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Crusader Kings II Review

Crusader Kings II Review

Crusader Kings II is a grand strategy game able to rival other major strategy games like Civilization and Europa Universalis (with which they connect). This review will have a storyline, gameplay, graphics & SFX and finally, personal thoughts section. Without further ado:


The game doesn’t have a storyline. It’s set usually in the early medieval times, but generally, any game can start from 769 to 1066 and the game ends in 1453.

Many historical events happen in the game regardless of the in-game events. A good example of this is the Ottoman Invasion in Constantinople.


Crusader Kings II is not like any traditional strategy game as it has some RPG elements to it. Before you begin, you can choose your empire, kingdom, duchy, county, etc…

Beginning as a count is considered the hardest option, as you don’t have many options during the early game, and you are always under many others who are able to stop your advances through just a command.

Before you begin, you have the option of creating your own ruler, in appearance, religion, culture, and nationality.

You can also some of his stats, but every stat alters his age based on its power. You can likewise give him some characteristics that also change your age.

These characteristics range from brave and strong to hunchback and lustful, and just about anything you can think of. Finally, you choose the number of children, and each child also increases your age.

Once you are in the game, you have two purposes.

Firstly it is the usual one. Sustain your provinces to stand the test of time.

The second one, however, is far more interesting, due to its uniqueness. You have to sustain your Dynasty (family).

This means that before your character dies (and trust me, this can happen at any time!), you must have a valid heir from your bloodline. Once you die, you take over as the heir you sculptured.

Before I delve deeper into the Dynasty system, let’s get to the actual gameplay.

The game has many complicated systems. Generally, the map is split into counties. Each county has a major city that can have 1 or more provinces. You cannot control more than a specific number of them (a number that is calculated from some of your stats).

If you exceed the number, you must set some of your vassals to rule over some of your territories, for a price of course.

By controlling enough (specific) counties, you can create a duchy. Have enough duchies and you can create an independent kingdom. And like this, you can work your way up to an emperor.

You also have your own council, with 5 positions, each representing one of the 5 stats. You also choose your councilors and their tasks in order to better manage your lands.

Warmongering in this game is different. You cannot just create units by paying resources, instead, every province has its own number of levies (troops) dependent on each province’s buildings.

In order to declare war, you must have a valid Casus Beli, and you win the war by defeating enemy armies and towns enough times to make them surrender.

You can also take a county by birthright; if you marry one of your children with that county’s count, heir, or any heir in line after the first.

Afterward, you can try to assassinate every heir until you reach to your child, which will give you a strong claim to that county. These apply (but are harder to do) to duchies, kingdoms, and empires.

Now, on to the character system. Your first goal should be to get married. But that is a hard decision to make.

Firstly, if you get married to some nobody, you will lose prestige, which is important to the game.

Secondly, her stats, nationality, culture, and religion are very important, as there is a high chance that your children will inherit some of her characteristics.

Following that, you have to care for your children. You have to choose a guardian, which will be the central figure in their life.

You must also choose childhood and teenage focuses, which determined their characters and stats as they grow.

Finally, you have to decide which one will be your heir (also depending on the succession law of your realm).

Throughout the game, you will get some random events. These determine things like characteristics (which affect your stats), or other events that are about your realm.

There are also some paranormal events like meeting with death, which gives you a high chance of dying, and an event that makes you practically immortal (you can only die in war or from assassination).

The game has many other game concepts and mechanics, but I suggest you learn about these as you play, as if I start explaining, it might get too overwhelming.

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The graphics aren’t anything amazing. In fact, this game can be played without a problem on most PCs, even some of the toasters. It is a low-spec game, which actually gives it a bonus, as most other grand strategy or 4X games require very good specs.

Personal Thoughts

Crusader Kings II is a very fun game to play, especially if you are a strategy game fan and don’t have the PC for higher-spec games.

The overwhelming amount of mechanics is bound to keep you for hours, and the randomness of the game and the Dynasty system will keep you hooked.

The negatives include its win conditions and its price. About the win condition. There is no clear win condition other than having the highest score when the game ends, or when all players die.

About, the price, since this is a still updating game, there are many expansions and DLCs, which all cost extra, so I highly recommend you buy them all on Steam sales.

I forgot to mention that if you finish a game without dying, you can take that game’s data and transfer it as it is to Europa Universalis IV.

Final Verdict

Storyline: –

Gameplay: 9.0

Visuals: 7.0

General Rating: 8.0

Have you played Crusader Kings II? Have you enjoyed the review? If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.

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