“William, The Bastard”: Crusader Kings II

By Jim Rossignol on August 18th, 2011 at 4:38 pm.


It’s tough to make Paradox’s glacial but intricate historical strategies look interesting in a trailer, but those plucky chaps have had a go for their Gamescom flag-waving attempt. Crusader Kings II, which puts you at the controls of a medieval European dynasty, is really all about the menus, and the trailer doesn’t deny that, but it does editorialise a bit and try to show how the game is telling the story of the 1066 Norman invasion. It doesn’t quite go for the big finish, but that’s history. The game is still a way off, too, as it’s due early 2012.

Right, so anyway, I’ve actually run out of trailer reblogging juice today, so this will have to be the last one, ‘lest my glands need replacing. I’ve got Red Orchestra 2 and Trackmania 2 betas to wrestle with, too. So serious business ahead, indeed.

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37 Comments »

  1. Paool says:

    Always wanted to try a game like this. I hope the have some real dumb downed difficulty settings for first timers.

    • Archonsod says:

      To be honest the main difficulty in Crusader Kings is less running the kingdom and more attempting to raise your heir while keeping them as far away from your insane bishop as possible, and hoping your spymaster isn’t the kid’s father to boot.

    • kublakhan says:

      Difficulty in Paradox games is usually based on what country you pick — I’m sure there will be easy choices for newbies, such as France in EU.

    • Zwebbie says:

      Losing is half the fun of Crusader Kings. I still remember how I thought Jerusalem would be a cool country to play, and before ten years were over the Saracens had taken half of the kingdom and all the 7-year olds I appointed as counts and countesses (in the assumption that surely my young niece wouldn’t rebel) were rebelling.

      Paradox games aren’t that difficult, but in the past they’ve been plagued by horrible tutorials, or in the case of the original CK, no tutorial at all. Victoria II was a major step up, though, so I’m not afraid for CKII. And you just need to run a kingdom or two, maybe three, into the ground before you get a hang for these games.

  2. Renfield says:

    I missed out on the original, so ‘early 2012′ can’t come fast enough. Also, “In the South, the Saxon crumbles before the Norman” is RPS header material.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Well, it’s not like you can’t get the original still. The complete package is £15 on GG.

      Just make sure you get the expansion and are patched up to current before you start playing, for the love of God…

    • Renfield says:

      True, although assuming the sequel is an upgrade, it makes more sense to save my excitement, and more importantly my *time* for no. 2 at this point.

  3. Xercies says:

    I’m quite looking forward to this one actually, the first Crusader Kings sounds really interesting, but its always better to go for the sequel. i hope someone makes a Song of Ice and Fire mod for this one to

    • Premium User Badge

      Colonel J says:

      Wait…there’s a SoIaF mod for the original? Why was I not told this before.
      Must try it, is it any good?

    • Teddy Leach says:

      It’s very good actually. But take care if you’re offended by spelling errors.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      …but its always better to go for the sequel.

      I suspect Hearts of Iron 2 fans will differ with you on that point. (HOI3 generally considered disappointing by the community).

      The original Crusader Kings still available on Gamers Gate. It’s not like the graphics are radically different. Great game, worth playing for the dynasty mechanics alone, although the interface is messy and the strategy outside of the familial politics isn’t as engaging as, say, EU3.

      I’d look for a digital pre-order special that includes the original game to tide you over. They’ve done that before.

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      Fede says:

      Aww, I missed it somehow. Guess it’s this one.

      Edit: CK is still worth it, if you can manage and won’t be intimidated by clunky interfaces like Dwarf Fortress. I started playing it not much more than a year ago, and it was lovely :) There was also a thread in the old forum with suggestions and similar.

    • Torgen says:

      Get the CK1 package with Deus Vult if you buy. DV cleared up a lot of stuff and incorporated suggestions from the players (so I”m told, I bought the package deal)

      ALSO, go read the player-written stories from games in the Pardox forums. The one where the Saxons flee England instead of being enslaved by William, and set up a Baltic empire is good enough to be published.

    • imirk says:

      Link to AAR?

    • theleif says:

      @abundant_suede
      “I suspect Hearts of Iron 2 fans will differ with you on that point. (HOI3 generally considered disappointing by the community”

      That was true at release, but now I’d say it’s generally considered the better game.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      @theleif

      That could be true as far as I know. As for myself, I gave the game a year then gave up on it. Haven’t picked it back up since.

    • Xercies says:

      I really liked HOI 3 when I played it, though I haven’t played the second one. But I might go for the first CK if its that good. I said that its better to go for the sequels because usually it is improved in a few ways like graphics and AI and stuff.

    • Torgen says:

      @imirk: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?392855-Homelands-Tales-of-the-Anglo-Prussians

      Starts in 1068, he runs it to the end of Crusader kings, converts the saved game to EU 3, and is continuing through THAT timeline. When he hits the end of EU 3, he will convert that save to Victoria 2, and play to the dawn of the 20th Century. Right now, he’s in the year 1370, and, well, start at the beginning and see what a beautiful, totally alien Europe emerged from the game and the awesome writing quality of the author.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      EU3 doesn’t start until 1399. Or did he mod it?

  4. alantwelve says:

    “I’ve got Red Orchestra 2 and Trackmania 2 betas to wrestle with, too.”

    And no doubt after all the recent love shown to Dungeons of Dredmor, you’ll be having a look at this week’s new release of Dungeon Crawl? Won’t you?

  5. Premium User Badge

    Colonel J says:

    Ah Quinns, where are you.

    Jim if you’re going to cover the strategy games instead of him you need to upgrade your punning augmentation to give us the bad headlines we’ve become accustomed to.

    ‘Throne together’ that was one of his for CKII. I miss him. Sort of.

  6. johnpeat says:

    Guillaume ‘The Bastard’ – William is the anglicised version of his name which came later…

    QI eh? :)

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Let’s not start with this, or we’ll be here all day trying to decide which of the dozen or so spellings of Cnut is the right one.

  7. johnpeat says:

    Guillaume ‘The Bastard’ – William is the anglicised version of his name which came later…

    QI eh? :)

    • westyfield says:

      Let’s not start with this, or we’ll be here all day trying to decide which of the dozen or so spellings of Cnut is the right one.

    • Gormongous says:

      Anglo-Norman French has a “W” where Cosmopolitan French would be “Gu”. These two versions of words regularly exist side-by-side in English, the former from the Norman conquest and the latter from Plantagenet rule; thus, “ward” and “guard”, “warranty” and “guarantee”.

  8. oatish says:

    CK 1 is really the only Paradox Grand Strategy game I fell into my first / second play through. The intrigue and murder and having shitty fiefs is all awesome and if the sequel cleans the UI we should be in for some good.

  9. Joof says:

    The original is one of my favorite games of all time. I’m really excited for this.

  10. Abundant_Suede says:

    Reply fail

  11. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    Who cares about this William guy? I wanna conquer the world with Nubia and make all my kings saints and/or inbred heretics.

  12. faraany3k says:

    Crusader King, Is this the title from Russia that i played 5 or 6 years ago on my crappy PC. Oh my finally it has returned with a sequel. I am so happy.

    • Unaco says:

      Crusader Kings. Is Swedish, from Paradox. You may have played it 5 or 6 years ago on your crappy PC though. It’s not really returning… it’s always been about.

  13. Unaco says:

    I’m slightly worried about how excited I am for this game. It’s not natural I tell ye!

  14. cvcvcvvv says:

    The original is one of my favorite games of all time. I’m really excited for this
    shopping
    http://bit.ly/n6SVQy

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Oh god, the spambots have become sentient, and are replacing commentors with pod-people to sell their nefarious wares!

  15. RadioactiveMan says:

    Let’s not start with this, or we’ll be here all day trying to decide which of the dozen or so spellings of Cnut is the right one.

  16. eselinks says:

    I can’t wait for the new assasins creed to come out apparently it is going to be the best one yet I am going to buy this and MW3.

    http://www.newlyreleasedgamesreview.com