Monday, February 27, 2012

Crusader Kings II - Medieval Europe's Kings, Mayors, Dukes, Doges, Counts and Everybody in Between

They say all politics is local and boy in the latest grand-strategy Paradox's game Crusader Kings II politics is as local as across the hallway of your virtual palace.

The game spans from September 1066 to May 1453 and it is played over a map that covers all of Europe, the Middle East, northern Africa and what nowadays is European Russia.

A massive and highly detailed portrayal of the intricate political, religious and economical landscape of medieval Europe, Crusader Kings II follows in the steps of Sengoku with a gameplay where your character matters most. Yes, it is all about you and your dynasty now and you better watch out who you marry, who you ally with, who likes you or not, and who may be plotting to kill you.

I am still on the look for a strategy game that will not demand me to quit my day job, and the size and scope of Crusader Kings II has certainly caught my attention. Follow the link the below for some screenshots of an exploratory game session I enjoyed this weekend.

Selecting which dynasty to play. The map is filtered at the level of kingdoms, but many provinces, counties or whatevers within those kingdoms have their head honchos who you can be with just a click.
Well, nothing new here. 90% of the peoples living here believe in the God of Abraham, and they are about to whack each other about it.
My first attempt was as the King of Hungary.  Not a good idea to start learning the ropes. I had a chuckle at the Wikipedia link for the King, who is 13 at the start of the game. With the background music on, it felt a bit out of place. There was no Facebook link though, so the young King will have to wait hundreds of years to update his status to "married"(?) or receive wall messages like "way to go kiddo!".
Where is my army? Although the military aspect is not the strongest suit of Crusader Kings II, there are some interesting possibilities here.
This is a screenshot of another game I played as the Count of Temes. I've sent my spymaster and chancellor to Bacs to grow some mutual trust.
This is one of the things I love about the game: tough decisions. The Mayor of the city is sending gold to my palace regularly, the Bishop is sending me nothing but is making truckloads of money currently being sent to the Pope. Can I gain the Bishop's money pleasing him with my decision about the street markets?

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