I cannot cannot CANNOT preach this game’s deserved praise enough. Crusader Kings 2 is one of my top games this year already. I was a huge fan of the first, and now they’ve only expanded and improved upon it in this sequel. It’s a Paradox title that launched relatively bug-free, and that alone speaks more volumes than I could.
But for a quick synopsis, it’s a game set in medieval Europe where you assume control of a count, duke, king, or sometimes emperor, and then try to keep your family dynasty in power, all while vying for MORE power and more land. While that in and of itself may not sound exciting, every character has various traits that drive their actions and opinions,and that’s what makes this game truly fun to play. It’s a crazy character soap opera that has you trying to keep everything under control while managing a drunken wrathful uncle and trying to keep your sons from killing each other over the line of succession.
It’s currently on sale on Steam for $5 under its normal price of $50, which includes all the DLC released so far (Mongol faces, music packs, dynasty shields, and the ruler designer) as well as the typical Paradox post-release support. The latest patch for the game added in several new features and revamped how de jure kingdoms work, and this is only a few months after release. The sale is only lasting 48 hours though, so you must be quick about getting it! There’s also a demo available here if you want to try-before-you-buy.
Just as a quick example of how crazy the game can be, I was ruling as a count in my single-county game of Weimar in the Holy Roman Empire. Out of the blue my ruler is stricken with an illness and passes away within a few months, dumping control to my 10-year-old son. When he’s struck down by the same illness passing through our lands, it goes to his thiry-something sister who’s married and has two sons by another dynasty, meaning that as soon as she dies I’m out of the game for good. So I divorced my current husband and remarried matrilineally the first random young man I could find. A few months later I have another son of MY dynasty. But the succession still goes to my sons by the other dynasty. So I had to kill them. And so I did. Now, while my countess was labeled a tyrant and loathed by all her subjects, the son of her dynasty was now next in line for the throne. She lived to be seventy-something and outlived her tyrant status, dying with no one in her court having a negative opinion of her.
And that’s just the single-player. It supports up to 32 players in multiplayer.