would be nice to be able to define better filters for sorting through potential spouses for your children. Particular irritating is that some of the tool tips that are displayed are very unclear or misleading, which does not help you when you're starting out. You're somewhat thrown in at the deep end at the start and it takes a while to get into the swing of things. There are also a couple of minor bugs at the time of writing, such as your heir being displayed incorrectly (reloading fixes it though). I've not had any game stopping issues though, and no crashes after 100+ hours of playing.

    If the idea of building a dynasty appeals to you, you don't have an aversion to games that don't rely on fancy graphics and have the time to invest in playing the game, you really ought to check out the demo. I played it for several hours and was immediately sold.
  33. Oct 3, 2014
    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.
  34. Dec 23, 2013
    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.
  35. Feb 21, 2012
    Great game as usually when Paradox sticks to its guns. This genre of game they almost always do a great job. Small learning curve, but once you get past it, its an awesome game.
  36. Mar 21, 2012
    This is my first Paradox game and I am now a fan for life. At first this game was very intimidating and I was worried it would lose my interest quickly. Quite the contrary, this game actually made me start researching the basics of medieval times and governments, so that I could better understand the game. Now, having 60 hours of playtime so far, I am even more addicted now than when I started. Every time I play the game, I learn something new about the mechanics of the game, which opens a new strategy or approach. The unique ways the games play out could actually be used to write a legitimate story, with betrayals, intrigue, politics and lust for power. This game is absolutely not for everyone, but to the fortunate ones who take the time to learn it, it is one of the most engrossing games I've played in a long time. Expand
  37. Oct 26, 2012
    Great game, I have 300 hours invested int it, and I learn a bit here and there everytime I play. Endless amounts of things to do the game never ends the same way. I would give this game a 9/10, I love it, and it was my first game of this type that I actually put time into. I have tried others from this company but they never struck home with me. CK2 however is great, so great, I am now looking forward to CK3, I can't wait! Expand
  38. Oct 26, 2012
    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
  39. Mar 3, 2012
    I could go on and on about how much I like this game. I have enjoyed(almost) every game in the Total War, Sim City, Caesar, and Civilization series' and this game is a perfect 10 in its' own way. The only con is that the graphics are semi-outdated. The gameplay, replay value, and depth are the best I have ever encountered in the genre. For me, this is the first really smooth PC title I've played in a long time; Small file size, no junk running the background, and no real bugs or crashes. Expand
  40. Jun 5, 2012
    This is quite possibly the best game Paradox Interactive have ever made. It's got detailed graphics, excellent gameplay mechanics that keep you enthralled, it has some RPG elements which are a nice touch to the grand-strategy style of play, and it also keeps you playing for hours on end.
  41. Jun 27, 2013
    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.
  42. Sep 17, 2013
    Genius game with really innovative gameplay. It's like a court life simulator. The graphics consists of almost only menus and a world map and that GREAT! It really stimulates your imagination. If you like medieval scenarios, strategic and brainy games, don't hesitate you will love Crusader Kings 2.
  43. Oct 31, 2014
    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'll be having fun for hours upon hours!
  44. Jun 5, 2014
    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 games should be made! Freedom of choice plus high replayability and fun!

    It's worth buying!
  45. Mar 19, 2012
    Bought this. Played 50++ hours in less than a week. Definitely a solid choice for a strategy gamer. Politics, religion, management aspect of this game is so deep and intriguing. You feel like rewriting medieval history with your own dynasty. Randomly changing world power structure with simplified but not boring warfare means you can make World War yourself! (England + France vs Spain + Germany vs Musilms vs Greeks .... etc) . I highly anticipating more DLC or expansion pack so that I can play Muslims too. A little bit of real history based events would be great though. Expand
  46. Feb 20, 2012
    Medieval Intrigue, army building, micromanagement and hardcore strategy. Not as difficult as the EU series, but still hardcore. Paradox back on form with a fantastic strategy game. Roll on EU4 :D
  47. Mar 23, 2012
    The game ain t that difficult but it ain t for the mentally challenged or superficial players, you have to invest some and think and plan a bit. You have namy ways to play it, be it dominance by war, intrigue, be it score for your sequence of rulers or your dinasty imponence trought the age, be your self goal erase (or expand) a culture religion or Dynasty, just trying to survive or starting with dominace achieved and try to expand further or not to collapse. You can start an ant excrement size of with an empire, start in a tiny quiet place just to learn or a king in the middle of various wars, you choose.
    Manual is weak, but its not a rocket science game and couity is helpfull and agreeable, cause this is not a game appealing for cod kids.
    Many things to learn and discover, Absolutely high replayability and once you got half the ropes absolutely addicting. Coud be better could, i have faith in paradox as everyone says DLC/patches happens to be awesomely engrossing.
    A lot of random event assure you that 2 games won t be equals even if yuu start with the exact same character, althought many things will seem alike due to a base on historical facts.
  48. Jul 19, 2012
    This game is for those who love strategy games. If you like other paradox titles you will like this game as it is best one to date. This game has made it into my all time favourites already, earning a place beside CIV4 and HOI III.
  49. Jun 4, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Crusader Kings II is a game for those who love history and like more detailed games. The main point of the game are not epic medieval battles. Battle system of that game is very simple and could be much better, because you just gather armies of your vassals and than send them to war, which is really simple, but not effective and quite hard to win a war if you do not posses an army of Holy Roman Empire. But this game takes you on a voyage to medieval courts and royal families. Who will inherit all provinces, will the kingdom survive kings assassination and will the vassals rebel? Maybe you won't be able to have children or will your wife fall in love with your enemy? Game is more a simulator of royal family life than a turn based strategy, but is really fun to play, specially if you are familiar with games like Europa Universalis, Victoria, etc. I must say that game is playable and realistic, but not for those who would like to be military general. Expand
  50. Jun 8, 2013
    For me, best video game ever with best music ever. I play it every single day at least 1 hour. thank you paradox for changing my life. At the beginning i had really a hard time. i never had played a paradox game in my life and this was my first. But when you learn the game you will have a blast. This game is for no kids or teenagers. This game is for the grown!
  51. Feb 20, 2012
    A magnificent work in the grand strategy genre, with all the depth and complexity you could want (perhaps unless you're a HoI nutter) with a charming bit of RPG added into it that makes the game truly come alive.
  52. Feb 15, 2012
    Just started playing but this title seems to be a better paradox title. Many game mechanics and looks are very familiar and very paradox style with a lot of reused software and graphics. However, I find CK2 so far better and bigger than e.g. Sengoku.
  53. Jul 9, 2012
    This game really appeals to me. The attention to detail in this game is astounding. I love how it always keeps you on your toes. I especially love how sometimes you feel like you are playing against your (future) self with your heirs. That ambitious son who's helping you win wars today will also fight your heir on your passing. What a truly great and well thought out game!
  54. Mar 2, 2012
    This is a tremendous game that improves on the already decent original in a ton of ways. It also is the most stable and playable release Paradox has had in a while. Cannot recommend it enough if you are at all interested in this genre.
  55. Apr 5, 2012
    Amazing game. It is so exciting to try to win your independence as a duchy, or go on a crusade for the Middle East. If you liked past Paradox games, you will love this one!
  56. Apr 28, 2012
    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.
  57. Oct 5, 2012
    I have to say that I am rather impressed with this game. I've been going on a strategy game stint lately and out of Endless Space, Civ 5, Sins of a Solar Empire, and Warlock: Master of the Arcane, this one is certainly the best and is one of the best games I've played in general. Furthermore, I have never EVER played a game in which I've had a difficult time finding mods that I thought genuinely made the vanilla game better. That is of course until now. This game is well worth a 10! Expand
  58. Nov 4, 2012
    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
  59. Dec 27, 2013
    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!
    As a fan of a Game of Thrones and a Song of Ice and Fire it seems only right to give this game 10.
  60. Feb 19, 2012
    This game is lots of fun. It belongs up there with EU3 as far as Paradox Games go. It's intricate, but it avoids being as tremendously complex as, for example, the Hearts of Iron series. I recommend it heartily. It doesn't get a 10 from me, but that's because I give 10s only to the sort of tremendous game that we might see only once every few years.
  61. Apr 29, 2012
    As a student of medieval history, I find this game extremely intriguing. No other strategy game set in the middle ages have captured my imagination quite as CK2. I love TW:Medieval 2, but after playing CK2, Medieval 2 feels somewhat unsatisfying. In Medieval 2 for example, you play a nation, which is probematic in a society ruled by feudal dynastic leaders. In CK2, you play as a single person (count, duke, king or emperor) and are faced with all the challenges of society which is based on personal relationships, not on abstract notions of homogenous nations. Therefore, the focus is not so much on warfare, but on these relationships which may well shatter your whole dynasty if they turn sour. Your power is never absolute: if your vassals don't like you, they won't provide you with money or troups, or will even raise their flags in rebellion. Years and years of civil war are no rarity in this game.
    Medieval 2 let you conquer the whole of Europe with relative ease in a short span of time, and, more importantly, without good reason. In CK2, wars even against much weaker enemies are expensive and dangerous. In my last game playing as kings of France, I spent 300 years, plotting and warring, until I managed to take back all counties held by England in France. Also, you will always need a reason for declaring war on someone. Claims on certain counties, dukedoms or even kingdoms are inherited through marriage, fabricated or granted by a liege lord or the pope.
    I very much enjoy this game and I can recommend it to anyone interested in the medieval period, or strategy gaming in general. Its focus on individuals give it a fresh and personal feeling, and the plethora of small stories and tragedies unfolding in the course of centuries is captivating.
  62. Mar 1, 2012
    I think this is the best game Paradox has created. The social intrigue aspect is really fun. It takes a bit to get used to moving through the interface and understanding the game, but after you figure it out it is addicting. It was well thought out.
  63. Feb 15, 2012
    First minutes playing it i thought: "what a difficult crap game?" But then I understood, that this game is clearly the best historical strategy game I have ever played, and trust me, I played many. You can play as an emperor or as a count under some king or duke. It's all your choice... You dont just pick a country, you choose a character to play in this country. This game weights only 800~ MB but this, honestly, far better than for example total war medieval games which are 8~ GB. Yeah, there's no battlefields, but the combat system is better than ever for Paradox games. Your vassal, courtiers and so on lead your troops in battle. It appears that a good soldier might turn in a noble man for once. That's what I call reality, and that takes only 800~ MB which expresses me the most. To those who gave this game lower than 7/10: You should play it longer to understand how complicated and interesting this game really is. As I said, first hour of gameplay I was disappointed, but I kept on playing and now I know what I will do next 2 weeks every evening. Playing Crusader Kings II. 10/10. Expand
  64. Mar 22, 2012
    Having played EU3 I decided i'd give this a try, and im glad I did, the game refines EU3's gameplay with a very accurate representation of the medieval ages. Anybody interested in this time period or a fan of strategy games should deffinetly check this out
  65. Mar 11, 2012
    One of the best grand strategy games out there. It's just what I always wanted. Not overcomplicated, not too flashy, quite easy to get into but with some exquisite depth. And not so scary as other Paradox games at first contact. If diplomacy, strategic marriages and intrigue are your thing then buy this game, it's worth it.
  66. May 16, 2012
    There are some problems with a game (steep learning curve), but once you get a hang of it (i am one of those rage gamers that do not like to spend too much time on tutorials) game is really good. I enjoy very much the diplomacy, and events,but not so much about war.Maybe that is just my way of playing it.Oh yes, you can play the way you want it!
  67. May 22, 2012
    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
  68. Mar 29, 2014
    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.

    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!
  69. Dec 27, 2012
    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.
  70. Mar 7, 2012
    Very finely done sequel, that takes almost everything from previous and distills it into more accessible package without dumbing it down. The graphics and UI server their purpose and look good. The gameplay is fluid and complex enough. Only negative I can think about is lack of "Ambitions" (Goals for a character) and some options when interacting with other characters.
  71. Feb 22, 2012
    If you are a fan of Paradox strategy game, such as Victoria series or Hearts of Iron or even Crusader Kings,you will find this game a brilliant production from paradox, Not only it succeed to be it's successor of CK 1 , but it provide many countries and play styles for you to play, with a detailed background of History.At first u may found difficult to play this game (Same as me!) , but after trying few times, you always wanted to come back for more! If your looking for some challenging strategy games, this game really suits you, it's one of those game you must buy! Moreover, the game have some serious success in the game engine. Graphics are up to date, beautiful for a strategy game and it also fixed the lagging problem happened in Victoria 2, which was a pain in the ass! Even I massed 30k armies with my France, I still don't get any lag like from Victoria 2 ( Who played VC II will understand ), this is a great success, without the epic lag , I can fully enjoy Paradox's new game, Great kudos to Paradox! Though it's great, I won't give a max score cause there's place to improve. I think paradox can add a little mixture between total war series and their series. Not only we can see troops fighting on flat lands on the map, I suggest we can actually command it during an epic battle, like total war, Which will push the game to a whole new level. Just a suggestion, but hope it's useful. Anyway great game, 8 for graphics, 9 for game-play , 9.5 for non-lag situation , 9.5 for great system. Overall 9/10 for the game. Expand
  72. Mar 8, 2012
    A very good game, not as complex as HOI3 or Vicky. While about equal or even easier than EU.
    The gameplay is very fun and smooth, there are some nice features, like the game pausing in singleplayer when you get a pop-up(CK2 have alot of pop ups, and pausing is important so you don't miss, considering you can change the game speed), there is plenty of warning icons showing up incase
    something is going on, so you have a pretty good idea of what is happening all the time. Graphically the 3D map felt a bit awkward at first, but started feeling more natural after a while.
    The soundtrack is glorious, feels like it likes to repeat the same songs a bit too much, I wouldn't mind seeing more tracks in the game. The game had a overall very smooth launch, pretty much no issues for me and I could play MP with a friend fine(only the typical Paradox net code desynchs here and there, but nothing really gamebreaking)
  73. Feb 16, 2012
    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. It does get easier once you get used to it. The best part of the game is the endless replay value. You can play the same dynasty for countless times over and over again and still have new and fun things to do with it. I also like that it is different from other strategy games which tend to be very generic and rarely offer something new or different. This game concentrates on building your dynasty instead of country like in most of the strategy games. So it's not your average "whack-a-mole" strategy game where you pick a country and then go on a conquering spree in order to make the whole world part of your realm but rather a very immense strategy-rpg combination where balance and micro-managing your family, courtiers and vassal is important. You have to plan your conquests very carefully or you end up having your entire family murdered by jealous vassals or other family members who want to have their share of the pie.

    Unlike most of Paradox releases this one works flawlessly from the start. I have played it for 2 days almost without a break and i haven't encountered a single bug.
    I have played most of Paradox games and i can easily say that this is the best one yet. I can see myself playing Crusader Kings II for years to come, and usually i get bored rather soon.

    A must buy for every strategy lover.
  74. Feb 16, 2012
    Most people who give this game bad reviews are those who don't know how to play it or expect something different than what it is. CKII is a slow-paced niche strategy game designed for scheming Machiavellis, not a game that will please the Red-Bull-chugging BF3 crowd. The game is a lot more polished at release than most Paradox titles. It's also one of the deepest, with a great internal politics system that makes conquering new land an option rather than a requirement for an interesting game session. It's graphics are among the best Paradox has released, and its system of unique portraits and character traits makes each character -from the highest emperor to the lowliest baron- a unique human being with his or her own personality and motives: rather than playing as an abstract country or a colour on the map, you play as a person and their dynasty. This makes the game unique (in a good way) from any other grand strategy game I know of.

    The only con is the poor buggy multiplayer.
  75. Jun 14, 2012
    The best and the brightest paradox title: difficult, exciting and very satisfying in every part. the main goal is to help your name to survive to you, to write a story about your family. It is strange for a strategic game but every character lives...your wife, your sons, your ancestors, your enemies. This is a tale engine about a family. Your family. The blood is thicker than water, and playing this game you will discover it. Expand
  76. Dec 19, 2012
    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
  77. Mar 12, 2013
    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.
  78. Mar 19, 2013
    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.
  79. Sep 4, 2013
    This was my first game of PDS and I hugely enjoyed it. I was always curious about feudal Europe, however I never really had the motivation to read large chunks of text about it, then Crusader Kings II came along and changed that. I was thrust into my first game as the Norman King of England of the House de Normandie; William the Conqueror. That and the subsequent few games I played after were probably some of my funnest experiences honestly in gaming. The dynamics of simulating the entire nobility of Europe is pretty much endless, leaving room for virtually anything (realistically) to happen. This is probably the funnest game I've ever played. Expand
  80. Sep 24, 2013
    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
  81. Jul 21, 2014
    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 ist zwar nicht grafisch ansehlich, strotzt dafür vor Details und lässt den Großteil anderer Strategiespiele, im Hinblick auf Komplexität weit zurück. Expand
  82. Sep 28, 2014
    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. Expand
  83. Aug 17, 2013
    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
  84. Feb 18, 2012
    The game is brilliant!
    For the 2 (and possibly more to come) complaining about no manual, it's on their website, it's the 21st century, download the PDF. (Check the Paradox Forum)
    Took me a few hours to get the hang of it, and now I am coasting! From the Duke of Orkney to King of Norway! This is NOT a wargame. This is a dynastic SIM. Build your dynasty, watch your family tree grow!

    Work your family over 4 Centuries...
  85. Feb 12, 2012
    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. 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
  86. Apr 24, 2012
    Here is what u need if u r new to Grand RTS: 1. This Game 2. Time to read the manual 3. Time to play the tutorials 3. Time to watch the very good "Lets play" vids on youtube. What u get? The best, complex strategic game ever made :)
  87. Feb 18, 2012
    Pros: - Little to no bugs. (20+ hours w/o a crash or bug) - Quick response by the dev team (Just released a balance/bug update) - Caters to the hardcore audience in love with Paradox, yet walks the new player through the ropes - From the smallest county to the largest kingdom, the player is kept busy keeping his realm intact Cons: - It is a grand strategy game, so unless you like games such as Hearts of Iron, Europa Universalis, or even a game like (and this is a stretch) Civilization this game will not appeal to you. I highly suggest the demo if you are on the fence about this type of genre
    - Most DLC's from Paradox are cosmetic, so if this goes against your religion stay away
    - If you expect to micro manage your battles you will be horribly disappointed, this is more about the macro

    Synopsis: You play as a christian ruler (though the devs have hinted at allowing muslim or pagan rulers in the future) trying to keep his/her dynasty alive through the middle ages. Your ruler will have to use everything at their disposal to maintain the peace in their realm while still holding off the masses at the gate just waiting to rule your lands.

    This game takes a drastically different approach to empire management from other games where in other games you are normally a supreme ruler, your word is law and everyone follows almost perfectly. In this game, you are simply the current ruler of your realm. Your vassals, court, and even family have their own goals, often working against your own. Expect to see your own dukes vying to knock your family off to take the crown for themselves, your court angling to assassinate the right person at the right time to get them land to rule, and even your family to plot against you to take your throne. It is not uncommon for a player sitting as the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire to be knocked down to simply holding a county. But the opposite is also entirely possible...
  88. Feb 28, 2012
    One of the best grand strategy games ever released. Great improvement from the first one, and using the experience that Paradox gained with his other series (Europa Universalis, Sengoku and Victoria), with great graphics and a really great set of possibilities, events and replay factor. Just too dificult to new players, but nothing that some hours of gameplay can't solve.
  89. Mar 7, 2012
    A reasonably good balance of historical fact and game-play without tethering you to history, although looking through the different start dates lets you learn some interesting facts, like the Nestorian christian mongol in the Il-Khanate. All in all, a very good introduction to paradox games, hopefully this means we'll be getting an EU:Rome 2 as well!
  90. May 2, 2012
    Like most Grand Strategy games from Paradox interactive, Crusader Kings II (CKII) has a steep learning curve (especially for neophytes to the CK series like myself) that isn't helped one bit by the massive wall of text that confronts new users when they attempt to complete the tutorial. Ironically enough, fan-created content like the dearth of 'Let's Play' series available on YouTube is actually the best way to get a feel for the various fine mechanics of game-play, and is certainly more engaging than reading pages and pages of text from the tutorial, or power-gamer 'How to Play CKII' from the Paradox Forums.

    Putting aside the disappointing tutorial and sharp learning-curve, the game at its core is a fantastically engaging dynasty simulator. Unlike the Europa Universalis Series, which focuses on countries, CKII focuses on Dynasties. At it's heart CKII is one part Kingdom Simulator, and one part The Sims. Unlike other Grand Strategy games, CKII manages to make individuals one of the most important aspects of the game, and it does so intelligently. Managing your dynasty, interpersonal relationships, plotting against rivals, and managing the oftentimes chaotic succession of lands and titles sounds overwhelming, and yet CKII is designed to remain manageable nevertheless.

    All that said, this game is not for everyone. It's a thinking game. Battles are very RISK-like, pieces moving from place to place with fights being resolved off-screen. Being a fan of the Total War series, I was hoping battles would involve more tactical play, but unfortunately that's not what this game is about. It's about thinking, planning, building -- all that good strategy stuff -- and only a tiny bit of tactical game-play. So if you think you can enter a battle as the underdog and win with superior tactics, think again. In CKII the superior strategist is victorious.

    Paradox is actively improving and supporting the game with patches, constantly striving to improve game-play with community feedback. Bioware? Sit up and take notes.

    Now if you'll excuse me, my newly created Greater Kingdom of Ireland, Scotland, and England is off to help the besieged Kingdom of Castille reclaim the Iberian Peninsula from the marauding Muslim factions who've rolled in.
  91. May 15, 2012
    Very fun game and can't wait for the game of thrones mod, would be even cooler is grrm just gave them the rights To make a game of thrones game though
  92. May 21, 2012
    About the gameplay: this is certainly the best Paradox game ever and one of the best games in history. The gameplay has been extremely simplified (compared to Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings 1 and so on) even thought the game is not easier / casualised at all. I believe Paradox learned something really valuable: how to make the most complex games easy to handle. It's just perfect. About the game itself: I won't spend time explaining the game, the fact you start as a Count, Duke or King, that you have to manage your vassals, the relations with every people, the weddings and so on. I will make it short: if you think that thinking stuff like:

    "Ok I need to kill my own children so that my principal heir gets all my belongings"
    "Mmmh the Duke of Aquitaine is married. If I kill his wife and I marry him with my daughter I could get some claims"
    "My vassals are angry, how to make them happy? I see the heir to this Duchy is a friend of me, ok I kill this one, I'll make a plot. This other one... I can help him to become Duc of Flanders, lets start a war"
    "Damn it, I absolutely have to change inheritance laws, or else I loose the crown of the Kingdom..."

    Well, if you think such stuff is pretty cool and that it could be intrigating , well, believe me, no game EVER on this planet will make you think more than CK2 about plots, intrigues, assassinations, ways of getting rid of a rival, how to get the crown, how to manage relations and so on.

    Furthermore, nothing is fixed, your vassals may love you, but if you die, and your children gets all, well, they may not like him, start complotting again against you, declare independence and so on. So the game is actually:
    - never the same throughout the game itself, you never get bored. It's not because situation "today" is stable that it will be in 20 years.
    - each time you play the game even with the same Family, the experiences and events will be different
    - without saying obviously that playing a French Count or Duke is completely different than playing a Polish or a Bizantine family

    Just to say how wonderful the game experience is: It's the kind of game you start talking about with your wife. And even though she doesn't care AT ALL about video game, it's such intrigung that even people who don't play video games, will in the end ask you, while taking a walk: "oh, did you manage the Burgundian issue about inheritence? Did you kill in the end your nephew?" or "Did you manage to be King the end? And the Duke of Norway, does he still have independence desires?"

    Believe me, it's maybe a bit hard to handle while starting, but, after a couple of hours you understand all the subtleties of the game and that moment, you'll have a WONDERFUL game that makes Total War series a pale, tasteless game.

    Why not 10 then? Because you HAVE to go by Steam, and it's such a pain...
  93. Jul 14, 2012
    I'm a huge fan of Paradox because they do these types of games so very well. It's not just that the game play is so absorbing but also that it's historically accurate enough as to not promote excessive quibbling. It really does feel like you are following the course of history, and time after time your decisions will either come back to haunt you or reward you massively. The thrill of not knowing what might happen is what'll keep you playing for hours and hours if you pick up this game. It's not a case of 'just one more turn' but 'just one more year'. It does have it's small annoyances, such as the HRE not wanting to break up or some strange religious events, but you'll see the likes of France and England have some nightmarish situations, and that is what makes the game so unpredictable and fun. This is a gem that you can just sit and watch and it'll be as much fun as playing. Expand
  94. Nov 13, 2012
    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. 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
  95. Feb 25, 2013
    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.
  96. May 13, 2013
    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.
  97. Dec 29, 2013
    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.
  98. Dec 30, 2013
    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.
  99. Feb 14, 2012
    This has got to be one of the most polished releases by Paradox. They've really took what we've loved about the original Crusader Kings and their brand of grand strategy then multiplied it by uber! I really enjoy plotting against my liege for the throne and setting up my dynasty in far away lands. It is definitely one of those games where you start playing and realize what time it is when the sun comes out. I recommend this to everyone who enjoy a deep strategy game! Expand
  100. Feb 11, 2012
    This game was tailor-made for fans of the original. The game mechanics have been fleshed out and improved for portions of the original game-play that was fun, while the stuff that was irritating left on the chopping block. This holds true even when comparing it to other Paradox games, such as Europa Universalis. So it's easier to wade into, but still retains that great depth, and character-driven game-play that made the first Crusader Kings so captivating.

    The music is really great, very atmospheric and enhances the overall theme.
    Combat/unit control is tidier than previous Paradox games, a breeze to go to war now.

    Navigating the menu is still a challenge, but hey it's a Paradox game.
    Crashing while alt-tabbed.
  101. Feb 26, 2012
    Was very hard to get into my first game since I tend to skip tutorials. The interface and gameplay isn't what I'm used to, hence I was a bit clueless at first and nearly gave up on the game. Then I went back and did all of the tutorials and it completely changed my view of the game.

    Long story short, do the tutorials or you'll regret it, unless you've played similar games in the past.
    Also this isn't a Total War game, the battles are simple, the complexity is in the way you manage your duchy, kingdom etc, and dealing with all the different characters in it. It's a fun and addicting game once you get into it. Collapse

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
    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
    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
    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.