Paradox fans have seen a fair amount of grand strategy titles this year and are probably still playing and learning the ins-and-outs of games like Sengoku, Europa Universalis III, and Hearts of Iron III. To kick off the 2012 gaming year, Paradox is taking players back to the Middle Ages in Crusader Kings II.
In Crusader Kings II, players will play as a feudal lord in a fragmented Europe vying for land and prestige, and ensuring that your dynasty withstands the tests of time. As a feudal lord, your first priority is to make sure you have a legitimate heir to inherit your domain; if an heir is not found, your lands will end up in the hands of a pretender and it is game over.
Crusader Kings II explores one of the defining periods in world history beginning in 1066 around the time of the Norman Conquest of England to 1453 and the fall of Constantinople. Medieval Europe is brought to life in this epic title rife with rich strategic and tactical depth. Featuring a few select periods, players will be able to begin their playthroughs during important periods throughout the Medieval period including the Crusades, Norman Conquest, and Mongol invasions.
You can play as any king, duke, or count of a non-Muslim, non-pagan province allowing for multiple unique experiences. Crusader Kings II also features the new graphical enhancements featured in Sengoku. Set on a 3D map of the known Medieval world including Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa with hundreds of territories to control, players will need to appoint vassals to govern, collect taxes, and raise armies to sustain the power of the dynasty and the realm.
As characteristic of Paradox’s recent titles, internal and external politics, religion, technological research, and warfare play crucial roles, each with great depth requiring a lot of management. Players need to hire a five-person council, one for each of the game’s main attributes: a chancellor, marshal, steward, spymaster, and lord spiritual. Each council member can conduct one of three actions at a time in the realm including improving relations, training troops, researching technology, uncovering plots, and converting religions.
In addition, laws of the realm can be adjusted, each with a unique set of effects ranging from laws of succession to taxation and military recruitment quotas. Technological research features three categories: Military, Economics, and Culture. Players will be able to focus on one tech from each category.
Given the backdrop of the game, religion will play a significant role throughout. Leaders of each faction can declare holy wars, heresies, or conversions as well as gaining influence with church officials and the pope. That said, maintaining good relations with the Church will determine the level of your piety and favor with the religious establishment and overall prestige.
Crusader Kings II, with its in-depth management of politics, economics, religion, and warfare, has the potential to be another great addition to the grand strategy genre and will inevitably occupy countless hours of hardcore Paradox fans and Medieval enthusiasts alike.
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Name: Crusader Kings II
Available on: PC
Developed by: Paradox Interactive
Published by: Paradox Interactive
Release date: February 7, 2012