In my last blog I stated that my favorite genre is the strategy genre, more specifically Real Time Strategy (RTS). I furthermore stated that the game that is my personal favorite currently is Crusader Kings II. I’d like to follow up on this because it may give you more insight as to why I like these games at the moment.
What’s the game about?
Crusader King’s two is a real time strategy game that takes place between 769 AD-1453 AD. In between this time span you will take control of a dynasty of various characters that administer counties, duchies, kingdoms, and empires in Medieval Europe. There’s no main goal for this game other than just trying to survive until the timer runs out in which the game will end.
Whatever you do in between that time however is up to you? Wanna become pious saintlike figure? You can do that! Want to be a battle hardened commander? Go right ahead! Wanna rule the world? Of course you can silly! Wanna sire 10 children? Yes you can! Would you like to become a person who becomes a lecherous drunk that murders people in cold-heart fashion? Yes that is very easy to do in this game actually.
All these ways of role-playing the game and more can be done in the game. More importantly you have a lot of information to look at as the game progresses. If you’re a emperor/king/duke you have to keep watch for factions throughout your realm as they all have specific agendas that they want to achieve to most likely advance their standing in the realm(s). More importantly is that individual characters have their own goals they want to achieve and based on what traits they have will look at the most ideal way that specific character will achieve goals by playing those traits to their advantage.
Other things to keep note of is that you have three specific resources to keep track of: gold, prestige, and piety. These resources are used to pay for certain events, buildings, acts, options, etc. For example if you want to build something you need the gold to do it, if you want to do something that helps advance your standing in some way you may need some prestige alongside the gold, and if you want to do something that helps with religious affairs you need to the piety to do it. You will passively gain these through time alone, but events, options, and other commodities come and go that can help improve output of these currencies or give you a flat amount of these resources. Other times not so fun events may end up making you lose any of these resources such as paying loans back and doing not so pious/not so prestigious activities.
So what’s my favorite aspect of the game?
Simply put, the role playing is my favorite aspect. Starting off as a simple counts gives you the most options and pathways to go and is generally the most fun I get out of the game, from there you can be one of the many things I stated in the above description. Role-playing gives you a more immersive experience because it puts you in your in-game character’s mindset. As an in-game character who likes to focus on business, I like to take as many business events that are quite costly even though I know they may drive me into debt because my character likes super risky business decisions in hopes that they pay off, some of them do and some go down the drain. Another example is that I have an education in theology in-game but I have a focus on war, I could become this zealous god-fearing priest who likes to declare holy war on people of other religions for the good of my own religion. This kind of role is what keeps me going for hours upon hours without end.
The issues with the game.
Although a lot of events and choices lead to a fair amount of random number generation for the decision of trait giving and other outcomes, I don’t mind this. I assume that certain traits help decide the outcomes of many of these decisions but I notice that some choices such as trying to kill a chancellor who is fabricating a claim in my liand is always a 50/50 chance which is very annoying because I was hoping my intrigue stat/spymaster’s intrigue stat could help in deciding that.
The big issue is that a fair amount of the content is locked by behind the DLC window, but to be honest I would only really have a problem with it if they didn’t make the game more fun, stuff like unit skin packs, portraits etc are excusable because they are only cosmetic and don’t have much change other than the look. Stuff like The Reapers Due etc. add major game play changes and generally cost $20.00, and there are many of these for Crusader Kings II which can be annoying because it can feel like you’re not getting the full on experience without those types of DLC. It is still important to note that you will still get a generally good experience without playing any DLC though a large portion of the game will unfortunately be missing, mods can make up for this but they too can often require DLC to function.
For me Crusader Kings II adds an excellent mix of Real Time Strategy and Role Playing which my #1 & #2 in video game genres. They mesh so well together that it creates an experience of you’re choosing, albeit with some difficulty depending on what you choose. And although it has it’s problems (mostly on the business side of things) it holds up extremely well since it’s release date since 2012 and although it seems like paradox with rumors yet another EUIV Update (Which I will be getting) it seems like it’s Paradox’s main focus for a while. For me it’s a 9/10 game (Bias would make it a 10 but that was this whole review in the first place after all.)