Crusader Kings II [Download]

4.0 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews
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Metascore: 82 / 100
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Product Information

Release date January 8, 2012
Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #12,027 in videogames
#506 in Video Games > PC Games > Digital Games & DLC
#1,111 in Video Games > Digital Games
#1,124 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Games
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Product Description

The Dark Ages might be drawing to a close, but Europe is still in turmoil. Petty lords vie against beleaguered kings who struggle to assert control over their fragmented realms. The Pope calls for a Crusade to protect the Christians in the Holy Land even as he refuses to relinquish control over the investiture of bishops - and their riches. Now is the time for greatness. Expand your demesne and secure the future of your dynasty. Fill your coffers, appoint vassals, root out traitors and heretics, introduce laws and interact with hundreds of nobles, each with their own agenda.

A good lord will always need friends to support him. But beware, as loyal vassals can quickly turn to bitter rivals, and some might not be as reliable as they seem... Stand ready, and increase your prestige until the world whispers your name in awe. Do you have what it takes to become a Crusader King?

Crusader Kings II explores one of the defining periods in world history in an experience crafted by the masters of Grand Strategy. Medieval Europe is brought to life in this epic game of knights, schemes, and thrones...

  • Start a game at any point between 1066 and 1337 and play until 1453
  • Pick a Christian lord and make sure his dynasty survives as you play a succession of his descendants through the ages
  • Gain Prestige for every successive character you play, furthering the glory of your Dynasty
  • Unravel the plots of your courtiers and vassals, each with their own opinions and agendas
  • Relive the Middle Ages with up to 32 other players in a competitive multiplayer mode

System Requirements
 Minimum Specifications:
OS:Win 7, Vista and XP
Processor:Intel Pentium IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
Hard Drive:2 GB
Video Card:NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon X1900 video card, 512MB graphics memory required
Additional Info:Direct X-compatible sound card, DirectX 9, 3-button mouse, keyboard, speakers, Internet connection for multiplayer
Requires Steam account for installation and activation

System Requirements:
Supported OS:  Windows 7,Windows Vista,Windows XP,Windows
Processor:  none specified
RAM:  none specified
Hard Disk:  none specified
Video Card:  none specified

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Top Customer Reviews

By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2012
A highly detailed medieval strategy game, "Crusader Kings 2" allows players to take the role of a noble in the medieval world and climb the ladder of success by any means necessary.

"Crusader Kings 2" is a game by Paradox Interactive that puts players in the shoes of a European noble during the medieval era. The player can start as anyone from a lowly baron to a king or emperor, but the goal is the same: get as much prestige and money as you can, no matter how you do it. As a ruler, you'll have vassals, courtiers, and advisors who can help you accomplish this, though staying in the good graces of your superiors, your inferiors, AND your neighbors is still no easy task.

Crusader Kings 2 prides itself on its complexity and detail, most notably the in-depth system of feudalism present in the game. This is the core essence of the game's concept: arranged marriages, childbirth, and succession are incredibly important, giving you social links, alliances, potential inheritance, and cause-for-war in the name of claiming one's "rightful land". However, the player must also be mindful of the ambitions of others, not only from other lands but from your own court and family. Characters will scheme, plot, form alliances, and make assassination attempts if it suits them.

Paradox Games is known for making incredibly complex, but also incredibly hard to learn, games. However, CK2 is probably the most accessible game they've made thus far. While it's still certainly complex, CK2 has simplified your means of interacting with the world to make it all a bit more understandable. As a noble, you have a council of five characters, who control your diplomacy, your military, your economy, your religous standing, and your espionage.
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Crusader Kings II is a must-buy for fans of deep, unscripted gameplay. It puts your in control of a character of your own choosing - from William the Conqueror in the year 1066, to the Holy Roman Emperor at the beginning of the Third Crusade, to a lowly Count in control of a single county. But this is not a real time strategy game, or even a "grand" strategy wargame. Rather, it is a game of dynasties. It is equal parts role-playing, management, and strategy. It is about taking control of a noble house and trying to see it through the ages to greater glory.

For example, I began a game last night where I took on the role of the Duke of Bohemia, a vassal duchy to the Holy Roman Empire, in the year 1066. I have decided that I want to turn Bohemia into an independent kingdom, throw off the yoke of the Holy Roman Emperor, and also take over Poland. In another game, I would probably do this by invading Poland. Here, it turns out that I am married to the Polish King's sister. As such, my wife has a claim to the crown of Poland. Looking at the Polish ruling house's dynasty, it turns out there are few living potential heirs to the crown. Slipping my spymaster into the country, I have been quietly assassinating any potential successors to the crown, so that once the Polish king ... passes ... his kingdom will pass to my wife, and thus to me. The fun is when it all goes hilariously wrong - when you have stunted, ill children, or when your brothers plot to kill you and seize your power, or when your assassins fail ... and more.

Great fun, and highly recommended.
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First, the downside, which is simple: if what you're looking for is a normal 4x game (eXplore-eXpand-eXploit-eXterminate), where every side might as well be named Alliance or Horde and where you can attack anyone anytime for any reason, move along. CK2 is a Historical game with appropriate limits to everyone's actions, even yours! You must have a just cause for war, and so much of the game revolves around inheriting claims, or fighting infidels (people of another religion) and heretics (people whose faith is almost, but not quite, exactly the same as your religion) who you can attack to your heart's content. Obviously.

If you want to be plopped down at the dawn of modern western culture in Europe, or the late evening of culture in the middle east and Mediterranean, this is your game. Play any Christian lord from Russia to Iceland from any date 1066-1337 (the leet year!) and keep playing until 1453. Start as a count and work your way up to King, or start as King or Emperor and see whether your scheming children kill each other off before someone decent can inherit. Don't put yourself in the same position as the new York Times reviewer (who had to assassinate his son and grandsons to avoid Game Over), though I do recommend playing an Irish Duke (to learn the game) as he did.

This is a wonderfully personal game. You're not a country, you're a specific person. From the day you take over to the day you die there is "you". Then you become another specific person, your heir (be sure to check your prison when you take over, it's very embarrassing to rule for three years as I did when "my" grandson inherited, and only then discover that it is no longer your scheming daughter-in-law who has been in prison that whole time - "Mom! Sorry, my bad").
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