Christmastime and the elves at Paradox Development Studio have crafted a new
toy for a King or Emperor to enjoy this Holiday Season. Released just a week
ago was “Way of Life” which is the latest expansion for their critically
acclaimed title Crusader Kings II. “Way of Life” is the much anticipated
DLC that expands on the interpersonal and role playing aspects of the game.
Excerpt: In Crusader Kings II – Rajas of India, a player can choose from a variety of families, with three new religions and plenty of new ethnic groups, and then try, just as he did before in Europe, to become as powerful as possible using warfare, diplomacy, intrigue and events. During the time I spent with the expansion, I imprisoned family members, sought to get enough Karma to hire some fearsome holy warriors, put down rebellious Jains (which seems like a contradiction in...
Pros: + An entire Indian subcontinent to play with, + Religions mechanics, + Tweaks to core mechanics
Cons: - India can feel a little empty, - Learning curve for newcomers
say right off the bat that I consider Crusader Kings II to be the best
grand strategy title out right now. Buried deep in its manifold layers of
character traits, character development, titles, and impressive realm
infrastructure is a game willing to entice the player with real sandbox
immersion and emotional investment.
Excerpt: The new content is created by the Paradox Development Studios and it’s an ambitious attempt to make spirituality and organized religion a bigger influence on the events of the game. The core mechanics of the grand strategy experience are unchanged: the player chooses a character and then tries to lead his family towards a glorious future, using the power of weapons, diplomacy or subterfuge to advance his interests in a variety of scenarios centered around the Middle Ages...
Pros: + New religion-focused features, + More actual Crusades, + Interesting historical challenges
Cons: - Khazars are almost unplayable, - Increased complexity level
Conclusion: At first I thought all the obscure mechanics and complexity meant I wasn’t having a good time, but then I checked the time. It’s easy to just let the game run and see what it throws at you, and hours later you emerge, still thinking about secret plots and county taxation. One of my plots was to kill a princess of the Holy Roman Empire to further my nefarious desires. I had gathered support, and the plans were being laid out.