It seems like it’s been forever since I reviewed anything fairly recent (The last one being my Tony Hawk remake almost 2 months ago), but now I’ve managed to get some use out of those Christmas Steam vouchers and decided on a toss up between this and Baldur’s Gate 3 I decided on this, mainly due to the price & the fact that Baldur’s Gate 3 isn’t ready yet. So we set off towards the known medieval world in that of Crusader Kings III.
I’ve had an interest in the game since it’s release. First off I am a huge fans of strategy games such as the Total War series, Age of Empires & Civilisation so given the game at a glance seems quite similar to the former I was intrigued. Second, the game was scoring excellent reviews from all over the place which made me interested & finally third I money burning a whole in my pocket. So with the trifecta in place I made the purchase and I have to say I was not disappointed.
First off, I did find the game to be rather complicated. I completed the tutorial but found it to be more of an overview of the games systems and mechanics rather than an actual teaching tool to play the game. I personally thought it could have done with at least a voice over explaining everything, but these are just tiny nit-picks. It took a bit of trial and error and a few restarts when making some game ruining mistakes, but 2-3 campaigns in I was getting the hang of things, however this is hindered by the sheer number of choices the game gives you. For example, The game gives some recommended campaigns and their relative difficulty but even in the vanilla version of the game you have the option to choose from almost any ruling house in Europe & North Africa all the way to Indi & Mongolia.
The game puts you in control of one of the middle ages many ruling families at one of three levels of rule, Earl, Lord or King. You control the head of your chosen house and rule the land as you see fit, to help in this endeavour you have a choice of 5 different lifestyles. Diplomacy, which is about making friends and gaining respect; Marshall, which is about having the pointiest stick; Stewardship, which is about making money; Intrigue, which is about spies and espionage & Learning, which is about knowing stuff and piety. The different styles of gameplay mean that each game is never the same as the one before it.
Overall, if you need something to scratch the strategy itch, something with a massive scope and masses of replay-ability and attention to detail then you can’t go much wrong with Crusader Kings III.
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