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: It was always slightly trickier playing a pious, religious character in Crusader Kings II . Not only was being a total cad generally the more entertaining option, but it also tended to be the more effective one. Scheming, back-stabbing and pillaging were the best ways to keep your kingdom strong and your coffers full. After all, when you’re sitting on a huge pile of cash with all the armies of Europe under your command, who really needs the Pope on side?
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.