Crusader Kings II (Windows)

Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

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Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 4.0
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 4.3
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.0
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.7
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.7
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 4.7
Overall User Score (3 votes) 4.2

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
The developers stated that they wanted some extra time to develop it, and the extra man-hours show. Paradox Interactive has been notorious in the industry for games that come with game-crashing bugs. Recent releases have partially mitigated that past, but Crusader Kings II is the most polished game from them to date, which is quite a feat considering the buggy past of the original Crusader Kings. Returning players to the franchise will find this is the game they always wanted to play, ever since the original was developed. Those just coming to the series will, with some patience, find a game that can entertain them for hours on end. Priced at $39.95, Crusader Kings II is a bargain for anyone looking for a detailed, dynastic, and certainly medieval experience.
Absolute Games (
Бесспорно, лучшее творение Paradox Interactive. Столь блестяще раскрыть феодальную тему не удавалось никому.
Game Watcher
Whilst the subject matter and the set-up may not be to everyone’s liking, Crusader Kings II is definitely the most impressive Paradox game to date. The game mechanics are an interesting twist on a well-known genre, the code itself is highly polished, and it’s just a really fun and interesting game to play. Some minor improvements could still be made, and this really is a game of patience, even more so than other Paradox games. Like we said at the beginning though, playing is winning, and there’s something quite satisfying about leading your house to power and glory through whatever means you can, for as long as you can.
C'est bon, les développeurs de Paradox peuvent prendre leur retraite ! En tout cas, si l'un d'entre eux s'en allait aujourd'hui, il pourrait partir avec le sentiment du devoir accompli. Ce devoir auquel le studio s'astreint depuis longtemps, c'est d'offrir aux joueurs le wargame ultime, et c'est bien ce qu'est Crusader Kings II. Inutile de redire ce qui a déjà été dit dans le test, nous risquerions de tomber dans les superlatifs... Sachez simplement que si vous aimez un tant soit peu le genre, vous ne pouvez pas passer à côté de ce monument. Tout bien réfléchi, espérons que Paradox attende un peu avant la retraite : des jeux de cet acabit, on en veut encore longtemps !
Paradox is getting closer and closer to that 5 out 5. Gameplay wise, they’ve already nailed it, now they just need to make the experience even more approachable and they will even start getting people without any real interest in history excited about their excellent games.
For selvom det kan lyde vældigt seriøst, er CK2 et sjovt spil med masser af kolorit. Som konge af Léon er der et væld af beslutninger, der skal tages for at sikre forholdet til vasaller og naboer, og ikke mindst sikre at familien står stærkest muligt, når kongen dør. Du, spilleren, er nemlig kongen, og når han dør, er du din egen arvtager. Dør du uden arvtager, er det game over, og kampen på de indre linjer mellem familiemedlemmer, der slås om magt og ære, svinger sig tit op i rene dramaer, der ikke lader en god Se & Hør kioskbasker noget tilbage. CK2 er, som vi gerne vil have, spil skal være i ideel verden: sjove, relevant, lærende uden at være kedelige. Hvorfor skulle man ikke kunne lide det? Prøv det - måske bliver du overrasket.
Crusader Kings II è un gioco per pochi, o meglio ritengo che pochi abbiano la pazienza necessaria per potersi addentrare all'interno di un meccanismo che, in virtù della sua precisione, rende il titolo Paradox uno dei migliori strategici attualmente disponibili sul mercato. Nonostante ciò credo sia giusto premiarlo con un voto vicino alla perfezione, solo sfiorata a causa del mancato supporto al nostro idioma e per una curva di apprendimento forse troppo ripida anche per gli amanti del genere.
Porque, en estos días en los que las intrigas palaciegas están otra vez de moda, encontramos un juego que es realmente capaz de de trasladar todas esas vivencias a una experiencia jugable. Somos los señores de una dinastía, y eso implica una gran cantidad de responsabilidades, más allá del gobierno propio de nuestro territorio. En cuanto comiencen a surgir las modificaciones de usuario, Crusader Kings II podrá ampliar estas posibilidades, hasta cotas insospechadas. Solamente una última pega, y es la dependencia prevista para DLC. Nada más salir el juego, ya teníamos disponible un paquete con más emblemas para ciertas dinastías europeas, y no sería de extrañar que los reinos musulmanes reciban otro contenido para ser jugables. Por supuesto, su compra siempre es opcional, pero no deja de resultar un poco triste ver como las opciones iniciales se pueden haber visto recortadas para sacar más tajada. Sea como sea, un gran juego.
La versione definitiva di Crusader Kings II conferma tutto quanto di buono detto nel corso dei mesi passati, spazzando via i dubbi sulla qualità di un prodotto finale che è sicuramente in grado di soddisfare i fan del genere. Paradox ha saputo mettere in atto l'esperienza maturata nel corso degli anni, offrendo quello che è probabilmente il titolo più completo sotto ogni punto di vista, in grado di combinare un'ottima longevità a una componente multigiocatore che, pur non aggiungendo nulla in termini di meccaniche di gioco, garantisce ore aggiuntive di divertimento in compagnia. Gli elementi citati nella recensione del resto sono solo una parte delle possibilità aperte da Crusader Kings II, che riteniamo quindi un gioco da acquistare a occhi chiusi se già iniziati al genere. Quantomeno da provare, invece, nel caso in cui si sia spaventati da alcuni dei fattori che lo rendono di nicchia.
Vandal Online
Crusader Kings II es el mejor juego que ha hecho Paradox Interactive en toda su carrera. Se nota la experiencia del estudio tras años y años realizando juegos de estrategia. Podríamos definirlo como un juego de gestión nobiliaria, lo que aporta frescura a un género algo estancado y falto de nuevas ideas que funcionen. Su profundidad de juego es apabullante y gracias a su IA nos sentiremos como si estuviéramos viviendo realmente todas las intrigas palaciegas de la época y que tan de moda están últimamente. Tiene sus errores, como lo poco cuidado que está el apartado militar, la imposibilidad de poder escoger otras religiones para jugar con ellas, un tutorial mejorable, errores de documentación y una curva de aprendizaje que asustará a los más nuevos e impacientes. Pero si os gusta la estrategia de gestión y buscáis algo relativamente distinto y que tenga una jugabilidad con una profundidad sin rival, Crusader Kings II os atrapará sin que os deis cuenta.
Propracovaná středověká strategie nečekaně vylepšuje klasický systém her od Paradoxu a nabízí strhující a pohlcující zážitek z nekompromisní politiky, potažmo života středověkého evropského šlechtice od 11. do 15. století. Nezáleží na tom, v jakém měřítku budete svou dynastii budovat, pořád budete mít před sebou cíle, o které budete chtít bojovat. V Crusader Kings II máte jedinečnou šanci přetvořit historii, nepropásněte ji.
It's an incredibly dynamic game that seems to perfectly simulate the state of flux that Europe and the Middle East were in during the Middle Ages. Crusader Kings II is exactly the sort of game I was hoping it would be. As deep and complex as its predecessor, but more accessible. It also manages to avoid some of the stability and bug issues that Paradox titles are known for. This is easily the most polished and bug free of all their titles to date, apart from the occasional placeholder text that crops up. The folks over at Paradox have out done themselves and set the bar extremely high. If you are looking for a new strategy game to sink an insane amount of time into, then look no further.
Gamers Daily News
Paradox Interactive has a lot of experience under their belt in this genre and knows what they are doing. Crusader Kings 2 is phenomenal and one of the best strategy games on the market. I never played the first one, so I can’t really offer a good comparison to this title, but I can tell you that this is an instant-must-buy for anyone looking for a deep strategy game that with steal hours from their life. Those new to the genre will face a bit of a learning curve. I am learning new things about the game every day, but if you stick in there and learn what you are doing, I am sure you will love it.
Calm Down Tom
Overall the game is incredibly complex and can be rather intimidating. It took me a little while to figure out what I was supposed to be doing myself, but once you start going the game is addictive and incredibly fun. While this game is definitely not to everyone’s tastes, I highly recommend the game to anyone who’s a big fan of Risk, or immensely challenging strategy games. I haven’t played a strategy game that has intimidated me as much with the sheer amount there is to learn in a long time. Paradox Interactive truly has made an epic strategy game, and from the many games I’ve reviewed from them they continually get better. Big props to them for creating such an ambitiously deep game.
PC Gamer
Military-minded modders may well address the combat issues as well as other minor flaws, like the willingness and ability of Saracen Jihadists to strike at the western extremities of Christendom. Even if they don’t, I can see myself enjoying the company of CK2 and its incomparable cast of bed-hopping, sibling-slaughtering, rodentmutiliating characters, for months – maybe years – to come.
Cheat Code Central
The bottom line is that Paradox Interactive knows its audience, and the developer hand-crafted Crusader Kings II to fit the needs of its dedicated fan base. This is not an accessible game, and it does not pretend to be. If you want an update to the original Crusader Kings, or if you want to play Sengoku in the context of a different culture, Crusader Kings II is a must-buy. If not, stay away.
Crusader Kings II has so much to offer but, like this review, there is just not enough time to encapsulate it all in one sitting. The grand-strategy moniker is a title that isn’t given out easily, especially once you have played the behemoth that is Paradox Interactive’s most recent outing. I have easily sunk 30 hours into this game within the last week and I still feel that I have only scratched the surface of Crusader Kings II — luckily, I am completely fine with the notion of dedicating more time to try and defame all those who stand in the way of my glorious genes.
PC Games (Germany)
Nach dem Bug-Fiasko um Hearts of Iron 3 bin ich richtig erleichtert, dass Crusader Kings 2 so rund geworden ist. Ok, die mangelhafte Übersetzung der deutschen Version sorgt zugegebenermaßen für so manchen ungeplanten Lacher. Im Angesicht der wahnsinnig fesselnden Spielmechanik verblasst dieses Manko aber ohnehin binnen weniger Augenblicke. Die Zukunft der Dynastie bedarf meiner ständigen Aufmerksamkeit, Vasallen wollen bei Laune gehalten werden und ständig steht etwas anderes auf der Agenda. Was hab ich mich geärgert, als die Intrige eines Widersachers mein über Jahrzehnte hinweg vorbereitetes Vorhaben mit einem Schlag zu Nichte machte. Und wie habe ich gejubelt, als ich durch eine geschickt arrangierte Heirat meine Reichsgröße mal eben verdoppelte. Genau solche Momente gehören zu den Stärken von Crusader Kings 2. Bis dato gibt es kein Strategiespiel, dem die Umsetzung des Mittelalters mit all seinen komplexen Zusammenhängen so gut gelingt wie Crusader Kings 2!
Gameplay (Benelux)
Complex, eigenzinnig en meeslepend: Crusader Kings II is een waardige opvolger van het origineel en maakt dat de rol van middeleeuwse edelman opnemen nog nooit zo leuk was. Deus vult!
Impulse Gamer
This is truly one of the better games to come out from Paradox Development Studio, now like most strategy games, things do not progress always at a fast pace. So some patience in gaming is involved here. I have my moments when action is all I crave, for some reason this game intrigues me enough to want to keep playing, and that is something indeed.
Hooked Gamers
In some ways, Crusader Kings II is the crowning achievement of the Europa Universalis games. It may not innovate, but it improves upon every possible area, making the game more accessible than ever without losing sight of its hardcore fanbase. If you have nothing against a little sibling rivalry, love to indulge yourself in murderous plots and dream of grand conquests, then this is the best way to experience all that in the safety of your home.
Thunderbolt Games
Crusader Kings isn’t really about the military campaign anyway. It’s about what goes on behind the scenes of a medieval kingdom; the wrathful kings, traitorous barons and scheming countesses, the alliances and the betrayals, the sacrifices and schemes. You can lose countless hours negotiating and bullying your way through history, meeting and adapting to each triumph and disappointment in turn. It’s a great example of a game where you create your own story through the myriad of choices given to you. Each game plays differently, and there’s plenty of different challenges depending on which region of medieval history you want to try your hand at. It might look like a daunting game to dive into, but stick with it and you’ll find one of the most engaging and addictive strategy experiences available.
Spazio Games
Tirando le somme Crusader Kings II è uno strategico in tempo reale che riesce a svolgere quasi perfettamente quello che si propone di fare ossia soddisfare la nicchia, neanche poi così piccola, di giocatori che Paradox ha creato intorno a sé. Niente di più niente di meno: un titolo profondo, complesso e riuscito che sarà amato con tutto il cuore da chi già ha apprezzato giochi di questo particolare sottogenere, del quale può essere tranquillamente considerato a oggi come il migliore, e allo stesso tempo un titolo precluso a chi non è disposto a impegnarsi e che di certo non attirerà chi non è appassionato di giochi di strategia.
Crusader Kings 2 ist besser, als ich erwartet hatte. Trotz einiger Schwächen zieht es mich in den Sog der Herrschaft, was bei Sengoku nicht so der Fall war. Mehr als einmal ertappe ich mich dabei, wie ein mittelalterlicher Fürst zu denken, wozu auch das authentische Ambiente sowie die wuchtigen Klänge beitragen. Es gibt so viel zu tun, dass die fehlende Forschung und Übersetzungsfehlerchen nicht stark ins Gewicht fallen. Wer ins Mittelalter abtauchen will, wird hier strategisch gut unterhalten!
Crusader Kings 2 è un must-have per chiunque apprezzi particolarmente i complessi strategici di Paradox. Versione rinnovata del primo capitolo, ne mantiene gli elementi essenziali, la fedeltà storica sempre maggiore e la forte immedesimazione che si riesce a sviluppare con la figura del re medievale. Tuttavia molti troveranno che il titolo sia troppo complicato e cerebrale, non essendo adatto a partite né brevi né leggere (specialmente in modalità multiplayer dove si potrà giocare una campagna fino a 32 giocatori), ma con la pratica e la pazienza i risultati arriveranno.
GameStar (Germany)
Derzeit bietet wohl kaum ein anderes Strategiespiel so viel Tiefe und Möglichkeiten wie Crusader Kings 2. Es ist einfach unglaublich spannend, zu sehen (und nachzuspielen), wie über Jahrhunderte aufgebaute Dynastien mit einem Wisch von der Landkarte verschwinden können, während scheinbar aus dem Nichts neue Mächte entstehen. Wer an den Frontlinien der Religionskämpfe überleben will, muss klug und vorsichtig agieren. Das fasziniert ungemein, in dieser Mittelalterwelt kann ich wochenlang versinken. Kleinere Bugs und der Wunsch nach mehr Feedback und Komfortfunktionen sind für mich verschmerzbar. Während ich beim King Arthur 2-Test noch vor weiteren Bug-verseuchten Schnellschüssen seitens Paradox gewarnt habe, kann ich jetzt nur festhalten: Gut gemacht, so wünsche und lobe ich mir das.
It's that scale and potential for one entertaining story after another that make Crusader Kings II so engrossing. There are so many little interactions for you to experience and so much potential for a payoff when your planning and scheming finally come to fruition. It can certainly be daunting, so it's unfortunate that Crusader Kings II doesn't do a better job of teaching you all the ins and outs of ruling a feudal state. But if you allow that fact to scare you off, you'd be doing yourself a grave disservice. Crusader Kings II makes it an absolute delight to rewrite history one small step at a time.
Game Informer Magazine
This vast, churning sea of information is Crusader Kings II’s greatest strength, but it is also the reason the game is as niche as niche gets. You need to bring patience, discipline, and probably a notebook to even scratch its surface, but Crusader Kings II is massively rewarding in its own unique way if you’re willing to put in the time and effort it demands.
Games Radar
Crusader Kings II can be a heck of a lot of fun. For us it was a slow burn; the more we understood, the more fun we had. Once you start getting past the learning curve you’ll find yourself more and more absorbed by all the complex little dramas that swirl around your nobles; you’ll know you’re getting there once you start feeling the urge to fill in other people on your crazy, possibly immoral medieval exploits.
The historical accuracy of Crusader Kings II leaves a little bit to be desired, and the restriction of only being able to play Christian dynasties is frustrating given the dynamism of the Middle East in that era. Yet when actually playing the game, there's always something to keep me motivated to keep going. There's always a plot that can be instigated, or a war with victory just out of reach, or an heir to find a suitable wife for. That's what makes a great strategy game, albeit one that tantalizingly feels like it could be even greater if it'd cut out some of the barriers to entry.
One of the surprising things about Crusader Kings II is that, for a Paradox title, it's actually relatively easy to pick up. That said, this isn't for the faint of heart (or short on time), but if you're willing to bust your butt a little in the beginning to pick it up, it will reward you with a very enjoyable game experience in the end.
Family Friendly Gaming
Throughout history there have been people who say they do things for God. Jesus Christ taught you will know a tree by its fruit. so if they were oppressing someone then they could not have been a Christian. Yet God does allow evil people to do evil things. We Christians have long struggled with the history of the Crusades. Especially with all of the good Christians have done over the multitude of years. Were they doing God's will or not?
PC PowerPlay Australia
Crusader Kings II is probably the most enjoyable Paradox game since the superb EU3. If you can invest in the narratives it suggests, it can be a dark comedy, a tragedy, a bloodcurdling revenge tale, or any number of other stories. But you have to want it. Otherwise, the game is nothing but names and numbers on the pages of imagined history.
Game Over Online
I realized in the first ten minutes of starting the game just how low the enjoyment ceiling was and another twenty hours of playing it did nothing to alter that first impression. Perhaps this game would have been a blockbuster back in the days when all games required you to use your imagination to fill in the gaps where graphics and processing power weren't up to the task yet. And indeed, for those "gamers" who still pine for their Commodore 64's, Crusader Kings 2 may provide everything they would ever need. For those of us gaming in the year 2012, however, there just isn't enough here. It's like playing with the pre-alpha-build skeleton of a game before anyone starts the real programming, art rendering or engine building. Sure you can see what the developers are going for, but only if you turn your head, squint and imagine. When I'm doing all the creative work for a game in my own head, I think I would rather just skip the "game" and save my $40, instead.