User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 581 Ratings

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

Review this game

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Oct 27, 2013
    Incredibly complicated and detailed with a fairly sizeable learning curve this is one of the most indepth simulations of a medieval kingdom (complete with politics and intrigue) yet. A phenomenal piece of work that unfortunately makes my brain bleed out of my ears.
  2. Nov 14, 2012
    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.
  3. 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
  4. Jun 10, 2014
    Uno de los juegos más interesantes que he visto dentro de la estrategia actual. Combina la sencillez de gestión de ejércitos y recursos con una profundidad en la gestión de la dinastía y las relaciones personales que es la envidia de Los Sims. Muy recomendable.
  5. 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
  6. Jan 2, 2014
    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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. Jun 3, 2013
    Love Paradox games and this started out as no exception. It's big, complex, and detailed. Once you get the hang of it you can chug through rather nicely. For me, the game fails miserably when it comes to a King/Queen dying. Historically, you didn't see wars stop due to a death or rebellions pop up after every death. In CK2 however, all aggressive expansions immediately halt upon death and rebellions are far too common from the ensuing loss of stability. Tends to create boring dead zones of time where you can't really do much other than wait for loyalty to solidify to expand again. It's just tedious and boring rather than challenging and entertaining. Really frustrating when you get unlucky and run through multiple rulers in a short time frame. Overall the game isn't bad and is worth grabbing if you're into complex strat games. Expand
  13. 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
  14. Jul 29, 2013
    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.
  15. 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. Expand
  16. 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....
  17. 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!
  18. 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!
  19. Dec 30, 2012
    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
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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!
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Oct 4, 2014
    I know everyone likes this game... But I couldn't even play with it. Sure I suffered a bit trying to understand what the hell I was to do. I cannot pretend I tried the game thoroughly, but still:
    - tutorial is a joke. It's so bugged I couldn't use it at all!!!
    - battles suck!
    - interface is among the worst ever, maybe because I'm on win7, but it hardly even works
    - difficulty seems
    quite stupidy high too. After a few days, I got attacked by 15000+ troops. I possess 2000 at a whole
    ==> didn't even want to go on trying. Maybe after a week of pain, I'd find it fantastic, but now it's just painful to play.
    However there are some features CA should be stealing for their total war games : full real time.
  27. 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.
  28. Jul 10, 2013
    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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. Mar 27, 2012
    Not an easy game, sometimes frustrating, with a slow learning curve (if you expect to master it). You ll have to make many mistakes before understanding most of the game mechanics and be successful. Certainly not a game for everyone. But if you can go through that, you ll find a jewel that worth your time. The political system is very complex and the backbone of the game, it's all about relations between members of your family/vassals, not so much about war and conquests. Very deep game. Expand
  33. 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.
  34. 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
  35. Sep 24, 2014
    Not very fun, i feel like their are just a lot of little insignificant ants running around on the screen. I would have enjoyed it more if buildings and castles where not magically and instanly built. Their is not much of a campaign or a story. Overall it is a nice game but you can't help yawning.
  36. Jun 25, 2013
    Incredibly complex and a vague tutorial. This game would be great if it didn't stumble over its intricacies so often. I personally enjoy a challenge, but playing (or attempting to play) this game feels more like learning a new language or an organic chemistry class. It thrusts the player into an absurdly complex system with little to no real help. I'm sure once you get the hang of it you can have fun, but I have not the time nor the energy to devote hours of my life to learning Crusader Kings II. Expand
  37. 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.
  38. 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
  39. 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.
  40. Jul 27, 2013
    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.
  41. 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
  42. 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.
  43. 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
  44. 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.
  45. Jun 2, 2013
    This is a true strategy game. I generally didn't think I'd like paradox games but I do like this game. In fact I liked it so much that I have put over 70 hours into the game. I'm not even that good at it. I feel like I am a lot smarter about feudalism after playing it. It is literally like a history lesson. I am absolutely looking forward to Europa Universalis 4. This kind of game really does deserve more credit than it has gotten. Expand
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. Oct 20, 2012
    The game is so close to being a good game that it's sad to be ruined by so many little negatives. If you got to play it, wait until the deep discount.
    Here's the game killers, in no particular ranking order.
    1) Pop up takes up the center of the screen, click okay so that you can handle what the popup was telling you and the game immediately unpauses. So time flies often with a new pop
    up which has to be handled.
    2) Ships are there to only troop troops. No fighting naval battles, no blocking incoming invasions, and no real point after all the troops could just come with transport and keep this whole game mechanic
    3) Troop size is near stagnant. Sure you can build something that gives you maybe 50 more troops in a year. But when it comes time for war and your allies don't want to join (constant) or the liege dies and it's time to rebel again by every county.
    4) Rebellions: Constant inner rebel that after putting down instead of executing them or even putting them in jail your're just suppose to let them go otherwise you just make quickly make more rebels.
    5) When rebellions succeed and after the country splits, the counties that stayed have peppered cities, temples, and baronies that don't go with you. Instead you always have this land mine in your own county. AND YOU CAN"T REVOKE THE CLAIM IN YOUR OWN COUNTY.
    6) Far flung territories mean nothing to the enemy. Who expects you defeats 3x the amount of solders And counties to take his one across the map territory. 7) No family ties loyalty. And I don't mean little, I mean none.
    8) It's your fault if they desire something even when it's not in your possession.
  50. Mar 10, 2012
    What a fun game. It seems complex from the outset which is what turned me off initially. After playing for a few hours I wound up having a great time. It's a very different type of game than you might be used to. I love strategy games. The civ series is one of my all time favorites. This game is very different from that, in that your main goal is to try to get your dynasty to carry on after your death and to gain more and more land. It gives you a feel for what the world must have been like during that time period.

    Try to assassinate your wife because she doesn't approve of the very public affair you're having. Watch that fail and then try to contain the war that erupts because you had the stupid idea of giving her control of a county to placate her. Suddenly it's civil war because you can't keep it in your pants.

    A great game, absolutely worth a try.
  51. 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.
  52. 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
  53. 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
  54. 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
  55. Sep 17, 2013
    I know I'll be lambasted for saying this, but I just plain do not like this game at all. I have read the reviews over and over, almost all of which give a glowing recommendation, but I just can't see the attraction. I tend to like strategy games, and complex games that have a higher learning curve the end they are more satisfying. However, after repeated attempts to play this game....I'm baffled. I have loaded it up, uninstalled, loaded up and tried, read the guides, watched hours of tutorials on youtube and still when I log in to the game and start it up I end up asking myself after about an hour....WHY AM I DOING THIS? :)

    It's just plain me that is, and no I'm not the type of gamer that prefers a jump in fast and kill em all type player. But just turning on a game clock and watching things happen based on my decisions just doesn't entertain me. The depth of the game is very overwhelming and the behind the scenes engine is just not very intuitive IMO.

    I know it is a universally acclaimed title, but I won't be installing it again on my computer. BORING!
  56. 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
  57. Feb 25, 2012
    Pro's: Very addictive social strategy game, enormous replay value, very satisfying gameplay
    Con's: Instruction manual does a poor job of describing the complexity of the game, confusing to the new player as to what actually your supposed to do.

    Opinion: This is a suprisingly fun political / social simulator. I am generally not a fan of the genera, though found myself really enjoying this
    game. I would like to see a more through tutorial and a better description as to what is happening in the game. I found myself often confused as to if I was wining or not. Recommendation: Get this game. I brought it on a whim to introduce me into grand strategy type games and I was not dissapointed. Be warned, its a political / social simulator, so do not expect explosions and you will not be dissapointed. Expand
  58. 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.
  59. 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.
  60. 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.
  61. 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!
  62. 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!
  63. 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
  64. 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
  65. 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.
  66. 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.
  67. May 4, 2012
    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
  68. 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
  69. Jul 19, 2013
    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.
  70. Jan 28, 2014
    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
  71. 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!
  72. 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.
  73. Feb 14, 2012
    With a high-end computer just for playing games, the first thing I experience after installing the game is the map going haywire with provinces flashing in and out of view for no reason at all, like the computer having a tantrum! You know the saying about you don't get a second chance for a first impression, well, that was not a good start. Well, it also seems like a counting numbers kind of game to me, I'm more of a visual gamer and so this is just not the game for me, I suppose. Expand
  74. 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.
  75. 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!
  76. 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.
  77. 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!
  78. 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.
  79. 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
  80. 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
  81. 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.
  82. Jun 6, 2014
    Great game!

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

    Maybe a sandbox solution? So the game can be very "basic" and very "deep", at the same time?
    Just a thought.
  83. 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.
  84. 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.
  85. 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.
  86. 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
  87. 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
  88. 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.
  89. 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!
  90. 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
  91. Jun 4, 2014
    Poor UI makes the game more complex than it needs to be. Tutorials are outdated, and get bugs frequently. I had to restart the tutorials twice because of bugs. I then attempt to make a custom character (I have the ruler designer DLC). Immediately when I click start, I am treated with a game over screen. After reading around forums, I find it is because I made the character with a religion I have not yet purchase from DLC, even though nothing in the UI states this is a problem, or even states that I do not own it. Horrible DLC practices with an awful UI bring down what is an otherwise 'okay' game. Once I was actually in game, the gameplay was average. Deep in some areas, shallow in others. For example, having kids with their own traits and marrying them off is fun, but also diluted when the same random events repeat over and over within the first half an hour. Wouldn't recommend. Expand
  92. 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!
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. 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
  96. 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)
  97. 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.
  98. 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.
  99. 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
  100. Jun 23, 2012
    Although daunting in its scope and sheer overload of information, Crusader Kings 2 is a great "social" strategy game. The main difference between this title and some of Paradox's others is that in this game you are not some omnipotent god like figure ruling over your kingdom. You are actually a family member in the game, and you must successfully navigate each character through their life, forging alliances with other family members of all sorts, and as ruler, your most important task is securing a line of succession- failure to do so will result in instantly losing the game.
    The game is not for the impatient FPS player who wants instant kills and gratification, if you're looking for explosions, this is not the game for you. As everyone else has already mentioned, the game is in desperate need of a sufficient manual. The learning curve is rather steep as one has to learn medieval jargon to master the game. Not a bad game.
  101. 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.

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.